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Lecture 5

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Political Science
Rebecca Kingston

POL 200 Lecture 5 How Aristotle would respond to Glaucon I) Introduction- Aristotle as a student of Plato • Defender of monarchy as preferred regime (some argue otherwise, Aristocracy etc...) • Both Plato and Aristotle agree that ultimately politics has a moral purpose • Both Plato and Aristotle believe Politics is about making people flourish as good human beings II) The Nichomachean Ethics as a prelude to The Politics- happiness as an activity of the soul in accordance with human excellence(or virtue- of two sorts, intellectual and moral virtue) in a complete life and under favourable circumstances • An understanding of the ethical life requires an interest in politics • Ethics: Area of inquiry concerned with human character • What is it to be a good human being? • Everyone has a collective objective: 1) Is it really the case that you know your own good? 2) There are certain instances where we do make some objective judgement. (in education of children, its not the case that anything goes, we know there are environments that are dysfunctional for children) 3) We make judgments about others (some have better insight into your own character then you do) • Ethics as concerned with character: virtue ethics • How someone achieves good character (according to Aristotle):  Theoretical knowledge is not enough to make one good  The aim of ethics is acting and living well 1) Living principle • People generally wish to achieve happiness, as a state of flourishing  For Aristotle human beings share the same nature, so there must be a
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