Wow! Real responses, thank you all.
[quote=“Hobbes”]I certainly agree with you, Jaboney, that Plato seems like the more admirable guy. And I really liked his metaphysics, writing on the forms, allegory of the cave, and so on. The Republic , on the other hand – always seemed a little too contrived. [/quote] Well, I didn’t really expect anyone who takes on Hobbes as his avator to like Aristotle! And yeah, it’s contrived, but even Plato seems to acknowledge that when he concludes that even if you did everything right, the ideal state would probably only last ten years.
OutofChaos, I think you just gave me a thesis abstract, but I’ll right there with you on the benefits of a holistic approach.
[quote=“mod lang”]You can easily draw a line from Plato’s Republic to Lenin’s U.S.S.R., and even Nazi Germany (Plato was a fervent advocate of eugenics). [/quote] Yeah, and people do, but I think it’s bunk. You’re right on the rest, though, as much as I hate to admit it. That’s why I keep reading the neo-Aristotelians, no matter how many times I send them sailing across the room. Damn, I hate it when I have to change my perfectly reasonably prejudices. :fume:
[quote=“MaPoSquid”]I suppose for those who believe, as did the author of Cannibals All!, that 95% of humanity would be happier as slaves, Plato’s utopia makes sense.[/quote] Well, Plato’s theory of justice amounts to “each receiving from the community, all of the support, training and resources necessary to fulfill their particular potential, minus what the community requires in return in order to see others fulfill their particular potential.” And despite all the good contemporary theorists can do with him, Aristotle’s take on justice–darn it, I forget if it’s the Nicomachaen Ethics or On Politics–basically begins by saying, “Remember what Plato said, and all that stuff about equality? Forget it. Justice obtains between men of equal power… everyone else is a dog at the master’s table.” Not in so many words, but you get the picture.
So, personally and stylistically, I’ve got to favour Plato, but…choke…I suppose… damn! damn! damn!.. I’ve got to give it to Aristotle’s system.
Cheers all. Any further thoughts? Recommended reading?