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The Politics (Penguin Classics) by Aristotle

The Politics (Penguin Classics) (edition 1981)

by Aristotle

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Title:The Politics (Penguin Classics)
Info:Penguin Classics (1981), Edition: Rev Rep, Paperback
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Tags:philosophy, primary source, greek, politics, society

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Politics by Aristotle


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Private property. Private property protection. And Plato. That commie Plato.

Decades ago, I was invited to some free private lectures given by a Mr. M_____ (hereafter M.) These evening lectures were given in M.’s living room, the guests all young. To this day I think it remarkable that he gave these talks and could interest young people in listening.

M.’s lectures were inspired by the teaching of a mysterious (to me) figure named “Galambos.” The few lectures I heard ranged widely: Aristotle, Plato, Occam’s razor, John Stuart Mill, Mill’s wife, the original meaning of “liberalism,” patents, woman’s role, Jews, cigarette smoking, surfing, even credit card use for identification instead of state-issued IDs. Most important was Galambos’s vision of three categories of Private Property—primordial (one’s life); primary (one’s thoughts); and secondary (one’s money and material possessions). Private Property provided for Galambos the sole avenue to fulfilling the ethical injunction against coercion of any “volitional being.”

Galambos, you can surmise, was not a communist.

Plato, M. asserted, was a communist, definitely an accusation in those days. Having read The Republic, I understood that this opinion is an easy one to form because Plato seems well disposed toward such an ideology. I also thought it a false conclusion. Marx’s communism made abolition of private property a pre-requisite. Plato, in an effort to sever political power from the motive of personal economic advantage, denied private property to the rulers of his ideal state, and he goes on and on about that, but the vital point is he denied private property only to the rulers, not to the private citizens.

Aristotle was for M. a philosophical forebear of private property rights. I wonder, now, if M.’s view of Plato was influenced by the Politics, which criticizes Plato for his views on private property—his alleged communism—but not always accurately. Aristotle had been a student and then a colleague of Plato’s for years. He admired his character. Even so, he may just have had as much as he could tolerate of Plato’s sympathies on certain points. One imagines arguments in which the debate becomes less and less reasoned, more and more emotional. Easy for anyone to misrepresent matters when that happens. Aristotle did.

In the Politics, however, one discovers Aristotle’s own views are not wholly in accord with what private property advocates seek. For example, Galambos’s concept of primordial property (one’s life) is abrogated by Aristotle’s defense of slavery and by his disquieting justification of offensive war: “hunting ought to be practiced—not only against animals, but also against human beings who are intended by nature to be ruled by others and refuse to obey that intention—because war of this order is naturally just.” Nor are other forms of property immune. The Politics describes situations in which, it is asserted, common use of property provides a superior benefit. For democracies, he recommends an element of welfare, writing “the proper policy is to accumulate any surplus revenue in a fund, and then distribute this fund in block grants to the poor” and insists “This is in the interest of all classes, including the prosperous themselves.”

Not least, Aristotle was an opponent of great wealth and the making of money from purely financial transaction. He claimed that “there has been a vulgar decline into the cultivation of qualities supposed to be useful and of a more profitable character” and issued warnings against having a constitution congenial to an oligarchical or even aristocratic bias because such constitutions lead the favored to become even more grasping and covetous, adding that “The weaker are always anxious for equality and justice. The strong pay no heed to either.”

As for slavery, an apologist may wish to excuse Aristotle’s defense of it by attributing his views to the times he lived in. This excuse won’t do. Aristotle admits it: “There are some…who regard the control of slaves by a master as contrary to nature. In their view the distinction of master and slave is due to law or convention; there is no natural difference between them: the relation of master and slave is based on force, and being so based has no warrant in justice.”

But Aristotle owned slaves, so . . .

Aside from self-benefit, why did he believe in slavery? The soul, man, the soul.

Aristotle’s notion was that “The soul has naturally two elements, a ruling and a ruled; and each has its different goodness, one belonging to the rational and ruling element, and the other to the irrational and ruled. What is true of the soul is evidently true of other cases; and we may thus conclude that it is a general law that there should be naturally ruling elements and elements naturally ruled.”

To which element do you guess Aristotle assigned slaves?

In his will, Aristotle left instructions to emancipate some of his slaves. This can be represented as generosity and humane behavior. But one who is impertinent might ask whether Aristotle, in contemplating his own passing, perhaps discovered doubts that any in his family were rational enough to “naturally” rule all those whom Aristotle had ruled. That’s unfair to propose and likely nonsensical. Even so, it raises questions. How decide that an individual possesses a naturally ruling soul? Or a naturally ruled soul? And over whom is a ruler eligible to exercise his natural endowment? Aristotle’s answer is that superiority in goodness makes a master. I think a standard more liable to contention would be hard to invent and it is no surprise that he must concede, “not all those who are actually slaves…are natural slaves.” In the Politics, no practical standards exist by which to decide these questions except those of military power and social/economic status. How convenient.

So, yes, if you read the Politics you will discover Aristotle expressing some sentiment or other that’s disagreeable or even outrageous to most any modern citizen of a “free” country no matter where those citizens settle themselves in a political spectrum. Some of Aristotle’s opinions fit easily with general sympathies common today. He was a champion of the middle class and of state-supported public education rather than education as a private enterprise, and his concerns with air and water quality are those of an environmentalist. Second Amendment defenders will feel their convictions bolstered by his statement that tyranny’s distrust of the masses leads to a policy depriving them of arms. Others of his opinions may provoke you so much that you’ll want to slam the book shut. That incitement to book slamming might also be one thing that could keep you reading despite Aristotle’s less than dynamic argumentative style—what will he say next?

It need be noted that Aristotle was not a man rabidly inclined to avoid factual blunders by reliance on observation, despite his considerable devotion to reporting observations (the Politics opens with “Observation shows us…”). Some examples from his other writings:
On Animals. (In The History of Animals)
Aristotle argues that stinging bees must be male, since nature would not provide weaponry to females of any species [from James T. Costa’s notes to Darwin’s On the Origin of Species]. Quite an argument. Directly contradicting Aristotle is the fact that not only can female bees sting, only the females can. 100% off the mark!
On Motion. (From principles expressed in On the Heavens)
Imagine dropping two stones simultaneously from the top of a 10-meter-high tower. One stone is heavy, 20 kilograms say, and the other is ten times lighter at just 2 kg. Aristotle held that when the 20-kg stone impacts mother earth, the 2-kg stone still will be up there in the air, 9 meters above ground—an error of fully 9 meters. 90% off the mark!

Why, he even thought that females have blacker blood and fewer teeth than males, or so reports Bertrand Russell in his essay on “intellectual rubbish.” Aristotle’s faith in his own reasoning apparently made all these false conclusions so obvious that the mildly strenuous endeavor of watching what happens when stones fall out of his own hands, or bees sting, or wounds in women bleed, or teeth are displayed, becomes a superfluity of verification only a slave to doubt would undertake.

I think I’ll listen to that doubting slave if someone is dropping stones from a tower I’m standing beside. Unless I happen to be the slave’s owner (his motivations about my safety might change). Or unless my name is Aristotle.

While mindful of the insights to be found in Aristotle’s Politics, in conclusion I say: Approach skeptically and with critical vigor. ( )
  dypaloh | Apr 6, 2018 |
As Plato’s writings have been a cornerstone of Western thought, so have those of his pupil Aristotle through his own lectures and treatise sometimes agreed and disagreed with his teacher while shaping the views of millions over the millennia. Politics is one of the most important political treatise that has impacted society as it is studied alongside Plato’s own Republic not because they agree, but how they agree through different methods and disagree in conclusions.

Unlike the approach of Plato, Aristotle focused on the examples that the Greek political world knew of to determine the best approach for government of a polis. Classifying the types of government into six forms, three “ideal” and three “perverted”, Aristotle described them as showing their pros and cons in an effort to establish the “best”. Then his analysis turned to various functions of government from laws, offices, and how to pass or fill either. Yet, underlying everything is Aristotle’s insistence that human nature determines everything concerned with governance.

Politics, while thought-provoking and significant in its analysis and conclusions, is unfortunately not without its flaws. The biggest is Aristotle’s argument of natural rulers and natural slaves that is so opposite to the way many think today. The next biggest is that fact that the overall work seems like it is not coherently organized or even complete as many aspects that Aristotle says he will cover never appear and he writes about the bringing about his conclusive best government before actually proving what it is, though given his argument that the best government for a polis depends on how its population is constructed.

Aristotle’s Politics is at the same both thought-provoking and maddening especially given the soundness of his analysis and the disorganized state of the overall treatise. Yet it is one of the most important treatises of political thought of the Western world and is significant in political and historical terms as it has been influential for millennia. ( )
  mattries37315 | Feb 25, 2018 |
There are so many consequential ideas in this book that it's amazing it's not required reading in Western classrooms anymore. The Benjamin Jowett translation is easily accessible in many formats. Perhaps just as it was "lost" to the Middle Ages until "rediscovered" and translated into Latin in the 12th century it is lost to today.

Prerequisites for reading this book are Plato's Republic and The Laws, of which I read the former. The Republic is the more important as Aristotle spends much time critiquing Socrates' ideal state and the deficiencies of its description and order. There are parallel themes but the many variations of the basic forms of government are explained more clearly by Aristotle, who is not designing so much the "ideal state" as Socrates was. I will read Augustine's City of God later this year, as both works were influential in affecting future thinking about governments by Aquinas and others which, in turn, affected Thomas Jefferson and the Founders.

I was surprised how much economics was in this book, circa 350 B.C.. At points, it reads quite a bit like Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations. It is hard to believe such a gap in years exists between the two works, actually. I'm also surprised by how little of Aristotle's work is mentioned in traditional books on the history of economic thought. Take, for example, Book II's exploration of the importance of property rights. Part V:
"should the citizens of the perfect state have their possessions in common or not?...Property should be in a certain sense common, but, as a general rule, private; for, when everyone has a distinct interest, men will not complain of one another, and they will make more progress, because every one will be attending to his own business. And yet by reason of goodness, and in respect of use, 'Friends,' as the proverb says, 'will have all things common.'.. It is clearly better that property should be
private, but the use of it common; and the special business of the legislator is to create in men this benevolent disposition."

Aristotle responds to those who would argue for common ownership directed by the State:

"there is the greatest pleasure in doing a kindness or service to friends or guests or companions, which can only be rendered when a man has private property. These advantages are lost by excessive unification of the state...Such legislation may have a specious appearance of benevolence; men readily listen to it, and are easily induced to believe that in some wonderful manner everybody will become everybody's friend, especially when some one is heard denouncing the evils now existing in states, suits about contracts, convictions for perjury, flatteries of rich men and the like, which are said to arise out of the possession of private property. These evils, however, are due to a very different cause- the wickedness of human nature. Indeed, we see that there is much more quarrelling among those who have all things in common, though there are not many of them when compared with the vast numbers who have private property."

Aristotle understood that greed and avarice were inherent in human nature. People were more likely to act in mutual benefit when property is held privately-- Adam Smith's butcher seems to pick up on this theme. Another benefit, according to Aristotle, was greater "temperance toward women" than when they were held in common as prescribed by Socrates in The Republic.

Conservatives everywhere find agreement with Aristotle in arguing from the wisdom of historical precedent when confronted with ideas that challenge the existing order:
"Let us remember that we should not disregard the experience of ages; in the multitude of years these things, if they were good, would certainly not have been unknown; for almost everything has been found out, although sometimes they are not put together; in other cases men do not use the knowledge which they have."

In the above I hear echoes of Solomon's "there is nothing new under the sun," and the modern axiom that those who don't remember their history are condemned to repeat it.

One major critique of Socrates' The Republic is that Socrates established law for the Guardians but does not say what he would do for the lower classes. Aristotle argues that if same laws apply, the people would not have any desire to submit to the government. If all property were held in common there would be no motivation to work the fields. This recognition of property rights creating incentives is an important cornerstone of microeconomics and is too often forgotten by modern policymakers.

Socrates' Guardians were destined to rule for life, but Aristotle states this is dangerous. He also points out that if the government is going to fix the amount of property, it should also fix the number of children, and then you start getting into a critique of central planning that borders on Hayekian. He also asks what should be done with slaves and cites the Cretans as having a "wise" policy of allowing them to have the same institutions as freemen but forbidding physical training or armaments among them. There is a wealth of information about the make-up of institutions in various Greek city-states.

Book III, Part XI:
Socrates examines autocracy, oligarchy, aristocracy, and democracy, and describes both theoretical and historical variations on all types. In examining arguments for the various forms, I noted that Aristotle often cites the wisdom of crowds that sounds very Hayekian or at least from the 20th century:

"The principle that the multitude ought to be supreme rather than the few best is one that is maintained, and, though not free from difficulty, yet seems to contain an element of truth. For the many, of whom each individual is but an ordinary person, when they meet together may very likely be better than the few good, if regarded not individually but collectively, just as a feast to which many contribute is better than a dinner provided out of a single purse. For each individual among the many has a share of virtue and prudence, and when they meet together, they become in a manner one man, who has many feet, and hands, and senses; that is a figure of their mind and disposition. Hence the many are better judges than a single man of music and poetry; for some understand one part, and some another, and among them they understand the whole."

There are also explanations for how governments evolve from one form to another. I found these similar to Socrates' explanations of the same. For example, Book V Part IV:
"Governments also change into oligarchy or into democracy or into a constitutional government because the magistrates, or some other section of the state, increase in power or renown. Thus at Athens the reputation gained by the court of the Areopagus, in the Persian War, seemed to tighten the reins of government. On the other hand, the victory of Salamis, which was gained by the common people who served in the fleet, and won for the Athenians the empire due to command of the sea, strengthened the democracy."

Aristotle writes that laws should not be changed frequently as it takes time for citizens to develop the habits intended under the law. Frequent changes undermine both the basic institute of law and the constitution. This is a good reminder for modern Progressives who chafe against the laborious efforts required to change the law. Why were the powers and rules of the U.S. Senate, for example, so bent toward impeding legal changes? Because the founders knew their Aristotle and, like their European forebears, found wisdom in it. (A reminder that Senators in most states were not even elected by the population until the early 20th century.)

Aristotle examines various nation-states' constitutions and weighs their pros and cons. There is a great question in each government of who should rule and how they should be chosen. Popular election is problematic because the majority of the population is poor and likely to take bribes. It's much better to elect people according to some system or measure of "merit," or "virtue." For details, see Book IV Part XV. I am reminded much of Acemoğlu and Robinson's exhaustive work in Why Nations Fail (in a nutshell, their thesis is that nations fail to develop because certain people gain economic power and erect exclusive political institutions to defend their holds. Extractive economic institutions exclusive political arrangements = lack of property rights and incentives for the majority population, and hence poverty and unrest).

Aristotle mainly describes and accepts political institutions as the present reality, be it tyranny or democracy. All can have positive elements. But he seems to favor certain forms of democracy as the best, which seems to have been the common Greek belief of his day. But anarchic, populist democracies are the least-preferred of all:

Book V Part IV:
"For two principles are characteristic of democracy, the government of the majority and freedom. Men think that what is just is equal; and that equality is the supremacy of the popular will; and that freedom means the doing what a man likes. In such democracies every one lives as he pleases, or in the words of Euripides, 'according to his fancy.' But this is all wrong; men should not think it slavery to live according to the rule of the constitution; for it is their salvation."

Likewise, Book VI Part II:
"The basis of a democratic state is liberty; which, according to the common opinion of men, can only be enjoyed in such a state; this they affirm to be the great end of every democracy. One principle of liberty is for all to rule and be ruled in turn, and indeed democratic justice is the application of numerical not proportionate equality; whence it follows that the majority must be supreme, and that whatever the majority approve must be the end and the just. Every citizen, it is said, must have equality, and therefore in a democracy the poor have more power than the rich, because there are more of them, and the will of the majority is supreme. This, then, is one note of liberty which all democrats affirm to be the principle of their state. Another is that a man should live as he likes. This, they say, is the privilege of a freeman, since, on the other hand, not to live as a man likes is the mark of a slave. This is the second characteristic of democracy, whence has arisen the claim of men to be ruled by none, if possible, or, if this is impossible, to rule and be ruled in turns; and so it contributes to the freedom based upon equality. "
"there is no difficulty in forming a democracy where the mass of the people live by agriculture or tending of cattle. Being poor, they have no leisure, and therefore do not often attend the assembly, and not having the necessaries of life they are always at work, and do not covet the property of others. Indeed, they find their employment pleasanter than the cares of government or office where no great gains can be made out of them, for the many are more desirous of gain than of honor."

Aristotle describes four different kinds of democracy, and apparently favors the first:
"One type of democracy is when farmers and those possessing a moderate amount of property have authority. They govern themselves in accordance with law because their work leaves them little leisure time. They therefore meet in the assembly only as absolutely necessary [to make decisions on matters not covered by the code of law]. A share [in the system of government] is open to anyone as soon as they meet the financial assessment set by law. They cannot be at leisure [for public service in governing] unless there is public revenue [to subsidize their participation]."

He has an apt description of tyrants in Book V Part XI:
"Tyrants are always fond of bad men, because they love to be flattered, but no man who has the spirit of a freeman in him will lower himself by flattery; good men love others, or at any rate do not flatter them. Moreover, the bad are useful for bad purposes; 'nail knocks out nail,' as the proverb says. It is characteristic of a tyrant to dislike every one who has dignity or independence; he wants to be alone in his glory, but any one who claims a like dignity or asserts his independence encroaches upon his prerogative, and is hated by him as an enemy to his power. Another mark of a tyrant is that he likes foreigners better than citizens, and lives with them and invites them to his table; for the one are enemies, but the Others enter into no rivalry with him."

Like Hayek in Road to Serfdom, Aristotle argues for a basic social safety net even in a constitutional democracy with limited government:
Book VI Part V:
"the poor are always receiving and always wanting more and more, for such help is like water poured into a leaky cask. Yet the true friend of the people should see that they be not too poor, for extreme poverty lowers the character of the democracy; measures therefore should be taken which will give them lasting prosperity; and as this is equally the interest of all classes, the proceeds of the public revenues should be accumulated and distributed among its poor, if possible, in such quantities as may enable them to purchase a little farm, or, at any rate, make a beginning in trade or husbandry"
rich should also pay the fees for the assemblies and the religious institutions."

Likewise, he argues, the wealthy should also pay for the fees for the assemblies and the religious institutions. The role of the state, overall, is to maximize the happiness-- read: utility-- of the population. This seems very 18th century. Aristotle then examines what constitutes this happiness. One aspect reminds me of the epistles of the apostles James and Paul. Book VII Part 1 deals with the relationship of material goods and virtue (emphasis mine):
"Some think that a very moderate amount of virtue is enough, but set no limit to their desires of wealth, property, power, reputation, and the like. To whom we reply by an appeal to facts, which easily prove that mankind do not acquire or preserve virtue by the help of external goods, but external goods by the help of virtue, and that happiness, whether consisting in pleasure or virtue, or both, is more often found with those who are most highly cultivated in their mind and in their character, and have only a moderate share of external goods, than among those who possess external goods to a useless extent but are deficient in higher qualities; and this is not only matter of experience, but, if reflected upon, will easily appear to be in accordance with reason."
... God is a witness to us of this truth, for he is happy and blessed, not by reason of any external good, but in himself and by reason of his own nature. And herein of necessity lies the difference between good fortune and happiness; for external goods come of themselves, and chance is the author of them, but no one is just or temperate by or through chance. In like manner, and by a similar train of argument, the happy state may be shown to be that which is best and which acts rightly; and rightly it cannot act without doing right actions, and neither individual nor state can do right actions without virtue and wisdom. Thus the courage, justice, and wisdom of a state have the same form and nature as the qualities which give the individual who possesses them the name of just, wise, or temperate."

In this I hear Paul's exhortation of contentment in 1 Timothy 6:5-12:
"constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain. But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, andc we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness."

It's worth noting that the Church eventually essentially canonized the work of Aristotle, which had problematic results in the area of science just as much as philosophy (just ask Galileo). But could Paul be agreeing with Aristotle here? Another passage that is reminiscent of Paul comes in Book I, when Aristotle is talking about the natural order, including the relationship between men and women, parents and children, masters and slaves:
"Clearly, then, moral virtue belongs to all of them; but the temperance of a man and of a woman, or the courage and justice of a man and of a woman, are not, as Socrates maintained, the same; the courage of a man is shown in commanding, of a woman in obeying. And this holds of all other virtues, as will be more clearly seen if we look at them in detail...All classes must be deemed to have their special attributes; as the poet says of women:
'Silence is a woman's glory,'
but this is not equally the glory of man. "

Another translation I found renders this: "silence is a woman's ornament"- and Sophocles identified as the poet. This immediately reminded me of 1 Corinthians 14:33-35:
"As in all the churches of the saints, the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church."

likewise, 1 Corinthians 11:13-15
"Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a wife to pray to God with her head uncovered? Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair it is a disgrace for him, but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory?"

Long hair (or head covering) in conjunction with silent submission seem to be for her "glory" and Paul affirms this to be true both in the Hebrew Law and "nature," the latter of which is referred to in Politics Book I. Fascinating.

Aristotle concludes with a look at what the state should do in regards to children and education in order to maximize the future happiness of the citizenry. Book VIII Part I:
"The citizen should be molded to suit the form of government under which he lives. For each government has a peculiar character which originally formed and which continues to preserve it. The character of democracy creates democracy, and the character of oligarchy creates oligarchy; and always the better the character, the better the government...Neither must we suppose that any one of the citizens belongs to himself, for they all belong to the state, and are each of them a part of the state, and the care of each part is inseparable from the care of the whole. In this particular as in some others the Lacedaemonians are to be praised, for they take the greatest pains about their children, and make education the business of the state.
The customary branches of education are in number four; they are- (1) reading and writing, (2) gymnastic exercises, (3) music, to which is sometimes added (4) drawing."

Aristotle calls for public education provided by the state in contrast to the common policy among Greeks to hire private tutors to teach whatever the client wished. Aristotle channels Socrates a bit in discussing an ideal state where people would be forbidden from marrying and procreating too young, or in having children at too old an age in order to prevent "weak" children incapable of defending the state. Children should be allowed to develop a sort of "meanness" in their early years and parents should properly expose them to the cold in ( )
1 vote justindtapp | Jun 3, 2015 |
A genius work. This edition has a lot of commentary to help the reader.
  JDHomrighausen | Mar 19, 2015 |
I thought the translation was a bit wooden. This is by design, Carnes Lord wanted to stay as true to the elliptical style of
Aristotle. Somewhat of a difficult read for me. The introduction is worth the price of the book, especially if you have read The Politics before. I enjoy Aristotle, the fact that he really looked and thought about so much. His views on slavery, women, and democracy are so at odds with modern Western thinking, that too makes it worth reading. ( )
  SamTekoa | Feb 11, 2014 |
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Last Easter I read the greater part of the Politics: last month I read the whole of it . . . It is an amazing book. It seems to me to show a Shakespearian understanding of human beings and their ways, together with a sublime good sense.

Henry Jackson, letter to J. A. Platt, 16 August 1900
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In der planmäßig zusammengestellten Auswahl, in der uns die Schriften des Aristoteles erhalten sind, sehen wir die Ethik und die "Politik", also die Staatsphilosophie, auf das engste miteinander verknüpft.
It is owing to lack of vigilance that those who are not friendly to the constitution are sometimes allowed to get into the supreme offices.
In democracies the most potent cause of revolution is the unprincipled character of popular leaders.
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Foundational treatise on political theory.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140444211, Paperback)

‘Man is by nature a political animal’

In The Politics Aristotle addresses the questions that lie at the heart of political science. How should society be ordered to ensure the happiness of the individual? Which forms of government are best and how should they be maintained? By analysing a range of city constitutions – oligarchies, democracies and tyrannies – he seeks to establish the strengths and weaknesses of each system to decide which are the most effective, in theory and in practice. A hugely significant work, which has influenced thinkers as diverse as Aquinas and Machiavelli, The Politics remains an outstanding commentary on fundamental political issues and concerns, and provides fascinating insights into the workings and attitudes of the Greek city-state.

The introductions by T. A. Sinclair and Trevor J. Saunders discuss the influence of The Politics on philosophers, its modern relevance and Aristotle’s political beliefs. This edition contains Greek and English glossaries, and a bibliography for further reading.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:34 -0400)

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Este ebook presenta 'Poltica ', con un sumario dinmico y detallado.Poltica reune los escritos que Aristteles dedic a la vida en sociedad y la organizacin de la convivencia cvica. Una suma de tratados menores de sorprendente riqueza de temas, expuestos con la agudeza y profundidad que caracteriza el pensamiento aristotlico. El discpulo de Platn comienza analizando las estructuras bsicas de la sociedad, en la que la ciudad representa el logro ms cabal: el hombre est definido como un ser cvico y por encima de la familia, la tribu y la aldea se perfila la polis como el mbito autosuficiente de la cultura y la vida feliz. Tras pasar revista a los distintos tipos de gobierno, se muestra partidario de la democracia moderada, la clase media, el equilibrio de poderes y una constitucin mixta. Se?ala despus los rasgos que definen al ciudadano en su participacin en la tareas comunitarias, e insiste en la importancia de la educacin para mantener y mejorar esa vida digna y libre. Aristteles (384 a. C. - 322 a. C.) fue un polmata: filsofo, lgico y cientfico de la Antigua Grecia cuyas ideas han ejercido una enorme influencia sobre la historia intelectual de Occidente por ms de dos milenios.… (more)

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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