Comparison Between Aristotle And Plato Essay

1380 words - 6 pages

To compare the political theories of two great philosophers of politics is to first examine each theory in depth. Plato is regarded by many experts as the first writer of political philosophy, andAristotle is recognized as the first political scientist. These two men were great thinkers. They each had ideas of how to improve existing societies during their individual lifetimes. It is necessary to look at several areas of each theory to seek the difference in each.The main focus of Plato is a perfect society. He creates a blueprint for a utopian society, in his book The Republic, out of his disdain for the tension of political life (Hacker, 24). This blueprintwas a sketch of a society in ...view middle of the document...

Auxilaries are soldiers and minor civil servants (Hacker 32). Finally the Workers, are composed of farmers and artisans, most commonly unskilled laborers (Hacker 32). The Guardians are to be wise and good rulers. It is important that the rulers who emerge must be aclass of craftsmen who are public-spirited in temperament and skilled in the arts of government areas (Hacker 33). The guardians are to be placed in a position in which they are absolute rulers. They are supposed to be the select few who know what is best for society (Hacker 33).Aristotle disagrees with the idea of one class holding discontinuing political power (Hacker 85). The failure to allow circulation between classes excludes those men who may be ambitious,and wise, but are not in the right class of society to hold any type of political power (Hacker 85). Aristotle looks upon this ruling class system as an ill-conceived political structure (Hacker 86). He quotes "It is a further objection that he deprives his Guardians even of happiness, maintaining that happiness of the whole state which should be the object of legislation," ultimately he is saying that Guardians sacrifice their happiness for power and control. Guardians who leadsuch a strict life will also think it necessary to impose the same strict lifestyle on the society it governs (Hacker 86).Aristotle puts a high value on moderation (Hacker 81). Many people favor moderation because it is part-liberal and part-conservative. There is so much of Plato's utopia that isundefined and it is carried to extremes that no human being could ever fulfill its requirements (Hacker 81). Aristotle believes that Plato is underestimating the qualitative change in human character and personality that would have to take place in order to achieve hisutopia (Hacker 81). Plato chose to tell the reader of his Republic how men would act and what their attitudes would be in a perfect society (Hacker 81). Aristotle tries to use real men in the real world in an experimental fashion to foresee how and in which ways they can beimproved (Hacker 81).Both Plato and Aristotle agree that justice exists in an objective sense: that is, it dictates a belief that the good life should be provided for all individuals no matter how high or low their social status (Hacker 91). "In democracies, for example, justice is considered to mean equality, in oligarchies, again inequality in the distribution of office is considered to be just, " says Aristotle(Hacker 91). Plato sees the justice and law as what sets the guidelines for societal behavior.Aristotle puts emphasis on the institution of the polis...

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