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REPLY TO WOLFF, PLATO, SMITH, CHURCHILL AND ARISTOTLE ON DEMOCRACY

Abstract

Fraser Smith (THINK 16) 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 (and Popper'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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Think
  • ISSN: 1477-1756
  • EISSN: 1755-1196
  • URL: /core/journals/think
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