- Free Essays, Term Papers & Book Notes

Philosophy В– Plato and Aristotle

By:   •  Essay  •  2,480 Words  •  December 2, 2009  •  1,788 Views

Page 1 of 10

Essay title: Philosophy В– Plato and Aristotle

Aristotle goes into a great detail discussing the life and nature of the city-state as well as the divisions within in. Like everything else that exists, the aim of the city is that it is there for the sake of something good. The city is in existence to serve some good purpose and to make the lives of those who live within it (its members) better. The city has the character of completeness and is lacking in nothing that humans need to live well. The city is made up of different classes, which all serve different functions to help each other and to help the city run well, properly and in a just way. All the members and classes within the city-state exist to reach something good. The city is constituted for the sake of living well. The only way for all people to live well is for all of the different classes to work together and know each other. This way, a good character can be developed for both the members of the city and for the city itself. I agree with Aristotle and his beliefs about the city, the human good (happiness) and the natural slave. I think that rule by the superior power or by those best suited to be rulers is best and right when the one who is better in virtue is the ruling party. I also think that as long as a slave is in that position because it is in their nature to be enslaved, then slavery is something that is expedient and necessary for the whole of the city and for the happiness of all, including the slave.

The human nature of any person is to be a part of the city and to be a political animal. In order to live well, one needs to participate in the life of the city. This participation involves taking turns ruling and being ruled, which will ultimately lead to a good character for each member of the city as well as a good overall character of the city. The nature of a human being is something that will always direct us toward being a part of the city and helping in making it as good as it can be. This involves doing for the city what we are naturally born to do; what we can do most efficiently. When all members and classes within the city work together in this way, the city and those dwelling within it can arrive at the state of human good that will better their living condition, that is, happiness. The city is a complete community which is self-sufficient. It comes to be for the sake of living and remains in being for the sake of living (Politics 30, page 452). The city fulfills human nature. Therefore, any person who is separated from the city is not self-sufficient. There are certain things that people can do better and more efficiently in a social environment (working together) than when done alone or individually. In certain conditions, people cannot do things as well when it is done by themselves. People within the city should perform those things (fall into the proper roles and functions) which they are naturally able and born to do, as well as best suited to do. It is more fitting and useful for some people to rule over others whereas other people are better off being ruled over by a director, someone in charge to tell them what is the best thing to do or the right action to take. Born from this is Aristotle's concept of slavery.

One of the classes that Aristotle goes into great depth in discussing is the slave class. Slaves fall under the class of the city that are by nature better off being directed by a master. Slaves are those that are best suited to be ordered around and told what to do. The reason that they are best suited to this type of lifestyle is because their soul is not properly disposed to rule over themselves or other people. Slaves are defective human beings, according to Aristotle. There are parts within the soul of a slave that do not work in the right way, and therefore, it is best for them to be ruled over by a master, someone who knows better and whose soul is properly disposed (arranged). For example, within the soul of a slave, the intellect cannot properly control the desiring part so they will not make the right decisions, leading to harmful consequences, not only for themselves, but for others around them as well. Slaves will make too many rash decisions that are based on their desires. Their feelings control their behavior in life. Slaves need to be ruled by a master so that they can be shown the right way to live and right sorts of decisions to make. When this is done, it betters the city as a whole and helps everyone to live well.

When speaking in regards to slaves and masters and the relationship between the two, Aristotle does not suggest that slavery is good when it rests on the basis of force. Aristotle's views on slavery are that some people in society are best suited to be ruled over and directed to do certain things, while other people are best suited to be the ruling class and direct others. The condition of the soul, the function that a person is able to perform

Continue for 9 more pages »  •  Join now to read essay Philosophy В– Plato and Aristotle and other term papers or research documents
Download as (for upgraded members)
Citation Generator

(2009, 12). Philosophy В– Plato and Aristotle. Retrieved 12, 2009, fromВ-Plato-and-Aristotle/18374.html

"Philosophy В– Plato and Aristotle" 12 2009. 2009. 12 2009 <В-Plato-and-Aristotle/18374.html>.

"Philosophy В– Plato and Aristotle.", 12 2009. Web. 12 2009. <В-Plato-and-Aristotle/18374.html>.

"Philosophy В– Plato and Aristotle." 12, 2009. Accessed 12, 2009.В-Plato-and-Aristotle/18374.html.