Comparing Aristotle and Plato

1323 Words6 Pages
Comparing Aristotle and Plato Aristotle argues that in order for a polis to emerge, a union between man and women must convene. Later a household must be introduced which unites with other households to form a village, villages come together to form city-states. This theory is Aristotle’s natural view that an individual can not be self sufficient Plato argues that, in order to achieve absolute justice, a city-state is needed. In The Republic, Plato builds around the idea of Philosopher Rulers. Even though it is not his primary point, it certainly is at the core of his discussion of the ideal state. The question that arises is, 'Why do you need ideal states which will have philosophers as rulers?' There are many layers to the answer of this question. The first thing is that a state cannot be ideal without having philosophers as rulers. This answer leads to the question, 'Then why do you need ideal states to begin with?' The Republic starts with a discussion of Justice, which leads to the creation of the ideal state. The reason why an ideal state is needed is to guarantee the existence of Justice. This does not mean, though, that there cannot be states without Justice. Actually, Plato provides at least two reasons why the formation of a state cannot be avoided. The first reason is that human beings are not self-sufficient so they need to live in a social environment, and the second reason, each person has a natural aptitude for a specified task and should concentrate on developing it (The Republic, pp. 56-62). Although a person is not self-sufficient, a composition of people--a state--satisfies the needs of all its members. Furthermore, members can specialize on their natural fortitudes and become more productive me... ... middle of paper ... ... States. Aristotle’s own view of how city-states are created is almost paralleled when reviewing our own history. Plato and Aristotle alike were two men who had ideas on ways to improve existing society. Plato, a political philosopher, was in the pursuit of philosophical truth (Hacker 114). Aristotle was concerned with the citizen and the design of political institutions (Hacker 114). They both had well thought out ideas and plans on how to build a better society. Both Aristotle and Plato have had a tremendous impact on political scientists of today. Aristotle helped to develop some democratic ideas. In conclusion these men were great thinkers. Their opinions on society and its functions were quite different, but they both had the same intention, to build a better way of life for the societies they lived in and for the societies that would come to be in the future.
Open Document