Compare And Contrast Plato And Aristotle's Definition Of Justice

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Though a fundamental ingredient in our linguistic smoothies, “justice” is nearly impossible to define. Yet Plato and Aristotle, two of philosophy 's founding fathers, endeavour to do just that and the fruits of their labor continue to influence our modern perception of justice and the means to achieve this venerable end. Plato defines justice both in the Polis and in the individual, citing specialization, balance, and knowledge as three crucial aspects of a just state and life. Aristotle is far more ambiguous in his definition of the term and thus, we must extract an implied definition from his analysis of various governments, past, present and idyllic which share a set of values including moderation, rule of law and political participation. …show more content…
Moreover, while Plato argues that even impractical knowledge possesses worth in and of itself, Aristotle values the feasible, a possibly reason why he examines so extensively real governments and dwells less on a self-constructed utopia. These investigations offer insight into Aristotle’s political values. Critiquing the city of Chalcedon and Miletus, Aristotle asserts that economic equality alone cannot make people good; happiness must be achieved via education and moderation. Moderation, one of the values Aristotle identifies as conducive to justice, applies to nearly every aspect of life: size of polis, income of inhabitants (in the form of a strong middle class) and age at which to rule. Aristotle values education for he believed, though impractical, merit based leadership ideal and such leadership would be impossible to procure with a deficit of educated men. So highly did Aristotle prioritize education, he proposed an early form of public schooling, “education must be one and the same for all, and that the responsibility for it must be a public one”. The third and final element of Aristotle’s ideal form of government and variety of justice is also, arguably paramount-Rule …show more content…
Regardless, Politics and the Republic succeeded in catalyzing my mental gears and cogs. Though most of the details of his polis are outlandish, I tend to agree with Plato’s overarching philosophy of Utilitarianism. When reading, I considered the parallels between his analogy of physically punishing the animal and out contemporary prison system. Incarceration should not exist to needlessly punish criminals; forcing a human to suffer does not inherently benefit society. In fact, inhumane treatment elicits absurdly high rates of recidivism and mental illness. Teaching prisoners self-control, educating them, and providing them with means to survive lawfully yields great societal benefit. Rehabilitation programs decrease dependence on welfare, lower rates of recidivism and save taxpayers money. Additionally, I am in accordance with Plato’s view on the hypothetical. Knowledge need not be implementable to have worth. Plato proved, with little else than the shell of a government, that genuine justice trumps shallow justice. This and like instances of ingenious philosophical maneuver exemplify why Plato and Aristotle are held in such high esteem. Despite a myriad of singularities, each man defines the indefinable and leaves his footprint on contemporary political thought for

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