How does Aristotle's view of politics differ from that of Plato's? Do you consider that they are wholly opposed?
Political philosophy for both Aristotle and Plato was of reasonable concern. One's character, virtues, vices, desire and especially education were relevant to determine a correct system of government. They both opposed relativism, scepticism as well as individualism in sophism (which was gaining popularity at that time) equally both Plato and Aristotle were opposed to democracies (to varying degrees) and more so for Aristotle; monarchies and aristocracies. However they both agreed governments and politics are both crucial fundamental characteristics of mankind. With Plato taking a more Oligarchical/Totalitarian approach by suppressing the individual and emphasizing what one is born with and their limiting capabilities deduced from that. Whereas Aristotle a much more progressive thinker, valuing the individual and protracting the promise of virtue and intelligence beyond what one starts out with, and more focusing on what one can become.
I will first discuss Plato's idea of ideal politics, then Aristotles concluding with a comparison.
For Plato politics must be based on the study of human nature. He wanted a well ordered society, based mainly upon reason and logic. It was the ideal city of Plato that consisted of the four virtues of wisdom, moderation, courage and justice. It needs wisdom to have a wise city, bravery from courage against rivalling cities, justice for control of the masses and instilling the differences between right and wrong, as well as moderation; in that each role throughout society is shared, that each understands their role or as he puts it: "harmony that results when everyone is actively engaged in fulfilling his role and does not meddle with that of others" (Plato 85)
Plato said that the soul is in three parts; desire, spirit and reason.