Arsitotle's Politics

Arsitotle's Politics - Article 40 Politics Aristotle BOOK I...

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1 Article 40 Politics Aristotle Introduction: Aristotle was born in the town of Stagira in northern Greece in 384 B.C.E. At the age of seventeen, he went to Athens to study at Plato’s Academy, where he remained until Plato’s death twenty years later. He then spent three years in the city of Assos in Asia Minor and two years in Mytilene on the island of Lesbos. In 343 or 342 he accepted the invitation of King Philip II of Macedon to become the tutor of his thirteen- year-old son, Alexander (later known as Alexander the Great). After a few years at the royal court in Pella, Aristotle returned to Stagira. In 335 he went back to Athens, where he founded a school called the Lyceum. When Alexander died in 323, strong anti-Macedonian sentiment arose in Athens. Because of his connections with Macedon, Aristotle thought it prudent to leave Athens. He went to Chalcis on the island of Euboea, where he died the following year of a stomach ailment. Aristotle is the author of two very different kinds of philo- sophical writings: polished works, intended for the general reading public, and notes from which he lectured, intended for circulation among his students and associates. The polished works have been entirely lost except for a few fragments; what has survived is the notes from his lectures on a wide variety of topics including logic, biology, physics, psychology, meta- physics, and ethics. Our reading is from the set of notes known as the Politics , a work in which Aristotle discusses matters pertaining to the state ( polis , city, city-state). In our selections from Book I, Aristotle maintains that the state is the highest form of community, em- bracing and directing all other communities, such as families, households, and villages. He contends that human beings are by nature “political” animals because they attain their highest good (living well) only in the state. Aristotle discusses the role slaves play in a household, arguing that because some people are by nature masters and others by nature slaves, slavery “is both ex- pedient and right.” In Book III, Aristotle classifies and dis- cusses various forms of government, in both their true forms (for example, kingship and aristocracy) and their perverted forms (for example, tyranny and oligarchy). —Donald Abel BOOK I Chapter 1 Every state is a community of some kind, and every community is established with a view to some good; for mankind always acts in order to obtain that which they think good. But if all communities aim at some good, the state or political commu- nity, which is the highest of all and which embraces all the rest, aims at good in a greater degree than any other, and at the highest good. Some people think that the qualifications of a statesman,
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This note was uploaded on 11/16/2011 for the course MUS 1004 taught by Professor Richardcole during the Spring '08 term at Virginia Tech.

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Arsitotle's Politics - Article 40 Politics Aristotle BOOK I...

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