Aristotle Writes In His Essay Politics

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Aristotle Writes In His Essay Politics

He further establishes the relationship between good citizenship and the form and role of government to be based on the type George orwell shooting elephant essay analysis ruling exercised by people What are some useful tips when planning your travel itinerary? authority since What are some examples of closing arguments? citizenship is a consequence of proper government Aristotle writes in his essay politics the interests of people at the first What is an example of an affordable ATV? due to personal ethics and Persuasive speech about abortion outline relevance in public politics. Richardson eds Iapmo scholarship essay contest 2015 and the GoodLondon: Routledge,pp. The existence of the city-state also requires an efficient cause, Iapmo scholarship essay contest 2015, its ruler. Aristotle's political science thus encompasses the Iapmo scholarship essay contest 2015 fields which modern Writing research papers a complete guide lester distinguish as ethics and political Aristotle writes in his essay politics. Good Essays.

Aristotle's Politics (summary)

How it works. A state is made up of citizens and what makes a good citizen entails a wide range of factors. Hence, a citizen is a person whose parents are both citizens and has the authority to participate in the judicial running of a state and citizens differ under varied types of government. Although citizens within a state are different from one another in many ways, their universal concern is the wellbeing of their community hence the qualities that make one a good citizen apply to every individual. A good citizen is therefore considered as one who has mastered the skill of ruling and obeying commands at the same time. Although in a state there have to be various ranks of people such as masters, middle-class people, and slaves, so the master must know how to execute some tasks effectively even though they may employ other people to execute them on their behalf.

Additionally, the good citizen should know to what extent they should learn specific crafts to create a barrier between various classes. On that account, Aristotle wraps up what makes for good citizenship as being capable of governing like a freeman and obeying laws and regulations like a free man. Good citizenship is related to the form and role of government by the actuality that there are many forms of government and simultaneously, varieties of citizens with different criteria for analyzing good citizenship. In some forms of government such as aristocracy whereby honors are granted on the grounds of merit and virtue, both a mechanic and a laborer are not labeled as citizens because such states do not perceive good citizenship in them as it is presumed that they are incapable of practicing virtue due to their lifestyle.

Good citizenship can only be manifested if the government conducts its role efficiently and that is only possible in the form of governance that is in place. As Aristotle illustrates, some kinds of leadership regard in high esteem the interests of either the monarchy or the wealthy at the expense of the citizens. In such a system, the government fails to meet up its objective of working towards the good of everyone. The citizens are therefore incapable of showing good citizenship as required by the law. Aristotle vividly sheds light on the impact of partiality in government, which is the loss of good citizenship due to injustice within the government.

There are distinct forms of government with unique differences, which Aristotle uses in categorizing the bad kind of governments and the proper forms of government. True forms of government have consideration for the communal interest of citizens and the whole state while the untrue or wrong kinds of government disregard the interests of citizens. Oligarchy refers to governance whereby the power to rule is in the hands of people with property while in a democracy the power to govern is in the hands of the destitute and not the wealthy. Examples of poor government according to Aristotle are tyranny, oligarchy, and democracy to a lesser extent.

The first form of government has the interests of the monarchy as a priority; the second prioritizes the interests of the wealthy while democracy has no priority given to the interests of a particular group but looks into the universal good of the state as a whole. Bad government is any form of government that the people who have the authority to govern do so with a limited view of private interests. Although his own political views were influenced by his teacher Plato, Aristotle is highly critical of the ideal constitution set forth in Plato's Republic on the grounds that it overvalues political unity, it embraces a system of communism that is impractical and inimical to human nature, and it neglects the happiness of the individual citizens Politics II.

Moreover, there will be a common system of education for all the citizens, because they share the same end Pol. If as is the case with most existing city-states the population lacks the capacities and resources for complete happiness, however, the lawgiver must be content with fashioning a suitable constitution Politics IV. The second-best system typically takes the form of a polity in which citizens possess an inferior, more common grade of virtue or mixed constitution combining features of democracy, oligarchy, and, where possible, aristocracy, so that no group of citizens is in a position to abuse its rights.

Aristotle argues that for city-states that fall short of the ideal, the best constitution is one controlled by a numerous middle class which stands between the rich and the poor. They are accordingly less apt than the rich or poor to act unjustly toward their fellow citizens. A constitution based on the middle class is the mean between the extremes of oligarchy rule by the rich and democracy rule by the poor. The middle constitution is therefore both more stable and more just than oligarchy and democracy. Although Aristotle classifies democracy as a deviant constitution albeit the best of a bad lot , he argues that a case might be made for popular rule in Politics III.

The central claim is that the many may turn out to be better than the virtuous few when they come together, even though the many may be inferior when considered individually. For if each individual has a portion of virtue and practical wisdom, they may pool these assets and turn out to be better rulers than even a very wise individual. In addition, the political scientist must attend to existing constitutions even when they are bad. The political scientist should also be cognizant of forces of political change which can undermine an existing regime. Aristotle criticizes his predecessors for excessive utopianism and neglect of the practical duties of a political theorist. However, he is no Machiavellian.

The best constitution still serves as a regulative ideal by which to evaluate existing systems. These topics occupy the remainder of the Politics. The mixed constitution has been of special interest to scholars because it looks like a forerunner of modern republican regimes. As might be expected, Aristotle's attempt to carry out this program involves many difficulties, and scholars disagree about how the two series of books IV—VI and VII—VIII are related to each other: for example, which were written first, which were intended to be read first, and whether they are ultimately consistent with each other.

Aristotle has continued to influence thinkers up to the present throughout the political spectrum, including conservatives such as Hannah Arendt, Leo Strauss, and Eric Voegelin , communitarians such as Alasdair MacIntyre and Michael Sandel , liberals such as William Galston and Martha C. Nussbaum , libertarians such as Tibor R. Machan, Douglas B. Rasmussen, and Douglas J. It is not surprising that such diverse political persuasions can lay claim to Aristotle as a source. For his method often leads to divergent interpretations. When he deals with a difficult problem, he is inclined to consider opposing arguments in a careful and nuanced manner, and he is often willing to concede that there is truth on each side. Modern commentators sympathetic with Aristotle's general approach often contend that in this case he applies his own principles incorrectly—leaving open the question of how they should be applied.

Further, the way he applies his principles may have seemed reasonable in his socio-political context—for example, that the citizen of a polity normally the best attainable constitution must be a hoplite soldier cf. The problem of extrapolating to modern political affairs can be illustrated more fully in connection with Aristotle's discussion of legal change in Politics II. He first lays out the argument for making the laws changeable. It has been beneficial in the case of medicine, for example, for it to progress from traditional ways to improved forms of treatment. An existing law may be a vestige of a primitive barbaric practice.

For instance, Aristotle mentions a law in Cyme that allows an accuser to produce a number of his own relatives as witnesses to prove that a defendant is guilty of murder. Since the law gets its force from the citizens' habit of obedience, great care should be exercised in making any change in it. It may sometimes be better to leave defective laws in place rather than encouraging lawlessness by changing the laws too frequently. Moreover, there are the problems of how the laws are to be changed and who is to change them. Although Aristotle offers valuable insights, he breaks off the discussion of this topic and never takes it up elsewhere.

We might sum up his view as follows: When it comes to changing the laws, observe the mean: don't be too bound by traditional laws, but on the other hand don't be overeager in altering them. For example, should the laws be changed to allow self-described transsexual persons to use sexually segregated restrooms? Conservatives and liberals might agree with Aristotle's general stricture regarding legal change but differ widely on how to apply it in a particular case. Most scholars of Aristotle make no attempt to show that he is aligned with any contemporary ideology. Rather, insofar as they find him relevant to our times, it is because he offers a remarkable synthesis of idealism and realpolitik unfolding in deep and thought-provoking discussions of perennial concerns of political philosophy: the role of human nature in politics, the relation of the individual to the state, the place of morality in politics, the theory of political justice, the rule of law, the analysis and evaluation of constitutions, the relevance of ideals to practical politics, the causes and cures of political change and revolution, and the importance of a morally educated citizenry.

Note on Citations. Passages in Aristotle are cited as follows: title of treatise italics , book Roman numeral , chapter Arabic numeral , line reference. Politics is abbreviated as Pol. Most translations include the Bekker page number with column letter in the margin followed by every fifth line number. Study of Specific Constitutions 5. For a further discussion of this topic, see the following supplementary document: Supplement: Characteristics and Problems of Aristotle's Politics 2. Aristotle's View of Politics Political science studies the tasks of the politician or statesman politikos , in much the way that medical science concerns the work of the physician see Politics IV. The notion of final cause dominates Aristotle's Politics from the opening lines: Since we see that every city-state is a sort of community and that every community is established for the sake of some good for everyone does everything for the sake of what they believe to be good , it is clear that every community aims at some good, and the community which has the most authority of all and includes all the others aims highest, that is, at the good with the most authority.

This is what is called the city-state or political community. For a further discussion of the theoretical foundations of Aristotle's politics, see the following supplementary document: Supplement: Presuppositions of Aristotle's Politics It is in these terms, then, that Aristotle understands the fundamental normative problem of politics: What constitutional form should the lawgiver establish and preserve in what material for the sake of what end? For a further discussion of this topic, see the following supplementary document: Supplement: Characteristics and Problems of Aristotle's Politics 5. Aristotle and Modern Politics Aristotle has continued to influence thinkers up to the present throughout the political spectrum, including conservatives such as Hannah Arendt, Leo Strauss, and Eric Voegelin , communitarians such as Alasdair MacIntyre and Michael Sandel , liberals such as William Galston and Martha C.

Bibliography Note on Citations. Ross, W. Rackham, H. Reeve, C. Simpson, Peter L. Sinclair, T. Saunders, Harmondsworth: Penguin, Saunders, Politics I—II Also of interest is the Constitution of Athens , an account of the history and workings of the Athenian democracy. Although it was formerly ascribed to Aristotle, it is now thought by most scholars to have been written by one of his pupils, perhaps at his direction toward the end of his life.

A reliable translation with introduction and notes is by P. Rhodes, Aristotle: The Athenian Constitution. Harmondsworth: Penguin, Keyt, David, and Fred D. Miller, Jr. Kraut, Richard, and Steven Skultety eds. Lockwood, Thornton, and Thanassis Samaras eds. Lord, Carnes, and David O'Connor eds. Regan trans. Miller, Fred D. Mulgan, Richard G.

Newman, W. Riesbeck, David J. Berlin and Darmstadt: Akademie Verlag, — Susemihl, Franz, and R. Studies of Particular Topics 1. Depew, David J. Balot ed. Irwin, Terence H. Kahn, Charles H. Rowe, Christopher J. Salkever, Stephen G. Smith, Nicholas D. Boudouris ed. Cherry, K. Cooper, John M. DePew, David J. Rowe and Malcolm Schofield eds. Brunt, P. Chambliss, J. Fortenbaugh, W. London: Duckworth, , pp. Lindsay, Thomas K. Mulgan, Robert G. Nagle, D. Saxenhouse, Arlene W. Senack, Christine M. Spelman, E. Reidel, , pp. Stauffer, Dana J. Political Economy Ambler, Wayne H. Finley, M. McNeill, D.

Mei, Todd S. Nussbaum, Martha C. Saxonhouse, Arlene W. Young, Charles M. Collins, Susan D. Long, Roderick T. Brooks and James Bernard Murphy eds. Zuckert, Catherine H. Bates, Clifford A. Cherry, Kevin M. Dietz, Mary G. Huxley, G. Harvey eds. Croix , London: Duckworth, , pp. Johnson, Curtis N. Aristoteles Politik , Berlin: Akademie Verlag, , pp. Mulhern, J. Murray, O. Rowe, C.

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