Aristotle’s Arguments for Democracy


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Essay #: 052740
Total text length is 9,623 characters (approximately 6.6 pages).

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The beginning:
Aristotle’s Arguments for Democracy
The Wisdom of the Group
The ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle, in Book Three of his Politics, presents a complex series of arguments in support of the view that democracy is the optimal organizing principle of a state. This paper will review Aristotle’s arguments and their logical coherence, arguing the thesis that the primary element of these arguments is that democracy is fundamentally superior to oligarchy, aristocracy or monarchy given that decisions by large collectives share in the practical wisdom and goodness of their members and, conversely, dilute the flaws of each member in the group. As will be seen, however, Aristotle is careful to buttress the abstract elements of his argument with...
The end:
.....nent kings in their own cities” (Aristotle 119).
In the end, I would argue that Aristotle’s arguments are compelling both for being innovative – with regard to the idea of the overriding wisdom of a large group – and his willingness to buttress abstract reasoning with political realism (i.e. his outlining the dangers of a disfranchised population) and appeals to the authority and examples of the great political legislators and thinkers that predated him. It is this blend of abstract and realistic political logic in Aristotle’s arguments in support of democracy that render his contentions particularly strong and compelling.
Aristotle. Politics. Trans. Ernest Barker. Revised by R.F.
Stanley. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998.