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Plato Versus Aristotle

Uploaded by Thatmodelnikka on May 13, 2004






Plato vs. Aristotle
Numerous experts in modern time regard Plato as the first genuine political philosopher and Aristotle as the first political scientist. They were both great thinkers in regards to, in part with Socrates, being the foundation of the great western philosophers. Plato and Aristotle each had ideas in how to proceed with improving the society in which they were part of during their existence. It is necessary therefore to analyze their different theoretical approaches regarding their philosophical perspectives, such as ethics and psychology. This paper however will mainly concentrate on Aristotle’s view on friendship and how it influences today’s society.

The main objective in Plato’s philosophy is a creation of a perfect society. He constructs a foundation for a utopian society in his book “The Republic”. The purpose of his thought process was to cleanse his society of the woes he felt plagued it and construct a new one.
Plato lived during the Peloponnesian War, which consequently lead to the end of the Athenian democracy. He had eyewitness account of his mentor’s (Socrates) trial and execution. Bitter and angered by the political corruption that gripped the Athenian democratic government, he disengaged from participating in politics. He strongly felt that neither a moral individual nor a state that is rational could be established in a democratic environment. Plato felt that the common man was not intelligent or capable of dealing with concepts that influence the state such as economics, policy of foreign affairs and other relative matters. He viewed political incumbents in Athens government as being elected for matters that were irrelevant to main factors that affected the state. Another danger was that excessive liberty for the people of the democratic society could potentially lead to anarchy. In Plato’s perfect society, he forged ahead to eliminate the disease (pluralism of friendship) that plagued the human character and society (Class Notes). Essentially, Plato wanted to establish the perfect form of society, linked by one single entity.
Aristotle, unlike Plato, was not focused or concerned about the idea of a perfect society, instead he wanted to improve upon the one that he was part of during his existence. Rather than develop a framework for a society that is perfect, he suggested that society should, in it self, strive to utilize the best system it can attain. He felt that utopia was abstract and superficial. It would not allow for realistic problem solving...

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Uploaded by:   Thatmodelnikka

Date:   05/13/2004

Category:   Politics

Length:   11 pages (2,379 words)

Views:   1580

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