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Comparison Of Phaleas Of Chalcedon And Hippodamus

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Near the end of the second book in The Politics, Aristotle begins to examine a number of regimes that deviate from what he considers to be the best. Of the five political systems, two are idealized and respond to what their creators believe to be the major problems in society. These issues restrain the people, in their current predicaments, from truly experiencing their greatest possible life. Though Phaleas of Chalcedon and Hippodamus of Miletus each mold their cities into what they think will fix the ills present in their current world, they overlook major stepping stones in the way that human nature and political life function in the real world. According to Aristotle, not only do both of these ideal cities go against what he believes is the best regime, the flaws present in…show more content…
He does not take into account desire and man’s penchant for wickedness brought about because of that desire. After all, as Aristotle asserts, “the greatest wrongs… are committed because of excess and not because of need” (1267a13). Factions do not only arise when a deficit in physical property makes itself known; there is also honor, possessions, and the desire to accrue these items that drives their formation. Whether it be a desire for necessities, things beyond necessity, or pleasures without pain, human want is the strongest force when left alone and not tempered by things like hard work, moderation, and philosophy (1267a2-11). As Aristotle says, desire must be tempered to achieve equality and that comes about not just through equal education, but the right education (1266b28-1266b37). Therefore it cannot just be universal because improper schooling could run the risk of, “[setting] people on a greedy pursuit of money or honors or both” (1266b36-37). Because Phaleas fails to acknowledge human wickedness the limitations and parameters his city requires, and the major role desire plays, his regime is bound to
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