Acadia University Good governance and Democracy Discussion


Week 2, we will be taking an intellectual stroll with Plato (or rather Plato via his ‘mouthpiece’ Socrates) in order to pause and think carefully about how political relations and structures might best be organized. We will follow Plato in reflecting upon a number of components that he finds crucial to take into account when analyzing the strengths and limitations of different forms of political rule and governance – components like the division of labor in society, the structure of education, and wealth acquisition.

With these considerations in mind, Plato develops a series of connected arguments regarding the best and worst forms of political government – (spoiler: democracy doesn’t fare too well by Plato’s reckoning)!

Some things for us to consider…

Does education matter to good governance? If so, how? Why? If not so much, why not?

Are certain individuals better suited to governing well rather than others? If so, who? Why?

What are the potential strengths and potential limitations of democracy as a form of government? What does democracy have to recommend it? What problems might democracy present that other forms of government might not?