Plato, Plato And Aristotle On Harmful Humor

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Plato & Aristotle on harmful humor

Humor isn’t always light-hearted and fun. Plato and Aristotle both discuss the ways people have vices, how the vices relate to humor, and how to live in greater harmony. They use different concepts, Plato talks about how vices arise from disrupting the balance of the soul and through self ignorance, while Aristotle discusses the balance of behaving morally and the vices attached to extreme behavior.

In the Republic: Book IV Plato talks about what he believes are the three parts of the soul, reason, spirit, and appetite. Reason is the part that guides the other parts of the soul, it analysis and rationalizes options, and determines the best overall choice. Spirit is the part that is passionate and strives to conquer challenges, while appetite is the part that desires pleasures and comforts. Plato states that all three parts are balanced properly when reason the one in charge, but when poorly balanced, virtue is lost and vices begin to form.

Ignorance is a vice. In Philabus, Plato states that when harmony of the soul is disrupted, one becomes self-ignorant, and can acquire a false sense of beauty, wealth, and virtue. Within these three distorted categories, are those who have the power and strength to avenge themselves and be hurtful, and those who don’t and are harmless. The former are considered odious, while the latter are considered ridiculous.

In Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle uses the metaphor of a balance scale, where the extremes
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