Aristotle's Approach to Ethics and Plato's Divided Line

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Aristotle's Approach to Ethics and Plato's Divided Line I. PLATO 3) Explain the so-called ‘Divided Line’. What do the different levels mean? How does this apply to ethics? How does this apply to Knowledge, perception, and/or awareness? Explain in depth and detail. Plato’s ‘Divided Line’ is a model indicating not only levels of knowledge, but basically levels of everything. It is divided into four levels and two sides. The left side consists of ways we know, become aware of, and perceive things, while the right side consists of the objects of knowledge, awareness, and perception. The bottom half includes those things in the physical realm and the top half includes those things in the spiritual and intellectual realm. The highest point in the physical realm is the sun, and the highest point in the spiritual realm is the form of the good and beautiful, both of which are essentially impossible to reach. The different levels mean different things. On the lowest level, the left side is made up of our imagination, perception, and conjecture. The right side is made up of shadows and mirages. The next level up, on the left, is where we believe something because we see it. The right side of this level is where we find all physical things. At the top of the physical realm before entering the spiritual realm, is the sun. The next level up is the lowest level in the spiritual realm. The left side of this level includes thinking from hypotheses, while the right side includes objects of math and science. The top level in Plato’s model contains true knowledge and dialectical thinking on the left. The rite contains all forms and ideas. The topmost point, the forms of the good and beautiful, is t... ... middle of paper ... ... vulgar, the political, or the contemplative. The vulgar lifestyle is based on instant gratification. Goods are simply pleasures one enjoys immediately and temporarily. This lifestyle is guaranteed to fail in the quest for Eudaimonia. The political lifestyle in one in which happiness is determined by honor achieved. There are two types of honors one can obtain in the political life, the real and the bogus. Bogus honors are simply to gain status in society and could be bought, but real honors are awards for doing good and helping others. While politics itself is the study of the good, one could easily disgrace oneself and become ostracized from the community. The contemplative lifestyle is one based upon speculation and reflection into one’s own life. This lifestyle is ethical and is the best way to guide one towards the good life and true happiness.

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