Aristotle 's Views On Politics Essay

1844 Words Aug 31st, 2015 8 Pages
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. Aristotle furthers the limitation on mans involvement by upholding the rule of law and the importance of a befitting constitution in determining mans participation in politics. Through mans involvement it is made possible to live a virtuous and good life, an aim undervalued today due to our preoccupation with individual liberties.

Before elaborating on Aristotle’s description of man as a political animal, it is fundamental that we understand the context of a philosopher writing in Greece during the 4th century BC. Today, we have the tendency to apply notions of individual liberty and to view the state as merely a contrivance to that liberty. Greek philosophers, however, prioritised a collective good. There was no distinction…

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