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Aristotle Handout 0

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Department
Philosophy
Course
PHI2183
Professor
Daniel Kofman
Semester
Winter

Description
Political Philosophy 2183B Aristotle 2 – Politics, the good life, deliberation January 29, 2013 Daniel Kofman 1. competitive struggle for honour and office is a chief motor of political life and therefore of a citizen (compare to Plato) 1.1. Winning glory, honour, and being in on rulership – standard goods that people strive for 1.2 . Book 3. ch 6. 1278b10: A politeia (constitution) is the order of a polis, and of rulerships or magistracies, and in particular of the top or supreme office. Thus politeia is distribution of power, offices, and honours Politeia offers particular distribution of most important goods, so this distribution determines if state is just or not. 2. So what is correct principle of distr justice for power, offices, and honours? Answer will yield right constitution – just state But implies prior question: Which goods? A.: life, and good life 3. Plurality of goods, and both life and good life. Hence, single-criterion rule is wrong 1280-81 – oligarchy can’t be good politeia 4. Overview of the Politics 5. Bk. 1: Nature of polis, or political koinonia Every koinonia aims at some good (begins like NE) 5.1 natural process 5.2 autarché – part of its telos Bk. I.1.1252a1-7 5.3 koinonia of koinoniae 6. man’s political nature – zoon politikon Bk. I,1253q1 1 7. Deliberation Phronesis is the capacity to discriminate good and bad, and deliberation in common is central to being able to be phronomos. Contrast Plato – only rulers deliberate, and not even 8. 1280b35 The state is a koinonia of the good life; it exists for the sake of a complete and self- sufficient life. It doesn’t exist just for life itself. It begins with philia, friendship, but it doesn’t end there, it exists living in happiness (eudaimonia) and kallos (noble, beautiful, good). Goods of life – Bk. 2 Critique of Plato – women, love, property, unity 9. supremacy of law (contrast Plato) Bk 3 1287a To make law rule is to rule by reason or God; to add man is to add an element of the beast. 10. Aristotle wants to preserve the range of human desires, goods, and goals in the good life. Including: - family life, which Plato discards for the rulers - honour (not dirty word for A. as it is for Plato and later Hobbes). Key: agon has to be aligned with reason. Full human perfection involves non-tyrannical constant deliberation and deciding how to act. Some can’t make it and have to remain under tutelage (women, naturally born slaves). But the phronomos cannot live under tyranny, and must constantly deliberate and act. 11.2 A. and Plato: 11.2.1
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