Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Christopher Nadon

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© 2016 Leili F Azarbarzin


This paper is an analysis of Aristotle’s Politics in its critique of Plato’s Republic in reference to the topics of the ideal state and the role of the family. I focused on books I-III in Aristotle’s Politics to gain a deep understanding on Aristotle’s conception of the state and it’s goals in relation to its citizens as well as his critique on Plato’s ideal state. I also read book V and parts of book III of Plato’s Republic to gain a strong understanding of Plato’s requirements of the ideal state. In exploring the ideal states put forth by Plato and Aristotle, it became clear that the two sources of friction are in the state and the family. The first chapter of this paper discusses the general themes of Aristotle’s Politics such as how the state came to exist and the relationship between the good man and the good citizen. The second chapter offers insight to book V of Plato’s Republic but its majority is a focus on the critique of Plato’s proposed guardian or ruling class. The third and final chapter is an examination of how seriously one should take both Plato and Aristotle in their implications for the state and a tongue-in-cheek analysis of Aristotle’s critique of Plato in relation to the role of philosophy. This paper is concluded by considering the true implications of these philosophers on the role of reason and politics; more specifically considering how much of a role reason can have in promoting the state or the family. In understanding the guidelines of these two ideal states, one is better prepared in discussing the role of the family in modern government and to what extent both the family and the state can thrive together.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.