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Harold S.

Mape BASS Political Science - 4

Political Science 192 (J) Prof. Anna Rosario D. Malindog

Differences in the Ethical Theories: Plato and Aristotle and Western Traditional Theories Plato may seem to be more of an idealist while on the other hand; Aristotle is more inclined to be a realist, both of their ideas at a certain extent congruent with one another. It is for the reason that the latter was a student of the former thus it can be inferred that all his knowledge originated from his teacher so as Platos coming from Socrates. Yet, Aristotle is thought of being antagonistic to his teacher Plato as for the creation of his Academy as opposed to the Republic. Despite all this, it cannot be denied, as stated earlier, that both share to a certain extent similar ideals and thoughts. Plato and Aristotles ethical theories differ from those in the western tradition of political philosophy for some opinionated reasons. First is the way of reasoning by both Plato and Aristotle by which they often settle in the idea of nature of things, man and etc. As Plato reiterated in his Republic that it is the nature of a just man which makes him just as to the nature of a just state which makes it just in a similar sense. On a similar sense, in Aristotles ideas the concept of nature can be portrayed in the justification of the slaves wherein by nature a slave ought to follow his master for his nature of being a possession. The difference is that in western traditional philosophy there exists the concept of positivism which can be portrayed through Max Webers concept of disenchantment. In this concept, it values the idea of rationalization and gives priority of understanding rather than belief. He suggests that a scientific understanding is a higher goal for a society or a state. In relation to Plato, is there a scientific explanation why a Philosopher ought to be king? No but it is by nature of his skills, talents and wisdom. In relation to Aristotle, is there a genetic explanation why slaves ought to follow his master? No, because it is settled in the thought that it is by his nature to become a slave. In the contemporary times, it can be compared to the idea of Nature-Nurture in psychology. For an instance, a boy born from a family of thieves and killers was adopted and nurtured by a family of virtuous parents, by this there are several conclusions to such situation; either the child grows up becoming a well-natured or ill-natured individual. In relation to Plato and Socrates, they may say that the boy ought to become an ill-natured one by virtue of his nature while on the other hand; the latter will either consider both because of scientific breakthroughs in the field of psychology. Another difference is the holistic approach used by both ancient Philosophers which differs to the piece by piece of western traditional philosophers. In Platos Republic, a just state is made up by just individuals who act according to the nature of their being. On the other hand, similar to Plato, Aristotle reiterated that there is by nature rulers who according to his being leads and slaves who are by nature followers which make up the state. Contrary to that mode of the former, the western tradition of philosophy has certain fields of inquiry. Jan Jacques Rousseaus social contract focus more on moral inequality in which he said that it is prevalent in a civil society and that a civil society is a trick played by the stronger on the weaker to maintain power or wealth. Thus, having the concept of man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains wherein freedom is more of a commercial thing because by nature man is a captive of the society where he belongs. Thomas Hobbes, on the other hand gives focus in his book the Leviathan on

several concepts such as nature of man being evil and a common-wealth state being the end of everything. Lastly, that of Max Weber where he gave focus on religion where it is a part and parcel of shaping a society such as portrayed by the Protestant Ethics and the spirit of Capitalism wherein he reiterated that Protestantism is the means in which leads to an end of Capitalism because of the nature of the religion the Protestants have. The main point of my view here is that both ancient Philosophers in just one discourse try to encompass everything under the sun from nature of things to the forms of government while on the other hand, the former although they try to encompass everything in the field of social sciences, they try to subdivide certain topics and often times they have to a certain extent a degree of specialization to their theories. Such as it can be exemplified in both the context of Liberal and Idealist theories wherein although they both of a general theory, there is still the existence of sub-theories for both theories. Another is the concept of inequality. In Plato and Aristotles ideas the concept of inequality is again resting upon its nature of being. In Plato, there is inequality with regards to class strata for the nature of being of a person such as when he is by nature intelligent, skillful and talented, then he is subjected into training to become a Philosopher-King but when he has none of the aforementioned capabilities then he ought to become the craftsmen. In Aristotles ideas, inequality rests upon the relationship of master and the slave, the father and his children and the father and his wife. In all these relationship, the latter ought to follow the former for they are by nature rulers and the latter are also by nature subjects. In contrary, in the western traditional philosophy such as those of Rousseaus discourse on inequality wherein inequality is prevalent in a society or the state for wherein man surrenders his freedom thinking of their own benefit of the state yet in turn this civil society is a utility created by those of the stronger in order to maintain power and wealth. Thus, it can be concluded that the former (ancient philosophers) are more grounded in the idea that inequality lies in the nature of beings (such as gender, intellect, etc.) while on the contrary the former western philosophers brings into the light inequality as achieved in the modes and complexities of mans want of creating a society. Also, in my own opinion it can be seen that the former is seeing inequality as arising from the individual but the latter can be said as exhibiting that inequality exists in a society or a state. Yet, it cannot be said that one of the two concepts are wrong, only that both theories can be exhibited in certain situations.