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Platoand Aristotle’s Contributions to The Study of InternationalRelations

ThePlatonic and Aristotelian political philosophies continue toinfluence international relations in significant ways. Plato andAristotle focused on teaching the impracticality as well as theundesirability of radical transformation of the patriotic andpre-philosophic citizens and their attitude toward the foreignpolicy. They believed that the approach did not demand moraljustification for the foreign policy of a city as well as a reasonfor it to resort to war (Prangle 379). The icon philosopherssuccessfully raided thoughts concerning nations and aliens, theoccurrence of political justice and the consistency of justice instate systems. Aristotle and Plato demonstrate that political societyshould encourage diversity to create a platform for knowledgeableleaders and the adoption of progressive ideologies.

Philosophyof International Relations

Oneof the major concerns of these philosophers was the fact that thecitizens may use their military expertise in anticipation of anyconflict. Aristotle argues that sound democratic citizenship needs tocenter on militia service as well as the cultivation of relatedvirtues. One argument was that the training of the art of warinvolves the learning of many things that are not entirely noble. Thephilosophers were furthermore aware that the possibility of thechoice worthiness of acting on preference rather than on geographicalluck (Pangle 380). In addition, the thinkers also discussed moraljustice in the international sphere and weighed its impact ondomestic justice especially within a single political community. Themoral status of foreign relations and policy was a major issue forthese philosophers, and they sought to teach the effect of this onthe attitude of citizens.

Anotherissue that Aristotle questioned was the upholding of the superiorityof political life and the connection with imperial expansion. Theyexplained that the accomplishment of a political leader is totheorize in order to rule and exercise mastery over neighbors,whether they are willing or not. Aristotle suggested that the nobleambition to rule of the individual and the city could find limit onlywhen the public virtues are understood. The classical philosophysuggests that the highest public duty is that of the elaboration of ageneral thought that is rooted in the study of nature as well as theintention to influence.

Platoand Aristotle recommended that the society would look up to auniversal deity and its citizens would conceive themselves as sharingwith all humans in a single cosmic community (Pangle 391). They usedthe approach to teaching that the polis would retain a strong senseof its distinctive community but interpret its particularism in lightof cosmopolitanship.The interchangeable attachments of thesephilosophers often varied in proportion to the degree to which theylived in proximity as well as enjoying congress with one another.

Aristotlelaid down a set of criteria for the goals, which justify militarypreparation in such a regime. The belief was that a city remainsprimarily concerned with its welfare and is secondarily concernedwith the well-being of other towns and of the foreigners who may bescattered in such proximities. The best regime in a city, accordingto this policy, focuses on the welfare of all its citizens. Platoindicated that the best national systems would make ethnic loyalty aprimary consideration in its foreign policy. Aristotle makes anargument concerning communism and argues that there are consequencesto the maximization of economic productivity due to impracticability.

Aristotlecontests Against Socrates’ views concerning communism because ofthe corrosive effect on the political and community cohesion.Aristotle refutes Socrates’ claims concerning communism and gives athorough criticism of the concept and its impact on politics. Theinterests of Aristotle primarily lie with the fact that he has beliefin a Constitution and a well effected political order. Aristotlefocuses on the city of warrior kings and disregards a philosopherking because of his estimation of communistic political arrangementswhich Socrates endorses (Dietz 279).

Aristotle’sscrutiny of Socratic communism is based on the belief that itviolates logographic integrity. He shares his understanding on thebest political regime and shows a necessity to look at the intentionsof such systems. He believes that the reliance of Socrates onCommunism does not promote political unity but instead destroys thepolitical community. He furthermore highlights the point that societywould gain certain advantages from a political community and it wouldfurthermore help reconcile the conflicts of interest, which maythreaten to break it into rival factions.

Aristotlestresses how a polis evolves out of a community of many households.He claims that community, which is perfected, is capable of achievingall its goals efficiently. He objects to Socrates` views on communismby arguing that it is impracticable and economically inefficient.Aristotle also has objections to the regime prescribed in Plato’snarratives. Aristotle believes that Socratic communism disrupts thebasics concerning man and polis and disables human nature of itsproper fulfillment. Aristotle even suggests that the main mistakemade by Socrates is confusing political unity and familial kinship(Dietz, 280).

Aristotlemaintains that the elevation of Socrates to the household is adominating principle in politics and ruins a literal meaning ofpolitical unity. Aristotle argues that the appeal of communism is alie because it undermines values such as friendship. Aristotlecriticizes all the political institutions that Plato believes in andfurthermore claims that it is more important for citizens to standtogether behind a different policy. Aristotle outlines that it isnecessary for citizens to unite and support a foreign policy that isbased on personal interests, rather than one which splinters theminto factions for appeasement. He discusses at length theshortcomings of Socrates’ proposed communization of family. Acountry that is sensitive on international maintains that lawmakersshould aim for the promotion of citizenry rather than that related toproperty.

Aristotleand Plato concur that there is competition between localjurisdictions and private groups used to bargain for individualrequests in being superseded by longer range reprisals between richand the poor. They recommended a political system to counteract theslow disintegration of an inherited conglomerate in a quick turnoversociety (Navone 114). Hostile acts as well as the hardening ofattitudes to divert citizens sensitivity will often uproot variousstructures. The relevance of class theories to modern issues does notrest on normative acceptance of a public philosophy to allow analysisof how different social outcomes standardize performances in society.Both of these models describe the government as an agent of socialcontrol and therefore the unchecked integration of diversifiedassociations in the international arena will come against classrules.

Accordingto Plato scientific management is an intimate union between theaspirants of people and the efficient city management through whichfairness can be reciprocated. The central philosophical belief isthat the republic is a contrast to the property restrictions inpolitics and it includes that which Plato proscribes and Aristotleencourages. The republic therefore discorporate all the organizationswhose aims are not tied to the city-state and these are all limitedto the framework of the city in assigning every role. Aristotlerespected bilateral discussions between peers especially inapplications related to trade (Cherry 6).

Platobelieved that class interaction was significant because it often ledto a balanced city. He believed that not only would all of Plato’sclasses be citizens, but also the city would be fully establishedwith a single act. One change is necessary for incorporation and thediversities of Aristotle in time and space managed to support thegenerative series of associations that run from families to villages,yet another issue of importance is the fact that these twophilosophers had critical theories concerning conflict resolution(Cherry 6). The primary believe was that whether public goals andlocal environments are often joined by the practice of sharedinterests or purged for a higher public good.

Thepattern maintained by Plato comes through polarization, which co-optseveryone to a system by equal opportunity and in service training.The belief system is designed to shield the subjects from the dangerof distinct environments, which are often distracting. In additionthe thinker holds that policy comes more from the debate than fromthe management of reason. Irrational aspects are expected inlegislative discourse among interests and socialization is derivedfrom a proportionate reciprocity and performance is limited to acreative minority of those who have superior powers (Cherry 9). Awider integration meant for the good of the community would introducenew ideas and aid in the distribution of resources.

Accordingto Plato, specialization is the meaning of justice and Aristotle’sconcept of fairness develops from the interest specificity. Aristotleand his concept of justice often develop from matters of interestrather than functional dedication and judgments that are likely to bederived from particular cases as well as persons involved. Aristotlebelieved that friendship between states is political. Such anassociation allows people to appreciate others through thepossibility of a deep engagement. Aristotle has been used by moderntheorists to represent the ideal of democratic politics especially inassociation of states with shared values.

Staterelations that are based on efficiency are the most convenient, andthey involve familiarity on a common purpose. Pleasurableassociations are based on acquaintances that bring pleasure and areoccasioned through mutual participation in activities. It is alsocommon belief that virtue and politics are requisite for such arelationship because they are complementary. The same fact can beconnected with friendship and politics, and it reveals the connectionbetween these two aspects of human life (Navone119).

Aristotlefurthermore claims that there can only be mutuality if the partiesstriking an association find value in common factors. The thinkeremphasizes the need to go beyond discourse, which is not sufficientfor making people sound. Aristotle begins by refuting opinions on thecomposition of a city as well as the framework of politicssurrounding the formation of such a jurisdiction. He outlines thatpolitical rule can be improved by borrowing ideas from developedsystems that might not necessarily exist in the same geographicalregion.

Thetwo scholars also concur that there is indeed nothing distinctiveconcerning politics and there are different conceptions of thenatural relationships in human life. Plato observes that a rulershould possess the knowledge necessary to rule and many leaders donot possess this acquaintance. The few individuals who harbor theknowledge appropriate to leaders are capable of advising governorsbased on this experience and therefore should be called kings.Therefore, creating barriers to associations can only lacerate theirpolitical decisions. In addition, rulers are not identified by thepossession of office but rather by the possession of appropriateknowledge.

Anothercentral concept is that there is one ruling science whether high,political or economic. Therefore, there is no difference between ahousehold manager and a slave supervisor,political leader and aking (Ball 520). A number of things strengthen politics, and theseinclude preservation of culture and provision of needs. Aristotlegoes ahead to explain that despotic rule is different from itsacquisition. The main idea is that tyrannical government only belongsto household management and it is important since it emphasizes powerespecially over the good and lives of individuals. Aristotle furtherargues that political communities differ according to the types ofpeople who participate in them. He also denies the fact thatknowledge is a necessity in rule and further argues that thecharacter of a ruler is as important as his experience.

Despoticrule according to Plato can only be justified when one has the propernature to rule despotically and exercise those who are suited forsuch domination. Knowledge is necessary to rule despotically but itapplication alone cannot justify the practice. Furthermore, imposinga despotic rule on those who ought to be ruled politically is wrongbecause such training is mostly advantageous to the master and alsoto the slave, though the most appropriate regimes focus on the commonadvantage of both parties. Ruling will often require more thanknowledge and Aristotle explain that this kind of experience ofteninvolves ruling in practicality.

Aristotlealso recognizes the fact that this sort of experience can only beestablished through studying. Aristotle recognizes the fact thatkinds of government are not the same because the associations maydiffer according to end and not merely size. He also acknowledges thefact that there is a hierarchy among them and people have differentnatures which demand different kinds of rule (Ball 521). Therefore,the main argument is that a ruler cannot be defined based onknowledge because whether or not one is a ruler will depend on thenature of both the leader and the subject as well as whether thenecessary experience has been acquired. Both Aristotle and Plato havedifferent views concerning diplomacy, and there are differentunderstandings concerning the significance of both. Aristotle isconservative towards the use of innovation in politics but recognizesthat changes in the law could be advantageous to a particularcountry. Both Aristotle and Plato have a significant role to play inpolitical philosophy and their contributions have helped shape moderndiplomatic views.


Aristotleand Plato demonstrate that political society should encouragediversity to create a platform for knowledgeable leaders and theprogressive adoption ideologies. They illustrate solid arguments tothe field of international relations and diplomacy, and the mainconcept brought about by these two philosophers concerns thenecessity of unity in the political aspect. The political theory ofAristotle is based on the recognition of justice as the proper modelfor justice. Another concept that recurs throughout the research isthe importance of the rule of law in all political systems. Universaljustice appears to be the main principle that occurs, and it isidealized as a necessity in international relations as well asdiplomacy (Ball 522). Equality is yet another important theme thatoccurs within this study and has clearly been defined as an importantaspect of international studies. These philosophers, therefore, offeruseful contributions in this field by recommending principles relatedequality, democracy as well as abidance by the constitution to ensurethat proper international procedures are followed.


Ball,Sidney. &quotThe Political Thought of Plato and Aristotle. E.Barker&quot. TheInternational Journal of Ethics17.4 (2014): 517-522. Print.

Cherry,Kevin M. &quotAristotle and the Eleatic Stranger on the Nature andPurpose of Political Life&quot. AmericanJournal of Political Science52.1 (2013): 1-15. Print.

Dietz,Mary G. &quotBetween Polis and Empire: Aristotle`s Politics&quot.AmPolit Sci Rev106.02 (2012): 275-293. Print.

Navone,John J. &quotThe Division of Parts in Society According To Plato andAristotle&quot. PhilosophicalStudies6.0 (2015): 113-122. Print.

Pangle,Thomas L. &quotJustice among Nations in Platonic and AristotelianPolitical Philosophy.&quot AmericanJournal of Political Science42.2 (2013): 377-97. Print.

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