Reply to Wolff, Plato, Smith, Churchill and Aristotle on democracy

Think 8 (22):93-99 (2009)


Fraser Smith argues that Plato's argument against democracy as reconstructed by Jonathon Wolff is flawed because in a ‘modern’ democracy the people do not rule, but instead elect officials subject to a system of checks and balances. Smith's conception of democracy is much like Churchill's . I will argue that Smith's reply does not address Wolff and Plato's argument. I will then point out that Aristotle replied to Plato's argument in an appealing – and strikingly modern – fashion. Aristotle, I conclude, did justify to at least some degree democracy, and hence did address Plato's argument

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Timothy Childers
Czech Academy of Sciences

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