Aristotle, Politics 11-25,12-2[1]

Aristotle, Politics 11-25,12-2[1] - Tuesday, November 25,...

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Tuesday, November 25, 2003 Core Course MR 22, Justice Tuesday, December 2, 2003 Katharina Held Aristotle, The Politics I Teleological thinking - “Nature makes nothing in an economizing spirit, but one thing with a view to one thing; and each instrument would perform most finely if it served one task rather than many” (I,1, 1252b) teleological thinking: everything has one task, one end (telos), and only when it is serving for this task, it performs best) every partnership is constituted for the sake of some good (some end) since the state/city is a partnership, the city exists for some end, some purpose II The State/City (polis) and man as political animal (I,1-2+III, 6) - the State comes into being naturally (note: contrary to social contract theories such as Locke or Rawls) it arisises structurally out of the household and the village - household: constituted by nature for the needs of the daily life - village: severeal households together, for the sake of non-daily needs - city (polis): union of several villages - purpose of the city-state: it comes into being for the sake of living, exists for the sake of living well (telos of the city is living well) (I, 2, 1252b), has reached a level of self-sufficiency - city exists by nature since all human beings have a natural striving for unification in partnership, and these striving reaches its highest level in the city/state (ibid.) “…[men] strive to live together even, when they have no need of assistance from one another, though it is also the case that the common advantage brings them together, to the extent that it falls to each to live finely” (1278b) - man is by nature a political animal (zoon politikon) (natural striving for unification) “That man is much more a political animal than any kind of bee or any herd animal is clear. For as we assert, nature does nothing in vain; and man alone among animals has speech” (ibid.) justification for establishing city by nature and being a political being = speech speech serves to reveal the advantageous and the harmful, and also the just and unjust (actions)
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- city is prior to the household (“For the whole must of necessity be prior to the part.”), although it evolves structurally out of the household household does not exist for the sake of living well, but for the sake fulfilling the needs of individuals - individual, when seperated form the state is not self-sufficient (natural impulse to the city through being a political animal) city consists of individuals (individual citizens) III Household, possessions, slavery and rule (I, 3-9) - city exists of citizens, household exists of slaves and free persons, such as master/husband/father, wife and children - parts of the household are possesions to the master (husband,father) possessions are instruments and instruments are either animate or inanimate wife, children and slaves are animate possessions, while goods are inanimate possessions - each (inanimate) possession has a double use (I,9): “both uses belong to it as such,
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Aristotle, Politics 11-25,12-2[1] - Tuesday, November 25,...

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