Plato’s Ideal State Compared To Aristotle’s Political Philosophy Essay

1009 words - 5 pages

Plato’s Ideal State Compared to Aristotle’s
Plato and Aristotle take two completely different approaches when talking about the formation of city-states. Both Plato and Aristotle seek to explain the relationship between the individual and society and the requirement of government to uphold order and stability. Plato's ideal city-state, which he refers in the Republic as the 'kallipolis', and Aristotle's concept of the ideal relationship between the social order and government in a city state are contrasting. The purpose of this essay is to compare and contrast their ideal States through their expressed ideologies. Here are the ways I’m going to compare their ideal states…. Be specific… example: women and children golden and silver souls. Politics critiques. Bring in my interpretation of the readings
Plato looks to choose a government that would rule both justly and firmly. Firstly he discusses the reasons for which people would desire to form a state and keep within its rules. Plato states that it is not the desire of man to form a state, instead it is an inevitable need of man, for man is not self sufficient and therefore needs to live in an organized society, and that each person has a natural talent for a certain area of work and should seek to develop it further for the benefit of the state. Plato embodies the natural inequality of humanity, the origin of the state, in the division of labor. "Well then, how will our state supply these needs? It will need a farmer, a builder, and a weaver, and also, I think, a shoemaker and one or two others to provide for our bodily needs. So that the minimum state would consist of four or five men" (369d The Republic). He then goes on to say that the necessity to divide labor with accordance to specializations was prescribed by nature rather than decided by man. Because Plato's state is based almost entirely on abstract ideas of both knowledge and nature, his approach to politics and government itself is more theoretical than actual. Therefore if a city seeks to uphold stability it must be ruled by those that are in possession of true knowledge, 'philosopher kings'.
Aristotle has objections to the very foundation of Plato's kallipolis. Due to his more grounded approach which is more actual than theoretical in nature. Aristotle argues that man does not seek to make a state simply because it is essential due to man not being self sufficient, instead it is because of an innate instinct. He goes on to argue that the state in fact existed in nature before it was discovered by man, and that a “human being is by nature a political animal, and anyone who is without a city-state” is not a man (1253a Politics). Even in mans most primitive form, man's nature forces him to realize his role within a given city, or polis. It is in fact man's self-preservation instincts that directs to the organization of the masses, attempting to avoid conflict. Thus politics through a formal...

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