Plato vs. Aristotle Essay

Plato and Aristotle. two philosophers in the fourth century. keep polar positions on political relations and doctrine in general. This fact is really smartly illustrated by Raphael’s “School of Athens” ( 1510-11 ; Stanza della Segnatura. Vatican ) . where Plato is portrayed looking up to the higher signifiers ; and Aristotle is indicating down because he supports the natural scientific disciplines. In a treatment of political relations. the base point of each philosopher becomes an indispensable factor. It is non coinciding that Plato provinces in The Republic that Philosopher Rulers who possess cognition of the good should be the governors in a metropolis province.

His strong involvement in metaphysics is demonstrated in The Republic assorted times: for illustration. the similes of the cave. the Sun. and the line. and his theory of the signifiers. Because he is so involved in metaphysics. his positions on political relations are more theoretical as opposed to existent. Aristotle. perversely. holds the position that political relations is the art of opinion and being ruled in bend. In The Politics. he attempts to sketch a manner of regulating that would be ideal for an existent province. Balance is a chief word in discoursing Aristotle because he believes it is the necessary component to making a stable authorities.

His less metaphysical attack to political relations makes Aristotle more in melody with the modern universe. yet he is far from modern. Plato’s construct of what political relations and authorities should be is a direct consequence of his belief in the theory of signifiers. The theory of signifiers fundamentally states that there is a higher “form” for everything that exists in the universe. Each material thing is merely a representation of the existent thing which is the signifier. Harmonizing to Plato. most people can non see the signifiers. they merely see their representation or their shadows. as in the simile of the cave.

Merely those who love cognition and contemplate on the world of things will accomplish apprehension of the signifiers. Philosophers. who by definition are cognition lovers. are the lone existences who can make true cognition. This construct has to be taken a measure farther because in The Republic. Plato states that philosophers should be the swayers since they are the lone 1s who hold the signifier of the good. Plato seems to be stating that it is non plenty to cognize the signifiers of tabular arraies or trees. one must cognize the greatest form–form of the good–in order to govern.

The logical thinking is: if you know the good. so you will make the good. Therefore. philosopher swayers are by far the most disposed to govern. In The Republic. Plato builds around the thought of Philosopher Rulers. Even though it is non his primary point. it surely is at the nucleus of his treatment of the ideal province. The inquiry that arises is. ‘Why do you necessitate ideal provinces which will hold philosophers as swayers? ‘ There are many beds to the reply of this inquiry. The first thing is that a province can non be ideal without holding philosophers as swayers.

This reply leads to the inquiry. ‘Then why do you necessitate ideal provinces to get down with? ‘ The Republic starts with a treatment of Justice which leads to the creative activity of the ideal province. The ground why an ideal province is needed is to vouch the being of Justice. This does non intend. though. that there can non be provinces without Justice. Actually. Plato provides at least two grounds why the formation of a province can non be avoided.

These are: 1. human existences are non self-sufficing so they need to populate in a societal environment. and 2. each individual has a natural aptitude for a specified undertaking and should concentrate on developing it ( The Republic. pp 56-62 ) . Although a individual is non self-sufficing. a composing of people–a state–satisfies the demands of all its members. Furthermore. members can specialise on their natural fortitudes and go more productive members of society.

States are traveling to organize. whether purposefully or coincidently. For this ground. certain regulations have to be enacted for the wellbeing of the province. The chief manner to commit regulations is done authorities and in the signifier of Torahs.

Plato’s The Republic is non an explication of Torahs of the people. It is a separation of power amongst three classes–Rulers. Auxiliaries. Commoners–that makes the most of each person’s natural abilities and strives for the good of the community. The point is to make a harmonious integrity amongst the three categories which will take to the greater good of the community and. accordingly. each person. The three categories are a merchandise of different aptitude degrees for certain undertakings amid assorted persons. Plato assigns different political functions to different members of each category.

It appears that the lone categories that are allowed to take part in authorities are the Auxiliaries and. of class. the Philosopher Rulers. The lower category does non partake in political relations because they are non mentally able. In other words. they do non understand the construct of the signifiers. Therefore. it is better to let the Philosophers. who do hold this cognition. to take them. Supplying nutrient and residence for the Guardians is the lone governmental duty the lower category has. The Auxiliaries are in charge of the military. constabulary. and executive responsibilities.

Opinion and doing Torahs is reserved for the Philosopher Rulers whose actions are all intended for the good of the province. To guarantee that public good continues to be foremost on each Ruler’s docket. the Rulers live in community lodging. keep wives/children in common. and do non have private belongings. The separation of categories is understood by everybody Self-interest. which could be a negative factor in the strategy of things. is eliminated through a really moral oriented instruction system. All these commissariats are generated to keep integrity of the province.

The most excessive safeguard that Plato takes is the Foundation Myth of the metals. By doing the people believe. through a myth. that the differentiation of each category is biological every bit good as moral. Plato reassures that there won’t be any break in the harmoniousness of the province. Whereas Plato’s The Republic is a text whose end is to specify Justice and in making so uses the polis. Aristotle’s The Politics’s exclusive map is to specify itself–define political relations. Aristotle begins his text by replying the inquiry: “Why does the province exist?

” His reply is that the province is the apogee of natural associations that start with the connection of adult male and adult female ( “pair” ) . which have a household and organize a “household” ; families unite and form small towns ; small towns unite and form the province. This natural order of events is what is best because it provides for the demands of all the persons. Aristotle. like Plato. believes that a individual is non autonomous. This deficiency of sufficiency is the accelerator in the intensifying order of brotherhoods among people. In The Politics. it appears that Aristotle is non really set on interrupting down society.

His statement says that there are different categories in society. but they are of course defined. For illustration. he devotes a batch of clip to an account of the “naturalness” of slaves and their function in society. Aristotle is besides really sexist and explicitly provinces so. His position is that adult females are inferior to work forces in all senses. Possibly the most pertaining to our treatment is the citizen. whose function is strictly political. Both Plato and Aristotle seem to hold that some people are non capable of practising an active function in political life.

Plato’s ground is that the lower category is non mentally adept for the elaboratenesss of higher cognition on the good. Aristotle seems to establish his sentiment on a more political issue. He believes that merely those that to the full take part in their authorities should be considered citizens of the province. For this ground. he excludes workers as citizens because they would non hold the needed clip to openly take part in politicking. The Aristotelean polis. as opposed to Plato’s. is a metropolis with a big center category which promotes stableness and balances the conflicting claims of the hapless and the rich.

Aristotle combines elements of democracy with elements of nobility. once more to equilibrate opposing claims. Because he is cognizant that human involvement is an inextricable entity. the distribution of scarce and valuable goods is in proportion to part to the good of the polis. This system provides for the ego interested who believe that those who work harder should have more. Another point is that the citizens regulation and are ruled in bend. insofar as the assorted societal system allows. This is allowable because of the strong engagement of the citizens in authorities ; it is what one would name a “true democracy.

” Overall. a spirit of moderateness prevails. The doctrines of Aristotle and Plato have been around for over 16 centuries. yet today it is hard to happen specific cases where either doctrine is applied. This may be a consequence of the fact that today’s political doctrine differs from both philosopher’s. While Aristotle and Plato uphold the good of the community or province above single good. today’s fundamental law includes a measure of rights that guarantees the rights of each person in the state. Having these single rights is a necessity for today’s citizens.

Traveling back in history to 1787 will demo that one of the grounds there was contention in the confirmation of the fundamental law was that it did non include a Bill of Rights. When the drafters promised that every bit shortly as the fundamental law was ratified. a Bill of Rights would be added. the doubting provinces proceeded to sign it. Harmonizing to Plato and Aristotle. a Bill of Rights is non necessary because it does non better the good of the community. Another point of disagreement between the philosophers and today’s society involves the subject of bondage.

Aristotle argues for the naturalness of bondage in The Politics. yet bondage has been considered grotesque for rather some clip. In correlativity to bondage. there is the undermining of the female population by Aristotle. Although Plato is a batch less prejudiced. he besides believes adult females are the sub-species. While adult females have had to contend eternal conflicts to accomplish the acknowledgment they deserve. today it is a good accepted fact ( by and large ) that adult females are every bit capable as work forces in executing undertakings.

Naturally. since Aristotle and Plato have been around for such a long clip. our society surely contains some of their influences in a general sense. For illustration. today it is believed that certain people are born with certain capacities. Intelligence has been attributed to genetic sciences. Because of the different intelligence degrees among people. we have different classes–for illustration: advanced. intermediate. and novices. In their appropriate degree. each individual develops his or her abilities to the highest possible. This construct is sometimes at odds with the ideal of equality. Internet Explorer. we are all human existences.

Yet. in kernel. it does non take away from the ideal because we are all worlds. but we differ in certain capacity degrees to finish undertakings. Plato’s and Aristotle’s doctrine have helped determine present idea. though. by no agencies. mandate our patterns. The philosophers are really community oriented while we value the person. Besides differing with today’s criterions. each philosopher is in his ain manner distinct. Plato is really attracted to metaphysical doctrine. while Aristotle is much more methodical. Both perspective positions are and will go on to perplex pupils for old ages to come.