preview

Plato And Aristotle 's Views On Modern Political Thought And Regime

Good Essays
Philosophers have pondered what makes for an ideal state since antiquity. In fact, the ideas theorized by the ancient Greek philosophers Plato and Aristotle over two millennia ago on this subject still resonate strongly today, influencing modern political thought and regime construction. Plato contends the ideal state is one ruled by a class of guardians, or “philosopher-kings”. These philosopher-kings are selected to rule because they are best fit for the responsibility. Aristotle, a pupil of Plato, acknowledges and agrees with Plato on the point that states ruled by philosopher-kings would be ideal states, but adds such states are simply not reasonable. Instead, Aristotle advocates for rule by “polity”: a constitutional government…show more content…
Likewise, children born of guardians deemed unfit to be future guardians are relegated to one of the other classes. By creating a system of specialization in which ability solely determines the citizens’ duties, Plato ensures those who govern his city will not be the beneficiaries of parental and/or class nepotism. For this reason, the city’s political health is protected from the deleterious effects of an inefficient ruling class. This class structure is wholly unconventional, but necessary in Plato’s ideal city. This is due to his position on the equity, or lack thereof, between humans; some people, be it by nature or nurture, are more competent than others and the most competent should rule over those less so for the benefit of the whole. However, Plato knows this system will be fraught if it ignores base human desire. Citizens will not willingly accept being corralled into specific societal roles, especially if they think those roles are unjust or beneath them. Plato’s system cannot work without a “noble lie”. The noble lie promulgated to the citizens of Plato’s city relies on a sort of divine meddling. According to the lie, although everyone in the society is related and should share a familial bond, guardians, auxiliaries, and producers all have different levels of ability imparted onto them by “the god” in the form of intrinsic metals. As Socrates’ says
Get Access