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Lecture 7

Lecture 7 - The Politics III & IV

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Political Science
Sophie Bourgault

Nov. 14, 2013 1. BK III Defining the citizen & city-state  Book 3 - Theory on constitutions  Book 4 – archetypes CORRECT DEVIANT ONE KINGSHIP TYRANNY FEW ARISTOCRACY OLIGARCHY MANY POLITY DEMOCRACY  Which constitution is most conducive to human happiness?  What is a city-state?  To understand the city-state it must be broken down to its smallest parts  THE CITIZEN – what is a citizen and who should be considered one  Aristotle - Objects to citizenship being associated to birthplace – where you’re born should not grant you the title ‘citizen’  The right to sue in court should not grant you citizenship  1275 – the citizen is defined by nothing else so much as by his participation in judgment and office  Someone who can participate in office is a citizen – those who participate in politics  Citizen if you participate in jury duty, etc.  Just voting every 4 years is not sufficient  Regimes that are fairly democratic in character (aristocracy vs kingship)  Whether you think someone is worthy of participating doesn’t matter  A city is not defined by its geographic borders  City-state is not defined by cultural or homo-genetic identity  What defines the city-state is the polis  Entity made of different parts – identity determined by the way these parts are organized – where power is located  Who rules – who has power  “The governing class IS the constitution”  What makes the city-state a democratic polis is that it’s the many who are in power  What is the relationship between the excellence of a citizen and the excellence of a man  Does being part of regime X and doing your civic duties well necessarily make you a good person? A moral individual?  There is no necessary connection  Your loyalty to the state does not make you a good person  Who can/should be a citizen  Citizenship is essential for happiness and the ability to be truly human  Laborers and craftsmen – should they be citizens?  They are free men of a vulgar kind (forced to spend most of their time working very hard with their bodies rather than their minds, and do so for a wage)  It’s not easy for them to acquire the virtues necessary for citizenship – extended involvement, education, thought and contemplation  They don’t have the time or energy to cultivate virtue and participate in ethics properly  It’s impossible to pursue higher virtues while living the life of a laborer  The DEVIANTS rule in their own interest  Democracy is a selfish regime  The most important thing is the distribution of wealth (social class)  Defining feature of an oligarchy is that it’s the rule of the rich (the few)  Defining feature of a democracy – the rule of the poor (many)  Wealth will mostly affect how you look at the world of politics  At the end of the day, politics is debate about justice  Politics is exciting, volatile, and bloody because the rich and the poor don’t view justice the same way  The problem of human partiality – men judge badly about what concerns themselves  The majority has a hard time determining what is justice for all – the root of conflict  Democrats – citizens of the polis are equal in all aspects (regardless of wealth)  Oligarchs – we are equal to our oligarchs in terms of wealth, so we should be awarded on that basis. We don’t care about the poor free man who wants the distribution of offices  Both views are wrong according to Aristotle because they don’t understand – both forget the ultimate purpose of living in a community – the GOOD LIFE – living well  Virtue – for the sake of living well – happiness  Individuals who contribute more to the good life should get office – regardless of wealth  What matters is if you are a good person and have the ethics and virtue to run the country  Justice is not about giving perfectly equal amounts of power according to status, rather, to give an equal share of entitlements only to those participate  Only for people who are equal in virtue 2. Aristotle typology of regimes 3. Arguments in favor of “the multitude”  2 vs. many  Each of us taken an individuals are inferior. But as a group, the sum of our virtues is greater  For the many who are not as excellent, collectively, they are better  Not just quantity – but quality also; diversity  ARGUMENTS:  1- having more contributors will necessarily produce a more varied feast  a more varied feast i
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