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University of Toronto St. George
Political Science

Aristotle: 384-322  Aristotle was born in Macedonia, not Athens, the outer regions. Born to a relatively prominent family. His father was a physician for the royal family. Aristotle was sent to Athens to learn from Plato. Plato dies and somebody else not Aristotle was named to lead the school, whoever did take over the school there was some conflict in the school the fact that he participated and lost to become the leader of the school. He leaves and enjoys the patronage by various rich families. He is invited by Phillip, father of Alexander to become the tutor of Alexander. We have no immediate direct historical accounts that Alexander and Aristotle spent hours and hours for studying.  In 323 Alexander the great dies. His empire which went way east, Athenians did not like being under the control of the Macedonians. When Alexander dies there is this sort of feeling in Athens that they are going to liberate themselves from the control of Macedonian.  Aristotle was not going to give the Athenians the opportunity to sin twice against philosophers. I.e. Socrates. The concept of citizenship is central to Aristotle but he was never a citizen of Athens. When things got tough he felt unsafe due to his political affiliations or where he was born. Lives only for one more year. We have his will. Plato versus Aristotle.  Geometry vs biology (first love was biology, one of the things he liked to do was classify. The method of biology, “observation shows us”. Plato on the other hand always said to turn away from this world but focus on the world that we can’t observe, the intelligible world. )  Systemic vs aporetic (aporia=puzzle, something that hasn’t been figured out, controversy, a wrinkle) philosophy  Good vs Nature (the world outside has a logic to it and we can call it nature, and there are forms. You’ve got matter for example and then you give it a form such as a human for example. Everything is here for a reason. The whole system from the beginning of time until now is not chaotic and is not unnatural it has a system of laws.  Hedgehog versus Fox (?) (Supposed to articulate two different ways of approaching the world. The hedgehog has one really good idea, it’s a big idea and pursues that idea and everything they look at they fit into that idea. For example if you’re a author you stick to one genre. Plato is a classic hedgehog. The second is a fox, Shakespeare is considered a fox. Aristotle is not specifically arguing for a system, many contradictions. Do you think Aristotle is a hedgehog or a fox?) Aristotle on Human Nature 1. What is a.polis? 2. Man is by nature a political animal(zoon politikon) 3. Teleology/perfectionism 4. Politics and the good life -Good in the material/cultural sense -Good in the moral sense  Human beings are first and foremost individuals, in their natural state they are just individuals. Whereas Aristotle says that in their natural state they parti
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