Aristotle's Politics; Book 1
Aristotle's Politics; Book 1 POSC 1030
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Quinn Riley on Tuesday September 29, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to POSC 1030 at Clemson University taught by Dr. Brandon Turner in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 98 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Political Theory in Political Science at Clemson University.
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Date Created: 09/29/15
Aristotle s Politics Book 1 Background on Aristotle Colleague interpreter student of Plato Tutored Alexander the Great Lived a quiet life was not Athenian traveled often contrast to Socrates traveled only for war never left Athens Island of Lesbos studied marine biology Was a scientist sciens meaning knowledge Concerned with a different kind of knowledge concerned with empirics facts 0 That of which can be measured observed replicated Emphasis on measurement and observation method is more scienti c Plato sought to answer questions of ought philosopher The quotoughtis distinction value ought versus fact is 0 Value ought is subjective man is the measure 0 There are no facts about values Aristotle did not leave to see the distinction between what ought to be and what is in real life Aristotle thought that there were facts AND values 0 Completely contrary to Plato s approach Observation is much like the cave conventional knowledge Aristotle thought that is WAS worth knowing Plato emphasized eidos meaning quotthe ideaquot and the quotmind s eyequot PlatoSocrates criticized philodoxas lovers of sights and sounds asserting that they distract us from knowledge worldliness did not matter wisdom did not require observation Aristotle thought that ALL forms of something should be observed and considered therefore total opposite of Socrates Aristotle thought quotIf you want to understand look at ALL examples ALL around youquot 0 Plato by contrast felt that additional forms of something were only distracting Analysis to loosen to take apart Most of Aristotle s work was zoological Sought to dissect political life with de nitions via analysis Less interested in form eidos idea of it more concerned with its teos end What is the best life for human beings 0 Happiness life of good a welllived life Teleology the city is an association of men who are to provide the context for the best life possible 0 Composed of similar persons Selfsufficiency IN THIS CONTEXT means that the means for the best life possible are available within the city Observation every pois city is a species of an association o 4 CAUSES 0 Material What is it made of A city is a bunch of stuff with citizens that are naturally citizens they can be poor rich smart dumb religious etc 0 Formal What is its form Constitutionalism or the distribution of of ces Conains poleteia or political culture Ef cient How did it come to be A combination of Iawgivers and statesmen 0 Final What is its end Self suf ciency eudaimonia eu meaning good and O daimon meaning good spirits eupraxia meaning good practices in the context of the city 0 How does the city create the conext for eduaimonia A virtuous life right action Not about becoming wealthy Ascetes deprivation of stuff was pursued by Plato HOWEVER Aristotle says we need ascetes Book 1 What is the state 0 It is natural 0 It is endoriented Natural law we can induce associations relationships they combine to serve needs that arise organically Pols means city Koinonia means political association A political associations aim to achieve some form of good 0 Political associations are the most sovereign form of association 0 Aims at achieving the highest good The associations stem from relationships 0 Household association 0 Village association 0 City association Man is a political animal that seeks the highest quality of life so the natural inclination of humans is to move towards the city association Only as part of a city can people fully realize their nature Identi es three kinds of relationships that make up the household Masterslave Husbandwife o Parentchild 0 Also identi es a fourth element of the household the quotart of acquisitionquot Slaves are essential to the livelihood of the master Justi cation of slavery stems from the naturally occurring ruling and ruled some people are saves by nature some people are masters by nature 0 However it is unjust to enslave those who were not born into slavery by means of war capture etc Slavery is just ONLY when both parties bene t Soul and body compared to master and slave The master possesses rational commanding powers while the slave lacking these is t only to carry out regular and routine duties The art of acquisition the satisfaction of basic needs 0 Natural vs unnatural acquisition 0 Different modes of life mean different ways of acquisition 0 This securing of food shelter and other necessities is called natural acquisition because it is an indispensable part of the management of a household 0 HOWEVER unnatural acquisition is accumulating money for its own sake Goods such as food and clothing have not only a usevalue but also an exchange value 0 ln societies where trade is common a monetary currency naturally arises as a facilitator of exchange 0 The aim of exchange is the accumulation of such currency ie the production of monetary wealth rather than the natural acquisition of goods Aristotle further dislikes this accumulation of currency because there is no limit to the amount of currency one can accumulate leading people to indulge in an excess of enjoyment Aristotle s Politics Book 1 Continued Plato is interested above all in eidos idea 0 Discussion could yield answers Aristotle however was more interested in the empirics of scienti c observation 0 Doctrine of politics stemmed from a collection of constitutions 150 Method and format differences Socrates uses a dialogical manner that truth will arise out of lengthy discussion uses different ways of speaking to certain people to convey different meanings Aristotle chose not to use dialogue and rhetorical methods 0 Presents ndings in the form of a treatise 0 Aims to speak to a different kind of audience the same thing to everyone egalitarian 0 Aims to be exhaustive every relevant consideration is to be treated the same 0 Aims to be systematic containing an order 0 Meant to say the same thing to everyone as clear as possible What is the state Approaches this question scienti cally 0 First line quotobservation tells usquot 0 Understand the state by understanding its constituent parts 0 Analysis isolate constituent parts to put them back together again to create an overarching answers 0 The nationstate today is viewed more like a social contract not an association 0 The city is one kind of association 0 A quotspecies of associationquot means that the teos end at some good self suf ciency o The city is the greatest the most inclusive association 0 In particular it is the kind of association that achieves selfsuf ciency meaning that the good life is entirely possible within this particular city 0 The teos is selfsuf ciency Page 8 begin at the beginning to see how things growquot 0 Sex is the initial building block a Zoon politikon we have within us an instance replicate ourselves political animal 0 Natural law theorist state comes out of life naturally a First association is that between man and woman Ruling vs Ruled Master and slave not chattel slavery meaning property 0 The slave was not the property of the master had rights was a person etc 0 Substitute the word servant or quothired handquot 0 The household grows out of two organically arising associations man and woman reproduction worker and boss 0 Some are meant to run the household some are meant to do the labor 0 Household relationships husband and wife teos reproduction ruling and ruled teos efficiency production and child and parent teosgrowth of child 0 Man goes outside the home made for labor 0 Woman has a weaker frame therefore organizes manages the household Households associate with other households village 0 Trade comes into play 0 Basic division of labor 0 Villages band together to form the political community greater than all other associations 0 More inclusive means that the city is the space in which the full gamete of human virtues are available 0 People associate to pursue some good therefore the activities require certain virtues The associations are the context in which we do things 0 Rules norms and institutions organized around an end certain virtues O attend this relationship 0 Neglecting to do dishes on your dish day YOU are the problem not virtuous bad roommate o It is good to do the dishes on your day commodious living peaceful living well with stuff maintaining nice things 0 Virtues that attend the city 0 Contextual o Dependent 0 Most virtues can be found in the city 0 Page 10 we learn that while villages trade and households maintain ourselves physically come into existence for mere life then we reach the CITY a life that isn t tied to biological things 0 Exists for the sake of a good life not just living 0 The household is for the body but we aren t JUST bodies we have other capacities 0 Every city exists by nature growing organically and naturally 0 Man is by nature a political animal zoon politikon and zoon logistikon basis is thought means we are rationale animals we are more than instrumental reason Able to consider questions of right and wrong practical moral reasons 0 As human beings we have morality Speculate about different natures Animals with logos they carry the divine spark capable of conceiving and acting upon conceptions of good To be a political animal is the same thing as being a rationalelogical animal simultaneous The household and the villages takes care of the body The city is where we go to exchange reasons about the just to speak to one another to reason together decide how we will act collectively together Ruling is a moral activity Inclusive household village political association agora political assembly come together and exchange reasons
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