Citizens and Statesmen: A Study of Aristotle’s Politics by Mary P. Nichols

By Mary P. Nichols

Vital criticisms of up to date liberalism flip to Aristotle's political suggestion for help that which advocates participatory democracy, and that sympathetic to the guideline of a virtuous or philosophic elite. during this statement on Aristotle's politics the writer explores how Aristotle deals political rule instead to either the guideline of aristocratic advantage and an unchecked participatory democracy. Writing in lucid prose, she bargains an interpretation grounded in an in depth studying of the textual content, and mixing a deferential and sufferer try to comprehend Aristotle in his personal phrases with a large, sympathetic, and argumentative interpreting within the secondary literature.

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Although individuals do better jobs when they have only one job to do, nature does not endow them with the capacity for only one particular job. Nor does she always divide them into rulers and ruled. Although it would be better for the sake of efficiency if cities had permanent rulers, this is not possible in a city of free and equal individuals. For them it is just to rule and be ruled in tum (1261a30-b6). While the Republic's communism assumes too great an identity among human beings, its artificial class structure assumes too great a disparity among them.

Both the masculine and feminine sides of human nature are therefore necessary for the full realization of human potential-and for moderating the extremes to which each can lead. These differences among human beings, which account for the city's diversity, are fostered within the family-the association that the Republic's communism eliminates. 52 Socrates' proposals in the Republic, Aristotle points out, also ignore the physical resemblances between parents and children, resemblances that would make the community of women and children difficult to sustain (1262a14-24).

His treatment of slavery demonstrates the divergence between advantage and justice and the difficulty of reconciling the two. It therefore fulfills his definition of political speechdeliberation about the advantageous and the just (1253a14-15). It is deliberation, moreover, that has consequences for action. 27 Aristotle's treatment of slavery also illustrates humanity's ambiguous relation to nature. Must human beings violate the nature of others in order to survive and to realize their natural potential?

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