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Theoria and Polis share
ideas that are equally common as they are different.  James Ferguson writes a background briefing
about what a Polis consists of and provides knowledge about its history,
culture, and politics. Ferguson describes a Polis,
as a political community of equal citizens who are politically informed. It is
a Greek city state that is centrally organized and allows citizens the freedom
to carry out social life publicly. It is a shared culture of individualism, diversity,
and personal choice. A polis unites the political, artistic, and religious facets
of a city state. A polis relies on the citizens themselves rather than a
special caste and occurs in various constitutional forms whether based on monarchy
or traditional land holding aristocracies. Theoria, as defined by Andrea Wilson
in the Spectacles of Truth, means
responding among other things to pragmatist attacks on the theoretical
enterprise. Furthermore, Wilson goes on to describe Theoretical Philosophy as a
discipline characterized by an ongoing dialogue with voices both inside and
outside the academy.

            Theoria and Polis are different in that theory is an
active system that occurs within the self but is not always politically active.
Political activity and participation is a praxis that is often seen in a Polis.
Thus, a Polis requires its citizens to participate in politics and is not self
sufficient. Theoria does not require another to participate rather its fluid
and concerns the individual theorist personally and takes into account how good
the person is within. The success of a Polis relies on how actively the
citizens participate and engage within a city state which then leads to harmony
and prosperity for the people. Theorists are more likely to be happy men
because they can think for themselves, where citizens of a polis need each
other to function. Andrea Wilson writes: “Theoria is nonproductive,
leisured, and fully free directly reflects the aristocratic ideology of
classical Greece.” Wilson goes onto further explain how many thinkers
believe that theoria is even mundane and depleting of any physical labor. Aristotle
claims that theorists engage in activity that is noble, impractical, and
disinterested but not seeking personal profit. The idea that theorist engage in
arguments that are “boring” are an immense contrast from believers
who feel that a Polis is a better way to engage in conversation. In a sense,
theoria is anti-democratic while a polis centers on a traditional democratic
society.

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            Theoria and Polis are somewhat similar in the view that
both take part in some form of leisurely activity, and participation of the
self. Aristotle linked politics and moral praxis within the political field. Aristotle
makes this contrast when looking at the life a theorist which has little to no
involvement in politics or citizenship. He makes the argument that the life of
a theorist is significantly detached and reclusive. Theorists finds
“freedom” to be revolving around leisure time and free from political
constraints. A polis, though political, also believe in such leisure time, and
appreciation of the arts. Poeple from a polis would identify “action”
as part of what makes life good. Plato would argue that theoria is a
combination of contemplation and action while Aristotle would argue for theoria
as being the best and producing more happiness. Though a polis is more
politically centered, whereas theoria is not, both show how leisurely thinking
and time spent is required to live in happiness and harmony. A theorist finds
happiness and success in using his time learning and educating through wisdom
while in a polis, the people find happiness through active community
participation in the arts. The basis of each provides that people are happiest
when they have the freedom to spend their leisure time doing what gives them
more meaning personally.

            Theoria and Polis can be very useful in understanding
contemporary politics because theory is, in practice, a view or perspective on
an argument while a Polis is a model of democracy. Theoria also centers on the ideas
of self-sufficiency and anti-democratic ideas, while a Polis is the central
example of a democracy with active citizenship. A polis is much like the
communities seen in present day. In a Polis, the citizens are required to
actively participate in politics and this is seen today as citizens have
political duties. For example; citizens must serve on juries and males at the
age of 18 much enlist in the army due to present day government regulations. I
believe Political Science teaches us how to run, manage, and sort through
issues involving a community (polis), as the goal is the yield successful
results for a better society. Theoria, in my opinion, is a way of thinking, or
a relationship between a man and his beliefs, thus a man’s beliefs are what we
see in fruition in an active society (polis). After all experience is what
teaches us not simply knowing the principles. Humans develop knowledge through experience
and participation, I believe the political theorists we see today are the
former political scientists who have been able to witness politics and
contemplate on such political behaviors. Though theoria is very different from
a polis, theoria is necessary to understand the behaviors of a polis. Today we
need Political Scientists to help the government understand citizen behavior
through politics, culture, and history. Theoria further promotes the wisdom to
understand current day theories and topics on liberalism, constructivism, Marxism,
communism, and socialism. 

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