J & P, session iii Aristotle

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The next of our ten political philosophers. In addition to his amazingly broad interests and contributions to other fields of study, he has the honor of being the father of political science.

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J & P, session iii Aristotle

  1. 1. AristotleJustice & Power, session iii
  2. 2. Topics in This Sessioni. introductionii. Aristotleiii.Politicsiv.Criticism
  3. 3. With our second philosopher, what Robert Hutchinscalls “The Great Conversation” begins. We have seenAristotle’s criticism of Plato’s Republic (from Politics, Bk.II, Chaps. 1-6). Now we examine his own political thought.Students must, like Aristotle, be critical of their teachers’doctrines. Would that they all might imitate Aristotle intheir positive contribution! Justice & Power, p. 6
  4. 4. Along with MortimerAdler, he created theGreat Books program With our second philosopher, what Robert Hutchins calls “The Great Conversation” begins. We have seen Aristotle’s criticism of Plato’s Republic (from Politics, Bk. II, Chaps. 1-6). Now we examine his own political thought. Students must, like Aristotle, be critical of their teachers’ doctrines. Would that they all might imitate Aristotle in their positive contribution! Justice & Power, p. 6
  5. 5. If we call Plato the father of political philosophy, we mustthen give Aristotle the title of “father of political science.” Thiswould be sufficient to assure his relevance for this class. Butyou will fail to appreciate his tremendous stature in mankind’sintellectual history if the scope of his other studies is notnoted. When his works were reassembled during the lateMiddle Ages they became the center of the universitycurriculum. In modern terms his treatises examine logic;theories of knowledge; philosophy of science; natural science(physics, astronomy, chemistry, biology, psychology); “purephilosophy”; practical sciences (ethics and politics); and thearts (“productive sciences”) --- speech and literary criticism. Ibid.
  6. 6. Bekker numbers, the standard form of reference toworks in the Corpus Aristotelicum, are based on thepage numbers used in the Prussian Academy of Sciencesedition of the complete works of Aristotle (AristotelisOpera edidit Academia Regia Borussica, Berlin,1831-1870). They take their name from the editor of thatedition, the classical philologist August Immanuel Bekker(1785-1871). Wikipedia
  7. 7. Page 184 of the firstvolume of Bekkersedition, published in1831, showing theend of SophisticalRefutations and thebeginning of Physics Wikipedia
  8. 8. The worth of this body of teaching material has been underattack since the beginning of the Scientific Revolution in thesixteenth century. Some parts have been set aside as“hopelessly muddled.” (Russell, op. cit., p. 81) Science inmodern times has found the experimental method more fruitfulthan reliance on authorities, like Aristotle, however brilliant.Still, the logical writings continued to be the basis of mosttextbooks as late as the 1930s. The practical treatises havefared best of all. Ibid.
  9. 9. The Politics is based upon the research of Aristotle’sstudents and consists of either his own lecture notes or thoseof a close student. Unlike Plato’s more theoretical Republic,the Politics constantly refers to the practices of existing orprevious states. It describes, compares, and then offerstheories about the general laws of political behavior. As you read, note the different tone from that of Plato’sRepublic. Which do you prefer? Ibid.
  10. 10. Aristotle
  11. 11. Aristotle
  12. 12. I. Aristotle A. Early Years 1. 384 BC-Thrace, Chalcidice, Stagira 2. family -- social-cultural status 3. at the Academy, 367-47 a. role b. relation to Plato c. writings (lost) B. Travels and Development, 347-35 (?) 1. cause 2. Assos and Mitylene 3. Alexander at Pella, 343-40 (?)
  13. 13. I. Aristotle A. Early Years B. Travels and Development, 347-35 (?) C. Lyceum, 335 (?)-323 1. Peripatos
  14. 14. I. Aristotle A. Early Years B. Travels and Development, 347-35 (?) C. Lyceum, 335 (?)-323 1. PeripatosHere Aristotle would lecture his classes, walking throughthe halls and gardens and talking as he went. From thishabit the teaching of the Lyceum came to be known asthe peripatetic, or walk-about, philosophy. It isinteresting to note that our own word discourse literallymeans a running about. Russell, Wisdom of the West, p. 80
  15. 15. I. Aristotle A. Early Years B. Travels and Development, 347-35 (?) C. Lyceum, 335 (?)-323 1. Peripatos 2. Corpus - the writings a. Organon 1. syllogisms 2. definition 3. fallacies b. Physics c. astronomy d. On Generation and Corruption 1. four sub-lunar elements e. Meterologica f. biological writings g. psychology h. Metaphysics i. “practical” and “productive” sciences 3. later histories of school and works
  16. 16. I.C.2.a.Organon--(Tool) Rules for Right Reasoning, Logic Aristotle’s treatises on logic have survived better than any other of his numerous works. Indeed, they have moved from the university into common speech and understanding. ...the Latin equivalent of nearly every central term in the Aristotelian vocabulary. Quantity and quality, form and matter, substance and essence have international currency in the fabric of ordinary speech. Few may have heard of the ‘Predicables,’ but most attach a more or less exact meaning to definition, genus, species, differentia, property, accident. Critics untrained in logic speak freely of axioms and postulates, of principles and premises and conclusions, demand a more rigorous ‘demonstration,’ or protest that an argument ‘begs the question.’ Indeed, in the terms of popular logic Aristotle has almost a monopoly (another Aristotelian word)…. Stocks, Aristotelianism, p. 148
  17. 17. I.C.2.a.1--Syllogisms-- Συλλογισµοι Sullogismoi (from sun with + logizesthai to reason (from logos reasoning) A BAll men are mortal all B = A Major premise CSocrates is a man C=B Minor premiseTherefore, Socrates is mortal Therefore, C = A Conclusion The syllogism was at the core of traditional deductive reasoning, where facts are determined by combining existing statements, in contrast to inductive reasoning where facts are determined by repeated observations. Wikipedia
  18. 18. eDefinition-- per genus et differentiam (by means of genus and specific difference) from Latin definitio(n-), from the verb definire ‘set bounds to’ Man is the rational animal. Where ‘rational’ = specific difference and ‘animal’ = genus everything else in the mankind universe the boundary genus animalia
  19. 19. I.C.2.a.3--fallaciesBegging the question ■ Begging the question: demonstrates a conclusion by means of premises that assume that conclusion. ■ Example Argument: Aspirin users are at risk of becoming dependent on the drug, because aspirin is an addictive substance. Problem: The premise and the conclusion have the same meaning. If one has already accepted the premise, there is no need to reason to the conclusion.. ■ Also called Petitio Principii, or assuming the answer. ■ A related fallacy is Circulus in Probando, arguing in a circle, or circular reasoning. This is when two (or more) conclusions are used as premises to support each other, but unless one accepts one of them as true at the outset, there is no reason to accept the conclusions.Fallacy of false cause ■ Fallacy of false cause or non sequitur: incorrectly assumes one thing is the cause of another. Non Sequitur is Latin for "It does not follow." ■ Example Argument: I hear the rain falling outside my window; therefore, the sun is not shining. Problem: The conclusion is false because the sun can shine while it is raining. ■ Special case ■ post hoc ergo propter hoc: believing that temporal succession implies a causal relation. ■ Example Argument: It rained just before the car broke down. The rain caused the car to break down. ■ Wikipedia
  20. 20. Aristotle’s most famous contribution to systematic thought isprobably his work in logic. Much of it is derivative from Plato, butwhere in Plato logical doctrines are scattered amidst much othermaterial, in Aristotle they are gathered together and set out in aform in which they have continued to be taught almostunchanged until the present. Russell, Wisdom of the West, p. 81
  21. 21. I.C.2.b.Physics-- Very different from the modern use of the term. τα φυσικα (ta physika--the nature) should probably be translated as ‘natural science’ Wikipedia lists the following concepts which are treated in the writings on Physics: causation (first or efficient cause, formal cause, material cause, and final cause); natural motion (terrestrial & celestial); whether all matter is divisible or some indivisible (Democritus’ atoms); “nature abhors a vacuum”
  22. 22. God, the Final Cause God, the First Cause “the end” “the unmoved Mover” θ Later Thomistic interpretation
  23. 23. This symbol combines the ideas of Aristotle (384-322 BC) and Saint Thomas Aquinas(1225-1274). Aristotle’s Metaphysics explains causes as being of four types: formal,material, primary and final. We don’t think of form and matter as causes of a thing. Ouridea is closest to his “primary,” what makes a thing, person or event happen. Your momand dad “caused” you. But they, in turn, had “causes” and so on all the way back to whatAristotle called the “unmoved mover” or “uncaused Cause” which he called θεος (Theos,God). Well, he also adds what we call the goal or final stage of a thing, event or person asa type of cause, its teleology (from the Greek τελος telos). Aquinas “Christianized”Aristotle by saying that each of us has our ultimate origin and destination in God. And, ofcourse, the triangle symbolizes the Trinity. I first learned this in a course at XavierUniversity on metaphysics, 1964.
  24. 24. I.C.2.c. astronomy-- geocentric cosmos Without Aristotles Physics there would have been no Galileo.--Heidegger
  25. 25. I.C.2.c. astronomy-- geocentric cosmos geocentric model of the universe
  26. 26. I.C.2.c. astronomy-- geocentric cosmos sub-lunar or terrestrial cosmos geocentric model of the universe
  27. 27. Peter Apian, Cosmographia, Antwerp, 1524
  28. 28. I.C.2.d. on generation & corruption-- “on coming to be andpassing away” i.e., change four sub-lunar elements
  29. 29. The Fifth Element--the quintessence aether αἰθήρIn Aristotles system aether had no qualities (was neither hot, cold, wet, ordry), was incapable of change (with the exception of change of place), and byits nature moved in circles, and had no contrary, or unnatural, motion. Wikipedia
  30. 30. I.C.2.e. Meteorologica Meteorology (Latin: Meteorologica or Meteora) is a treatise by Aristotle which contains his theories about the earth sciences. These include early accounts of water evaporation, weather phenomena, and earthquakes. Physics "...the motion of these latter bodies [the four elements] being of two kinds: either from the centre or to the centre." (339a14-15) "So we must treat fire and earth and the elements like them as the material causes of the events in this world..., but must assign causality in the sense of the originating principle of motion to the influence of the eternally moving bodies." (339a27-32) [the unmoved movers] Four Elements "...four bodies are fire, air, water, earth." (339a15-16) "Fire occupies the highest place among them all, earth the lowest, and two elements correspond to these in their relation to one another, air being nearest to fire, water to earth." (339a16-19) "Fire, air, water, earth, we assert, originate from one another, and each of them exists potentially in each, as all things do that can be resolved into a common and ultimate substrate." (339a36-b2) All terrestrial matter consists of these four elements. Various ratios of the elements combine to create the diverse materials found in nature.
  31. 31. I.C.2.e. Meteorologica Meteorology (Latin: Meteorologica or Meteora) is a treatise by Aristotle which contains his theories about the earth sciences. These include early accounts of water evaporation, weather phenomena, and earthquakes. Physics "...the motion of these latter bodies [the four elements] being of two kinds: either from the centre or to the centre." (339a14-15) "So we must treat fire and earth and the elements like them as the material causes of the events in this world..., but must assign causality in the sense of the originating principle of motion to the influence of the eternally moving bodies." (339a27-32) [the unmoved movers] Four Elements "...four bodies are fire, air, water, earth." (339a15-16) "Fire occupies the highest place among them all, earth the lowest, and two elements correspond to these in their relation to one another, air being nearest to fire, water to earth." (339a16-19) "Fire, air, water, earth, we assert, originate from one another, and each of them exists potentially in each, as all things do that can be resolved into a common and ultimate substrate." (339a36-b2) All terrestrial matter consists of these four elements. Various ratios of the elements combine to create the diverse materials found in nature. Weather "When there is a great quantity of exhalation and it is rare and is squeezed out in the cloud itself we get a thunderbolt." (371a17-19) "So the whirlwind originates in the failure of an incipient hurricane to escape from its cloud: it is due to the resistance which generates the eddy, and it consists in the spiral which descends to the earth and drags with it the cloud which it cannot shake off. It moves things by its wind in the direction in which it is blowing in a straight line, and whirls round by its circular motion and forcibly snatches up whatever it meets." (371a9-15)
  32. 32. I.C.2.f. biological writingsIn Aristotelian science, most especially in biology, things he saw himself havestood the test of time better than his retelling of the reports of others, whichcontain error and superstition. He dissected animals but not humans; hisideas on how the human body works have been almost entirely superseded.Throughout his conquests of various regions, Alexander collected plant andanimal specimens for Aristotle’s research, allowing Aristotle to develop thefirst zoo and botanical garden in existence.Aristotle is the earliest natural historian whose work has survived in somedetail. Aristotle certainly did research on the natural history of Lesbos, and thesurrounding seas and neighbouring areas. The works that reflect thisresearch, such as History of Animals, Generation of Animals, and Parts ofAnimals, contain some observations and interpretations, along with sundrymyths and mistakes. The most striking passages are about the sea-life visiblefrom observation on Lesbos and available from the catches of fishermen.
  33. 33. I.C.2.e. psychology (from de Anima and the Nichomachian Ethics) Like Plato, Aristotle saw the nous or intellect of an individual as an intuitive understanding, distinguished from sense perception. Like Plato, Aristotle linked nous to logos (reason) as uniquely human, but he also distinguished nous from logos, thereby distinguishing the faculty for setting definitions from the faculty which uses them to reason with. In his Nicomachean Ethics, Book VI Aristotle divides the soul (psuchē) into two parts, one which has reason and one which does not, but then divides the part which has reason into the reasoning (logistikos) part itself which is lower, and the higher "knowing" (epistēmonikos) part which contemplates general principles (archai). Nous, he states, is the source of the first principles or sources (archai) of definitions, and it develops naturally as people get older. This he explains after first comparing the four other truth revealing capacities of soul: technical know how (technē), logically deduced knowledge (epistēmē, sometimes translated as "scientific knowledge"), practical wisdom (phronēsis), and lastly theoretical wisdom (sophia), which is defined by Aristotle as the combination of nous and epistēmē. Wikipedia
  34. 34. I.C.2.h. Metaphysics-- τὰ μετὰ τὰ φυσικά (the [treatise] after the Physics) the study of being (what is real?), also “First Philosophy” The Metaphysics is considered to be one of the greatest philosophical works. Its influence on the Greeks, the Arabs, the scholastic philosophers and even writers such as Dante, was immense. It is essentially a reconciliation of Plato’s theory of Forms, with the view of the world given by common sense and the observations of the natural sciences. According to Plato, the real nature of things is eternal and unchangeable. However, the world we observe around us is constantly and perpetually changing. Aristotle’s genius was to reconcile these two apparently contradictory views of the world. The result is a synthesis of the naturalism of empirical science, and the mysticism of Plato, that informed the Western intellectual tradition for more than a thousand years. At the heart of the book lie three questions. What is existence, and what sorts of things exist in the world? How can things continue to exist, and yet undergo the change we see about us in the natural world? And how can this world be understood? By the time Aristotle was writing, the tradition of Greek philosophy was only two hundred years old. It had begun with the efforts of thinkers in the Greek world to theorize about the common structure that underlies the changes we observe in the natural world. Two contrasting theories, those of Heraclitus and Parmenides, were an important influence on both Plato and Aristotle. Wikipedia
  35. 35. I.C.2.i. “practical” & “productive”--the foregoing are thetheoretical sciences Practical (πραξις-praxis practice) • ethics- Aristotle considered ethics to be a practical rather than theoretical study, i.e., one aimed at becoming good and doing good rather than knowing for its own sake. He wrote several treatises on ethics, including most notably, the Nicomachean Ethics. • politics In addition to his works on ethics, which address the individual, Aristotle addressed the city in his work titled Politics. Aristotle considered the city to be a natural community. Moreover, he considered the city to be prior in importance to the family which in turn is prior to the individual, "for the whole must of necessity be prior to the part". Wikipedia Productive • rhetoric • poetics
  36. 36. I. Aristotle A. Early Years B. Travels and Development, 347-35 (?) C. Lyceum, 335 (?)-323 D. End of an Age 1. Alexander’s empire 2. three deaths a. Alexander (356-323 BC) in Babylon b. Demosthenes (384-322 BC) on Poros c. Aristotle -- 322 BC at Chalcis in Euboea
  37. 37. Politics
  38. 38. Politics
  39. 39. III. Politics (Πολιτικά) 325 (??); bks., viii, pp. 337 (Modern Library ed.) A. Bk. I--the state, household economy 1. chaps. 1 & 2 -- definition of the state a. organic vs. instrumentalist (mechanistic) b. essence and “end” (telos) c. man’s telos, the Ethics 2. chaps. 5 & 6 -- slavery B. Bk. II -- ideal commonwealths 1. chaps. 1-6 Plato’s Republic and Laws 2. chap. 7 -- Phaleas a. equality of wealth - problems b. causes of quarrels
  40. 40. Bk. 1 chap. 1--1252a1 (Bekker number)*“Since we see that every city is some sort of community(κοινωνια, koinōnia) [genus=community] and that every communitygets established for some good [its goal, final cause, τελος] (foreveryone does everything for the sake of what they think good),it is clear that, while all communities have some good that theyare aiming at, the community that has the most control of all andthat embraces all the others is doing this most of all and is aimingat the most controlling of goods. This community is the city(πολις polis) as it is called, the community that is political [specificdifference=political].”Can you see the syllogism and Aristotelian definition?_______* unless otherwise, all translations are by Peter L.P. Simpson
  41. 41. III.A.1.a. organic vs. instrumentalist (mechanistic) Political philosophers divide according to whether they imagine the state to be a natural phenomenon (organic) or a man-made one (mechanistic). Those like Aristotle who see it as “according to nature” (κατα φυσις) are generally more conservative, less inclined to tinker with the “machine” since it is “a living thing.” They recognize that change can, indeed will, occur; but in an organic, evolutionary pace.--jbp
  42. 42. the Machine in the Garden
  43. 43. the Machine in the Garden
  44. 44. the Machine in the Garden
  45. 45. the Machine in the Garden
  46. 46. III.A.1.b. essence and “end” (telos) The Aristotelian or essential definition of the state is “highest community” and its end is the good life for its citizens. Here is the hierarchy of communities: (1) family provides for life, daily needs; (2) next, several families come together for “other than the needs of the day”[better life] to form a village. These lesser communities have as their end life. But the polis has as its end “the good life.”[best life] This “chronological development” (1) man and woman unite to produce life “First, then, it is necessary that those who cannot exist without each other couple together, as female and male… for the sake of generation (and this not from deliberate choice, but because, like the other animals and plants, they have a natural desire to leave behind something else like themselves) …”--(1252a24)
  47. 47. III.A.1 chap2. the city and its parts, household slaves “...for that which can foresee by the exercise of mind is by nature intended to be lord and master, and that which can with its body give effect to such foresight is a subject and by nature a slave; hence master and slave have the same interest. Now nature has distinguished between the female and the slave….But among barbarians no distinction is made between women and slaves, because there is no natural ruler among them: they are a community of slaves, male and female. Wherefore, the poets say-- It is meet that Hellenes should rule over barbarians; Euripides, Ephegenia at Aulis, 1400 as if they thought that the barbarian and the slave were by nature one. ” (1252a30--Jowett trans.)
  48. 48. Here we have the assertion that all communities are“natural” (organic) not man-made (mechanistic). (2)Next,villages are formed to have a better life. And finally, the polis(state) to create the good life. Chapter 2 adds that “anyonewho is “cityless” by nature and not by chance is either of adepraved sort or better than a human being” and “a humanbeing is by nature a political animal” --(1253a1)
  49. 49. III.A.2 chaps. 5 & 6-- slavery (pro) In a famous passage, beloved by 19th century American pro- slavery orators: “But is there any one thus intended by nature to be a slave…? For that some should rule and others be ruled is a thing not only necessary, but expedient; from the hour of their birth, some are marked out for subjection, others for rule.” (1254a17--Jowett trans.) And who are those who are by nature slaves? “The slave by nature is someone who...shares reason sufficiently to perceive it but not to have it.” (1254b20) “It is manifest then that by nature some are free and others slaves and that service as a slave is for the latter both beneficial and just.” (1254b39)
  50. 50. Slave wearing theshort tunic, phlyaxactor.Detail, side A from aSicilian red-figuredcalyx-krater (c. 350 BC–340 BC).
  51. 51. III.A.2 chaps. 5 & 6-- slavery (con) In chapter 6 Aristotle takes up the opposite argument, that slavery is not “according to nature.” This is typical of his open- minded commitment to weigh the arguments. He discusses the examples in life where obviously superior people find themselves enslaved e.g., as captives in war, or of pirates, or for debt. He concludes that not all examples of slavery are correct. In a famous case of ethnic chauvinism he states the Greeks ought not to enslave fellow Greeks, except by law; but that, in most cases, enslavement of barbarians is appropriate. This is especially interesting since he was a Thracian by birth and a resident alien in Athens!
  52. 52. III.B.Bk. 2 ideal commonwealths--1. Plato“[In] the discussion of the ideal state we find that its provisions aremore mellow than those of the blue-print in the ‘Republic’*. Inparticular, Aristotle emphasizes the importance of the family unit.In order to develop real affection there must be some restriction ofthe area in which it operates. T receive proper attention a child omust be in the care of its own parents; purely communalresponsibility in this sphere tends to produce neglect The idealstate of the ‘Republic’ is altogether too monolithic. It overlooks thefact that within certain limits the state is a community of manydifferent interests.” Russell, Wisdom of the West, p. 95
  53. 53. III.B.Bk. 2 ideal commonwealths--1. Plato“[In] the discussion of the ideal state we find that its provisions aremore mellow than those of the blue-print in the ‘Republic’*. Inparticular, Aristotle emphasizes the importance of the family unit.In order to develop real affection there must be some restriction ofthe area in which it operates. T receive proper attention a child omust be in the care of its own parents; purely communalresponsibility in this sphere tends to produce neglect The idealstate of the ‘Republic’ is altogether too monolithic. It overlooks thefact that within certain limits the state is a community of manydifferent interests.” Russell, Wisdom of the West, p. 95
  54. 54. III.B.2.--chap. 7-- Phaleas*“Some...think that the greatest thing is to have matters to do withpossessions nobly arranged, for they say it is about possessionsthat everyone creates factions. It was for this reason that Phaleasof Chalcedon first introduced such a policy, for he says that thepossessions of the citizens should be equal. “(1266a37-39)_______* otherwise unknown to history
  55. 55. Aristotle’s criticism of “history’s first communist”The problems with Phaleus’ regime are these: (i) if possessions are to belimited, childbirth should be too; (ii) equalizing possessions can be of somehelp but the equal possessions may themselves be too great or too small; (iii)desires should be leveled, rather than property; (iv) equal education is noanswer to this problem but only education of the right sort; (v) faction iscaused by inequality of honors as well as inequality of possessions; (vi)people do wrong not only to secure necessities but also to sate desire, whereequalizing property can be of no help; (vii) the importance of foreign affairs isignored; (viii) leveling property will not do much to solve the domestic problemof faction; (ix) only landed property is equalized, not also movable property;(x) the city Phaleas is instituting could only be a small one. Peter L.P. Simpson, The Politics of Aristotle, p. 50
  56. 56. (v) faction is caused by inequality of honors as well as inequality of possessions Here’s an example of how Simpson’s summary compares to Aristotle’s words as Simpson translates them:Furthermore, people fall into factional conflict not only because of inequalityof possessions but also because of inequality in honors, though contrariwisein each case: inequality of possessions makes the many [poor] revolt, andequality of honors the respectable [few, the rich] --whence the verse “in equalhonor whether he be good or bad.” (Homer, Iliad 9.319) (1266b38) Peter L.P. Simpson, The Politics of Aristotle, p. 51
  57. 57. III. Politics (Πολιτικά) 325 (??); bks., viii, pp. 337 (Modern Library ed.) A. Bk. I--the state, household economy B. Bk. II -- ideal commonwealths C. Bk III -- citizens and constitutions 1. chaps. 1-5 -- nature of the citizen a. definition b. the good citizen may not be a good man c. the lower classes 2. a digression on war and peace (VII, 14) 3. chaps. 6-13 -- comparative government a. 158 studies b. taxonomy c. metaphysics and evaluative criteria d. the Many or the Few - justice e. monarchy D. Other teachings 1. laws or men? 2. “mixed” or balanced constitution 3. middle class role a. right of property 4. what is best? who should judge?
  58. 58. III.C.1.a. nature of the citizen (definition) After many preliminary qualifications required by the variety of constitutions which he has studied he makes this (Aristotelian) definition--jbp “Who is the citizen is, then, is manifest from these considerations. For we can now say that whoever is entitled to share in the deliberative or judicial office is a citizen in that particular city, and that a city, to speak simply, is a multitude of such persons adequate for self-sufficiency of life.” (1257b17)
  59. 59. III.C.1.b. the good citizen may not be a good man &iii.C.1.c. the lower classes T summarize a lot of quaint discussion on the roles of citizens and non- o citizens in various states, Aristotle reasons as follows: The virtue of the citizen is doing what is necessary to preserve the sort of regime in which he lives. These are different behaviors from those necessary to live the good life and may be contrary to them. The lower classes, the non-citizens, Aristotle considers to be necessary conditions to (but not really parts of ) the state. He shared the common belief of the upper classes that virtue could only be cultivated by having the leisure to study and reflect which the presence of slaves and underlings made possible. --jbp
  60. 60. thenecessarycondition a master enjoying the leisure which enables him to develop virtue
  61. 61. III.C.2. a digression on war and peace (Bk. vii, 14) “For while there is need to be capable of engaging in occupation and going to war, there is more need to be capable of living in peace and being at leisure; and while there is need to do necessary and useful actions, there is more need to do noble ones. Consequently, it is toward these goals that the citizen must be educated, both while still children and while in any other age that requires education. (1333a37) “Those Greeks now held [by Plato] to be governed best [the Spartans]...are not conspicuous for arranging the affairs of the regime toward the best end nor for arranging the laws and education toward all the virtues. (cont)
  62. 62. III.C.2. a digression on war and peace (Bk. vii, 14)(cont) best end nor for arranging the laws and education toward all the virtues. Instead, they declined in vulgar fashion toward the virtues they held to be useful and to be of a more grasping sort. Some more recent writers have, in a similar way, also given expression to the same opinion, for in praising the regime of the Spartans, they admired the legislator’s [Lycurgus] goal because he legislated everything toward domination and war, which views are readily refutable by reason and have now been refuted by the facts. (1333b5) (cont)
  63. 63. III.C.2. a digression on war and peace (Bk. vii, 14)(cont) “For just as most human beings vie for mastery over many others because it brings them much equipment in the goods of fortune, so also Thibron, and all the rest who write about the regime of the Spartans, conspicuously admire its legislator because, as a result of the way they were trained to face dangers, the Spartans ruled over many people. Yet it is clear, since the Spartans do not now have empire at any rate, that they cannot be happy, nor can their legislator be good. (1333b16) Moreover, if it was by keeping to his laws, and while having nothing to hinder their acting on them, that they lost noble living, then the view is ridiculous. ((1333b23) (cont)
  64. 64. III.C.2. a digression on war and peace (Bk. vii, 14)(cont) “...rule over free persons is more noble than despotic rule and is more accompanied by virtue. (1333b26) “Also, it is not for this reason that one must consider the city happy and praise the legislator--that he trained them for domination so that they could rule their neighbors. These things involve great harm….exercise for war is not to be practiced in order to enslave those who do not deserve it but so that, first, they themselves do not become slaves to others, next so that they seek leadership for the aid of the ruled and not for despotism over everybody, and third for mastery over those who deserve to be slaves.(1333b29) (cont)
  65. 65. III.C.2. a digression on war and peace (Bk. vii, 14)(concluded) “But events as well as arguments bear witness that the legislator should give more serious attention to how his legislation about war and about everything else may be arranged for the sake of leisure and peace. For most cities of the sort described are preserved while at war but are destroyed when they have got possession of empire. They lose their temper, like iron, when at peace. The blame lies with the legislator for not having educated them to be able to live at leisure.” (1334a2)
  66. 66. III.C.3. chaps 6-13--comparative government what distinguishes the ideal and perverted forms?“...governments which have a regard to the commoninterest are constituted in accordance with strictprinciples of justice, and are therefore true forms; butthose which regard only the interest of the rulers are alldefective and perverted forms, for they are despotic,whereas a state is a community of freemen.” Jowett trans., quoted in Ebenstein, p. 93
  67. 67. 3. chaps. 6-13 -- comparative government a. 158 studies b. taxonomy ideal real (perfect) (perverted)one monarchy tyranny few aristocracy oligarchymany polity democracy
  68. 68. III. C. 3. c. metaphysics and evaluative criteriaAccording to Aristotle’s metaphysics an object’s essence orultimate reality is discovered when we can see its outcome,its “final cause” or end. Therefore, the basis for evaluatingdifferent forms of government is their product--”the proofis in the pudding.”
  69. 69. III. C. 3. e. monarchyIf, however, there be some one person...whose virtue is so pre-eminentthat the virtues...of all the rest admit of no comparison with his…, hecan be no longer regarded as part of a state; for justice will not be doneto the superior, if he is reckoned only as the equal of those who are sofar inferior to him in virtue and political capacity. Such a one may trulybe deemed a god among men*. Hence we see that legislation isnecessarily concerned only with those who are equal in birth and incapacity; and that for men of pre-eminent virtue there is no law--theyare themselves a law. Anyone would be ridiculous who attempted tomake laws for them; they would probably retort what, in the fable ofAntisthenes, the lions said to the hares...(1284a3-11) quoted in Ebenstein, pp. 97-98
  70. 70. III.D.1. laws or men? In Bk. III, chaps. 15 & 16 Aristotle musters the arguments against total kingship, whether ideal or real. He comes down on the side of rule of law rather than by the will of the monarch: “...whatever the law appears to be unable to determine could not be discovered by a human being either. Rather the law, having educated rulers for such eventualities, hands over to them, ‘to be managed and decided by their most just opinion’ (words taken from the Athenian jurors’ oath),the things it leaves out. It allows them, further, to set things right wherever, as a result of experience, they deem something else to be better than the existig laws. Now, anyone who bids the law to rule seems to bid god and intellect alone to rule, but anyone who bids a human being to rule adds on also the wild beast. For desire is such a beast, and spiritedness perverts rulers even when they are the best of men. Hence law is intellect without appetite. (1287a23-31) Simpson, p.111
  71. 71. III.D.2. mixed or balanced constitution one which has elements of all three forms rule by the one, rule by the Few (rich), rule by the Many (poor) the British model King, House ofLords, and House of Commons the American adaptation
  72. 72. III.D.2. mixed or balanced constitution one which has elements of all three forms rule by the one, rule by the Few (rich), rule by the Many (poor) the British model King, House ofLords, and House of Commons the American adaptation Presidency, Senate, and House of Representatives
  73. 73. III.D.3. middle class role a. right of property high potential for revolutionary struggles the rich seeking oligarchywealth the poor seeking democracy poor middle wealthy percentage of the population class low potential for revolutionary struggles the middle class having a stake in peace and prosperity plus the numbers to counteract the desires of the poor and the wealthy wealth poor middle class wealthy percentage of the population
  74. 74. III.D.4. what is best? who should judge? After a lengthy discussion of the different existing types of tyrannies, oligarchies, and democracies, Aristotle rules out the first type entirely. Of oligarchy and democracy, he suggests that the people of every state must judge for themselves based on their peculiar conditions. But he does offer the solution of the mixed constitution as a means of gaining the advantages of each type.--jbp
  75. 75. “He saw the danger that would arise if any principle singly orexclusively dominated the constitution, and he thereforeadvocated, for reasons of stability and practicability, mixedconstitutions,…, based on the two principles of wealth andnumbers. However, he realized that a mixed political systemcould exist in the long run only if backed by a stable societywithout extremes of wealth and poverty.” Ebenstein, p.70
  76. 76. Criticism
  77. 77. Criticism
  78. 78. Rand acknowledged Aristotle as her greatest influenceand remarked that in the history of philosophy shecould only recommend "three As"—Aristotle, Aquinas,and Ayn Rand. Wikipedia
  79. 79. In Academe Action and contemplation : studies in Description the moral and political thought of xv, 333 p. ; 24 cm. Aristotle / Robert C. Bartlett, Susan Series SUNY series in ancient Greek philosophy D. Collins, editors Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index. Albany : State University of New York Press, c1999.Rehabilitation of practical philosophy and neo-aristotelianism / Franco Volpi -- Modern form of theclassical republic / Hauke Brunkorst -- Do we need a philoshopical ethics? / Ronald Beiner -- Aristotleand the ethic of imperatives / Hans Georg Gadamer -- Natural foundations of right and Aristotelianphilosophy / Richard Bodues -- Ambitions of Aristotles audience and the activist ideal of happiness /David K. OConnor -- Moral Virtues in Aristotles Nicomachean ethics / Susan D. Collins -- Aristotle onthe question of evil / David Bolotin -- Friendship and self-love in Aristotles Nicomachean ethics /Lorraine Smith Pangle -- Socrates in Aristotles "Philosophy of human affairs" / Aristide Tessitore --Aristotle on nature, human nature, and justice / Judith A. Swanson -- Aristotle and Thrasymachus on thecommon good / Wayne Ambler -- Community and conflicts in Aristotles political philosophy / BernardYack -- "Realism" of classical political science / Robert C. Bartlett.
  80. 80. IV. Criticism 1. problem of part versus whole 2. liberal or conservative? 3. weaknesses 4. strengths 5. last word
  81. 81. IV.1. problem of part versus wholeIn the field of astronomy, in particular, Aristotle did gravedisservice to science. The theory of finality [teleology or finalcausation] which assigned to everything its proper place led himto make a distinction between sublunary regions and what liesbeyond the moon. The two parts are held to be governed bydifferent principles. This entirely fanciful speculation is ranklunacy when compared to the advanced astronomy of theAcademy. The real damage was however done by those whowould not treat Aristotle in a critical manner, accepting himwholly instead of rejecting what was bad, thus bringing himgenerally into disrepute. Russell, Wisdom of the West, p. 89
  82. 82. IV.2. liberal or conservative?Aristotle’s specific ideas, beliefs, and proposals are generallyconservative, even for his own time. But running through all hisworks, and implicit in his temper and personality, is a spirit that iswise and gentle, moderate, broad in outlook, open to new ideas,averse to dogmatism, conscious of the intricacy and complexityof human affairs, and imbued with sympathy that illuminates andenriches philosophical enquiry. Though explicitly conservative,Aristotle’s thinking was suffused with qualities that characterisethe liberal temper, the open mind. Ebenstein, Great Political Thinkers, pp. 74-75
  83. 83. IV.3. weaknessesIn his theory of justice, Aristotle adopts the distributiveprinciple, which operates in Socrates’ definition in the Republic.Justice is done if everyone receives his fair portion. The inherentdifficulty in such a view is that it does not provide a basis fordeciding what is fair. What are the criteria? Russell, Wisdom of the West, p. 93
  84. 84. IV.3. weaknesses (cont.)...there is an almost exclusive concentration on the city state….Aristotle simply did not grasp that the days of the Greek citystate were fast running out in his own lifetime….The Greek citystate, for Aristotle, exhibits political life in its highest form; whatgoes on abroad is barbarism of one kind or another…. Finally, there is an account of the ideal state. Its populationmust have the right size with the right skills, it should be taken inat a glance from a hilltop, and its citizens should be Greeks whoalone combine the vitality of the North with the intelligence ofthe East. Russell, Wisdom of the West, p. 94
  85. 85. IV.3. weaknesses (concluded) Finally, perhaps the greatest defect of The Politics is thestrength of Aristotle’s authority which it lent to the pro-slaveryargument. Still, when we consider that slavery was ubiquitous in humanhistory until the dead white European males of theEnlightenment made a new interpretation of the Christianmessage and launched the modern anti-slavery movement. Andthe impulse of some to dominate others is not yet dead.--jbp
  86. 86. IV.4. strengthsAfter a long survey of the various types of constitution Aristotlereaches the conclusion that on the whole the best constitution isone in which there is neither too much nor too little wealth. Thus,the state with the preponderant middle class is the best andmost stable. The causes of revolution and their prevention arenext discussed. The basic cause is perversion of the principle ofjustice: because men are equal or unequal in some respects itdoes not follow that they are so in all. Russell, Wisdom of the West, p. 94
  87. 87. IV.4. strengths (cont.)He enumerates these bedrock principles of modern democracy: rule of law is superior to rule of men true government should rule in the public interest, not the interest of the rulers the concept of a mixed constitution democracy is best according to these arguments: “The feast provided from the purses of the Many is better than that provided by one rich man” “The guests are better judges of the feast than is the cook”
  88. 88. IV.5. last wordAristotle embodies the imperative to think for oneself. He tookwhat he liked from his great teacher and his Hellenic tradition;and then rejected what he found wanting. He developed hissystematic “rules for right reasoning,” [logic]; and then appliedit here and in all his studies. He is the father of political science,the study of what has been done and what might lead to betteroutcomes in politics.What’s not to find impressive in this great man’s life! jbp
  89. 89. With Plato we began political philosophy. With Aristotle, politicalscience. Next, with Machiavelli, the most famous “how to do it”manual. But, that’s another story...

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