Lesson 4 of 4
In Progress

From Plato’s Ideals to Innate Intelligence

November 27, 2023

Plato and Aristotle laid the philosophical foundations of Western thought, with Plato emphasizing transcendent ideals and forms that the material world strives to emulate, while Aristotle focused more on how those ideals are manifested and actualized in the physical world. Aristotle’s concepts of universal perfection “pulling” all things to fulfill their potential introduced teleological understandings of nature and purpose that persisted for centuries. Ultimately, Platonic and Aristotelian philosophies differ from chiropractic in locating the source of ideals outside rather than within. While innate intelligence has similarities in seeing a formative power directing growth, it arises from within rather than solely transcending from without.

Key Takeaways:

  • Plato proposed the theory of forms – transcendent, perfect ideals that the physical world imperfectly copies
  • Aristotle built on Plato’s theory by focusing on how forms manifest in the material world through processes of actualization
  • Aristotle introduced notions of teleology – things having inbuilt purpose or potential striving to be fulfilled
  • There are parallels to chiropractic philosophy but key differences in innate intelligence arising from within rather than being an external perfect form
  • Plato and Aristotle defined much of Western thought by splitting focus between transcendent ideals and material reality
  • Chiropractic differs in locating the wisdom of the body’s expression and healing as innate from within rather than outside
  • Concepts of health and wellbeing being a matter of aligning to universal principles have precedents in Greek philosophy