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DOI

10.14221/ajte.1989v14n2.3

Abstract

Interest in political socialisation and education, and the agencies through which it occurs, can be traced back to the beginnings of political theory. Much of Plato's Republic was devoted to the proper training patterns of various 'classes' in his ideal state. He reasoned that if political socialisation or civic training was defective a political system would inevitably degenerate through timocracy, oligarchy, and democracy to tyranny (Phillips and Rielly, 1982, 24). Aristotle, as Plato's outstanding student, took it for granted that the legislator should make the political education of the young a major goal. To ensure the stability of the Constitution, which to Aristotle meant not only the framework of government but a way of life, citizens had to be educated to what he called eudaimonia. The translation of happiness is slightly misleading. Well-being and similar words are often more accurate. The aim of ethics and also politics was to show people how to achieve eudaimonia. To live such a life people needed to be active, spirited, believe in what they are doing, have due self-esteem and proper respect for themselves and others (Stocker and Langtry, 1986, 26).

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Link to publisher version (DOI)

10.14221/ajte.1989v14n2.3