What is the ideal state? This question has sparked debate since the very formation of organized political society. In Plato’s The Republic, Plato seeks to define justice and in doing so he seeks to explain the ideal just state. In Plato’s explanation of an ideal state, there is an extreme emphasis on unity and harmony. The reason unity and harmony are so important to Plato are because they are responsible for bonding together Plato’s ideal state and protecting it from tyranny.
Please note that The Republic, in addition to The Apology are works of Plato, but the main character is Socrates, Plato’s teacher. Therefore, when referring to the two works, Plato and or Socrates can be named in reference. Furthermore, after addressing how one acts just, Plato is to ask why one ought to act just. He uses the myth of the Ring of Gyges to help explain this phenomenon of human behavior. Why having a discussion with his two brothers, Glaucon and Adeimantus, the myth of the Ring of Gyges is first brought up in conversation.
One of the main similarity is their take on justice. They both agree that justice brings good life. According to them, justice brings equality. In this context, Plato believes that justice and the law play a very important role in guiding the behavior of the individuals in a society.Aristotle writes, “Justice is considered to mean equality, in oligarchies, again inequality in the distribution of office is considered to be just,” (Hacker 91). Another similarity is that the two philosophers were mostly concerned with ethics.
In The Republic, Plato presents many interesting ideas and thoughts that look to expand one’s wisdom and knowledge of the world. Plato uses a unique style of writing and welcomes controversy and opposing opinions. Some of the main concepts covered are justice, both on an individual and societal level, what is the nature of a man’s soul, the order and character of a just city-state, the forms of government, and theories of universals such as the Forms, and virtue. However, this book is mainly thought of as a philosophical treatise on politics. The main character in the Republic is Socrates, while other characters like Cephalus, Polemarchus, Thrasymachus, Glaucon, and Adeimantus help Socrates navigate through the problems presented by conventional wisdom, while displaying Plato’s thoughts and wisdom.
Aristotle believed “virtue is a matter of developing the unique ability to reason.”(Pacquette 268) Being virtuous to Plato and Aristotle also meant, “doing things- no matter what these things were- in a way that reflected rational thought and involved making the best of one’s skills, talents and opportunities.” (Pacquette 268) Aristotle and Plato both agreed that a person’s good moral character and reason guided their ethical choices. A good moral life to them would lead to “eudaimonia, an ancient Greek word that translates into English as happiness.” (Pacquette 268) Though Plato talked and wrote about virtue and happiness, Aristotle went into great detail about his ideas. Aristotle is known as the creator of the theory of virtue ethics. “Aristotle held that there are three forms of happiness. The first form of happiness is a life of pleasure and enjoyment.
Social philosophy, also described as the philosophical study of social behavior (particularly in humans) was one of the key aspects of Plato’s philosophy. However, we must acknowledge that this was not exclusive to the Socratic turn, for many other philosophers have incorporated social philosophy after Plato. Nevertheless, our chief concern will be the philosophy of Plato, for he was responsible for the beginning of the philosophical social movement. Plato incorporated his philosophy mainly through his own writings, as well as dialogues that he recorded of his mentor Socrates. The main character in Plato’s works was Socrates.
Reaching such abilities could be seen by making logical choices and being able to choose the needs in life rather then the wants. At this point it shows that Aristotle contends that a society that includes citizens that he believes are of human excellence will reflect the same values upon it’s state. Aristotle’s visions of the ideal government have been an influential teaching to political philosophy. His teachings seem to strongly reflect the ideas of communism and authoritarian systems. Aristotle’s emphasis on moderation and the perfection of the people prove this.
Plato’s ideal takes governing over people to the extreme of raising perfect leaders. Aristotle instead plans out the ideal state as one not so far from the current. Aristotle’s state shares more similarities to the current states of the time. Aristotle give a more rational solution to the ideal state through a philosophers eyes even while keeping things balanced Works Cited Republic, VII, 193 (“The Man” 32) (“Plato Bio” 21) (“Ideal” 54) (Politics 1) (“Historical” 68)
What is reality? Is it a fictional creation individuals have created for themselves over a course of centuries? What is real; what is not real? In Allan Bloom’s, The Republic of Plato, originally, The Republic, by Plato, is based off of Plato’s teacher, Socrates’, work. Plato used Socrates’ work as a means to write the “Allegory of the Cave” and uncover the true meanings behind: what is true form?
Some philosophers agree with Socrates and his views on a just society, while others question his morals and his arguments. Socrates tries to present us with examples of a just society and a virtuous way of living. The examples he uses, the immortality of the soul, reincarnation, and nature of god’s are his views of what would make a just society and a just person.