Politics By Aristotle: Aristotle's Definition Of Slaves

1714 Words 7 Pages
In Politics by Aristotle, he defines how a city, or polis, should be run and how wealth can be acquired as well as how each city should be defined. A person’s relationship may be affected by what class they were born into, for example, slaves are central to creating and maintaining a polis. Of course while the city is built on people and their relationships, it still needs rules and regulations to keep these people in order. It is discussed in book three who is doing the ruling and electing which maintains a city. Being in a polis provides true happiness because it provides all the necessities of human association.
At the start of book one Aristotle defines the purpose of a city and what must be done in order for it to run properly. The citizens
…show more content…
Those who were born into slavery typically lack the ability to reason making them unable to be anything but a slave. In this aspect Aristotle adds a condition that not everyone who is currently a slave benefits from being slave, and not every freeman should be a freeman, but humans as a whole cannot tell who should be a slave from their outward appearance but from their soul which is much harder to detect. Owning slaves that come from war was legal but not necessarily moral because the reason for the war may have been unjust. However Aristotle explains why being a slave by nature is …show more content…
Then slaves were an ordinary part of life but I feel as if certain aspects of human character described by Aristotle that are slave-like can be affected by conditions. In class we discussed Simone Weil’s The Self and in the poem by Edward Hirsch titles Simone Weil: The Year of Factory Work and I believe that what she describes about her time in factory work could be applied to Aristotle’s description of the slave. Weil seems to lose herself in her work being too tired to eat and having no desire to do anything but sleep. She works in order to eat, and eats in order to work. Stuck in this cycle she loses her sense of self. I think this is similar to when Aristotle describing slaves as beings that lack reason and have no ability to control their own lives. They do what they are told, in a cycle similar to Weils. She shut down herself in order to survive. Aristotle also states that even some free men should be slaves according to their souls, I think what he was seeing was them losing their sense of “I”. They were working, much like a slave, in a place where they were unhappy and this showed

Related Documents