Tuesday, May 17, 2016
Virtue requires us "at every step to think out for ourselves what the circumstances demand" (58). Is this too much to expect of a vast democratic citizenry?
I believe that the expectation that every citizen "at every step to think out for ourselves what the circumstances demand" is too much to expect. In my experience many people have no desire to think for themselves or are punished for doing so. In my own experience at work upper level management is insulted when you try to create new and improved ways of doing things. While my changes or methods may be better for business, they threaten the intelligence and position of my superiors. They intern try to promote employees that do whatever they say without question. Then again, not saying my ideas and pretending to be a drone would be in fact be another example of thinking for myself what the circumstances demand for my best interest.
Another example of where this would be very problematic would be in the military. If every soldier at every step to think what the circumstance demanded, they would all come to different conclusions of what to do best and would never act like a unit.
In conclusion it would seem that there is a time and place for both the Aristotelian and Platonic methods. Individual thought has its place as does people carrying out orders without question. The key is balance and knowing when one is required for each individual. A soldier could communicate ideas about battle theory/plans, but in the heat of battle it is in the best interest of the group to follow the orders of whoever is the most experienced.