SHADOWS ON THE SUN: THE IMPERFECTIONS OF PLATONIC POLITICAL THEORY

SHADOWS ON THE SUN: THE IMPERFECTIONS OF PLATONIC POLITICAL THEORYby, Michael JinDecember 5, 2004Plato and Aristotle both reject the moral relativism of the sophists and address the question of how man can achieve absolute virtue. In The Republic, Plato constructs an existence proof, a kallipolis that produces philosopher-kings who grasp the eternal Good and rule … Read moreSHADOWS ON THE SUN: THE IMPERFECTIONS OF PLATONIC POLITICAL THEORY

Happiness: the Individual, the City, and the Ideal

In both Plato’s Republic and Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics and Politics, happiness is a state of stability and harmony that is present both within the individual and in his relations with other people. Furthermore, both philosophers emphasize that man can reach the highest kind of happiness only under the direction of his reason. However, they disagree … Read moreHappiness: the Individual, the City, and the Ideal

When the Last Puzzle Piece Will Not Fit: Plato and Aristotle’s Functionalist Definitions of Human Nature and Purpose

Not all are equal in Plato’s Republic or Aristotle’s Nichomachean Ethics and Politics. Plato and Aristotle argue that people possess a certain natural ability that determines their role in society. The fundamental character of one’s soul, in part, determines this natural ability. As not all humans have the same capabilities, Plato and Aristotle are proposing … Read moreWhen the Last Puzzle Piece Will Not Fit: Plato and Aristotle’s Functionalist Definitions of Human Nature and Purpose

Aristotle’s Critiques of Plato’s Arguments

Many of Aristotle’s views have stemmed from those of Plato. However, in Nicomachean Ethics and Politics, Aristotle criticizes four main arguments in Plato’s Republic. They are: the way in which women and children should be held in common, the system of property, the organization of the government, and the concept of unity- the idea under … Read moreAristotle’s Critiques of Plato’s Arguments

The Role of the Household in Aristotle’s Politics

Aristotle notes two political communities that are “lessâ€? than the polis: the household and the village. Of these two communities, the household receives far more discussion and is the foundation of much of Aristotle’s political theory. The origins of the household are found in the basic human partnership between a male and female for the … Read moreThe Role of the Household in Aristotle’s Politics

The Best Regime

What is the best regime? Building from his discussion of happiness, virtue, and the good life in Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle answers this question elaborately in his later text, The Politics. In his elaboration, Aristotle investigates numerous regimes, looking particularly at what claims bring them about and what eventually leads to their downfall. Nonetheless, Aristotle’s analysis … Read moreThe Best Regime

How Aristotle and Machiavelli Use the Middle Class and the Masses to Achieve Stable Political Organizations

Note: The copy of Politics used for this paper is not the standard copy. I have tried to be as specific about passages as possible.Aristotle and Machiavelli both extol the judgement of the masses on political affairs. Aristotle states that the “many…may surpass – collectively and as a body, though not individually – the quality … Read moreHow Aristotle and Machiavelli Use the Middle Class and the Masses to Achieve Stable Political Organizations

Friendship in Aristotle’s Writings

Friendship is arguably the most relevant philosophical matter expounded upon in The Nicomachean Ethics. While other virtues may not be practiced on a daily basis, friendship and the implications of such a relationship are somewhat more consistent. Living necessitates interactions and relationships with other people, and Aristotle’s view on friendship offers insight that can be … Read moreFriendship in Aristotle’s Writings

Classics of Social and Political Thought (Aristotle’s ‘Politics’): Who Should Rule the City?

Aristotle contends that the good man is dissimilar to the good citizen in ways he goes a great length to illustrate. He distinguishes the two for the purpose of facilitating his later arguments concerning the appropriate allocation of sovereignty to the rightful ruler, who he subsequently claims is the good man who excels all others … Read moreClassics of Social and Political Thought (Aristotle’s ‘Politics’): Who Should Rule the City?