Aristotle Political Animal Analysis

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When Aristotle described man as a political animal in The Politics, he set the standard for political debate for years to come while initiating a notion that politics is an inherently natural, necessary and good thing. Aristotle set man apart from other animals due to logos, their ability to perceive and express rationality through speech. This description of man as a ‘political animal’ has many implications for Aristotle’s views on participation in politics. He stresses the importance of the political community and defines citizenship, exemplifies the need for an education system and the ability for citizens to gain experience in rule. Essentially, tailoring the political animals perception of what is just and unjust, so he can rule accordingly. …show more content…
In describing man as a political animal Aristotle has set a standard which citizenship must embody. The definition he provides us with is very broad, “someone who is eligible to participate in deliberative and judicial office is a citizen in [a] city-state.” This eligibility is essentially being endowed with reason and the means to use it. Women have reason, but lack the authority necessary to assert it, their purpose - or telos, is to reproduce. The child has reason, but it is incomplete, slaves merely partake in the perception of reason, they do not have it themselves. Labourers, farmers and merchants are also excluded from citizenship as they “lack the leisure and the intellect to participate in governing the city.” For man to partake, as a political animal should, in the political community, he must contribute to the desired end and purpose. While Aristotle believed the finer details of constitutional arrangements are at the disposal of the specific community, it is clear he wishes citizenship to reflect the ability to pursue their end as a political …show more content…
A notion that a modern audience would associate with democratic equality. Aristotle believes a government in disregard of the rule of law is “legally unrestricted and lawless” whereas a government respecting the rule of law is “ordered and just.” Aristotle was aware of the corruptible nature of man, an awareness he shared with his teacher Plato. In a world of imperfect men the rule of law must be prevalent to ensure law in the pursuit of virtue is upheld. Aristotle makes room for one exception, a divine being of superior virtue, wisdom and political ability, but this is purely theoretical and it’s existence would challenge Aristotle’s biological

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