Aristotle's "The Politics" on Democracy Analytical Essay by scribbler

A review of Book III of Aristotle's "Politics" and its treatment of the issue of democracy.
# 152194 | 1,375 words | 0 sources | 2013 | US
Published on Jan 11, 2013 in Literature (Greek and Roman) , Philosophy (Ancient Greek)

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This paper begins with a brief overview of Aristotle's "Politics" as a whole, and then focuses attention on Book III where he concentrates on matters relevant to democracy. The paper explains how Aristotle professes a clear judgment that rule by the many is better than rule by a chosen few or, even worse, a single man, and he justifies this by exploring the nature of human beings, our tendency toward corruption and the safety net that is naturally provided by large groups. The paper highlights how modern democracy is founded on this same belief that the combined principles and talent of the many will provide the most just system for government.

From the Paper:

"Spread over eight separate books, the Politics begins with a discussion of the origin of the state. Referring to the Greek city-state, Aristotle offers recommendations on how community members should keep slaves, manage household economies, and acquire material goods. While he doesn't discuss forms of government at first, it is worth noting that his presentation of household hierarchy includes explicit acceptance of male domination and slavery, relationships that are anathema to most modern conceptions of democracy. Aristotle goes on to critique Plato's Republic, and then spends some time exploring the nature of citizenship, democracy, oligarchy, and government offices. He reflects on constitutions and their relative durability, and suggests that tyranny is both inevitable and doomed. Finally, he offers a vision of the ideal state, its citizens, their lives, and the education system that would exist in that state.
"Aristotle's thoughts on democracy begin with an exploration of what it means to be a citizen: "He who has power to take part in the deliberative or judicial administration of any state is said by us to be a citizen of that state; and speaking generally, a state is a body of citizens sufficing for the purpose of life." (Book III, Pt. I)."

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