Citizens and Statesmen: A Study of Aristotle's Politics

By Mary P. Nichols | Go to book overview

Chapter 5
CITIZENS, STATESMEN, AND MODERN
POLITICAL THEORY

Aristotle presents a vision of human life torn by conflict. Human beings try to enslave others and resist the attempts of others to enslave them. The poor seek the goods of the rich and the rich seek to increase their wealth at the expense of the poor. Virtuous individuals who want to rule unencumbered by their inferiors become tyrants. Competition and even war characterize the foreign relations of political communities. If tragedy is not in the foreground of politics, it lurks in the background, threatening to make an appearance. The necessity against which tragic heroes unsuccessfully rebel remains a limit to human life; slavery exists in Aristotle's best regime, and the concerns of defense must become an object for philosophy. Yet Aristotle's vision is not a tragic one. Aristotle objects to the Republic's teaching that regimes inevitably degenerate and that founding is a tragic undertaking. His political theory depends on deliberate choice, law and equity, political rule, and friendship. Human beings can deliberate about their alternatives; there is a realm in which events can happen one way or another as a result of human choices and actions (NE, 1112a15-b11). Law is not an imperfect substitute for the absence of statesmanship but the framework in which statesmen and citizens operate and the means by which they accomplish their common purposes. Political rule and the friendship it reflects, not mastery of slaves or overall kingship, manifests freedom (1325a23-30).

Aristotle's teaching about polity illustrates both the benefits and costs of human association. Polity is the regime most conducive to friendship, for in polity "the citizens tend to be equal and good, so that they rule in turn on the basis of equality" (NE, 1161a27-30; Pol., 1295b25-27). But polity only "tends to" equality. 1 Moreover, Aristotle describes polity as a mixture of democracy and oligarchy (1293b32‐

-169-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Citizens and Statesmen: A Study of Aristotle's Politics
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Citizens and Statesmen - A Study of Aristotle's Politics *
  • Contents *
  • Preface vii
  • Introduction 1
  • Chapter 1 - The Origins of the City 13
  • Chapter 2 - Finding a Place for Beast and God 53
  • Chapter 3 - Turning Regimes into Polities 85
  • Chapter 4 - The Best Regime and the Limits of Politics 125
  • Chapter 5 - Citizens, Statesmen, and Modern Political Theory 169
  • Endnotes 177
  • Works Frequently Cited 223
  • Index 227
  • About the Author *
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 233

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.