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Plato and Aristotle
Students of Socrates
It was claimed that Plato's real name
was Aristocles, and that 'Plato' was a
nickname (roughly 'the broad')
derived either from the width of his
shoulders, the results of training for
wrestling, or from the breadth of his
style, or from the size of his
427-347 BCE
son of wealthy and
influential Athenian
Plato tried both to
pass on the heritage
of a Socratic style of
Plato’s Background
Plato was in the military from 409 BC to
404 BC during the Peloponnesian War
with Sparta
he wanted a political career rather than a
military one
the execution of Socrates in 399 BC had
a profound effect on him and left politics
for good
Plato’s Political Beliefs
aristocracy, a Greek word which means
"rule by the best."
Appropriate roles: Individuals have
certain talents or skills.
Philosopher Kings should rule
An educated society is essential.
Power should not be hereditary
Aristotle’s Background
Born in Macedonia, in 384 BC
He spent twenty years (17-37) of his life
studying at the Academy under Plato
When Plato died, Aristotle returned to
Macedonia and tutored the King’s son,
Alexander the Great
He came back to Athens with Alexander's
approval in 335 and established his own
Aristotle’s Political Beliefs
Monarchy and Aristocracy only good if rulers
were virtuous
Democracy was the least dangerous form of
Kings should take advice from philosophers
Educated societies create a moral and
virtuous people
The middle class should hold the power