Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Political Science and University Honors
Democracy -- Philosophy -- History, Democracy -- United States -- 21st century, Plato -- Criticism and interpretation, Aristotle -- Criticism and interpretation, Thucydides -- Criticism and interpretation
This paper will be looking at the classical political theories of Plato, Aristotle and Thucydides on democracy to prove they are still relevant and applicable, as well as looking into the problem of democratic corruption. This paper will be split into three sections. The first section will explore these philosophers' theories on different types of constitutions and explore what forms the basis for their theories upon democracy. The second section will develop an applicable "classical political theory on democracy," distilled from these authors' arguments. The final section will be applying classical political theory to contemporary American trends to show how significant these theories are even today. This paper will be proving that, through the eyes of classical political theory, the main problem with democracy is that it has no safeguards against the destructive side of human nature. Because democracy's inherent nature to reflect the will and desires of its citizenry, it ends up being as corruptible as people are. In conclusion, the solutions to problems of democracy have been known all along, but require a level of civic engagement that most citizens are unwilling to give.
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Brainerd, Rebekkah, "Classical Political Philosophy and Modern Democracy" (2013). University Honors Theses. Paper 22.