Study Guide

Aristotle - The Anti-Platonists

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The Anti-Platonists

Plato would always begin his classes with an allusion to the almost equally ancient Chevy Chase on SNL saying, "I'm Plato and you're not." Evidently that really irked Aristotle, and he told all his friends that one day he would form the Anti-Platonists' Club. It's taken a long time, but finally his dream has been realized.

One thing this club shows is that there are a lot of ways to demonstrate you're not Plato.



Even if it hadn't been his idea, who else would be the founder of this group other than the man who spent many years of his life differentiating his views from those of his teacher?

John Locke


Johnny earned his spot as fearless leader of the club. He devotes a whole (long!) chapter of his book to demolishing the doctrine of innate ideas. No, it wasn't only directed against Plato, but it definitely works as a refutation of his Theory of Recollection. Aristotle would have been proud.

On top of that, Johnny is a rabid empiricist. He completely trashes Plato's whole notion that the ideal realm precedes the physical world, suggesting it's just the opposite.

Immanuel Kant


Aristotle had his doubts about admitting Manny. "But the guy holds that there are two worlds—the intelligible and the world of appearance—and that sounds a lot like him. You know, Plato."

But he was more enthusiastic when reminded that Kant denied the mind-independent existence of mathematical objects. "Okay, at least he's not a Mathematical Platonist. Let him in!"

Thomas Hobbes

Resident Scholar

Tommy is a hard-core, dyed-in-the-wool materialist…more extreme than Aristotle in that respect—a lot more extreme. But materialism drives Plato crazy and that makes the A-man very happy.

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