Socio-Political Theory IS 11 XB

The Life and Works of Plato and Aristotle

Group 1: Belon Babes Villegas Farah Mae Arafol Krisalee Salomon Mazuin Quiachon Ridwan Landasan Pink Hyacinth Ronsable

Submitted to: Ms. Melanie Ortiz Rosete Date: July 1, 2010

The term "political theory" is used in both narrow and broad senses, but the two are not easily separated. In the narrow sense, it refers to the branch of academic discipline of “political science” that discusses with the theoretical analysis of political institutions and practices. In a narrow understanding, "political theory" ends up over an enormous amount of territory, running the full range from the philosophical works of several theorists, including Plato and Aristotle.

Ancient Greek philosophy is dominated by three very famous men: Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. Socrates was first, and Plato was his student, around 400 BC. When Socrates was killed in 399 BC, and Plato began his work by writing what he learnt from Socrates, continued by writing his own ideas and opening an academy. A young man called Aristotle came to Plato’s school to study, and ended up starting his own school as well (Carr, 2010).

Plato and Aristotle are two of the famous Greek theorists. Plato was born in an aristocratic and influential family. He was originally named Aristocles by his grandfather but his wrestling coach named him “Platon” in account of his robust figure. Plato founded one of the earliest known organized schools in Western Civilization. When Plato was sixty years old, the seventeen-year-old Aristotle presented himself, joining the Teacher's group of "Friends," as the members of the Academy called themselves. Aristotle then became the student of Plato (Boeree, 2009).

Both philosophers have theories. In a discussion of politics, the standpoint of each philosopher becomes an essential factor. It is not coincidental that Plato states in The Republic, his most famous book, that Philosopher Rulers who possess knowledge of the good should be the governors in a citystate. His strong interest in metaphysics is demonstrated in The Republic various times: for example, the similes of the cave, the sun, and the line, and his theory of the forms. Because he is so involved in metaphysics, his views on politics are more theoretical as opposed to actual (Ross, 2004). Aristotle, contrarily, holds the view that politics is the art of ruling and being ruled in turn. In The Politics, Aristotle’s renowned book, he attempts to outline a way of governing that would be ideal for an actual

function of rulers. . the effect of the abolition of the family to the society. To better understand the works of these two great philosophers. we include what the critics have to say about their theories.state. Criticisms involve the disadvantages and advantages of some theories used in Plato’s The Republic and Aristotle’s Politics such as the Importance of the state versus the individual. and the concept of good and evil when it comes to political matters. 1996). His less metaphysical approach to politics makes Aristotle more in tune with the modern world. concepts of unity among the individual. yet he is far from modern. the concept that philosophers must be kings. Balance is a main word in discussing Aristotle because he believes it is the necessary element to creating a stable government (Kilcullen.

and influential philosophers of all time. It is through Plato that we are most familiar with Socrates' philosophy because Plato wrote dialogues. about which a conclusive result is rarely achieved. Plato tried to convey the spirit of Socrates's teaching by presenting accurate reports of the master's conversational interactions. Plato was born around on May 21 in 428 or 427 B. Thus. when the condemned Socrates died after drinking the prescribed cup of hemlock. He was related to Solon and could trace his ancestry to the last legendary king of Athens. he returned to Athens and established his own school of philosophy at the Academy. In his earliest literary efforts. The Apologhma (Apology) offers a description of the philosophical life as Socrates presented it in his . the Euqufrwn (Euthyphro) raises a significant doubt about whether morally right action can be defined in terms of divine approval by pointing out a significant dilemma about any appeal to authority in defense of moral judgments. Eventually.C. 2010). Plato was a student and follower of Socrates until 399.the Socratic method (Gill. Atlantis enthusiasts know Plato for his parable about it. Early dialogues are typically devoted to investigation of a single issue. in which his teacher took part. When his master died. a year or two after Pericles died and during the Peloponnesian War. for which these dialogues are our primary source of information. respected. usually asking leading questions -. A type of love (Platonic) is named for him.I—Historical Background Plato was one of the most famous. For students enrolled there. and spent several years advising the ruling family of Syracuse. studied with students of Pythagoras. We know the Greek philosopher Socrates mostly through Plato's dialogues. Codrus. Plato tried both to pass on the heritage of a Socratic style of thinking and to guide their progress through mathematical learning to the achievement of abstract philosophical truth. Gill (2010) further mentioned that Pato's Apology is Plato's version of the death of Socrates. he traveled to Egypt and Italy. The written dialogues on which his enduring reputation rests also serve both of these aims..

own defense before the Athenian jury. Beginning with the Menwn (Meno). but also introduces the doctrine of recollection in an attempt to discover whether or not virtue can be taught. captured in a powerful image of the possibilities for human life in the allegory of the cave. It begins with a Socratic conversation about the nature of justice but proceeds directly to an extended discussion of the virtues of justice. The Kritwn (Crito) uses the circumstances of Socrates's imprisonment to ask whether an individual citizen is ever justified the state. Plato not only reports the Socratic notion that no one knowingly does wrong. an explicit description of the ideal state. In the Middle Ages. Among the other dialogues of this period are Plato's treatments of human emotion in general and of love in particular in the FaidroV (Phaedrus) and Sumposion (Symposium). the middle dialogues of Plato develop. The masterpiece among the middle dialogues is Plato's Politeia (Republic). The Faidwn (Phaedo) continues development of Platonic notions by presenting the doctrine of the Forms in support of a series of arguments that claim to demonstrate the immortality of the human soul (Kemerling. Plato was known mostly through Latin translations of Arabic translations and commentaries. for example. In the Renaissance. which will be further elaborated and explained in the next section. This plan for the ideal society or person requires detailed accounts of human knowledge and of the kind of educational program by which it may be achieved by men and women alike. courage. The dialogue concludes with a review of various forms of government. express. 2006). conclusions about central philosophical issues. and an attempt to show that justice is better than injustice. more firmly established. wisdom. Although they continue to use the talkative Socrates as a fictional character. and moderation as they appear both in individual human beings and in society as a whole. and defend his own. in which only philosophers are fit to rule. when Greek became more familiar. far more scholars studied Plato. .

he has had an impact on math and science. . and Alexander came to power. In gratitude for Aristotle's services. after Philip II of Macedonia had begun his conquest of Greece.. 2005). Aristotle tutored Alexander for five years until King Amyntas died. specifically regarding Plato's theory of ideas. came to join Plato's Academy in Athens. and who expected to follow. Alexander did try to organize much of his empire along the model of the Greek city-state.But although Aristotle was Plato's most promising student. and did not believe that the only thing that mattered is the realm of ideas and perfect forms. King Amyntas invited Aristotle to tutor his thirteen-year old son. the niece and adopted daughter of the king. morals. After leaving the Academy. Aristotle remained there for three years.C. Aristotle was invited to go live in the court of his friend Hermeas. he set up a school for future leaders. The Academy continued for several more centuries. and but for his premature death it seems likely that Aristotle would have followed him in that profession. Alexander. Aristotle moved to Mytilene. He was a native of Stagira in northern Greece. While the extent to which Aristotle's tutoring influenced Alexander's successes in conquering an empire is disputable. But in fact he remained in the Academy for twenty years. when Aristotle. named for the park in which it was located. For this reason.C. leaving it only when Plato passed away (Warner. the Republic. The association between Aristotle and Plato dates probably from 368-67 B. with whom had a son. who had been a student and then teacher there for 20 years. When Plato died. Aristotle did not succeed Plato as head of the Academy because of their opposing views on several fundamental philosophical issues. Plato's school was called the Academy.Since then. in 347 B. ruler of Atarneus and Assos in Mysia. Plato thought it more important to educate would-be statesmen. during which time he married Pythias. When Hermeas' kingdom was taken over by Persians. named Nicomachus after his father. but to Plato's nephew Speusippus. leadership of the Academy passed not to Aristotle. at the age of eighteen. Aristotle was more concerned than Plato with the actual material world. His father had been employed as a doctor at the Macedonian court. Alexander provided Aristotle generously with means for the acquisition of books and for the pursuit of scientific inquiry. Instead of following a political path. In his book. Later in life Aristotle married Herpyllis. he included treatise on education. and political theory.

Aristotle was associated with the Macedonians and was unpopular with the new ruling powers. where he found the Academy flourishing under Xenocrates. Their ideas diverged. Aristotle's philosophy therefore involved both inductive and deductive reasoning. There was no comparable scientific enterprise for over 2. The school is often called the Peripatetic School. ethics." About a year later. Peripatetics are "people who walk around." it is also necessary to undertake detailed empirical investigations of nature. In a sense. and therefore focused on metaphysics and mathematics. His student Theophrastus.In 335 BC Aristotle went back to Athens. the Lyceum. thought that in addition to this "first philosophy." which includes such subjects as physics. Having had close connections with the Macedonian royal family. his successor as leader of the Peripatetic School. mechanics and biology. Aristotle founded his own school. logic and science. and that material things are only a shadow of true reality. but he fled to his country house in Chalcis in Euboea to escape prosecution. Aristotle agreed with Plato that the cosmos is rationally designed and that philosophy can come to know absolute truths by studying universal forms. and ran it for twelve years. Aristotle wrote extensively on a wide range of subjects: politics. however. which exists in the realm of ideas and forms. Aristotle died after complaints of a stomach illness. The Lyceum was an unprecedented school of organized scientific inquiry. The new government brought charges of impiety against Aristotle. The fundamental difference between the two philosophers is that Plato thought only pure mathematical reasoning was necessary. in that Aristotle thought that the one finds the universal in particular things. preserved Aristotle’s . and larger lectures in the evenings. because Aristotle used to like walking around and discusses his ideas with his colleagues. on the other hand. Aristotle. In 323 BC Alexander the Great died unexpectedly and the government of Athens was overthrown by anti-Macedonian forces. During his time at the Lyceum.000 years after the founding of the Lyceum. observing the workings of the world around him and then reasoning from the particular to a knowledge of essences and universal laws. metaphysics." Aristotle would have detailed discussions with a small group of advanced students in the mornings. Aristotle was the first major proponent of the modern scientific method. and thus to study what he called "second philosophy. while Plato believed the universal exists apart from particular things. Aristotle commented that he fled so that "the Athenians might not have another opportunity of sinning against philosophy as they had already done in the person of Socrates.

Overall. The books were found around 100 BC by Apellicon. and 4) Poetical Philosophy. other characters include Glaucon and Adeimantus. In addition to Socrates.writings. wrote a number of other dialogues as well as numerous letters. the Republic is divided into ten main books. but dampness. In Rome. II—Books/Theories Regarded as Plato's most important work. Plato. To implement and oversee these principles in society. Composed as a dramatic dialogue among various characters. he is lauded as a preeminent prose stylist and the Republic is regarded as one of the most exemplary texts in this genre. covering the study of poetry and the fine arts. the principal among them Socrates. or republic. where the main characters and setting are introduced and the subject of the dialogue—justice. is somewhat artificial and was dictated more by the limitations of book production in ancient times—in this case. including Metaphysics. Physics and Mathematics. Additionally. The writings of Aristotle that we have today are based on this collection. . who founded and ran an academy in Athens for many years. who is the main narrator of the dialogue. moths and worms damaged them. and systematic treatises. scholars took interest in the works and prepared new editions of them. Socrates. Because of the influence of the ideas expressed in various dialogues. the amount of material that would fit onto a papyrus roll—rather than any internal break in the sequence of the argument. collections of scientific data and observations. Plato proposes the creation of what he calls ruler philosophers—individuals who will lead society into an ethical existence based on predetermined principles that are expounded in the Republic. The text begins with a prelude. This division. Inspired by the teachings of his mentor. 2) Theoretical Philosophy. Plato has come to occupy a key position in the history of western philosophy and is often called the father of philosophic idealism. seeking to define the characteristics of an ideal society. In addition to the Republic. Aristotle wrote three types of works: dialogues or other works of a popular character. 3) Practical Philosophy. as scholars have repeatedly pointed out. such as Ethics and Politics. or right conduct—explained briefly. In this group of philosophical dialogues. His philosophy can be divided into four main areas: 1) Logic. including the Republic. Plato uses a conversational prose format to explore the nature of society. praised for its craftsmanship and poetic qualities. in the Republic Plato theorizes that the answer to society's ills lies not in reforming political systems but in adopting philosophic principles as guidelines. Theophrastus' pupil Neleus and his heirs concealed the books in a vault to protect them from theft. the Republic has long been studied as a seminal text of the Western literary and philosophical canon. who brought them to Rome.

via Socrates. who advocated the primacy of rhetoric over moral training. when necessary. and philosophical aspects of the republic. Plato developed a perspective that viewed all contemporary forms of government as corrupt. Charmantides. a resident of Athens at whose house the conversation takes place. theorizing that the only hope for finding true justice both for society and the individual lies in philosophy. with the ultimate goal of the educator being not just imparting knowledge. and Cleitophon. In doing so. psychological. the rest of the dialogue is mainly a response from Socrates to this statement. Following the end of the Peloponnesian War. who states the Sophist position that justice and its related conventions are rules that were imposed on society by those in power. Another powerful . and that “mankind will have no respite from trouble until either real philosophers gain political power. he even goes so far as to advocate censorship of art. Plato employs his famous allegory of the cave to illustrate how mankind learns and can be mislead by the manner in which he learns. politics. Athens became a democracy of sorts. led mostly by laymen. who. in the service of proper education. Plato touches upon several major issues. and Niceratus. music. not ideas themselves. or literature because the latter deal with representation of ideas. In the context of this premise. Thus. educational. focusing the most significant discussions on the nature and definition of ethics. Plato proposes the creation of an educational system that focuses on the molding of character. tended to implement policies based more on popular demand rather than necessity or principle.elder brothers of Plato. a Sophist and orator as well as the main respondent in Book I. but also the ability “to turn the mind's eye to the light so that it can see for itself. and the organization of society and politics. Lysias and Euthydemus. Also present are Thrasymachus. Scholars have pointed out that the main argument of the Republic is partly a response to the political unrest and instability Plato witnessed in contemporary Athenian society. In contrast to the Sophists. ethics. Polemarchus's brothers. including the social. moral. and Polemarchus. the argument to prove the inherent good of justice leads Plato. one of the main problems of his society was the inability to distinguish true reality from reflections or images of reality. In essence. to lay out his vision of the ideal state. Ostensibly a discussion about the nature of justice. in Plato's view. Plato touches upon many important ideas about education. covering a wide range of topics. Plato's preferred educational system strictly controls the upbringing of the ruling class in order to help them differentiate between appearance and reality and form correct views. as well as religion and philosophy. education. or politicians become by some miracle true philosophers. He advocates the study of mathematics and abstract ideas rather than art.” This is the central theme of the Republic. and morality in this text.” According to Plato. The main intention of the Republic is to define the principles that govern an ideal society. expounded on first by Thrasymachus.

but rather to live a good life: "The political partnership must be regarded. he addressed the city.” Aristotle frequently compares the politician to a craftsman. One can also explain the existence of the city-state in terms of the four causes. In this book. Aristotle's conception of the city is organic." This can be distinguished from the social contract theory which individuals leave the state of nature because of "fear of violent death" or its "inconveniences. operates. However. Subsequently. is a form of practical knowledge. i." Aristotle conceived of politics as being like an organism rather than like a machine. It is a kind of community. the comparison is valid to the extent that the politician produces. Just like his teacher. He referred to political communities as cities. He is also famous for his statement that "man is by nature a political animal. It should be noted that the modern understanding of a political community is that of the state. in the strict sense of legislative science. . a city is created not to avoid injustice or for economic stability. the state was foreign to Aristotle. or economic classes (the rich and the poor). as being for the sake of noble actions.e. last in the order of becoming.. But. and he is considered one of the first to conceive of the city in this manner. Aristotle considered the city to be a natural community.focus in the Republic is the discussion of justice. Hence. The analogy is imprecise because politics. Aristotle also had his masterpiece. called Politics. Moreover. However. ultimately. which Aristotle describes in various ways in different contexts: as households. Aristotle understood a city as a political "partnership". the city-state is composed of individual citizens. a collection of parts having some functions and interests in common. it is made up of parts. that morality is important only because of the social and personal consequences that follow. or demes (local political units). Responding primarily to the Sophists' position. therefore. while a craft like architecture or medicine is a form of productive knowledge. and as a collection of parts none of which could exist without the others. he considered the city to be prior to the family which in turn is prior to the individual. but first in the order of being. are the "material" or "equipment" out of which the city-state is fashioned. that is. and maintains a legal system according to universal principles. along with natural resources. who. not for the sake of living together. Plato contends that morality and justice are key components of an ideal society and that they must underlie all areas of human interaction.

who are like craftsmen (efficient cause). namely. or the politician more generally. In a nutshell. on a deeper level. which sets criteria for political offices. The constitution itself is fashioned by the lawgiver and is governed by politicians. someone like Solon of Athens or Lycurgus of Sparta. who founded the constitution. particularly the sovereign office. Aristotle compares the lawgiver. is a hylomorphic (matter-form) compound of a particular population (i citizen-body) in a given territory (material cause) and a constitution (formal cause). to a craftsman like a weaver or shipbuilder.The existence of the city-state also requires an efficient cause. However. This person was evidently the lawgiver. according to Aristotle. who fashions material into a finished product. "The person who first established [the city-state] is the cause of very great benefits". there must be an efficient cause to explain why a citystate acquires its constitution in the first place. . On Aristotle's view. This ruling principle is defined by the constitution. a community of any sort can possess order only if it has a ruling element or authority. its ruler. the city-state. and the constitution defines the aim of the city-state. Aristotle states.

Hence. every individual living in the state is weak too. with their corresponding advantages and disadvantages according to critics. still he and his works cannot escape from the eyes of critics. Criticism: Robert Mayhew's Aristotle's Criticism of Plato's Republic focuses on Aristotle's main objections to Plato's political philosophy: the degree of unity envisioned by Plato is impossible/undesirable. Plato Theory: Importance of the state versus the individual A state comes into existence because no individual is self-sufficing. Critics are those people who question the essence.III—Issues No matter how intellectual the person is and no matter how great his masterpieces are. in this case. . Mayhew claims that the objections have been largely ignored on the ground that they are facile or unfair. the two renowned philosophers and their theories. too much unity undermines self-sufficiency. poor literacy and miserable societal aspects will arise. Disadvantages: If ever the state is weak and faces a malfunctional phenomenon. respectively. we all have many needs. logic and validity of a certain work of a certain person. lower economic living trend. community of women and children and community of property have numerous adverse effects on society. though Mayhew says "we shall see in passing that in most cases Aristotle's criticisms of the Republic are well-founded. Plato argues that the individual exists for the state and not the state for the individual." Advantages: Everybody has met their needs for they are living interdependently by which all of their demands in order to survive are being satisfied. But the purpose of the book is not to show that Aristotle's thought has been unjustifiably vilified. Below are the theories of both Plato and Aristotle from their books entitled The Republic and Politics. A.

would have the right to force the world.” Plato does try to justify it by saying that the Guardians take office. Disadvantages: Too much knowledge may deviate a person from doing his commitment. there is a big possibility that the guardian or ruler will abuse his/her power for he knows fully the techniques and tactics on how control and dominates his people.Theory: Function of Rulers They must take the greatest care not to overlook the least infraction of the rule against any innovation upon the established system of education either of the body or of the mind. the world would no more have the right to force him to change his view. By which he seeks to justify this state tyranny of an educated oligarchy. Educated folk know their own faults and failings and would shun this exercise of despotism. for education makes people better. nor any child is his parent. We could hardly call it education if it corrupted them. only in the perfect state can man find perfection. that he. so too are the children and no parent is to know his own child. in spite of long training. No educated person wants absolute power over others. Advantages: With the enough knowledge or education you have. not for love of power but because they cannot bear their state to fall into the hands of lesser men who were incapable of wise guidance. They might agree with Mill that. Plato wants his Guardians to be protected from all forms of distraction such as love of one’s spouse or one’s children. Children are never to know their biological parents but to respect all adults of a certain . In fact his Guardians. All this is based on his idea of the forms. Criticism: Plato argues that. had he the power. Theory: The abolition of the family No man and one woman are to set up house together privately: wives are to be held in common by all. are not educated at all. Instead. there are big chances that you are capable of doing decisions about the sensitive issues and concerns for the better of your state or country. “if all the world but one were of one opinion.

is to decide and to dictate who or what is “the best”? Who is it that decides whether Nigel or Napoleon is to be the pattern? Is George Eliot to be reckoned as “better” than Mrs. we have the rare gift of language and the capacity to deal with abstracts that animals do not.generation as mothers and fathers. that is.” (Mein Kampf. by the guardians. Kampf. which in effect means.” In the next chapter he returns to the theme and again could be paraphrasing Plato. Equally the parents are not to know who their children are but to treat all as theirs. but on that of personality. “The Weltanschauung which bases the State on the racial idea must finally succeed in bringing about a nobler era. 2007) “To show how closely modern totalitarianism has followed the Platonic pattern we may consider the following quotation from Mein. The very basis of these ideas is false. perverted and grotesque. Pankhurst? For that matter how many parents have children. inspite of behaviourist claims.228. must also apply that same aristocratic postulate to the individuals within the folk community. It appears as a lottery but in reality this is fixed. but will endeavour to improve the breed of the human race itself. the states. Hence it is not based on the idea of the majority. Criticism: “In spite of all the Darwinist. for instance. Again the analogy of dog breeding is used so that Plato seems to think that the Guardians will know which are the best of the men and women and see to it that they only breed together. trans Murphy 1939. 248) . most of all for the subjects of those experiments. Who. “A Weltanschauung which repudiates the democratic principle of the rule of the masses and aims at giving this world to the best people. Instead of marriage there are to be special times for mating organized as a lottery. in which men will no longer pay exclusive attention to breeding and rearing pedigree dogs and horses and cats. It must take care that the positions of leadership and highest influence are given to the best men. pp. We are far more complex and. Discussing racial purity Hitler wrote. Breeding experiments are bound to turn out a calamity. which are exact clones of themselves? Even identical twins have remarkable differences and who can say how and to what degree nurture plays a part in moulding the potentialities in our genes?” (Penny. Hitlerian and Platonic comparisons with the breeding of domestic animals it has to be understood that humans are not animals. to the highest quality of mankind.

Criticism: Although Plato. like Socrates. though not in the world of men. and The Sun. Disadvantages: There is a possibility that a certain state or country will face a miserable society for the children who are born of out of wedlock and have no home will be the main agent of deviance and darkness to a certain state. on the whole. he always talks about the philosopher Guardians as though they will actually be wise. he insists must have a vision of the good. Theory: Philosophers must be kings Plato. conflict will arise easily. had always defined philosophers as those who know they are ignorant. that has clearly not happened. nor ever can be while humans are in control. Hence a certain country or a state will achieve a holistic security. Plato's theory. really depends on philosophy actually be able to produce wise people. However this is only explained by a series of analogies. . These. he suggests. like Marx. There is no such thing as an “essential table. What is needed. suggests that there was a “golden age” and that human society has degenerated since then. the political stability will not be achieved and peace will be difficult to retain.” though there may be absolute goodness and truth. Hence. But if a philosopher is not wise. The Cave. is that kings should be philosophers and philosophers kings. the Divided Line. then he may not make any better a ruler than someone who is virtuous because of correct belief (as described at the end of the Meno). no wiser as persons than anyone else.Advantages: A certain country or state will have a full protection from the guardians for they are not being influenced by internal and external factors such as love and home. therefore. and in academic philosophy departments most professors are not even trying to pursue wisdom in any ordinary meaning of the word. They will have an intense concentration to do their duties and responsibilities. In two thousand years. It is fairly obvious that philosophy professors are.

410b10-15. By contrast. then he has the full wisdom of knowing the truth.. 28). then his wisdom will just be wisdom and will not be applied in order to help the masses in the society.5. compare Plato Phaedo 79e-80a). each part is continuous to the others. The imposition of an inappropriate type of rule results in disorder and injustice. It is its "constitution" that makes a city one. Striving to accomplish a substantial unity of the polis would lead to its destruction. if he is not wise. .5. Hence.1254a346. but (at least in part) the choice of each of the citizens" (p. DA I. and "unlike a substance and its form. just as an army can possess order only if it has a commander in control. Individuals do not belong to a society like parts belong to a whole. For a city does not come to be out of similar people" Criticism: Such unity cannot be the unity of a substance.Advantages: If a king or a ruler is a philosopher. In a living organism. Aristotle insists "not only is a city made up of a number of human beings. political rule for citizens and despotic rule for slaves. Yet. For Aristotle different forms of rule are necessary for different systems: e. what is the nature of Aristotle's criticism? Just as an animal or plant can survive and flourish only if its soul rules over its body (Pol. Yet since Plato recognizes that diversity is needed for the city to be serf-sufficient. the parts of a city can rid themselves of one constitution and create another. if a philosopher will be a king. a human community can possess the necessary order only if it has a ruling element which is in a position of authority. he must have not only wisdom but also the knowledge and the tactics on how to deal with the concerns of the society. he rejected Plato's further claim that one form of rule is appropriate for all. Disadvantages: It is true that a philosopher has lots of wisdom but on the other hand.g. the reality that is going on the society will be more focused especially the different concerns and problems of the masses. and its dynamics is oriented toward the whole. Although Aristotle followed Plato on this principle. but also of a number of human beings differing in kind (eidei). Hence. the cause of a city's remaining one is not the constitution as such (or completely). Political unity entails irreducible multiplicity. Theory: Plato holds that the unity of the city should be the unity of the individual human being. I.

that is. arguing against the former that human beings are mechanistic rather than teleological systems. but because with such a system friendship would be fragmented and ultimately destroyed. then common goal for its development and stability will be achieved. "There are two things that most of all make human beings care and feel affection (philein): that which is one's own and that which is dear. Neither of these can belong to those having such a constitution" (Politics 1262622-4). holding instead that good and evil are in a way relative to the organism. B. Aristotle maintained that the good was objective and independent of human wishes.“If the end of a constitution is to achieve unity. not only because what is common is given the least care. However. he rejected Plato's own theory that the good was defined in terms of a transcendent form of the good. each sector will be affected because of its nature of interrelatedness and interdependency. Disadvantage: If a problem will arise in a united society. according to which good and evil is defined by whatever human beings happened to desire. people under his rule will suffer the consequences. Like Plato. Once leadership of the king failed. to its natural end. Advantage: If the sense of unity will be present in the society. Criticism: The aforementioned principles account for much of the distinctive flavor of Aristotle's political philosophy. Liberal theorists have criticized the principle of community on the grounds . Modern philosophers such as Thomas Hobbes have challenged the principles of teleology and perfectionism. and against the latter that good and bad depend upon subjective preferences of valuing agents rather than on objective states of affairs. Plato's communism is the wrong means. and they also indicate where many modern theorists have turned away from him. Aristotle Theory: Aristotle's perfectionism was opposed to the subjective relativism of Protagoras.

Plato." Modern neo-Aristotelian political theorists are committed to defending one or more of these doctrines against such criticisms.that it cedes too much authority to the state. every individual will realize and appreciate his being as naturally good being a son or daughter of God. Even the principle of rulership which Aristotle. hence every individual will be aware and make his own decision depending on his will for in the first place. Disadvantage: If the concept of good and evil are believe to be subjective. . A. Hayek who argued that social and economic order may arise spontaneously as if by an "invisible hand. Advantage: If the concept of good and evil are believed to be objective and are natural. he did not base his deeds upon God's Words but instead he base it upon his will as a human being. hence. and many other theorists thought self-evident has come under fire by modern theorists like Adam Smith and F.

Plato argues that it is a separation of power amongst three classes--Rulers. It is not coincidental that Plato states in The Republic that Philosopher Rulers who possess knowledge of the good should be the governors in a city-state. According to Plato. The reasoning is: if you know the good. of course. Aristotle. In The Republic. Each material thing is simply a representation of the real thing. In The Politics. yet he is far from modern (Kilcullen. 2006). the Philosopher Rulers. he attempts to outline a way of governing that would be ideal for an actual state. Aristotle's The Politics's sole function is to define itself--define politics. holds the view that politics is the art of ruling and being ruled in turn. Plato states that philosophers should be the rulers since they are the only ones who hold the form of the good. Plato's concept of what politics and government should be is a direct result of his belief in the theory of forms. his views on politics are more theoretical as opposed to actual ( Ross. The lower class does not partake in politics because they do not understand the concept of the forms (Landry. In a discussion of politics. Moreover. which is the form. Therefore. then you will do the good. Because he is so involved in metaphysics. Commoners--that makes the most of each person's natural abilities and strives for the good of the community. two philosophers in the 4th century. Plato further argues that philosopher rulers are needed to create an ideal state that guarantees justice (Banach. contrarily. 2004). The theory of forms basically states that there is a higher "form" for everything that exists in the world. He argues that the state is the . 1996). His less metaphysical approach to politics makes Aristotle more in tune with the modern world. Auxiliaries. hold polar views on politics and philosophy in general. Balance is a main word in discussing Aristotle because he believes it is the necessary element to creating a stable government. Whereas Plato's The Republic is a text whose goal is to define Justice and in doing so uses the polis. philosopher rulers are by far the most apt to rule.Conclusion Plato and Aristotle. only those who love knowledge and contemplate on the reality of things will achieve understanding of the forms. The three classes are a product of different aptitude levels for certain tasks amid various individuals. 2001). the viewpoint of each philosopher becomes an important factor. It appears that the only classes that are allowed to participate in government are the Auxiliaries and.

again to balance opposing claims. 2005). This is permissible because of the strong involvement of the citizens in government. Because he is aware that human interest is an inextricable entity. Another point of discrepancy between the philosophers and today's society involves the topic of . The Aristotelian polis. like Plato. it appears that Aristotle is not very set on breaking down society. which have a family and form a "household". is a city with a large middle class that promotes stability and balances the conflicting claims of the poor and the rich. This lack of sufficiency is the catalyst in the escalating order of unions among people. The philosophies of Aristotle and Plato have been around for over sixteen centuries. the distribution of scarce and valuable goods is in proportion to contribution to the good of the polis. Aristotle. Aristotle combines elements of democracy with elements of aristocracy. insofar as the mixed social system allows. Having these individual rights is a necessity for today's citizens. yet today it is difficult to find specific instances where either philosophy is applied. This system provides for the self-interested who believe that those who work harder should receive more. it is what one would call a "true democracy.culmination of natural associations that start with the joining of man and woman ("pair"). This natural order of events is what is best because it provides for the needs of all the individuals. whose role is purely political. According to Plato and Aristotle. His view is that women are inferior to men in all senses. villages unite and form the state. today's constitution includes a bill of rights that guarantees the rights of each individual in the nation. but they are naturally defined. Aristotle is also very sexist and explicitly states so. Aristotle seems to base his opinion on a more political issue that those that fully participate in their government should be considered citizens of the state (Clayton. households unite and form villages. as opposed to Plato's. Perhaps the most pertaining to our discussion is the citizen. Another point is that the citizens rule and are ruled in turn. This may be a result of the fact that today's political philosophy differs from both philosophers’. Both Plato and Aristotle seem to agree that some people are not capable of practicing an active role in political life. His argument says that there are different classes in society. a spirit of moderation prevails (Clayton." Overall. 2005). believes that a person is not self-reliant. a Bill of Rights is not necessary because it does not improve the good of the community. In The Politics. Plato's reason is that the lower class is not mentally adept for the intricacies of higher knowledge on the good. While Aristotle and Plato uphold the good of the community or state above individual good.

This concept is sometimes at odds with the ideal of equality. While women have had to fight endless battles to achieve the recognition they deserve. Besides differing with today's standards. For example. though. ie. by no means. it does not take away from the ideal because we are all humans. but we differ in certain capacity levels to complete tasks. yet slavery has been considered grotesque for quite some time. each philosopher is in his own way distinct. Plato's and Aristotle's philosophy have helped shape present thought. intermediate.slavery. there is the undermining of the female population by Aristotle. today it is believed that certain people are born with certain capacities. Both perspective views are and will continue to puzzle students for years to come. while Aristotle is much more methodical. he also believes women are the subspecies. The philosophers are very community oriented while we value the individual. Aristotle argues for the naturalness of slavery in The Politics. in essence. In their appropriate level. we are all human beings. Although Plato is a lot less discriminatory. mandate our practices. our society certainly contains some of their influences in a general sense. since Aristotle and Plato have been around for such a long time. we have different classes--for example: advanced. Plato is very attracted to metaphysical philosophy. Because of the different intelligence levels among people. and beginners. today it is a well-accepted fact (generally) that women are as capable as men in performing tasks. each person develops his or her abilities to the highest potential. Intelligence has been attributed to genetics. . In correlation to slavery. Yet. Naturally.

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