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 idea for aid that which advocates participatory democracy, and that sympathetic to the rule of thumb of a virtuous or philosophic elite. during this remark on Aristotle's politics the writer explores how Aristotle bargains political rule as a substitute to either the rule of thumb of aristocratic advantage and an unchecked participatory democracy. Writing in lucid prose, she deals an interpretation grounded in an in depth examining 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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When despotism enslaves beings who are not natural slaves, it treats what is not merely a part as if it were only a part; it treats what is complex as if it were simple. It is unjust and tyrannical. At this point Aristotle has defined natural and just slavery without yet proving whether natural slaves exist. He must next "examine whether anyone is of this sort by nature or not, and [therefore) whether it is better and just for anyone to be a slave or not" (1254a1720). Aristotle will both "investigate through argument" and "learn 22 Chapter One thoroughly from what happens" whether natural slaves exist (1254a2021).

Moreover, Aristotle's consideration of use brings to light a mixed form of moneymaking, falling between moneymaking in the proper sense, which Aristotle now calls natural, and exchange. Aristotle gives two examples, the felling of timber and mining. The former 28 Chapter One must do violence to nature in order to use a natural product, while the latter takes from nature what nature seems to hide. One product of mining, of course, is the metal that is coined into money. This mixed mode is suggestive of statesmanship itself, which does violence to human beings' natural inclinations toward self-preservation and physical indulgence in order to raise them to their place at the peak of nature.

And they are spoken to his wife Tecmessa when she asks her husband for an account of his mad activities. It is difficult to see in this story an illustration of the male's greater deliberative power. It is a madman, Aristotle suggests, who does not listen to the good advice of a woman. When Aristotle says that the deliberative element in the woman is "without authority" (akuron) , the phrase he uses is ambiguous. As Saxonhouse suggests, Aristotle might mean not that the woman's deliberation lacks authority within her own soul but that it lacks authority with men.

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