Plato v Socrates regards to Family

5 May 2017

Philosophers are some of the most influential people in our world’s history. Aristotle and Plato are two of the more significant, and we can see their teachings and philosophies throughout society today. The views that they have in regards to the role of family and how that role is played out in their respective views of government differ. We will explore what these differences are and why my views side with Aristotle. “The family is an association established by nature for the supply of men’s every- day wants. “pg100. Here Aristotle is explaining that a family is established to fill a persons’ need for companionship.

I feel that all men have a need to feel wanted and also have a desire to protect what is theirs. Having a family gives a man the sense of being needed, needed for the basic necessities of food, shelter and protection. “But when several families are united, and the association aims at something more than the supply of daily needs, then comes into existence the village. “pg100. While the family unit itself is important it is Just a building block for something better. Villages are an important building block in society. In the village families can come together and trade goods and services.

Plato v Socrates regards to Family Essay Example

Families can work together to establish rules and regulations to guide everyday living. Groups of families together offer better protection than single families alone. “When several villages are united in a single community, perfect and large enough to be nearly or quite self-sufficing, the state comes into existence. Originating in the bare needs of life, and continuing in existence for the sake of a good life. “pg100. Finally when we group several villages together we get the state. The state offers more to the families than the villages.

I like Aristotle’s view of the importance of the amily unit and how the family unit slowly grows into a state, and then to the birth of the United States. Many families came over on boats and founded small villages, which then banded together to make cities, the cities to make states and ultimately the states to make this nation. I believe the growth of a state from a family unit to be a natural progression. Like minded people coming together for a common good, sharing their talents and values, to make life better for themselves and the others around them. “The distinction which is made between the king and the statesman is as follows:

When the government is personal, the ruler is a king; when, according to the rules of the political science, the citizens’ rule and are ruled in turn, then he is called a statesman. “pg99. So we have all these families that have come together to form the state and from these families we have citizens. Family members are citizens. Citizens are then chosen to be statesmen and rule the state. In this case only men are allowed to be citizens and therefore statesmen. I personally do not agree with Aristotle on this, because women have proven to be effective leaders, but I do agree ith the premise of citizen rulers. All these women are to belong to all these men in common, and no woman is to live privately with any man. And the children, in their turn, will be in common, and neither will a parent know his own off- spring, nor a child his parent. “BookV457c,d. unit is unnecessary and that no one should know who their parents are or who their children are. This is a very different view on the family from Aristotle. Plato does not believe in the man, women and child type of family like Aristotle. Based on no support for the nuclear family I cannot support Plato’s view of family. … here is a need for the best men to have intercourse as often as possible with the best of women, and the reverse for the most ordinary men with the most ordinary women; and the offspring of the former must be reared but not that of the others, if the flock is going to be of the most eminent quality. And all this must come to pass without being noticed by anyone except the rulers themselves if the guardians’ herd is to be as free as possible from ; faction. ” BookV459d,e. Plato’s view that one should not know who their children are, or who their parents are is rooted in the belief that avoritism will ruin everything.

He believes that loyalty to the state will only be achieved when one has no other loyalties. I totally disagree with this viewpoint. I believe that man will work together for the good of each man’s family as well as each other. “The offspring of the good, I suppose, they will take to the pen or cr©che, to certain nurses who live apart in a quarter of the city, but the offspring of the inferior, and any of those of the other sort who are born defective, they will properly dispose of in secret, so that no one will know what has become of them. “BookV460c.

Here Plato is discussing the fact that only those offspring who are deemed good will be allowed to live and all other offspring are to be killed. So Plato wants communal families, sleep with everyone else of your stature so no one knows who the father is. When the babies are born if they are from a certain group of people they will be raised by nurses away from the city. If you are born from another group of people, or have some issue, you will be killed in secret. This is done so that no one knows who the parents are or who the children belong to but it also is a type of genetic engineering.

By only allowing babies to be born that were bred between certain types of people and killing all others he is trying to promote some type of master race. To believe that someone who is not born from a certain group of people cannot be a benefit to the state and needs to be killed is not the viewpoint that I can support. Lives should be cherished, no matter what race or social background they may come from. “Do not therefore, my excellent friend, I said, instruct the boys in these studies by force, but in play, so that you will also see better what each of them is by nature fitted for. pgl 87>537.

Here Plato is talking about the need for the children to be taught in the areas of music, mathematics and gymnastics while being closely watched to see which ones show ability in all areas. Those that show potential during training will then be sent to be trained in the way of the Philosopher King. These are the children that were born to the good men and women as discussed earlier. So now Plato wants to teach all these children in different areas to determine what they excel at. Those that excel in certain areas will then be segregated from the rest and be trained in the ays of the Philosopher King.

Then from this group one will be chosen to rule over all. Again, Plato’s view on the role of family in government is very different from Aristotle’s. I am unable to agree with anything Plato has to say on family and the role they play in government because I believe families are the building block for all Aristotle’s vision for government rule is born out of the basic family structure. Man marries woman, has children, provides for, nurtures and leads his family. These family units come together to form a village with the family unit still intact. The men ork together to further not Just their own family but the rest of the village.

Before long these villages come together to form states. By forming these states the villages believe that they can further increase the benefit of all people, including their own families. The driving force behind the need for states is mans desire to make life better for himself and his family. This is done by these family leaders (citizens) working together to rule that state as statesmen. Plato on the other hand shows no respect for the family unit. He believes that selected men and women should be allowed to breed with no knowledge of who their ffsprings are.

In a sense he is saying that enlightened people know what is best for all and that if you are not one of the chosen people your offspring, or any offspring that is found defective, should be killed. Those that are found to pass the test are then sent away from the people to be raised and educated by the state. Out of those children some will be determined to have the right aptitude to be rulers and will receive addition training to that end. The Philosopher King will then be chosen from this select few who have been raised away from the state, by the state, and with no dentity except for what is being taught to them from the state.

As we have shown Plato and Aristotle had two totally different views on family and their role in the government. If you ask people of today who they agree with you will find that both have support. Even though I do not completely agree with Aristotle and his view of family and its role in government it lines up more along the lines of my belief. Family is something that is to be admired and treasured, not something to be taken for granted.

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