Federico Zuolo

Realizability and efficacy in ancient political thought

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In this paper I analyze the issue of how ancient Greek political theory conceived of the realization of the normative ideal. I define what I mean by realizability through three main dimensions: realization of what, by whom, and how. First, I deal with the problem of realization in Plato's "Republic" where the problem of implementing a model was for the first time accounted for and the first dimension of realization is fully sketched. Next, I deal with the "Statesman" where Plato faces the problem of providing a theoretical picture of the agent supposed to implement the ideal (second dimension). In the "Laws", besides introducing a number of normative revisions, Plato fully addresses the issue of how (third dimension) the ideal can be put in practice. I conclude the paper by providing some considerations regarding why Aristotle did not properly outlined a theory of realizability as I understand it here.


  • Aristotle
  • Effectiveness
  • Feasibility
  • Plato
  • Realization of an Ideal


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