Aristotle Vs Plato

815 Words4 Pages
In this essay, I will be presenting both Plato and Aristotle 's views regarding justice. First, I will present how Plato defines justice and just laws. Second, I will explain how Aristotle does the same, as well as noting the differences between their ideas. I will conclude with which Philosopher had the greater argument and which factors made the argument superior to the other. Plato 's idea of justice is never intentionally harming others and always following laws as they are. A true ruler is someone who rules for the benefit of others and not for self-gain. For instance, by choosing to live in Athens there is a social contract in place; which means residents are expected to follow all laws set by the rulers and in return they have…show more content…
It is important to understand that virtue is using rationality in a positive way in order to flourish as a person. In order for a law to be considered just, it is essential the law is equal for everyone, which results in a balance. The importance of just laws lie in the fact that with equality promotes potential and everyone should obtain the chance to flourish and reach Eudaimonia. By establishing that justice itself is a balance, the lack of justice would be considered an injustice, and "too much justice" is impossible considering a person simply cannot be "too perfect". Human beings are instinctively social people, which causes escaping the city/state an impossible feat; in order to progress further to choices concerning laws, it is important to consider that people choose to perform virtuous acts; however you should understand why you are performing those acts for it to be considered virtuous. Another large part of understanding of justice would be to consider a person 's choices along with actions as opposed to the laws themselves. To be virtuous as well as follow laws, a person should be capable of applying reason, which leads to questioning voluntary and involuntary actions. A voluntary action is something you chose to do fully understanding the consequences of your actions. An involuntary action is an externally forced action, such as spilling a…show more content…
I believe Aristotle has the stronger argument in terms of defining justice is. It is important to consider whether a law is just or unjust as opposed to Plato 's argument that we should follow all laws regardless; if we were choose to solely follow all laws and the consequence of that law caused harm to another human being we would unintentionally be harming others, which would make it harder for us to be virtuous. I also believe everyone should be held responsible for their own actions, in addition to using Aristotle 's definition of voluntary action, we choose to follow laws which leads to the world being a more desirable place to live. As we have seen with previous laws, such as slavery, if we fail to question the validity and consequence of the law, but voluntarily follow it blindly it can result in issues for years to come; similar to slavery, despite it being illegal today, prior legality negatively affects minorities in our society. If we fail to question unjust laws and believe everything we are told by the government, we are failing to think for ourselves. According to Aristotle, every action we perform is self-interested, if we are unable to think for ourselves and fail to question imbalances how will we continue to flourish? That being said, without applying reason to the topic of justice we, in turn, forfeit our rights as a citizen as well as those
Open Document