This very worthy and interesting question was reported/deleted?

when asked by someone else, so I'll ask for him/her:

"Is present time in which we live is Platonic Epoch Or Aristotelian Epoch? Explain why."

I would like to hear the answers (I'm not just asking out of justice for someone else.) And it makes me wonder why such good questions are reported, anyway.

9 Answers

  • 6 years ago
    Favourite answer

    The question is back up again (about 5 hours ago) and relates to a book by Richard E. Rubenstein entitled "Aristotle's Children", concerning the relationship of Plato and Aristotle to all of medieval philosophy, medieval religion and medieval politics --- given the clash between muslims and Christians because of the medieval crusades, various political/factional clashes between medieval Popes and feudal/medieval rulers (including armed conflicts, since medieval popes had their own armies) and, finally the clash between Augustinian clerical neoplatonists [actually "neo-neo-Platonists", according to G. K. Chesterton; KB] and the burgeoning numbers of Jewish (e.g. Moses Maimonides), Muslim (e.g. Averroes) and Christian (e.g. Thomas Aquinas) "Aristotelians" of the middle ages.

    All of Hebrew, Muslim and Christian individuals could be "Platonic" or "Aristotelian" or against both in the late middle ages. Since I haven't read the book, there is an interesting and informative "review" of the book by a philosophy professor at "Metapsychology On Line Reviews";

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    where the book reviewer actually writes about the author's [Rubenstein's] theses concerning so-called "Aristotelian" and so-called "Platonic" alleged "Epochs". This is what the book reviewer culled from Rubenstein's actual book (which he does not quote --- merely "reviews"), quote:

    BROOK W. PEARSON [copywrited material; ©2004 Brook Pearson; Brook W.R. Pearson, Ph.D., Senior Lecturer in Greco-Roman Philosophy & Culture, School of Humanities and Cultural Studies, University of Surrey Roehampton, London, author of Corresponding Sense: Paul, Dialectic, and Gadamer (Brill Academic Publishers, 2001).]:


    As a philosopher, teacher of philosophy, and student of history, I found this book to be alternatively marvellous and woefully problematic. On the one hand, Rubenstein's approach to weaving the stories of individual philosophers against their own personal and their culture's histories is highly laudable. For the first time, for instance, I understood things about Abelard's [A medieval nominalist KB]story that had escaped me in my previous researches. The factionalism that pervaded the medieval church, the manner in which the manuscripts of Moorish Spain were translated, copied and disseminated, the development of the medieval university of Paris--the list goes on--all of these are treated in such a way that, particularly for students coming fresh to the subject, the RELEVANCE of PHILOSOPHY to CULTURE [my "caps-emphasis"; KB] is brought out in a startling and memorable way.

    On the other hand, Rubenstein's grasp on and understanding of some of the philosophy he treats is more remote. I would never give his chapter on Aristotle and Plato to any student of ancient or medieval philosophy, for it participates too readily in the typical analytical philosophy framework of the understanding of the development of Greek philosophy, and adverts to a brand of historical structuralism that is, while perhaps useful as a heuristic device, problematic if extended. He (pp. 49-50) tries to develop a notion of the succession of Platonic and Aristotelian epochs or eras: 'In Aristotelian epochs, economic growth, political expansion, and cultural optimism color the intellectual atmosphere. People feel connected to each other and to the natural world. Confident that they can direct their emotions instead of being dominated by them, they are generally comfortable with their humanity…', etc. On the other hand, 'Platonic eras…are filled with discomfort and longing. The source of this discomfort is a sense of contradiction dramatized by personal and social conflicts that seem all but unresolvable. Society is fractured, its potential integrity disrupted by violent strife, and this brokenness is mirrored in the souls of individuals', etc. Thankfully, this model is not employed anywhere else in the book. Even without the silly assignment of these competing 'eras' to Aristotle and Plato, the exceptions to this sort of banding of history abound to the extent that their explanatory value is of no account.

    Part of the reason Rubenstein feels able to engage in the sharp distinction between Aristotle and Plato as he does (and therefore of their 'epochs') is that his picture of Plato is skewed by neoplatonism. Throughout the book, when Plato's metaphysics are mentioned, it is actually the neoplatonic hybrid of Aristotelian and Platonic elements that is in view. Rubenstein does not appear to recognise this point, but the importance for distinguishing how these Classical and Late Antique philosophical systems interacted with the highly hybridized metaphysical system of the emerging Christian Church is paramount for any attempt to decipher the development of either Christian theology of the medieval period or of philosophy as it develops into the modern world. That work is not done well here. [end quotation]

    Like the professor, I do not think that there are such things as "Platonic" or "Aristotelian" so-called "Epochs". However, possibly unlike the professor, there seem to be Platonic vs. Aristotelian PERSONS as well as the basic "philosophical types of people" mentioned by Aristotle, including non-philosophical types of people who, in Aristotle's own words "Share the tastes of Sardanapallus" [a hedonistic Persian King who allegedly enjoyed a hedonistic lifestyle up until the rebels were at the proverbial "gate" of his fortified palace].

    So according to Aristotle there are:

    1. Non-philosophical hedonists [not interested in truth or reason unless "forced" by discomfort]

    2. Sophists [apparent, but not real philosophers]

    3. Dialecticians [who have dialectical skill but no paramount interest in the truth]

    4. Philosophers [rare birds].

    We have all the same types in this "Epoch" --- especially among university professors in about the same ratios as Aristotle mentioned 24 centuries ago. Lots of hedonists and sophists, fewer dialecticians [who are actually excellently critical] and fewer (if any at all) actual philosophers.

    But there are some similarities to the middle ages today. The clash between so-called "secular rationalism" and so-called "medieval Islamic" elements (mostly described as terrorists or Theistic extremists). Philosophical "pluralism", whereas in Plato's and Aristotle's time, the "pluralism" was actually demonstrated to be [by serious and lengthy debate] various kinds of "sophisms". The ability for many to engage in leisure given the wealth and concurrent decadence of the time --- common to the "golden age" (and Hellenistic ages in various city states) of ancient Greece, the late medieval and early Renaissance and to our "epoch".

    Actually I think we live in a "Socratic Age", where actual "Socratic Clones" are very few and far between. But, of course, there are more "Socratics" than the one Plato "rejuvenated" in ancient Athens. And most of them get the same sort of treatment from modern Academics that both Socrates and Aristotle received in ancient Athens [either run out of town, like Aristotle, or metaphorically "hemlocked", like Socrates].

    This is a great, rich, decadent, age --- It doesn't matter what sort of philosophical "ism" there is. One can find an adherent of ALL the types of "isms" everywhere one cares to investigate for oneself. I say that it is a "Socratic Age" because all the "isms" Socrates tended to refute --- are back again in full force, with a few modern variants that Socrates might not recognize, at first, but would eventually refute.


  • 6 years ago

    "Is present time in which we live is Platonic Epoch Or Aristotelian Epoch? Explain why."

    ~~~ It is the END of both!

    Science has shown the Greeks to be wrong and the Easterners to be validated!

    Aristotle's poor thoughts have infected the West long enough!

    We are finally moving on, now that we have the benefit of quantum science to guide us from our ignorant imaginations!

    And this is an inappropriate place to whine about being reported or whatever! Just ask your question!

  • 6 years ago

    Interesting how these two Greek philosophers are counterposed as reasons for one to give priority to Greek philosophy, or rather, philosophy written in Greek, when few people possess such interest. Whether, in this case we have a poll over whether either a successful philosopher Teacher (Plato), or his more successful Student (Aristotle) which seems an absurdly twisted chronology, since these men lived near the beginning of history, and we ourselves live almost 2,500 years after.

    Obviously both men are still important for different reasons. Plato for his understanding and gifts in argument, and being the philosopher who created a strong metaphor for the schism between sensation and understanding, a theme which came to dominate the modern period (Dare I say, epoch?)

    Aristotle, on the other hand is remembered for quantifying the rules of logic, and providing a metaphysical underpinning for various schools of existential thought. Because the dualism debate seems to be primarily over, we could say that Aristotle is today the more important of the two, but it would be naive to say we are still, "in his epoch", since his thinking doesn't clarify many current issues. For this, unless we are to accept a philosophy as a dogma, we need to engage the wide field of major philosophers, at least to the point of clarifying the weakness and strengths in their opinions. For this task both Plato and Aristotle remain important resources for us to use.

  • 6 years ago

    Neither. The middle ages were all Aristotle, and now we've overcome them.

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  • Anonymous
    6 years ago

    I suspect whoever reported the question didn't understand what it. Or the person is your average report monkey with nothing better to do with their time.

  • 6 years ago

    Neither one you dolts. Its MY time and you'd better get with the program.

  • 6 years ago

    They may have deleted the question themselves. Its not easy to answer.

  • Anonymous
    6 years ago

    Noble of you to repost this question.

    Good job.

  • 6 years ago

    Its there ...not deleted

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