New PDF release: A Companion to Aristotle's Politics

By Fred D. Miller, David Keyt

ISBN-10: 155786098X

ISBN-13: 9781557860989

Aristotle's "Politics" is usually thought of to be a founding textual content of Western political philosophy. It defines man's courting to the kingdom, the character of political group, the mechanisms of justice and a critique of the political stipulations of the time. The papers during this quantity were accrued including a view to offering a finished better half to the "Politics". One dates from the nineteenth century, 4 have been written particularly for this quantity, and the remaining were revised and edited to fit the volume's wishes.

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Sample text

As a State the body politic is not merely a collection of individuals or classes, but is itself an individual or person; as is especially evident in its relations with other States, and in the existence of a monarch or president. In the case of modern States, most of which are already founded upon nationality, the word "nation" expresses this idea; and language which may seem overstrained when applied to the State sounds more natural if we substitute "nation. " That word, however, is inappropriate to Greek politics; and even if it were not it does not express clearly the fact that society has a political organization: it is sometimes true to say "the nation does or wills" this or that, when it would not be true to say this of the State.

Master and slave are united by the desire for security; the master being one whose superior intelligence enables him to foresee the future and fits him for rule, whereas the slave is naturally adapted for simple obedience, because he is only capable of carrying out the orders given him. Thus, we may say, he is a body of which his master is the soul; and owing to the natural division of functions the relation of slavery is for the interest of both parties. 6. 1 2 78b33-8) , though it is reiterated that "in reality the interests of the natural master and slave are identical," we are told that the master seeks properly his own good, and only accidentally that of the slave.

That the State, in the sense of the political community, is a totality or composition (sunthesis), admits of no question. I ts unity is formed of a multiplicity of parts; it is a number of citizens ( I I I . l . 1 2 74b39--4 1 ) . But there is more than one kind of composition. For example, a heap of cannon-balls is a whole made up of parts. But here the whole is made up by the mere addition of unit to unit: it is a collection. In such a totality the part does not get its existence or character from its relation to the other parts and to the whole; it is the same thing in the pile that it was out of it, and has merely had a relation added to it.

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A Companion to Aristotle's Politics by Fred D. Miller, David Keyt

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