Plato and Aristotle Similarities and Differences

Topics: Government, Monarchy, Aristotle Pages: 3 (1031 words) Published: March 8, 2013
What factors, for Plato and Aristotle, were critical in the construction of a state? Before one examines the construction of the State in the eyes of two famous classical thinkers, one must first understand what a State is. A State can be defined as a group of people settled in a specific geographical location where, through interdependency and order, a livelihood can be achieved. Plato and Aristotle, both great philosophers, contributed to the world of politics today, their views and ideas on what should be considered in the construction of a State. Plato (427-347 B.C.), famous for his work “The Republic”, viewed the state as a machine which can be constructed systematically. In contrast to his former mentor, Aristotle, a former student of Plato, regarded the State as an organism with the attributes of a living being, stating that its emergence is a natural process. Both ideas are very influential and crucial in examining and understanding their contributions made to politics and society today. In the eyes of Plato, one of the main factors critical to the construction of the State was the division of the human soul. Within Plato’s division of the soul, there were 3 divisions: - “the rational”, which was regarded as the highest part of the soul and, as a result, gave particular people the ability to reason; “the spirited”, which had the capacity to follow and asset the claims of reason; and lastly, “the appetitive”, which Plato found as the lowest part of the soul and sheltered desires and emotions. The Rational reflected the rulers/philosophers who were small in groups but ruled over a much larger group of producers. They occupied the top of the class structure and because of their ability to reason, people believed that they alone had the insights and solutions to human problems. The Spirited followed the Rational and consisted of soldiers and administrators who supported and were controlled by the Government, hence their capacity to follow. The Appetitive...
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