Aristotle on Politics The central concern of theorists is to establish a form of constitution that a society will likely succeed. Political success according to Aristotle is determined by the happiness of the citizens of the society. Aristotle’s vision of a perfect government all begins with the character of the citizenry leading to the happiness of a whole state. Through his studies, Aristotle came to the conclusion that in order to achieve a perfect constitution it is essential to break down a society into parts and observe each individually. Aristotle’s teachings were stressed on moderation in government and in life.
The lifestyle of the guardians must be so carefully controlled, Socrates argues, in order to create the perfect, self-perpetuating ruling class. Those outside of the ruling class, then, would lack both the natural propensity and the lifestyle and resulting mindset to be involved in politics. Politics is highly exclusive for Socrates, because politics creates and enforces the existing class structure, which allows his notion of justice to
While the state works for the people as a whole instead of individual, Plato also proposes the idea of propaganda to mold even the lowest of his utopia into model citizens for the state. Plato’s state is the essence of perfection, with a goal to make everyone reach their true potential. Aristotle views the state as an individual outlet. The ideal state works to achieve individual happiness. There is no ideal structure to the state; instead politics changes on what they best suit the state.
2 Ch. 29). He is saying there is a type of personal contract with yourself that is your right to decide what is right and what is wrong. The bottom line is that a good government is essential to rid a state of fear and to regulate the groups that people form in order to survive. There are many similarities between Plato’s The Republic and Hobbes’ Leviathan; however, the main similarity between the two is that both Plato and Hobbes agree that a form of sovereignty is necessary, both of their basic reasons being based on their views of human nature.
Plato first seeks the definition of justice because he sees unity and harmony as crucial components to build an ideal state. Plato offers the idea of justice as minding “one’s own business” (433a), people may be confused about this definition with the idea of selfishness. However, his idea suggests that fulfilling one’s duty and role in his place is also a part of justice, because following one’s nature and realizing his potential would give the individuals to create harmony as a community. For example, if everyone fulfills their duty in their own place, they may be happy with his place, which would eventually bring happiness as a whole. Not only to the individuals, but does it apply to each class also because “the harmony of opinion between the rulers and the ruled” is important (433c).
In the book “The Republic,” by Plato, Socrates constructs a utopia of a pure aristocracy to channel his visions of what he constitutes to be a just city. Socrates’ ideal of justice, is of a virtue that can be developed out of reason and knowledge, and when tuned correctly can be the justified way of governing a city. Fundamentally, the rulers are driven by specific appetites and virtues, that develop a cycle of ruling between the stages of aristocracy, timocracy, oligarchy, democracy and eventually a tyranny. This structural chain, is significant in demonstrating the center of Plato’s argument, this it is always better to be just than unjust. Socrates’ main backbone to this fictional city is the importance of education.
This attack came in the form of the construction of an ideal society in which justice reigned supreme, since Plato believed justice to be the remedy for curing these evils. After criticizing the conventional theories of justice presented differently by Cephalus, Polymarchus, Thrasymachus and Glaucon, Plato gives us his own theory of justice according to which, individually, justice is a 'human virtue' that makes a person self-consistent and good; socially, justice is a social consciousness that makes a society internally harmonious and good. According to Plato, justice is a sort of specialization. Plato in his philosophy gives very important place to the idea of justice. He used the Greek word "Dikaisyne" for justice which comes very near to the work 'morality' or 'righteousness', it properly includes within it the whole duty of man.
In the Republic, Plato seeks to define justice and, through definition, show that justice is intrinsically worthwhile. In doing so, Plato sets out to explain the principal concept of political justice, and from this obtain a parallel model of individual justice. Essentially, justice is defined as a result of accurate logic or reasoning. However, it is quite important to note that the democratic regime discussed in the Republic is not the same as the known democratic regime of today. The democratic establishment discussed in the Republic is a direct democracy, which, even at that time, proved to be a failure.
Aristotle and St. Augustine have both been influenced by Plato. Their philosophy on morality, politics, and the purpose of life has been platonically influenced. St. Augustine is the true heir of Plato because he has taken Plato’s ideal state, and revealed the implications of the lives that the citizens of the earthly city lead, in the City of God. Plato’s state is an ideal state, that would not function in reality. St. Augustine has taken Plato’s notions, and have furthered the implications of living a life that strives towards a common good.
Plato believed that everything had an ideal form, but Aristotle looked into the real world and studied that. Instead of inventing a system of government, Aristotle explored more of practical things that you can realistically put into effect. Aristotle’s main aim was to “consider, not only what form of government is best, but also what is possible and what is easily attainable”. Meaning that he wanted everyone to be able to relate and adapt to his form of power. He wanted people to be servant to his laws because if the law were an order, it would make a good society.