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The Politics by Aristotle - Essay Example

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An understanding of the historical circumstances and intellectual legacy of this work helps one in identifying the influential role of Aristotle’s Politics in political philosophy. As Swanson and Corbin (2009) maintain, “His critical analysis of things political and intellectual emanates from a perspective that sees a necessary and objective linkage between politics and ethics.” (Swanson and Corbin, 1) Therefore, it is important to recognize that one of the essential factors contributing to the universal approval of this work is that it establishes the connection between politics and ethics. In a careful analysis of this classic work by Aristotle, it becomes lucid that it is one of the best examples of philosophical writings on the relationship between politics and ethics and it deals with various crucial aspects of politics. Aristotle is also explicit and clear about the qualities of people who rule the state, the people who are ruled (citizen), and the merits and demerits of different types of government. A profound exploration of Aristotle’s Politics confirms that Aristotle is highly effective and convincing in proving that politics is the fundamental feature of human beings and that no human being can neglect the prime role of politics. In other words, Aristotle’s Politics establishes that man is essentially a political animal, and this is one of the best explanations of human nature. Therefore, Aristotle underlines the fact that politics is ultimately linked to man’s basic nature. According to him, “it is evident that the state is a creation of nature, and that man is by nature a political animal. And he who by nature and not by mere accident is without a state, is either a bad man or above humanity; he is like the ‘Tribeless, lawless, hearthless one,’ whom Homer denounces- the natural outcast is forthwith a lover of war; he may be compared to an isolated piece at draughts.” (Aristotle) Thus, Aristotle establishes that politics is fundamental to human nature and no one can challenge the ultimate role of politics in human affairs. In other words, Aristotle unambiguously maintains that human beings can accomplish the positive aspects of life merely by leading a life of a good citizen of the state. In maintaining the importance of state and politics in human life, Aristotle severely criticizes the arguments of his master, Plato. Another major aspect of the discussions carried out in Aristotle’s Politics is concerning the qualities of a ruler and the best form of government. It may be noted that Aristotle introduces six kinds of constitution, among which three are just and three unjust. Significantly, Aristotle gives an obvious explanation about who should rule the city. As R.J. Kilcullen (1996) explains, the discussion on who should rule the city is a continuation of the discussion on the purpose of the state, but it does not reach any specific conclusions. However, it is obvious that “Aristotle seems to favor the Platonic view that power should be held by the virtuous. ‘Nor does a state exist for the sake of... security’ (1280 a35 -- cf. b27, b32): Aristotle here rejects what is sometimes called the ‘night-watchman’ or ‘minimalist’ view of the state held in the 19th century by some liberals and these days by ‘libertarians’.” (Kilcullen) Aristotle also discusses about various other aspects of the ruler and the city state. However, it is important to realize that ...Show more


Aristotle - book - The Politics One of the most influential and enduring works of political philosophy in the history of humanity, Aristotle’s Politics is generally considered as the continuation of the Nicomachean Ethics and both of them together deal with the philosophy of human affairs…
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The Politics by Aristotle essay example
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