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Plato and The Arthasastra: Plato's Political Philosophy and Indian Political Thought

Sheryar Ookerjee (Author)

Plato and Kautilya were both anxious to preserve a stable and unified state, but while Kautilya sought to achieve it by making the king extremely powerful and not scrupling to use any means, fair or foul, Plato visualises a band of superlatively wise and moral philosopher-kings, specially trained in statecraft.

From these differences flow different conception of the lifestyles, qualities, duties and education of rulers.

Both thinkers refer to their rulers as shepherds of the people, but their conceptions of 'shepheerding' disagree.While the Kautilyan monarchs are well rewarded, enjoying aristocratic luxuries, and espected to always work with a smile, the philosopher-king have to live under austere conditions, performing their duties without any rewards, earthly or spiritual.

Plato and the Arthasastra discusses all these and related matters, like the nature of the state and justice, law-making, punishment and totalitarianism. It also incidentally brings out the difference between the Western and Indian concepts of political philosophy and styles of philosophising.

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About the author

Sheryar Ookerjee

From 1948 to 1985, Dr. Sheryar Ookerjee taught Western Philosophy at the Wilson College, Bombay and was the Head of the Department of Philosophy from 1957. A recognised post-graduate lecturer in philosophy of the University of Mumbai, he was the President of the Bombay Philosophical Society. Dr Ookerjee specialises in the philosophies of Plato and F H Bradley, and has lectured on the latter at Cardiff in 1973.


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Bibliographic information

Title Plato and The Arthasastra: Plato's Political Philosophy and Indian Political Thought
Format Hardcover
Date published: 31.12.2010
Edition 1st. ed.
Language: English
isbn 9788190594370
length 248p., 23cm.