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:
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
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As citizens of ancient Greece, they both shared much the same outlook on society, religion, morality, and politics. They also shared similar historical perspectives, and their perceptions of contemporary events were formed through the same philosophical context. One of the contrasts between their methods is that Plato used analogies to make his points. He examined a political state by comparing the state with the human soul. Unlike Aristotle, he also used a style of approach in which he made his points through dialogues involving Socrates. He also designed an ideal state run by people he referred to as “The Guardians” which differed from Aristotle’s approach in Politics, in which style and form more closely resembled an essay or monologue. In Politics, Aristotle emphasized that correct political rule involves pursuing policies which are to the common advantage of the most people. Aristotle reasoned that rulers who placed their own interests above everyone else’s had no political legitimacy, for their tyranny brought suffering upon their own people. Aristotle described the best forms of political rule as kingship, aristocracy and polity, and described the worst forms as tyranny, oligarchy and democracy. Plato was also harshly critical of tyranny, and described it in the Republic as, “not a matter of minor theft and violence, but of wholesale plunder, sacred and profane, private or public.”