2 - Comprehensive (2) The view that political theorists...

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Comprehensive (2) The view that political theorists have about the most important goal in life has a profound effect on their views about (a) the role of the state, and (b) which type of state is best. Provide a discussion on the relationship between these views in the following thinkers: Thucydides : (a) Role of the state is to protect its citizens but he was opposed to war. Thucydides says that war=suffering and economic hardships. (b) Best form of government is one in which people participate and have rights. He is ambivalent about democracy, but he tends to think that democracies are creative, energetic, and everyone is able to participate. There are also economic, cultural, and military aspects to democracy that Thucydides likes, but the downside to democracy is that they tend to be unstable. Thucydides was opposed to democratic mob rule, so it is difficult to say which form of government that Thucydides thought was best. Plato: believes that the most important goal in life is to be able to pursue truth and justice through philosophical contemplation. For Plato, this is the only good thing to do in life. This affects his view on the state: (a) Plato believes that the role of the state is to promote justice and philosophical truth. The state should strive to be in the “correct order” so all 3 classes should serve their proper functions. The people with the strongest reason will be the guardian class, the strong spirited will serve as a soldier class, and the appetitive people will serve as craftsmen. (b) Plato believes that the best type of state is one in which there is a ruling class of guardians. Guardians will have absolute power, and this ruling class will have extensive training and
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This note was uploaded on 04/18/2008 for the course PSCI 495 taught by Professor Lester during the Fall '08 term at Mary Washington.

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2 - Comprehensive (2) The view that political theorists...

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