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Major thinkers in welfareContemporary issues in historical perspective$
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Vic George

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9781847427069

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847427069.001.0001

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Classical Athens

Classical Athens

Plato (427–347 BC); Aristotle (384–322 BC)

(p.1) One Classical Athens
Major thinkers in welfare

Vic George

Policy Press

This chapter talks about two contrasting approaches to human welfare. The first is the proposals of Plato for a communitarian society, which is evident in his books The Laws and The Republic. The second is the ideas of Aristotle for an enlightened and modestly interfering state, which are stated in his books Ethics and The Politics. It is emphasized that the ideas of Plato and Aristotle on human welfare refer to small city-states, and not to large nation states. The chapter also assesses their views with a degree of historical empathy.

Keywords:   communitarian society, enlightened state, Plato, Aristotle, human welfare

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