Imitations of Virtue: Plato and Aristotle on Non-Ideal Constitutions
AuthorReid, Jeremy William
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractPlato and Aristotle both believe that in ideal circumstances the best form of government obtains when virtuous and knowledgeable people rule. But surprisingly, alongside their well-known views in ideal political philosophy, they also have rich and complex views on non-ideal political philosophy, and these views turn out to be deeply conservative. In the Statesman, Laws, and Politics, Plato and Aristotle recognize stability problems generated by non-ideal circumstances. Specifically, their views on the law’s role in habituation of character, and habituation’s role in ensuring the authority of the law lead them to think that the high costs of changing the existing legislation and constitutional arrangements normally outweigh the benefits gained.
Degree ProgramGraduate College