‘Cleaning the City’: Plato and Popper on Political Change

Polis 29 (2):259-285 (2012)
  Copy   BIBTEX


This paper examines an issue that seems particularly overlooked in the debate on Plato and Popper, namely that of political change. The aim of the paper is to challenge the largely unchallenged assumption that modern liberal democracy can play the role of the general standard, upon which basis we can judge the thinkers of the past. Indeed, in the Open Society liberal democracy sets the boundaries of what is considered as a 'rational' political change, thus revealing that Popper holds a form of teleological conception of historical development. The paper argues for a different interpretation of Plato's approach to the question of political change, against Popper's claim that the final aim of the utopian city of the Republic is the elimination of change. The conclusion is that Plato's utopian construction provides us with better tools than Popper's framework for thinking of change in politics



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 86,403

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Popper's Plato: An assessment.George Klosko - 1996 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 26 (4):509-527.
Indeterminismo y democracia en K. R. Popper.Manuel Pavón Rodríguez - 1997 - Anuario Filosófico 30 (57):189-236.
Popper, political philosophy, and social democracy: Reply to Eidlin.Jeremy Shearmur - 2006 - Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 18 (4):361-376.
Reading the republic: Is utopianism redundant?Costas Stratilatis - 2008 - History of Political Thought 29 (4):565-584.
The Politics of Virtue in Plato's "Laws".John Melvin Armstrong - 1998 - Dissertation, The University of Arizona
Rationalism and tradition: The Popper–Oakeshott conversation.Struan Jacobs & Ian Tregenza - 2014 - European Journal of Political Theory 13 (1):3-24.


Added to PP

1 (#1,713,706)

6 months
1 (#867,495)

Historical graph of downloads

Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Cinzia Arruzza
New School for Social Research

Citations of this work

The Limits of the City: Leo Strauss’s Hermeneutics and Plato’s Republic.Cristina Basili - 2020 - Comparative and Continental Philosophy 12 (3):197-210.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references