Evaluation and Significance
Soon after Plato's death, Aristotle praised him as a man “whom bad men have not even the right to praise and who showed in his life and teachings how to be happy and good at the same time.” Despite this unparalleled respect and affection for Plato, Aristotle was an independent and innovative thinker. He was not merely happy to repeat the ideas of his beloved teacher. He modified some ideas and rejected others.
The philosophy of Aristotle cast such an enormous shadow, that for centuries after, right through the modern period two millennia after his death, philosophers either fell into the empiricist camp of Aristotle or the rationalist camp of Plato.
There were also vast stylistic differences between the two. Plato is commonly described as idealistic, otherworldly, inspiring, and as a perfectionist. By contrast, Aristotle is described as realistic, scientific, this-worldly, and pragmatic.