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Two Philosophic Giants and the Battle for Western Civilization

on April 16th, 2016 by admin

An excellent book which spans over two thousand years of Western thought asks the question: Who has influenced Western thought the most, Plato or Aristotle?  The answer writer Arthur Herman gives us in his excellent book The Cave and the Light: Plato Versus Aristotle, and the Struggle for the Soul of Western Civilization is both.  It is this battle between the titans of Western philosophy, between a teacher, Plato, and his student Aristotle that rages on today.

My preference has always been for Aristotle.  Even though some of his ideas were way off the mark, Aristotle invented the first systematic philosophy based on reality(or the world around us), that can be knowable through using logic as a guide to understanding reality.  With this Aristotle broke from his teacher.  Plato’s own philosophic system is based on a view that the world around us is unknowable.  Only certain types of individuals called philosopher kings can teach others how to break free from the cave of ignorance.

I highly recommend this book for those who are interested in learning about philosophy.  It is also a great introduction to world history.  Because in the end, ideas are the prime movers of history.

Bookish Babe

Tags: , , , , , | Posted in History, Philosophy

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