Aristotle's Critique of Plato

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Aristotle's Critique of Plato
Aristotle took a distinct path verging from the foundation of Plato's philosophy. In order to control society Plato used the noble lie, so people under the state wouldn't question their place in life. Aristotle, on the other hand, used the idea of "civic virtue of friendship" to create a sense of community. "For Aristotle, friendship is a virtue "most necessary for our life." Without friendship, life would be missing a major dimension and in consequence our live would lack real significance." (50) As this quote entails, friendship is important to Aristotle and is a major foundation for his philosophy. Plato's noble lie was a way to patch the giant hole in his theory of an ideal society, and Aristotle, to avoid the problems associated with ideal theories, has a state built on practical intelligence. "Aristotle starts from existing ways of life and finds the bases for a rational order to life contained in the ongoing practices of society." (48) In Plato's theory he is looking for a way to create just people and an orderly society. The polis' well being is more important than the individual. Not to say that Aristotle cared for individual rights, but he viewed the polis as a means to the "good life." The polis is justified then by the peoples desire to achieve happiness.

Aristotle and Plato have differing opinion on who should lead the polis. Plato felt "philosopher kings" should rule because they would be trained and have the most knowledge and wisdom to know justice from injustice, and Plato strictly disagrees with democracy saying that it only leads to tyranny. Aristotle was in favor of a Polity which has the middle class rule since the middle class have the least desire to be rich or to have control; however, a Polity is unpractical because the middle class is usually not strong enough to counter the ambitions of the rich or the power crave of the poor, thus leaving either the rich or the poor in charge. Needing a...
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