Plato vs. Aristotle: Virtue

1656 Words Nov 11th, 2013 7 Pages
Political Science 201
November 12, 2013
Anna Umstead
Plato and Aristotle, arguably two of the most influential Greek philosophers, discussed their differing views on virtue extensively throughout many of their works. Although they agree that virtue is a desirable characteristic that will lead to happiness, the ultimate good, there exists between the two philosophies salient differences. While Plato believes only philosophers are capable of true, inherent virtue, Aristotle believes all men can be virtuous with practice and dedication. GREAT. WAY TO GET TO THE POINT. BE SURE TO MENTION WHETHER OR NOT YOU'RE ARGUING THAT VIRTUE IS INTRINSICALLY GOOD. HAVE IT SMACK ME IN THE FACE IT'S SO OBVIOIUS. (LIKE THAT TYPO). Plato’s Republic
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The virtue and love of truth necessary to become a philosopher is not inherent in all men and therefore very few have the potential to achieve the position of philosopher. This discussion of philosopher-kings was introduced when Plato refuted Glaucon’s definition of virtue, that virtue is a necessary evil. Socrates created an imaginary city in which the idea of specialization was the key determinate of the individual’s roles in society. While the inhabitants of the city were producers, guardians, and philosophers, (GOOD, BUT WHAT DO THEY SIMBOLIZE?) Plato selected the only philosopher to serve as ruler of this city. As he referred to them as the “true ones” and “the lovers of the sight of the truth,” (The Republic, Book V, 475 d), Plato confirmed that only they truly and perfectly understand the Forms. This characteristic makes philosophers ideal leaders as their virtue is inherent in their soul when they are fulfilling their role as a leader. (AND THEY'RE THE HAPPIEST PEOPLE) According to Plato, moral virtue is intrinsically good when in the soul of the Philosopher. Only a Philosopher has complete understanding of the forms and an appreciation for justice, and only in his perfect and inherently ordered soul can virtue be manifest in its purest form. For this reason, the Philosopher is appointed to be ruler of the city and leader

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