50 - MM McCabe and Raphael Woolf on Aristotle on Plato

Peter's colleagues MM McCabe and Raphael Woolf join him for a special 50th episode interview, to discuss Aristotle's reactions to his teacher Plato.

Press 'play' to hear the podcast: 

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Further Reading: 

• V. Harte, MM McCabe, R.W. Sharples and A. Sheppard (eds), Aristotle and the Stoics Reading Plato (London: 2010). 

• MM McCabe, "Perceiving that we see and hear: Aristotle on Plato on judgement and reflection," in Perspectives on Perception, ed. MM McCabe and M. Textor (Frankfurt: 2007), 143-77.

• R. Woolf, "A Shaggy Soul Story: How not to Read the Wax Tablet Model in Plato's Theaetetus,'' Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 69 (2004), 573-604.

Walter Bruning 's picture

Thank you, Professor

I am thoroughly enjoying the podcasts.  At age 72 I have "suddenly" discovered Philosophy and am quite taken by Aristotle and St Thomas Aquinas.  The sessions on Aristotle have been a big assist to my organizing my reading of his works.  Please continue.  From:  Fan in California.

Thorwald C. Franke's picture

Plato was no Platonist :-)

Indeed our idea of Plato and his philosophy is biased in many ways, especially when the cliché of the opposition of Aristotle and Plato comes into consideration.

A more recent discussion of this kind is Sir Karl Poppers condemnation of Plato as a friend of tyrants and the forerunner of closed societies, whereas Aristotle (allegedly in strong opposition to Plato) is seen as the only opener of free objective thinking, leading us into our modern western world. But maybe, Plato is not so far from Aristotle (and surely not a friend of tyrants)?

Cf. Ronald B. Levinson: In Defense of Plato, Cambridge 1953, and Hartmut Erbse: Platons Politeia und die modernen Antiplatoniker, in: Gymnasium No. 83 / 1976; pp. 169-191 (German).

Just another topic far from the core topics of philosophy is the question of Plato's Atlantis. In the last 100 years it became common to quote a word from Strabo's Geographica (2.3.6) as an explicit statement of Aristotle against the existence of Plato's Atlantis. But by examining all the backgrounds this common view dissolves into nothing or even the opposite (Cf. Franke: Aristotle and Atlantis, 2012).

The greatest danger seems to be that our Zeitgeist introduces a bias into our view of Plato and Aristotle whatever the Zeitgeist may currently be.