ARISTOTLE. Politics. Translated, with Introduction and Notes, by. C.D.C. Reeve. Hackett Publishing Company. Indianapolis / Cambridge. is founded on a natural impulse, that towards political association. . ordinarily one who possesses political power; who sits on juries .. Aristotle finds that these . Politics (PDF) Aristotle: Political Philosophy in Ancient Greek and Roman Philosophy The Politics of Philosophy: A Commentary on Aristotle's Politics.
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Politics. Aristotle. Translated by Benjamin Jowett. Batoche Books. Kitchener. good, the state or political community, which is the highest of all, and. ON ARISTOTLE'S POLITICS. BOOK I. 1. 1. &tr8$ s&as IrdhlV K.T.X.. The order of the first paragraph is disturbed by the repetition. The of the statement that every. On the Style and Language of the Politics. 4. On the Text of the Politics. 5. Aristotle as a Critic of Plato. 6. Aristotle'n Contributions to History. 7. Aristotle's Politics.
The next step is the determination of an adequate matter for the construction of the best community chaps. The criticism of the former is longer, because he considers that this dialogue is the foundation of the Platonic political theory, while the Laws are a kind of deviation, the second best state Leg. There are two features that Aristotle approves the common meals, which are better organized than in Sparta and the dispositions about birth control. In other words, Plato's state does not give a solution to the central question his thought wished to solve. Translated with a commentary by T. But it is also true that even from the perspective of the Platonic theory, the lower part of the soul should practice not only the negative virtue of moderation, but also the positive one of liberality. The differences do not need to be considered here, then they are evident for instance the estimation of the sea , more interesting is the fact that the books reveal the function of the criticism of the different models of best constitutions in the second book:
STARK , Aristotle wants only to show why these politeiai fail to achieve the goal they are supposed to achieve, namely the fulfillment of the happiness of the community and of every member of it.
This implies that the best constitution should respect the different levels of the organized multiplicity that a state is. The criticism provides the foundation for the beginning of the analysis of the basic concepts of the political science that the third book deals with. The definition of the polis as a multiplicity of citizens, which is organized in a politeia chap. Both questions are related to the different kinds of regimes ad the way in which the constitutions define the central political virtue of justice chaps.
The final theme of the book is crucial for the political science: This introduces the contrast between the rulers and the ruled, and within this frame the kingship and Plato's theory of the philosopher king chaps. The analysis of the different kinds of political systems defined as a task of the political science chap.
The hierarchical consideration of the different constitutions has the aim of determining the best possibility in each specific case chap. A broader classification of the different ways of organizing the society chap. The analysis of the right forms of this regimes chaps.
Lisi and of the tyranny close the first part chap. A general view of the different institution and the way in which they are organized ends the consideration of the different constitutional kinds chaps.
The overview of the real existing constitutional forms opens the way to the second part of the treatise and hints to one of its most powerful ideas: The fifth Book that somehow echoes the third Book of the Platonic Laws is mainly dedicated to the search of the causes of the constitutional changes. Constitutional diversity origins in different and erroneous agreements about justice and proportional equality V 1, a The following discords produce the civil wars.
The book presents first a typology of different kinds of constitutional changes chaps. Its second part analyzes the particular causes of changes in the different constitutions chaps. The methodos of the sixth Book is intended not only to continue the analysis of the different constitutional systems, but above all to give an account of the two basic political systems: The analysis of both constitutions democracy, chaps.
The Book finishes by pointing to the offices that are needed for granting the good functioning of a regime chap. Usually the two last books are considered to be the specific Aristotelian proposal of the best political order. In fact what we have treats only incompletely this issue. The seventh Book begins with an introduction about the best sort of human life chap. The next step is the determination of an adequate matter for the construction of the best community chaps. Chapter seven serves as mediation with the next subject: This supposes the division in classes and the arrangement of property chap.
The second part of the Book chaps. Its implies the action of three factors: To education is devoted the final book of the treatise. The political program that the final books expose is incomplete, as I have argued before, but the fragment we have goes through the same topics as Plato's Laws, and in the same order. The differences do not need to be considered here, then they are evident for instance the estimation of the sea , more interesting is the fact that the books reveal the function of the criticism of the different models of best constitutions in the second book: What the predecessors had reached was the solid basis for the advancement of science.
The work shows also a progressive development from the third book on: So as it stands, the Politics evidences coherence in the planning and the conception rather than contradiction or chance in its organization. The plan of the treatise corresponds in its major lines with the plan proposed at the end of Book one b The second one deals with actually existing constitutions. The initial words of the Book determine what is central in the Aristotelian approach: This passage not only introduces the second Book, but also the rest of the research and the following points are especially related to the rest of the treatise2: This stresses the theoretical character also of the Politics and aims at the seventh and eighth Books.
The research tends to determine the positive elements of those constitutions, in order to incorporate them in the new theoretical model. The results will be applied in the different books of the Politics and especially in the seventh and eighth Books. The particular aim of the second Book is clearly expressed, when he says that he wants to "avoid giving the impression that a search for something different from them is the result of a desire to be clever at all costs" sophizesthai, SAUNDERS , but that his research has its reason in the failure of the existing proposals.
The aim of the Book must be therefore to show the failures of the considered constitutions, in order to allow a clearer differentiation of the positive elements. The next passage determines the central point the criticism will take: LORD , 55 or association so T.
SAUNDERS , 22 , and this poses a central question for the Greek political theory, namely how the highest degree of unity in the polis can be achieved, in order to avoid civil strife and destruction of the state. In face of the historical experience it was natural to consider that one of the crucial problems was to clear the relations of property which should exist in a given society 4.
This will be the main perspective in Aristotle's consideration of the other constitutions. How far can the analysed constitution avoid civil strife, maintain the unity of the society and guarantee justice, i. He wishes also to find out, what elements of the studied constitutions are in contradiction with the expressed aims.
This issue is particularly important in the case of the existing constitutions and shows another interest of the Aristotelian Politics: The critical points are different in each case and, as we will see, they presuppose a good acquaintance with both works, the Republic and the Laws.
The criticism of the former is longer, because he considers that this dialogue is the foundation of the Platonic political theory, while the Laws are a kind of deviation, the second best state Leg. V a-e. But the reason is also that Aristotle's disagreement with the Republic work is stronger and in points that are more crucial than in the case of the Laws.
The politeia of the last two books of the Politics takes into account the physical conditions in which the state has to life, in a way which is very similar to what Plato had done for his Magnesia. As in the rest of his philosophy Aristotle has abandoned the unrealistic features of Plato's idealism and preserves what he considers the more realistic aspects of his philosophy. It is very meaningful that, as T. Aristotle presents an abstract of the main arguments at the very beginning of chapter 2 a Aristotle first topic is a rather logical criticism about the predication of unity to the state and a refusal of unity as supreme political criterium.
Plato applies to the communicty a concept of unity that corresponds rather to an individual without realizing the different kinds of entities they are.
The polis is by nature a multiplicity to which the unity should be predicated in a different way than the corresponding to a house or an individual. The terms Aristotle applies remind the Academic methodology. Then they presuppose the ontological hierarchy of the Platonic ontology. Lisi general class over the individual makes the unity the city must have superior and at the same time more general and different from the atomo eide it contains. So the supposed good for the state becomes its contrary, then it destroys its object instead of preserving it.
The good of the state is more self-sufficiency than unity in a radical sense b; cf. V b When Plato makes the unity the supreme criterium of its political theory, he makes another mistake, because the unity of the plurality called state is based on the hierarchical order of his different elements. The preservation of the state is based on reciprocal justice and this implies one important rule: The natural equality among the members of the polis excludes the permanent rule of the same people.
It is hard to see what is the point of this criticism on the side of Aristotle. As several scholars have pointed out, this criticism cannot be applied to the Republic cf. A possible answer to this problem could perhaps be found in the definition of citizen, Plato is using there. For Aristotle a good constitution can exists only among people who have equivalent natures and are able to partake in the different offices.
The unity of the city means that it requires a hierarchical order where only the best are citizens in the full sense and partake in the essential functions for the community, the main of whom is the government. This kind of hierarchical unity is apparently one of the characteristics of the Platonic Callipolis. But by making all its inhabitants citizens of it, Aristotle supposes, Plato contradicts the principles his has adopted. In fact, in Aristotle's 'ideal state', all citizens are andres agathoi in the full sense.
The most important consequence of this argument should be also a refutation of the link Plato establishes between community and unity, individuality and difference. In other words, Plato believes that individualism destroys the unity of the city and the city as such.
For Aristotle the unity of the city requires precisely a certain amount of individualism. Plato's conception of unity of the state leads directly to a loss of autarchy and to the destruction of the community. If this interpretation is right, the criticism of the second chapter tries to demonstrate that Plato's Callipolis a contradicts the principles of the Platonic ontology 5 This explanation could help to understand the passage of Politics I 2 a , where Aristotle applies the analogy of city and man as Plato does.
In his criticism Aristotle makes evident that he has left the common horizon of the Platonic ontological foundation of politics. Further the criticism implies that Plato' s best state is not a natural state as he pretends. As the criticism of Plato's communism will show, by annulling so far as possible the difference between individual and society Plato identifies three different levels man, family and state , and makes the existence of a well-ordered society quite impossible.
The second line of criticism attacks the idea of communism, i. The promotion of the common good implies for Plato the annihilation of individuality as far as possible. In private property Plato saw the most important foundation of social individualism. Aristotle divides his censure of Plato's communism into two issues: In the first case, the basis of Aristotle's criticism remains the main criterium of Plato's politics.
His argument can be better understood, I think, if we realize that the main allegation is that Plato confuses the unity of the family with the unity of the city. The two chapters concentrate in different issues. In fact Plato's proposal in the Republic tries to make at least the class of the guardians an unique family where the multiplicity of patres familias will act as a personal unity because of the kind of unity of feelings and thought their education has produced.
The unity discussed in the former chapter is also the foundation of this disposition in Plato's state and is not meant metaphorically nor is it an accidental feature of it. The confusion between the unity of the city and the unity of the family has for Aristotle to crucial consequences for the development of the individual in the fields of his responsabilities and of his feelings. In the first case, the communism of children and women hinders the development and excercise of care to the relatives chapter 3.
In the second one, the adequate feelings to his relative do not exists nor any sense of real friendship chapter 4. In these conditions the practice of virtue and the achievement of happiness is impossible. In chapter 3 Aristotle's discussion of the ambiguity of the word "all" in the expression "if all say "mine" and "not mine" at the same time" Pol.
Lisi cannot be generalized to the whole universum comprised by the state or by a class in it. The kernel of the argument in this chapter is teleological.
It is the supposition that family as part of the city is the natural way of organization of human beings. Communism is unnatural and worse for the state, because it goes against the natural tendency that makes people care more for their own property than for what is common.
Secondly, ,it is also imposible because this law cannot prevent people from assuming who are their own relatives. In this case human nature will again break such an order and rebuild the structure of the family as indeed happens in the eighth Book of the Republic. The results obtained in the former chapter serve as basis for the reasons adduced in chapter 4. The "watering" of the family and its bonds results in two kinds of disadvantages. There will be numerous crimes against the natural relatives that can neither be avoided nor repaired.
On the other side the development of positive feelings towards the nearest relatives will be not strong enough. This will produce the loss of friendship, "the greatest good for the states" b The additional argument of the transfer of children abounds in this point.
Again the fundamental mistake in Plato's schema is the confusion of the different levels of analysis, in this specific case the assimilation of the state to a family.
The analysis of the communism of property chap. A life, which does not provide the good of virtue, is an utterly unbearable life. Private property is necessary for at least two fundamental virtues: Contrary to Plato's intention the common property will be the origin of more depravation and faults than the present situation b The chapter ends with a series of arguments against Plato's proposal, the most important being the inadequacy of the political system for a state where the different classes are all citizens.
This will divide the city in two contrary factions and originate dissense and revolt, then Socrates explicitly denies the alternance in power. Finally, the central criticism is repeated: The lacking of happiness in a part of the city invalidates the happiness of the whole.
Aristotle's criticism advances on three levels. He points to central aspects of the metaphysical conception of Plato, who transposes the category of unity to the political field without noting that different kinds of unity are necessary to keep the natural order.
Secondly, he stresses practical disadvantages that are related to Plato's basic mistake.
This prevents the practise of virtue and the happiness of the city. In other words, Plato's state does not give a solution to the central question his thought wished to solve. Thirdly, Aristotle considers that the present structure of the polis is the result of a natural evolution and this development should already have imposed Plato's measures, if they were good enough a The political measures should try to improve the present situation, but there is no need of a completely new reorganisation of society.
Reform is needed, not revolution cf. ROWE , It is not the most fuvsei state, but para; fuvsin. He considers that the main difference between the two works lies in the question of property: MORROW , has pointed out, Aristotle has done more than to read the text, then he thought out the its implications in more than one point. It is true that the most part of the Laws are concerned with particular laws and that only the first half of the sixth Book considers what the Greeks called the politeia, i.
Plato, as Aristotle points out, saw one of the main differences between both constitution in the question of the common property of wives, children and other goods for Plato, cf. And the Stagirite is surely right when he points to the fact that in both constitution the citizens will be free from menial tasks.
That could be extended to the whole Politics. Lisi Even in the case of the separate common meals of women Aristotle seems also to render the Platonic point G. On the other hand, Aristotle seems not to realize that in the Laws Plato makes a clear difference in the education of women and men, what was not the case in the Republic.
He also distinguishes between a more general and 'popular' education and a philosophical one, which is reserved only for the members of the nocturnal council.
Morgenthau on Aristotle's the Politics.
Morgenthau - - Praeger Publishers. The Politics of Philosophy: A Commentary on Aristotle's Politics. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Edward N. Aaron Sloman - manuscript. Aaron Sloman - unknown. Plato, Aristotle, and the Purpose of Politics. Kevin M. Cherry - - Cambridge University Press. Philosophy of Right PDF. Hegel - unknown. Added to PP index Total views 12, of 2,, Recent downloads 6 months 2, of 2,, How can I increase my downloads? Monthly downloads. Sign in to use this feature.
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Applied ethics. History of Western Philosophy.