Aristotle on Plato’s Republic VIII-IX: Politics v. 12, 1316a1-b27

Aristotle on Plato’s Republic VIII-IX: Politics v. 12, 1316a1-b27 Toward the end of Politics V. 12, Aristotle criticizes Plato’s discussion of political change in Republic VIII-IX. Scholars often reject Aristotle’s criticism, especially because it portrays Plato’s discussion, allegedly unfairly, as developing a historically testable theory. I argue that Aristotle’s criticism is adequate, and that the seriousness with which he considers Plato’s account of political change as an alternative to his own is both warranted and instructive. First, apart from criticizing Plato’s account for its historical inaccuracies, Aristotle also exposes theoretical insufficiencies and internal inconsistencies within it. Second, Aristotle’s criticisms of historical inaccuracies in Plato’s discussion of political change are not misdirected, since there are reasons to think that Plato does intend that discussion to accord with the historical facts. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Polis: The Journal for Ancient Greek Political Thought Brill

Aristotle on Plato’s Republic VIII-IX: Politics v. 12, 1316a1-b27

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
0142-257x
eISSN
2051-2996
DOI
10.1163/20512996-12340190
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Toward the end of Politics V. 12, Aristotle criticizes Plato’s discussion of political change in Republic VIII-IX. Scholars often reject Aristotle’s criticism, especially because it portrays Plato’s discussion, allegedly unfairly, as developing a historically testable theory. I argue that Aristotle’s criticism is adequate, and that the seriousness with which he considers Plato’s account of political change as an alternative to his own is both warranted and instructive. First, apart from criticizing Plato’s account for its historical inaccuracies, Aristotle also exposes theoretical insufficiencies and internal inconsistencies within it. Second, Aristotle’s criticisms of historical inaccuracies in Plato’s discussion of political change are not misdirected, since there are reasons to think that Plato does intend that discussion to accord with the historical facts.

Journal

Polis: The Journal for Ancient Greek Political ThoughtBrill

Published: Sep 17, 2018

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