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Lecture 6

POLS 2900 Lecture 6: Aristotle Politics II

Political Science
Course Code
POLS 2900
Michelle Mawhinney

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Aristotle Politics II
1. Polis as Natural via
a. nature as teleology
i. completes human purpose
ii. prior form (via individual household, etc)
1. it comes first in a sense that you need an established polis before you can
realize what your purpose is and what you must do to achieve it,
historically tribes come first however in a moral sense the polis is first
2. an individual is similar to that of a game board piece, without the board,
the game piece is useless
iii. hierarchy natural
we communicate, we seek virtue, we are distinguished from animal bc we have the
capacity to use reason and language (to decide on a course of action, decide what is
right/wrong, ethical/unethical)
we seek a purpose and attempt to realize our own purpose
owe develop character virtues, morals
for this according to Aristotle, you must be be living in a community
based society
you cant achieve this potential without this association
you cant be truly human living in the wrong kind of association (meaning
a political community in which certain conditions must be met)
we must share and partake in public affairs (this is how we are
linked—tied by an ethos) (ARIS)
we are bonded by common affection (ARIS)
polis must be small in order to be recognized, then we can act
together politically in an ethical way, this can mean being ruled
and ruling. (ARIS)
the ‘good citizen’ is achieved through a good polis, intellectual
virtue (different than Plato’s philosopher kings) is a practical type
of wisdom that enables you to make correct practical decisions and
deliberate to a great extent
oits bad if you don’t reach your full potential
the political association is natural—its not that we don’t create it, it
is created by humans, or its nutrition and growth, everything has a
purpose acc. to Aristotle.
2. Household + private property
a. importance
b. necessary vs commercial property
i. distortion and unnatural, treats money as an end in itself, the fictitious economy
(rests on speculation and finance, funds and derivatives and charging interest)
ii. there was trade just for charged interest
iii. slaves can fall under this category as well
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