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With Socrates came a revolution in all manners of thought As perhaps the most influential of philosophers and also one of the best known it is truly unfortunate he left the future so little of his theories Only through the writings of his students have we any idea of his philosophy In the writing of Plato much thought is given to the concept of Socrates opinion of Athenian democracy By examining Athenian democracy I will argue that Socrates makes a persuasive account of the limitations he sees in the Athenian system of government Fifth Century BC Athens was the worlds first democracy From being governed by kings it had gradually opened the franchise from a monarchy ruled by the king to rich landowners who made up the citizenry Every citizen was expected to govern and perform military service for his city However the term citizenship was only occupied by those who had wealth military training were born to citizens and were men of at least eighteen years of age According to the constitution eligibility for office depended on birth and wealth Aristotle pg 211 III Athens was characterized as a democracy because of the daily meetings held in the agora or the marketplace to discuss and vote on public issues Here each individual is interested not only in his own affairs but in the affairs of the state as well even those who are mostly occupied with their own business are extremely well informed on general politics - this is a peculiarity of ours we do not say that a man who takes no interest in politics is a man who minds his own business we say that he has no business here at all MacIvor 2000 pg 35 The assumption in the above passage is that because citizens are wealthy they were informed on the principles of the city and were capable of ruling it For
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