Aristotles Politics And The Ideal Government Essay

Aristotle on Politics

  • Length: 370 words (1.1 double-spaced pages)
  • Rating: Excellent
Open Document

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - More ↓
Aristotle on Politics

The central concern of theorists is to establish a form of constitution that a society will likely succeed. Political success according to Aristotle is determined by the happiness of the citizens of the society. Aristotle’s vision of a perfect government all begins with the character of the citizenry leading to the happiness of a whole state. Through his studies, Aristotle came to the conclusion that in order to achieve a perfect constitution it is essential to break down a society into parts and observe each individually. Aristotle’s teachings were stressed on moderation in government and in life. The importance of human character lead to his interpretation of happiness and a perfect society.
Since a state would not be without habitants, it is fair to state that a societies happiness is achieved once the citizens have done the same. To Aristotle this is essential to the main point he makes in his teachings. He stresses that a model citizen illustrates the moral virtues of intelligence, and courage.# Developing this type of character as Aristotle states as “ human excellence” is an action of the soul for he believes it is the soul that is the bases of human individuality.# The idea becomes parallel on a political level for the citizens are the bases of a state.
Aristotle believes the only way to reach a state of happiness is through virtue. The virtue that is to be practiced is meant to guide our behaviors in society and to learn the meaning of moderation. Aristotle deems human happiness as more then attaining the pleasures of life but satisfying the human potentialities. Reaching such abilities could be seen by making logical choices and being able to choose the needs in life rather then the wants. At this point it shows that Aristotle contends that a society that includes citizens that he believes are of human excellence will reflect the same values upon it’s state.
Aristotle’s visions of the ideal government have been an influential teaching to political philosophy. His teachings seem to strongly reflect the ideas of communism and authoritarian systems. Aristotle’s emphasis on moderation and the perfection of the people prove this. Even though his book Politics by Aristotle seems to lead more towards a communism type of system, Aristotle’s writings have had an effect on many present systems today.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Aristotle on Politics." 13 Mar 2018

LengthColor Rating 
Politics by Aristotle Essay - The subject which the question focuses on is the view of Aristotle’s ideal state. The distinction between hierarchy and equality is at the heart of the understanding of Aristotle’s ideal state. He claims that an ideal state ought to be arranged to maximise the happiness of its citizens. So happiness together with political action is the telos of human life. This end can be reached by living a better ethical life. However, he endorses hierarchy over equality. On one hand we have the equality which benefits everyone; on the other hand we have the distinction of classes meant in terms of diversities and differences where the middle one appears to be the means through which the state is balanced...   [tags: Aristotle's Ideal State, Happiness Politics]
:: 1 Works Cited
1847 words
(5.3 pages)
Powerful Essays[preview]
Aristotle’s Politics - The Good Man Should Not Rule the City Essay - Aristotle’s Politics - The Good Man Should Not Rule the City Aristotle contends that the good man is dissimilar to the good citizen in ways he goes a great length to illustrate. He distinguishes the two for the purpose of facilitating his later arguments concerning the appropriate allocation of sovereignty to the rightful ruler, who he subsequently claims is the good man who excels all others in each and every aspect. Aristotle's distinction further prompts the notion that he advocates a monarchial form of constitution, for the rule of a single good man is equivalent to a constitution of kingship....   [tags: Aristotle Poetics Politics Essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
2514 words
(7.2 pages)
Powerful Essays[preview]
Essay about Aristotle and The Politics - Philosopher and scientist, disciple of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great, acclaimed thinker and traveller in exile, it is nearly impossible to catch Aristotle in a defined denomination. It seems indeed that he lived several lives in one, experiencing fame and dishonour, starting from bottom to reach top but collapsing because of the people’s disapproval: the tragedy of the classic philosopher maybe. As a consequence his work is a reflection of his life: complex and incredibly diverse. Like a scientist he observed and dissected the world around him in many fields: from philosophical concepts with The Metaphysics to inanimate things in On Minerals via the structure of an ideal state in...   [tags: philosphy, science, hierarchy, justice, equality]
:: 1 Works Cited
2107 words
(6 pages)
Term Papers[preview]
Essay about Aristotle's Politics: Man Is a Political Animal - In the Aristotle’s Politics Book I, Aristotle determines that man is by nature a political animal, and in accordance to that the polis is created naturally. Aristotle’s first argument states how a polis comes into being by stating “Now in these matters as elsewhere it is by looking at how things develop naturally from the beginning that one may best study them.”(Pg 2, line24) At the beginning of chapter 2, Aristotle claims that a polis comes out of need, but also reproduction. This is idea is different with the views of Socrates and Plato in the republic....   [tags: polis, law, humans, survive, virtuous]710 words
(2 pages)
Better Essays[preview]
Aristotle on Politics Essay - Aristotle on Politics The central concern of theorists is to establish a form of constitution that a society will likely succeed. Political success according to Aristotle is determined by the happiness of the citizens of the society. Aristotle’s vision of a perfect government all begins with the character of the citizenry leading to the happiness of a whole state. Through his studies, Aristotle came to the conclusion that in order to achieve a perfect constitution it is essential to break down a society into parts and observe each individually....   [tags: Papers]370 words
(1.1 pages)
Strong Essays[preview]
Plato and Aristotle's Ideal Views of Politics Essay - Plato grew up within the spewing turmoil that would become Athens, after its failed attempts at democracy, and Aristotle who was educated in Athens under his teacher went on to mentor Alexander the Great of Macedonia. Though both had varying differences in their ideal governmental policies. Plato in his Republic would have his great city of Athens follow a monarch known as the Philosopher-King, while Aristotle in his talk of Politics would have the demos, the people rule, the very people that ruined the city his mentor grew up in....   [tags: monarch, democracy, philosophers]516 words
(1.5 pages)
Good Essays[preview]
Aristotle's Political Virtues Essay - Aristotle's Political Virtues ABSTRACT: This paper argues that Aristotle conceives happiness not primarily as an exercise of virtue in private or with friends, but as the exercise of virtue in governing an ideal state. The best states are knit together so tightly that the interests of one person are the same as the interests of all. Hence, a person who acts for his or her own good must also act for the good of all fellow citizens. It follows that discussions of Aristotle’s altruism and egoism are misconceived....   [tags: Aristotle Politics Philosophy Essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
3458 words
(9.9 pages)
Powerful Essays[preview]
The Politics: Monarchies, Aristocracies, and Polities Essay - Throughout Politics, Aristotle goes into detail about monarchies, aristocracies, and polities, as the ideal forms of government. Polity as defined by Aristotle is the virtuous form of a constitutional democracy (Aristotle viewed democracy without constitutional law as a poor form of government). It is essential to a state in which polity is the system of rule that there is a constitution in place to prevent the excesses of majority rule. Although Aristotle perhaps believed polity to be the most realistic form of a virtuous government, he did not view is as the most ideal....   [tags: Politics, Aristotle 2014]
:: 6 Works Cited
1550 words
(4.4 pages)
Powerful Essays[preview]
The Relation between Seneca’s Hercules Furens and Aristotle’s Poetics Essay - The Relation between Seneca’s Hercules Furens and Aristotle’s Poetics The intent of this paper is to discuss Seneca’s Hercules Furens in relation to Aristotle’s description of tragedy as outlined in the Poetics. It begins by discussing character, and attempts to determine the nature of Hercules’ error (a(marti/a).1[1] The paper then discusses matters of plot (mu~qoj), attempting to determine the degree to which Hercules Furens meets Aristotle’s requirements for good tragedy in this regard. According to Aristotle, the best tragedy evokes feelings of fear and pity.2[2] Since characters in a tragedy must perform action (pra~cij), it follows that the best tragedy must contain some action that...   [tags: Aristotle Poetics Politics Essays]
:: 3 Works Cited
1791 words
(5.1 pages)
Powerful Essays[preview]
Private Property and the Rule of the Middle Class in Aristotle’s Politics - Private Property and the Rule of the Middle Class in Aristotle’s Politics In his discussions of constitutions and cities in Politics, Aristotle makes it very clear that his top priority is to provide people with the opportunity to pursue and achieve the good life. An integral part of this is the stability of the constitution. Although Aristotle explicitly states that a kingship is the best system of rule for any given generation, its lack of stability from one generation to the next disqualifies it from being the best in reality....   [tags: Essays Papers]1450 words
(4.1 pages)
Powerful Essays[preview]

Related Searches

Aristotle         Perfect Society         Politics         Moderation         Bases         Pleasures         Theorists         Citizens         Abilities         Reach        

In accordance to Aristotle the state of a country and its success can be determined by the happiness of the citizens. When each citizen has reached the point of where they live in moderation and are able to distinguish between the mean and the extremes, the good of society and the citizens will follow. Aristotle’s writings and teachings of the goodness of moderation in life and government proved to be the bases of many government systems today. His message of moral virtue and self-control has been a great influence to political theorists and political science to date.

The city is a political partnership that comes into being for purposes of self-sufficiency but exists primarily for the sake of living well. Man is by nature a political animal, because he has the ability to communicate and to dialogue and about justice and the good. The city is prior to the individual.

Natural slaves are those who perceive reason but do not have it. It is mutually beneficial that such people be ruled. There are also slaves according to the law, who may or may not be natural slaves. Mastery is rule over slaves, but political rule is rule over free and equal persons.

Holding women, children and property in common as Plato suggests in the Republic is not beneficial to the city. Holding property in common will not reduce factional conflict, but may actually increase because of a sense of injustice.

A citizen in the strict sense is one who shares in making decisions and holding office. Citizenship is therefore essentially democratic, but the notion of citizenship in practice must differ according to the nature of the regime. Commonly speaking, however, a citizen is usually considered to be anyone whose parents are citizens.

The virtue of a good man and an excellent citizen may be different, because the virtue of a citizen is determined with a view to the preservation of the regime. To the extent the actual regime approximates the best regime, the virtue of a good man and an excellent citizen will coincide.

Correct regimes are those which look to the common advantage. Deviant regimes are those which look to the advantage of the rulers, and they involve mastery rather than political rule. The correct regimes are kingship, aristocracy and polity; the incorrect regimes are deviations from those and are tyranny, oligarchy and democracy respectively. Kingship is rule by one person, aristocracy is rule by a few based on merit, and polity is a mixture of democracy and oligarchy. Democracy is rule by the multitude, oligarchy is rule by the wealthy, and tyranny is monarchic rule of a master.

Justice is equality for equals and inequality for unequals. Because the city exists for the sake of living well, virtue must be a care for every city.

Which element of the city should have authority? The multitude may collectively be better judges of certain things, so it is proper for them to share in deliberating and judging, but they should not share in the highest offices. Laws need to be made in accordance with the regime. The just one's regime is, the more just the laws will be. The good of politics is justice. The best claim to rule is education and virtue, but there is also a claim to rule based on wealth and on numbers. A regime must be based on the rule of law.

Polity is the best attainable regime and is formed by the mixture of oligarchy and democracy. A well-mixed polity should reinforce the good parts of each regime while minimizing their shortcomings.

The middling element of city is very important for its stability because it is the most willing to listen to reason and can arbitrate between the very poor and the rich. The middling sort is the least likely to engage in factional conflict, and they make the best legislators. As much as possible, the city should be made up those who are equal or similar.

Factional conflicts arise because of disagreements over justice. There are two types of equality: numerical equality and equality according to merit. Disputes over different claims to justice can lead to conflict and revolution.

To preserve regimes, it is necessary to enforce the laws well, and to arrange offices so that one cannot profit from them. Regimes should take care not to alienate any one portion of the population. The middling element is very important because they tend to mitigate factional conflict. The greatest method of preserving a regime is education relative to the regime, which means education to appreciate the claims of justice that the non-ruling element has.

The problem with democracies is that they define freedom badly, which leads to slavery. The defining principle of democracy is to claim justice as equality based on numbers rather than merit. Citizens in democracies rule and are ruled in turn.

The best regime corresponds to the best way of life for a human being. Since the best way of life is living nobly and according to virtue, the best regime is the one, which promotes this life. The best city needs to be a partnership of similar persons, and rule needs to be based on education and virtue. However, the city needs farmers and laborers to provide sustenance and the material necessities of life. Farmers and laborers do not have the leisure to be well educated and live nobly. Rulers need to come from the leisured classes. The citizens will be exclusively the ruling class, which will rule and be ruled in turn such that the young will be soldiers and the old will rule. All the laboring classes will be slaves.

Education should be common for all citizens, and habituate the children to virtue. Education should consist of letters, gymnastics, music and drawing. Music is important because it is a noble means of using leisure time and through its harmony it makes the student appreciate the harmony of the soul in which reason rules the spirit and the appetites.

0 Replies to “Aristotles Politics And The Ideal Government Essay”

Lascia un Commento

L'indirizzo email non verrà pubblicato. I campi obbligatori sono contrassegnati *