Comparing the differences of purpose of government according to Philosophers. (Plato, Aristotle, Hobbes, and Locke)

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The purpose for which governments should exist has been a preoccupation of philosophers from the classical period to the modern societies. While Plato and Aristotle represent classical philosophers, Hobbes and Locke are a part of what is seen as modern philosophers.


Some of the difficulties that society in the classical period faced are the same as what society experience today. For example, the question on whether to have a democratic, aristocratic, tyrannical or oligarchy was handled by in the classical period by Aristotle yet the same question still presents when discussing modern forms of governments. Thus, it is true to say that philosophers of classical period and modern philosophers are still faced with the same question on what is the purpose of the government and how does the government exercise its powers. According to Plato’s idea of an ideal state, the structures and functions in society should be explored in relation to the structure of individual soul. According to him, the individual soul is the different parts of the body in which the workers were the productive part that is represented by the abdomen, the solders that are the protective part represented by the chest and philosopher kings are the governing part that is represented by the head. From this classification, Plato envisioned the government, solders and workers each performing a different function in the state. The state as represented by the head can be seen to control and direct the functioning of other parts of the state as the whole body. ...
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