Fraser Smith (THINK 16) argues that Plato's argument against democracy as reconstructed by Jonathon Wolff is flawed because in a ‘modern’ democracy the people do not rule, but instead elect officials subject to a system of checks and balances. Smith's conception of democracy is much like Churchill's (and Popper's). I will argue that Smith's reply does not address Wolff and Plato's argument. I will then point out that Aristotle replied to Plato's argument in an appealing – and strikingly modern – fashion. Aristotle, I conclude, did justify to at least some degree democracy, and hence did address Plato's argument.
Timothy Childers is a member of the Department of Logic, Institute of Logic, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague.