Plato vs. Aristotle Political Philosophy Political philosophy of western civilization began just as any other tradition that people practice. Political wave spread across Athens before the beginning of the sixth century BC, and it had significant impacts on society…
Philosophers were prominent people to those societies since they were influential to the people. Plato and his student Aristotle are well known for their efforts and contribution to the society on matters concerning governance and leadership. This paper will therefore, analyze the views of Aristotle and Plato towards governance. The essay will focus on their views towards self-interest and property. Philosophers around the world consider Plato as the greatest philosopher of western civilization. Although western civilization was characterized by a by democracy and capitalism, Plato considered communism government and lifestyle as the most appropriate. According to Plato, democracy and capitalism were just experimental ideologies that were not practical (Benardete 134). Plato considered communism as the most applicable lifestyle in people’s lives. According to his utopian society, the success of a government can only be defined by the success of its people. Plato also considers that a society is best governed by its best minds. A society can only be ruled by its best mind when there is limited competition or self-interest within the society. In such society, people would be working towards the realization of a common goal. This is the basis of communism according to Plato. The best minds of a society are the kings or philosophers within that society. Plato considers a socialist society as a society that is governed by wisdom and proved knowledge. A society that is different from Plato’s society is governed on un-established knowledge. The philosopher considers a socialist society to be better than a capitalist society. A communist society as described by Plato is a selfless society such society people work towards the realization of common goals. According to Plato, a utopian society can only be realized if people adapt knowledge. Plato acknowledges that people in an ideal society have no desire for power and common interests and goals drive them. People need knowledge to tame their desire for power and self-interest. According to Plato, people with self-interests are uneducated and therefore, quality education will eliminate people desire for power. Educating people will make them change their attitude towards the community and the country and, this will eliminate their desire for power. Application of knowledge is power; an educated person will be able to visualize the relationship between power and knowledge. According to Plato, relevant education will make the people understand the relationship between power and knowledge. This will make people compete for power based on their knowledge. People with less knowledge therefore consider themselves less appropriate to take leadership positions The love for the public is the second strategy that Plato proposes to use in order to tame people’s desire for power. Plato proposes that creating the love towards the nation among people makes them have an obligation towards the nation. This is followed by a separation of self-interests from national issues. People who have love for the nation assume responsibility over the nation and, this eliminates their desires for power. People who are hungry for power cannot establish an ideal nation that Plato proposes. People can only live satisfactory lives if they establish a gap between their self-interests and national interests (Allen 76). Plato is confident that acquisition of knowledge can tame desires for power and sel ...
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