Research Paper: Aristotle and Stoics; Knowledge

Sample Research Paper

     The Stoics, with Aristotle’s eye of the sense, believed that the source of all knowledge is sensation.  The soul is a blank slate or tabula rasa, upon which impressions of sensations are received.  All impressions are combined to form knowledge, whereas general notions, universal ideas, or Plato’s Forms, are nothing except the repetition of similar sensations in which common characteristics are left over while particular notes are cancelled out (“The Philosophy of the Stoics”).

The Epicureans, like the Stoics, believe that all knowledge comes from the senses.  This branch of philosophers further asserts that thoughts and memories are nothing except weak sensations.  There is no room for religion in their philosophy, neither is there any tolerance for imaginary superstructures such as Plato’s Forms (Boeree).  Empiricism is the only way, in their opinion, to know our world.  And, such is epistemology with reference to the Stoics as well.     

     While Plato and Aristotle had concerned themselves with metaphysics, the Stoics and the Epicureans did away with it absolutely.  Plato was not concerned with the senses at all.  His only view of the senses was that they reminded him of Forms, or the perfect ideas of all things in the mind of the universe.

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