Plato and Aristotle: An Analysis

Topics: Plato, Political philosophy, Law Pages: 4 (1175 words) Published: March 2, 2014
This four-page undergraduate essay explains, compares, and contrasts the theories and discussions of Plato and Aristotle regarding the best political association. Quotes from Politics and the Republic are used to support the author’s thesis.

Plato and Aristotle:
An Analysis

Determining the best form of political association was important to the ancient Greek philosophers Plato and Aristotle, and each of them expressed his opinion in important works such as the Republic and Politics. In explaining, comparing, and contrasting the political philosophies of Plato and Aristotle, it is evident that each of them shared the same goal of identifying and promoting the best form of political government. They also shared in common the same philosophy regarding the origins of a political state. The State arises, Plato says through Socrates in the Republic, “out of the needs of mankind.” (Plato) Aristotle agrees, and declares that the state is a political partnership that exists for purposes of self-sufficiency as well as for the sake of living well. In other words, the State exists in order to provide for the well-being of its citizens. Aristotle expresses this in Politics when he argues, “the good life is the purpose of the city-state.” (Aristotle) Furthermore, both Aristotle and Plato agreed that Man is by nature a political animal, because he has the ability to express his thoughts about justice. Their respective analyses reflected their respect for justice, and their elevation of it to the highest priority. In the Republic, Plato defines just political rule as a system in which each interest is satisfied to the proper extent and everyone has what is theirs. The philosophers have the knowledge they want; the warriors have the honors they want; and the commoners have the goods and pleasures they want, under the enlightened guidance of philosophers and warriors. The methods of Aristotle and Plato were similar in many ways. They...

Bibliography: Aristotle. Politics. New York: Dover Publications, 2000.
Plato. Republic. New York: Viking Press, 1955.
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