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Political Science
Ryan Balot

POL200Y1Y L5101 1 R. Balot L11: Politics II June 16, 2009 6:07 PM Todays Lecture Finishing Aristotle on Slavery Ancient + Modern Politics Citizenship Constitution + Polis Criticizing Constitutions (Regimes) Classifying Constitutions (Regimes) Several Puzzles Justice in Political Life Democracy Finishing Aristotle on Slavery Four observations 1. Engaging with the argument of Aristotle on slavery o It might be like trying to prove to a racist that some underprivileged groups have a right to vote 2. Like modern racist ideology, Aristotles theory - to the extent that it is designed to support natural slavery - is based on bad science, prejudice, and faulty deductions o He doesrealize some of his shortcomings 3. Aristotle may have influenced his student, Alexander the Great o Alexander used Macedonians and Greeks to govern the cities he conquered in Asia o He placed the indigenous people in the underprivileged class o Aristotle urged Alexander to be a master towards the barbarians Though this is speculative, it does make historical sense. Aristotle may have even alluded to Alexander when he discussed absolute kingship 4. Aristotles own best polis relies on its food production and other materials on an underclass of serfs not part of the citizen body o His theory therefore is integral to his account of the best polis o This is a real problem o Slavery is therefore inextricably linked to his account of the polis Question: the Reliability of Aristotles accounts Were not sure about the reliability, Aristotles works are in quite poor condition. Nicomachean ethics was clearly written before the politics. Did Aristotles views evolve as he wrote? Possibly. Someof the things he writes in the Nico ethics contrasts what he says in the Politics Can we form a coherent doctrineaccount of Aristotle?
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