Plato and Aristotle on Just Claims to Rule
A discussion on the difference between Plato’s and Aristotle’s philosophical views on virtue.
This paper discusses the diverse philosophical views of Aristotle and Plato on the virtues of limited equality, of justice, and of fair-minded rule.
“Historical lore reports that Socrates taught philosophy and truth to Plato, and Plato taught Aristotle what he had learned. Each generation revered and rethought the concepts of the generation that went before them, and each developed in different directions. On the subject of what would later be called the “social contract,” their differences were particularly pronounced. Plato’s masterpiece The Republic, claims to transcribe (and one assumes to expand upon) the teachings of Socrates on the matter of the ideal city, and its opinions will be alternately referred to herein as those of Plato and those of his master Socrates. In his work, The Politics of Aristotle, their philosophical descendant comes back with a far more middle-of-the road and realistic sort of idealism. There are many ideals which these philosophers hold in common, and many ideas (even those that would be controversial today) that they agree upon. However, there are often significant differences between the beliefs of Aristotle and those of his teachers. ”