Primary Resource Essay on Aristotle, Politics and Plato, the Republic
The political society is an important base of codependence necessary to achieve “good life” and happiness. It is explained that the village is the primary basis of a state and is composed of equally important aspects that have a significant role. Such significance includes the man as the leader and the woman as the healer given by Plato in The Republic. As man has been described to be dependent on the state in Aristotle’s Politics, the political relevance of classes within a state or a society, as Plato says in The Republic, gives the essence of man’s dependence in it to achieve happiness.
Man cannot be dependent on one’s self because every part of society has an equally important role to play in order for it as a whole to achieve happiness. The first section of Aristotle’s Politics describes the union that exists between man and other aspects of a society that has to be preserved for each has its importance: “…there must be a union of those who cannot exist without each other…that both may be preserved.” In this elaboration, Aristotle intends on explaining the codependence of certain parties in the society, for instance, “men and women,” and “master and slave” in achieving the happy ending of the society. Furthermore, Aristotle suggests that a “state” is an integral part of the human life with regards to achieving “good life” because it is the end of the basic unit of a village, and that “the end of a thing is the best…” The thought given by Aristotle here represents the essential dependence of man to his state, with the priori that “a man…without a state is either a bad man or above humanity…” It represents the relationship between the state and its people here that links Aristotle’s work to Plato’s. Plato uses the states to elaborate on what justice is when perceived from the political perspective. In the “imaginary city that Plato uses to explain his narrative, there are three codependent aspects of society; the ruler, the guardian and the producers This alone presents the evidence of a codependence nature of the society of men, to achieve happiness. In light of this fact, the political power and influence must resonate within the subjects’ interests and not the rulers to make justice suffice among all the subjects.
The political sphere of society is governed by justice, trust, and inclusion, as is my synthetic priori to analyze its importance in governing a society. Plato defines a political society as one governed by codependent aspects such as the ruler, the guardian, and the producer. This aspect represents the codependence nature of man and his subjects in achieving happiness. As such, in Aristotle’s view, society is divided into different classes, as likewise seen in Plato, “one class is very rich, another very poor, and a third in a mean.” As is the view of Plato, the guardian is the moderator and hero of the state. Further, Glaucon uses the analogy of a dog and its family to emphasize the importance of the division of power in the society, for it is the ultimate political understanding in a society: “the only difference between them is that the males are stronger and the females weaker.” This analogy represents the different capabilities of various aspects of the society; in this case, the male and female and their reliance upon each other. The man has been described as a leader of the family and the woman as the healer. With such a perspective, the political sphere has been applauded as one with different sections exercising different strengths as it is mandatory to be governed by reason among such diversified powers. With the guardian in the case of Plato being given the ability to protect the people from unjust actions, Aristotle can somewhat be seen as having the median class as the states’ guardians. This sanction stems from the fact that this class is not unstable when it comes to political power, unlike the low and high classes: “…the middle class is least likely to shrink from rule, or to be over-ambitious for it…” For this reason, the middle class can be considered the guardians of the state.
In conclusion, man is dependent on the state as a source of completion as he has been described as a “political animal.” With this regard, the importance of states has been delineated as one that serves to create a just environment for its people by way of further establishing political society. A leader governs this society, its people protected by a guardian and fed by the producers. The contributions of both Aristotle and Plato in Politics and The Republic gives the significance of political influence and the benefits it can accrue to its people. As such, the state is given as the ending of a village, which is the most primary political state. As has been described, the ending of something is better than its beginning, therefore offering happiness in its final state; therefore, a state offers happiness to its people.
Aristotle, Jowett, B., & Davis, H. W. (1920). Aristotle’s Politics. Oxford: At the Clarendon Press.
Plato & Bloom, A. (1968). The Republic. New York: New York Basic Books.