Director: Dr. Timothy Quinn; Readers: Dr. Amit Sen, Dr. E. Paul Colella; Course Director: Dr. Shannon Hogue
In this paper, I will attempt to weigh the benefits and failings of the ancient and modern political-economic systems, as described in their philosophical forms, in order to determine which can better provide for the goods of humanity. This project sets out to demonstrate that the πόλις designed by Aristotle in the Politics can better provide for both the material and nonmaterial goods of a political agglomeration than the one designed by John Locke in the Second Treatise of Civil Government. These goods consist of two things: the authenticity of human existence, providing for the non-material goods of individuals and communities, and the progress of modern science and technology, providing for material the increase of both the quality and quantity of human life. First and second, I will perform two distinct analyses of Aristotle’s Politics and John Locke’s Second Treatise of Civil Government in order to distill the essence of ancient and modern political philosophy from these works, respectively. These authors were chosen because of their gravitas on the topic of political philosophy: Aristotle as the father of the oldest extant work of direct political theory, and Locke as the political thinker whose revolutionary work largely shaped subsequent constitutions and political theories. Additionally, Locke is seen as the predecessor to Adam Smith, the father of modern economics, and is held responsible for providing Smith with the philosophical environment in which he could write his economic treatises. Third, I will conclude with three criteria why one political philosophy better provides for the comprehensive goods of a People than the other; these criteria are the interpreted accounts of: the nature of humanity versus the reasons for civil agglomeration, economics and property, and the final ends of civil agglomerations and their value.
Del Bene, Andrew John, "Aristotle & Locke: Ancients and Moderns on Economic Theory & the Best Regime" (2015). Honors Bachelor of Arts. 9.
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