Plato and Aristotle's Ideal City

Topics: Plato, Self-sufficiency, Aristotle Pages: 4 (1197 words) Published: April 13, 2013
Word Count: 1177

The Republic by Plato builds an ideal and complete city between Socrates, Adeimantus, and Glaucon. The ideal city distinguishes between justice and injustice by establishing four virtues which are wisdom, courage, moderation, and justice (372e). Each citizen has a specific role or art which they are required to fulfill, in order for the ideal city to function properly. However, the city is not self-sufficient because each citizen is "in need of much. (369c)" In contrast to Plato, Aristotle's Politics expresses a slightly different view of what an ideal city is. He does this through his creation of a polis. The polis consists of partnerships, between the citizens, in the villages and households which make the city complete (1252b125). In comparison to Aristotle, Plato's ideal city lacks certain elements. This includes self sufficiency and speech. In this essay, I will argue that Plato's ideal city is not sufficient for Aristotle's polis because Plato's city is not self-sufficient, while a polis is due to individual roles and the partnership of citizens. Moreover, Aristotle has a more democratic political view because the use of speech allows citizens to question their role and potential in the city.

In Plato's Republic, a complete city is created by Socrates and Adeimantus, and later expanded by Socrates and Glaucon. The purpose of this city is to distinguish between justice and injustice, by implementing four virtues (368e). These virtues are wisdom, courage, moderation and justice (372e) . Socrates and Adeimantus mutually agree that citizens cannot become just and live without the help of other citizens. The act of being just in a city involves the giving and getting to everyone in the city, and he explains this by saying that "each of us isn't self-sufficient but is in need of much (369b-369c)." Moreover, each citizen has a role in the society in which they have to fulfill. Socrates defends this statement by explaining that...
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