This is especially true among the over 30 thousand Protestant sects of Christianity that exist in America today. Only the Catholics have managed to reserve any amount of Aristotle, and that is through St. Louis. Thomas Aquinas.
There are many differences between these two giants of philosophy. I will first briefly summarize the differences in their approaches to metaphysics and epistemology, before moving on to my main topic: the contrast in their political philosophy.
Metaphysics and Epistemology
In the realm of metaphysics for example, we have Plato's shadows on the wall of the cave symbolizing the perceived world as an illusion created by the senses. This is in stark contrast to Aristotle's objective view of reality in his "A is A," symbolizing the idea that reality is what it is, as it is, rather than merely a shadowy representation of some truer reality.
In the science of epistemology, we have the Platonic journey out of the cave into the other world through Revelation, in contrast with Aristotle's science of logic as the tool of reason for acquiring knowledge of reality. Plato was a mystic and therefore set his metaphysical standard as the unknowable other-world, and revelation as his epistemological guide through the magical world of ideas in themselves – justice in itself, the good in itself, etc. This reality that we all live in, according to Plato, is nothing other than an illusion, a mere shadow of the actual reality that lies beyond our normal understanding.
This other-world is only know through intense contemplation that brings about revelation. I agree with those who speculate that the Platonic schools developed their own complete system of what we would call Yoga very early on. In book VII of the Republic, for example, Plato begins to describe a scientific method for discovering true being: "What is true unity? This is the way in which the study of the one has the power of drawing and converting the mind to the contemplation of true being. "
In contrast, Aristotle's approach is not mystical, not based on revelation, but rather based in human reason. As we shall see, these differences in metaphysics and epistemology have a unique effect on their different approaches towards political science.
Some of the most diverse differences come in the realm of political philosophy. The following short quote from Aristotle's Politics Book II: Ch. II serves to illustrate the contrast between these two thinkers:
"I am speaking of the promise of Socrates, 'that the greater the unity of the state the better.' Is it not obvious that a state may at length attain such a degree of unity as to be no longer a state? – since the nature of a state is to be plurality, and in tending to greater unity, from being a state, it becomes a family, and from being a family, an individual; for the family may be said to be more than the state, and the individual than a family – so that we …