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Related questions: Compare and contrast Aristotles and Platos ideal state? INTRODUCTION As philosophers of the golden age of Greek philosophy, Plato and Aristotle have immensely contributed to political

philosophy, aside other areas. In this writeup, we intend to evaluate the points of agreement and disagreement as regards the Socratic philosophers. THE IDEAL STATE

prescriptions on the ideal state by both these

Initially, a state is defined as a territorial entity divided into government and subject; and claiming within its allotted area,

supremacy over all other institutions. The

word ideal simply means a perfected standard. Hence, an ideal state must be a Plato and Aristotle both prescribed what these perfected standards on which the state be based, metaphysical should orientation be, according about to man. their state that is based on a perfected standard.

Though, quite a number, a few points on which they both agree are given next; COMPARING IDEAL STATE i. as justice is the basis for the ideal state. For Plato, the individual and the state are one, as they both have a tripartite nature of which these three parts. Aristotle asserts that the justice is the result of a sound balance of For both, the end of the state is ethical; PLATO AND


city-state (polis) comes into being for the sake of life, but exists for the sake of the good life. ii. Critics of Democracy Both perceived

democracy as the worst form of government. For Plato, democracy is the worst of all lawful (best) governments and the best of all lawless (worst) ones. For Aristotle, a perverted polity degenerates into democracy (a rule by the mob) which is a bad form of government.


Education: A national concern Plato prescribed that everyone must be given an equal opportunity in order to prove their mettle as regards where they belong in the

social stratification. This is why he established

the academy. For Aristotle, there should be laws guiding education as a national concern. For each is a part of the state and the care bestowed on each part, naturally tends

towards the care of the whole. Aristotle, like Plato, also established a school the lyceum. iv. Slavery and stratification of citizens -

Both considered slaves as properties of their people are by nature slaves. The fact that both

masters and justified the fact that some philosophers hail from aristocratic (wealthy)

families could be the reason for this. Likewise,

as regards the social classifications of citizens,

for Plato it is the guardians, auxiliaries and artisans. For Aristotle it is the rich, middle class and poor, v. Size of the ideal state - Both prescribed that the ideal state be small in size, in order to attain perfection easier. The Greek state (Athens) was relatively small. Also, it

happened that the whole of Greece was divided into small city states, of which each

had their own autonomous government and ruling system.

CONTRASTING PLATO AND ARISTOTLES IDEAL STATE i. Private property the abolishment in his communism of private

Plato prescribed concerning

property, especially to the guardians and the

auxiliaries. Plato says anything (property) that must be owned by them, must be owned collectively. This could be as a reason of their such privilege. societal hierarchy and the tendency to abuse Aristotle on the other hand criticized the abolition of private property, as he recognizes the need to own such even though the private possession of goods must be within certain

limits. He therefore preached against the

excessive accumulation of goods and advised citizens to use their limited possessions for the benefit of the common good. ii. Feminism Platos republic ideal state supports feminism, in that education for ruling as well as the job for ruling itself should be open to girls and women like the men. Thus, ones sex is generally irrelevant to ones qualifications for education or employment. Aristotle asserts that the women are normally subordinate to men, for the male is by nature rules but the women are ruled (though not as patriarchal subordination of women to men. iii. Concept of ruling superior and the female inferior. The men slaves). Thus, Aristotle accepts the customary

Platos ruling ideology has been summarized

as the rule of the best man the philosopher king who alone knows the ideal standards for the state. Also, ruling is a skill; as the best ideal. Aristotles ruling summarized as the rule of the best laws a well ordered constitution which entails good governance. For him, although ruling is a ideology has been man must be trained to rule. Ruling is also an

skill and an ideal as well; it is also a science

(although Aristotle understands politics as a normative or prescriptive discipline rather inquiry). iv. than as a purely empirical or descriptive Family Plato proposes the abolishment of the family in his communism, as he says the guardians

and the auxiliaries shall have no wife of their own, but in common. Children should be separated from their parents at birth and raised by the state. Thus, there will be more unity and fewer disharmonies.

Aristotle disagrees and upheld that the family is the bedrock of the state and fundamental society established according to the law of nature to provide mans daily needs. He despised communism, in his ...everybody is inclined to neglect something


which he expects another to fulfil; as in than a few. (YOUR PERSONAL ADDITIONAL

families many attendants are often less useful


CONCLUSION Although, Plato and Aristotle agree on the concept of an ideal state, they still disagree on deeper issues as Aristotle

distanced himself from Plato, who was his mentor, at some point.