compare and contrast Plato and Aristotle’s views

The theme of the article is “compare and contrast Plato and Aristotle’s views on both the best kind of human life, and the best kind of region or political rule. To what can we attribute the differences in their views on these issues?” (hint: make sure you discuss the role of meteorological thinking within each thinker’s writings, and the differences in their respective approaches to teleology.)

You need to write a 1250 words article around this topic. Detailed requirements are in “essay requirements”.

You should not refer to any online resources.

PPT will give you information. The page inside refers to “Aristotle, Carnes Lord – Aristotle’s Politics University of Chicago Press (2013)” PDF

Outline of today’s lecture



Justice in the individual: the tripartite soul

Plato’s concept of human nature

What is Platonic politics?

Plato’s metaphysics






Socrates’ account of justice: the right functioning of the soul

Telos: purpose, function, goal

What does it mean to think teleologically?

What does the ideal city look like? (and remember, the city is an analogy for the soul)

Cooperative specialization, hierarchy/rulership



Justice in the individual: the tripartite soul

3 parts of the soul (just like the city, p. 130: 435 b-c; p. 135: 440 e) :


spirit (thymos)



p. 137, 442 d: “The temperate man…”

p. 137: “the source of this behaviour is ….”

p. 138: “justice, like health….”


For Plato, justice = Higher parts of our nature should rule lower ones

p. 137, 443 d





Plato’s concept of human nature





well-established hierarchy

Nature and nurture

There are better and worse ways to live



What is Platonic politics?




Relationship between politics and philosophy: p. 165, 473d)




But what is the likelihood of this marriage between philosophy and politics?


See the Allegory of the Cave, beginning of book VII.

But first ….





Plato’s metaphysics


What is metaphysics?


Plato’s Metaphysical position: classical realism


Theory of Forms (ideals):


Two worlds


2. Forms/ideal world vs. particular/material entities


Struggle between the material and the ideal world





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