Rawls’s defence of the ideal of democracy against criticisms from Plato and Aristotle
Hunt, Ian Edgell
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Arguments from Aristotle and Plato for rule by the best are examined. Rawls’s replies to their objections to democracy that it can be a tyranny of the majority or rule by the ignorant are argued to be effective. In the course of this reply, Rawls argues for a political ideal that would involve ideally equal political representation of every citizen, which both Plato and Aristotle would consider ruinous for society, though for different reasons. It is shown that this ideal is far from met in contemporary democratic societies.