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Unformatted text preview: Overview Book I In the first book, Aristotle discusses the city ( polis ) or "political community" ( koin nia politik ) as opposed to other types of communities and partnerships such as the household and village. He begins with the relationship between the city and man (I. 12), and then specifically discusses the household (I. 313).  He takes issue with the view that political rule, kingly rule, rule over slaves, and rule over a household or village are only different in terms of size. He then examines in what way the city may be said to be natural . Aristotle discusses the parts of the household, which includes slaves, leading to a discussion of whether slavery can ever be just and better for the person enslaved or is always unjust and bad. He distinguishes between those who are slaves because the law says they are and those who are slaves by nature , saying the inquiry hinges on whether there are any such natural slaves. Only someone as different from other people as the body is from the soul or beasts are from human beings would be a slave by nature, Aristotle concludes, all others being slaves solely by law or convention. Aristotle then moves to the question of property in general, arguing that the acquisition of property does not form a part of household management ( oikonomike ) and criticizing those who take it too seriously. It is necessary, but that does not make it a part of household management any more than it makes medicine a part of household management just because health is necessary. He criticizes income based upon trade and says that those who become avaricious do so because they forget that money merely symbolizes wealth without being wealth. Book I concludes with Aristotle's assertion that the proper object of household rule is the virtuous character of one's wife and children, not the management of slaves or the acquisition of property. Rule over the slaves is despotic, rule over children kingly, and rule over one's wife political (except there is no rotation in office). Aristotle questions whether it is sensible to speak of the "virtue" of a slave and whether the "virtues" of a wife and children are the same as those of a man before saying that because the city must be concerned that its women and children be virtuous, the virtues that the father should instill are dependent upon the regime and so the discussion must turn to what has been said about the best regime. Book I I Book I I examines various views concerning the best regime.  I t opens with an analysis of the regime presented in Plato 's Republic (2. 15) before moving to that presented in Plato's Laws (2. 6). Aristotle then discusses the systems presented by two other philosophers, Phaleas of Chalcedon (2. 7) and Hippodamus of Miletus (2....
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This note was uploaded on 04/23/2011 for the course ESPA 3102 taught by Professor Echandia during the Spring '11 term at Al Fateh University.
- Spring '11