Aristotle and Human Nature - Essay Example

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Aristotle and Human Nature

Plato (427-347 BCE) and Aristotle (384-322 BCE) both, defined society in holistic terms and regarded it as an organism in which the constituent parts were necessarily related to the whole. Plato, in particular, laid special emphasis on the unity of the social organism, each individual part clearly defined in terms of its subordination to the whole. Society to Aristotle on the other hand, was a differentiated structure formed of separate elements which, while contributing to the whole, retained their separate entities. To Plato, society was a unified system structured around the division of labour and social inequality. "Social health or social order was the product of 'wise legislation' in which the interests of the whole exerted priority over those of the individual parts." (Smith, Page: 15)
On the other hand Aristotle's idea of society was anti-atomistic. The complex and differentiated structure of the social whole was made up of groups and not individuals. The foundations of it lay in human nature; that man was by nature social and political and therefore desired to live with others in communities. Therefore, according to Aristotle, the lives of individuals were invariably linked with each other in a social context. ...Show more

Summary

Aristotle was born in Stagira in Thrace, Greece in the year 384 BCE. His father was the court physician to the king of Macedonia. Aristotle is one of the icons of classical Greek philosophy. He went to Athens at the age of seventeen to train under the tutelage of another great Greek philosopher, Plato, who had founded a school of philosophy known as the Academy in Athens…
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