Final - ARISTOTLE.doc

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Political Science
Andy Lee

ARISTOTLE – NICOMACHEAN ETHICS  politics regarded a subset of ethics: branch of philosophy concerned w/ human values & moral conduct - Aristotle ethics = ‘philosophy of human nature’  to understand politics, we must understanding what humans value & why we value them  logos (power of speech) is what separates humans from animals  power of speech enables humans to have prohairesis (deliberative judgment) - Aristotle ethical thought: Doctrine of the Good  all human actions purposive, everything we do has telos  we desire an ultimate good for its own sake not just b/c it leads to another good  person who enjoys eudaimonia = fully human, living complete & good life  ‘activity of the soul in accordance w/ virtue’ = human good only achieved when doing things engaged in purposeful human actions  Telos, Teleology (purpose/end) - all human actions are purposive, everything has purpose/end connected to it  ‘Every art and every inquiry, and similarly every action and pursuit, is thought to aim at some good; and for this reason the good has rightly been declared to be that at which all things aim’  not all ends/arts equally valuable; some more important b/c ends they produce are more valuable & of wider scope of impact - teleological argument: analyze polis in terms of its telos  to secure goods of life, humans form complex associations: private household → villages (formed of many households) → polis (formed of many villages)  sequence stops at polis b/c is autarkeia (self-sufficient & independent), unlike lesser associations  polis = koinonia (association) to cultivate virtue, intend members to live eudaimonia, purpose = perfect & autarkeia  eudaimonia (happiness/condition of living well) or summum bonum - one who enjoys eudaimonia = fully human, flourishing & living wholly complete & good life - social good:  humans fully happy when live together  i.e. friendship – can’t enjoy by self, have to have another involved - eudaimonia impossible w/out politics: an activity needed to bring about ‘supreme good’  belongs to most authoritative art = master art (politics of this nature)  politics legislates what to do/not do  political skill requires phronesis (practical wisdom) = ability to calculate & deliberate well abt actions that can best bring abt eudaimonia for men POLITICS  every polis exists by phusis (nature) 1. ‘every polis is an association (koinonia)’ 2. ‘every association is formed w/ vie to some good purpose (telos)  our actions = purposive, reasons for joining & forming associations = purposive, leading to distinctive end/goal 3. ‘that association which is sovereign among them all & embrace all other will aim highest…’ = ‘state, the association which is political’  hierarchy of associations  lesser ones nested in larger political association of state  polis = umbrella association carry & hold all others together 4. roles of statesman/politician (politikos)/king/household-manager/master of slaves ≠ same  household-managers & statesmen both exercise phronesis differently  man is by nature zoon politikon (political animal)  state diff from household  relationship btw members: state = principle of equality, household = inequality & dependence (master-slave, husband-wife, father-child)  can’t manage private household w/out dependence of members upon head of household  ‘state has a natu
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