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Aristotle Whole section on Aristotle. Notes made over 3 weeks of lectures.

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York University
Political Science
POLS 2900
Stephen Newman

stThursday October 21 2010 Aristotle lovers of wisdom should start with sciencewe should know what is really good in order to live a good life there should be a best life for human beings Being the best human you can beonce we know the human good we need to know how to achieve itAristotle attempts to describe what is good Decides that an object must serve its purpose to be good The goodness of a thing is to be determined by its characteristic functionEach product in the chain is an end to the person who fabricates it Each product is a means to make or do something else There are a hierarchal relationship to the things that are considered to be good Some goods are made to achieve the good of othersall the other good things exist to make the highest good possible the polis as the centre of human activity seek good in the city The communal activities make the variety of goodGoods such as wealth friendship and honour go into making a good life and found through our association with other peopleThe ruler needs to know the other goods and how they fit together to serve the best good for human beings In politics we organize the affairs of the polis to maximize the good Aristotle calls political science as the ruling science Aims at the achieving the best good for everyonePolitical science does not allow that precision to define good because circumstances change the complexion of the good Some goods can do a person harm Bravery is good but a soldiers bravery can lead to his death in warSome science aims at revealing universal principles that are always the same but in politics circumstance matters Some policies in one city will not apply in another city Aristotle thinks that young people are not suited for the study of political science because they are youngThe aim of political science is happiness however people disagree as to what happiness is Happiness refers to leading a life that allows you to be the best that you can be as Plato also stated Not a momentary happinessHappiness is sometimes associated with a life fulfilling appetites or achieving wealth Aristotle thinks this is the wrong approach because we share these things with animals and we shouldnt be on the same leave of fulfilling appetites Wealth is not intrinsically valuable but only allows us to purchase things but if you can not purchase food you can starve The best human good should be the most complete human good self sufficientHonour depends on the opinions of others Aristotle rejects Platos theory of the forms One idea of the good applying to things and their qualities Aristotle states that the good item and its qualities can not be described in the same sense For example A good chair for a child but it
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