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Analysis Of Plato 's Republic And Aristotle 's Politics

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Mercedes Chien
Dr. Joel Klein
Contemporary Civilization
2 November 2015
Family in Political Society
Plato’s Republic and Aristotle’s Politics both accredit nature to the teleological functions of men, women, and children. Nevertheless, each philosopher defines family differently to support their main goals of finding the right type of society. While Plato does not conform to the traditional definition of a family—with a husband, wife, and children—and instead defines the role of men and women separately, Aristotle uses the family as a microcosm of political society, in the hopes of showing readers how to create a just society for the former and a virtuous one for the latter.
Plato describes the Kallipolis—the ideal city for the ancient Greeks—in his Republic. The Kallipolis prides itself on abiding by the truth of justice, which Plato defines as a citizen “doing one’s one work” that fits his character (Plato 119). By doing one’s own work, the citizen is contributing to the greater good of society, which Plato coins as the ultimate key to justice—accordingly, the “better [will be ruling] the worse, [which] is to be described as temperate and master of itself” (117). This specialization characterizes the role of family in the political society—one that consists of each individual doing one’s own work to contribute to the greater good. However, the family in the Republic is so loosely created that readers may interpret the “family” as nonexistent in Plato’s novel.
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