Plato human nature and political institutions

Full Answer Plato divides the human being into two component parts:

Plato human nature and political institutions

Bring fact-checked results to the top of your browser search. Political theory Turning from the Ethics treatises to their sequel, the Politicsthe reader is brought down to earth.

He and his students documented the constitutions of states—one of which, The Constitution of Athens, has survived on papyrus. The aim of the Politics, Aristotle says, is to investigate, on the basis of the constitutions collected, what makes for good government and what makes for bad government and to identify the factors favourable or unfavourable to the preservation of a constitution.

Aristotle asserts that all communities aim at some good. The state polisby which he means a city-state such as Athens, is the highest kind of communityaiming at the highest of goods. The most primitive communities are families of men and women, masters and slaves.

Families combine to make a village, and several villages combine to make a state, which is the first self-sufficient community. GovernmentAristotle says, must be in the hands of one, of a few, or of the many; and governments may govern for the general good or for the good of the rulers.

If a community contains an individual or family of outstanding excellence, then, Aristotle says, monarchy is the best constitution. But such a case is very rare, and the risk of miscarriage is great, for monarchy corrupts into tyrannywhich is the worst constitution of all.

Some people, Aristotle says, think that the rule of master over slave is contrary to nature and therefore unjust. But they are quite wrong: Aristotle agrees, Plato human nature and political institutions, that in practice much slavery is unjust, and he speculates that, if nonliving machines could be made to carry out menial tasks, there would be no need for slaves as living tools.

Nevertheless, some people are so inferior and brutish that it is better for them to be controlled by a master than to be left to their own devices. Although not himself an aristocrat, Aristotle had an aristocratic disdain for commerce.

Our possessions, he says, have two uses, proper and improper. Money too has a proper and an improper use; its proper use is to be exchanged for goods and services, not to be lent out at interest. Rhetoric and poetics Rhetoricfor Aristotle, is a topic-neutral discipline that studies the possible means of persuasion.

In advising orators on how to exploit the moods of their audience, Aristotle undertakes a systematic and often insightful treatment of human emotion, dealing in turn with anger, hatred, fear, shame, pity, indignation, envy, and jealousy—in each case offering a definition of the emotion and a list of its objects and causes.

The Poetics is much better known than the Rhetoric, though only the first book of the former, a treatment of epic and tragic poetry, survives.

Plato human nature and political institutions

According to the theory of Forms, material objects are imperfect copies of original, real, Forms; artistic representations of material objects are therefore only copies of copies, at two removes from reality.

Moreover, drama has a specially corrupting effect, because it stimulates unworthy emotions in its audience. In response, Aristotle insists that imitationso far from being the degrading activity that Plato describes, is something natural to humans from childhood and is one of the characteristics that makes humans superior to animals, since it vastly increases the scope of what they may learn.

For this reasonpoetry is more philosophical and more important than history, for poetry speaks of the universalhistory of only the particular. Much of what happens to people in everyday life is a matter of sheer accident; only in fiction can one witness character and action work themselves out to their natural consequences.

Far from debasing the emotions, as Plato thoughtdrama has a beneficial effect on them. No one is quite sure exactly what Aristotle meant by katharsisor purification. But perhaps what he meant was that watching tragedy helps people to put their own sorrows and worries in perspective, because in it they observe how catastrophe can overtake even people who are vastly their superiors.

Legacy Since the Renaissance it has been traditional to regard the Academy and the Lyceum as two opposite poles of philosophy. Plato is idealistic, utopian, otherworldly; Aristotle is realistic, utilitarian, commonsensical.

In fact, however, the doctrines that Plato and Aristotle share are more important than those that divide them. Many post-Renaissance historians of ideas have been less perceptive than the commentators of late antiquity, who saw it as their duty to construct a harmonious concord between the two greatest philosophers of the known world.

Plato pointing to the heavens and the realm of forms, Aristotle to the earth and the realm of things. He was the first genuine scientist in history.

He was the first author whose surviving works contain detailed and extensive observations of natural phenomena, and he was the first philosopher to achieve a sound grasp of the relationship between observation and theory in scientific method.

He identified the various scientific disciplines and explored their relationships to each other. He was the first professor to organize his lectures into courses and to assign them a place in a syllabus.

His Lyceum was the first research institute in which a number of scholars and investigators joined in collaborative inquiry and documentation.

Finally, and not least important, he was the first person in history to build up a research library, a systematic collection of works to be used by his colleagues and to be handed on to posterity.

Millennia later, Plato and Aristotle still have a strong claim to being the greatest philosophers who have ever lived. But if their contribution to philosophy is equal, it was Aristotle who made the greater contribution to the intellectual patrimony of the world.But on Aristotle's account, nature's hospitality to human beings guides them, by way of the "gift of logos" to work together toward common goals and to form political communities oriented to human flourishing and the good life (4, 37, 71, , passim).

Political philosophy, branch of philosophy that is concerned, at the most abstract level, with the concepts and arguments involved in political meaning of the term political is itself one of the major problems of political philosophy.

Broadly, however, one may characterize as political all those practices and institutions that are concerned with government. What are the main differences between political theory and political thought? such as justice, authority, human nature, and legitimacy.

This and other differences between political theory. Karl Popper: Political Philosophy. Among philosophers, Karl Popper () is best known for his contributions to the philosophy of science and epistemology.

This reality, then, that gives their truth to the objects of knowledge and the power of knowing to the knower, you must say is the idea of the good, and you must conceive it as being the cause of knowledge [] and of truth [] in so far as known..

Plato, Republic, e, Republic II, translated by Paul Shorey, Loeb Classical Library, Harvard University Press, , , pp, color added. Human nature has been contemplated, both implicitly and explicitly, by many philosophers - Plato: Human Nature and Political Institutions introduction.

Plato begins his study by discussing the nature of justice, which then gets applied to human nature. His discussion of human nature can be considered the foundation of his discussion of justice in the soul.

What Did Plato Think About Human Nature? |