Plato and Aristotle on Democracy Comparison Essay by Shaad

Plato and Aristotle on Democracy
A comparative analysis of Plato's and Aristotle's views on democracy with modern democracy.
# 128384 | 1,853 words | 3 sources | MLA | 2009 | BD
Published by on Jul 18, 2010 in Philosophy (Ancient Greek) , Political Science (Political Theory)

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This paper considers the views on democracy as expressed by Plato and Aristotle, and goes on to compare and contrast these with modern democracy. It discusses how Plato does not endorse democracy explicitly, how he champions the democratic ideals of liberty and equality and how his professed object is social justice. In comparison, the paper examines how Aristotle is totally concerned with political participation and how he approaches the problem from the point of view of view of realism. The paper concludes that the ideas of Plato and Aristotle, as found respectively in the "Republic" and "Politics", are in accord with the modern concept of democracy. The apparent differences arise due to the various ideological premises, and especially the fact that Aristotle begins from realism, whereas the modern concept of democracy is largely ideological.

From the Paper:

"Failure to read Plato's republic as a rhetorical device leads to anomalous conclusions, and Aristotle is just as guilty. He criticizes the aspect of common ownership in the ideal republic - in particular the common possession of woman and children (Aristotle 37-39). Socrates does indeed, at a certain point of the argument, introduce the possibility of the common possession of women. But this point of the argument is entirely dedicated to demonstrating that the state is a unity. In ancient Greece it was an accepted notion that the husband held ownership over his wife, and Plato is arguing from the point of view that "friends have all things in common" (Plato 143), because in the ideal republic there is amity between one and all. The context of the argument is education, and the role of the guardians of the republic in this regard. The common possession of woman leads to a centralized education of children, and Plato wants to show that education can be more effective in this way."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Aristotle. The Politics of Aristotle. Translated by Benjamin Jowett. Charleston, SC: BiblioBazaar, LLC, 2008.
  • Evangeliou, Christos. Hellenic Philosophy: Origin and Character. Aldershot UK: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2006.
  • Plato. The Republic. Translated by Benjamin Jowett. NuVision Publications, 2006.

Cite this Comparison Essay:

APA Format

Plato and Aristotle on Democracy (2010, July 18) Retrieved April 19, 2024, from

MLA Format

"Plato and Aristotle on Democracy" 18 July 2010. Web. 19 April. 2024. <>