Politics of Plato and Aristotle

Topics: Political philosophy, Politics, Political science Pages: 3 (1221 words) Published: October 28, 2000
Politics of Plato and Aristotle

To compare the political theories of two great philosophers of politics is to first examine each theory in depth. Many experts regard Plato as the first writer of political philosophy, and Aristotle is recognized as the first political scientist. These two men were great thinkers. They each had ideas of how to improve existing societies during their individual lifetimes. It is necessary to look at several areas of each theory to seek the difference in each. The main focus of Plato is a perfect society. He creates a blueprint for a utopian society, in his book "The Republic". This blueprint was a sketch of a society in which the problems he thought were present in his society would be eased. He lived in times of Peloponnesian War, the time of sunset of Athenian democracy. In addition, he had witnessed Socrates' trial and execution. Shocked by corruption of Athenian democracy and politics he refused to participate in political life. He believed that neither rational state nor moral individual could be obtained under the rule of democracy. In his works he mentions three dangers that he thought were present in democratic society. Plato believed that common man could not think intelligently about foreign policies, economic, and other state's matters. He also thought that leaders in democracy were chosen by reasons such a good look, family background, and other non-essential reasons. The third danger was that too much liberty for citizens could turn a democracy to anarchy. In his utopian society Plato sought to cure the afflictions of both human society and human personality. Essentially, Plato wanted to achieve a perfect society. Aristotle, unlike Plato, is not concerned with perfecting society. He just wants to improve on the existing one. Rather than produce a blueprint for the perfect society, Aristotle suggested, in his work, ‘The Politics', that the society itself should reach for the best possible system that...
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