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Liberal Education in Plato's Republic and Aristotle's Politics

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the educational systems that Plato and Aristotle designed for the "good" cities discussed in the Republic and Politics. In these texts, Plato and Aristotle set forth a paideia that is designed for a specific polueio: an educational system that will train "liberal" and "free" individuals who can serve as a virtuous governing body. Both philosophers are setting forth an ideal rather than describing existing educational programmes or even the education that each offered in his own school. The chapter addresses the following questions: How do these educational programmes differ from traditional Greek pedagogy? What kinds of freedom does the "liberal" education aim to produce, and how does this freedom enable the students to become good citizens and rulers? What are the ideological underpinnings of the liberal education as these philosophers conceive it?

Keywords: Aristotle's Politics; educational system; liberal education; Plato's Republic; traditional Greek pedagogy



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