POL200Y5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: Aristocracy

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9 Nov 2016
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POL200 Lecture 8 Aristotle Politics; Chapter 1
Aristotle’s Politics Oerie
Aristotle was a permanent resident in Athens was a student of Plato
for 20 years
Unlike the Plato; Republic Aristotle’s Politis laks a lear ad orderly
structure
o He was not a very good writer
o Whe approahig Aristotle’s Politis, it is iportat to study
the main aspect of it, as the book has various directing concepts
Book I is the most important book, as it gives insight on the Polis [what
is the polis, government structure, etc.]
o He looks at the proper organization of the Polis and the
household; an important part of the Polis
Book II looks at the best Polis what is the best government?
o Looks at Plato’s theories
Book III Aristotle turns to constitutional issues
Book IV he discusses the most practical ideal Polis that is suitable for
us.
Book V and VI goes hand in hand
Book VII and VIII he discusses what he thinks the ideal Polis is
Aristotle goes into constitutions, narrowing down the choices of what
might be the best possible government
o Aristocracy and Polity
Ulike Plato the idealist [deals with ideas], Aristotle’s approah is
imperialist [fact based]
o Throughout the books Aristotle bases his ideas to historical,
concrete examples
Aristotle’s politial theory owes a great deal to a dotrie of ature
o Doctrine of nature is not specifically shown in the text
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2
Aristotle’s Doctrie of Nature
Aristotle believes the world is made up of matter and form combined
together
o However, he differs with Plato in regard to nature of forms
o Plato says the form exists and matter exists within them
o Aristotle says form exists apart from the objects object is
separate from the form; forms do not exist outside
o Nature; the agency responsible for change is in the object itself
Aristotle says nature appears to work according to a plan Aristotle
sees that the governing aspect of nature is teleology
o Each object has a natural tendency to pursue its own end telos
Telos means the study of ends
Ex., the acorn has a natural tendency to become an oak tree, a calf
becomes a cow and a boy into a man
o In other words they naturally desire to be what it must; after
reaching its full potential
Satisfaction is achieved in nature through growth, such things need
conditions to become what they ought to be:
o As long as the conditions are met (being healthy, having the
right conditions)
o Matter is the acorn; the form is potential of it becoming an oak
tree
An acorn will reach its end as an oak tree
Therefore, we do’t look to fors, istead we look to the ature of
things.
o Looking at the imperial reality of things
Nature and Polis
What makes humans different is there capacity to reason; this occurs
through social gathering
Thus the Polis allows for our development the human outside of the
polis is like the acorn outside on a table
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