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Politics by Aristotle (Written 350 B.C.E) Paperback – May 31, 2012
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About the Author
Translator and scholar S. H. Butcher served as editor for the Dover Thift Edition of the "Poetics," as well as for the "Orationes, Volume 1" by Demosthenes. Butcher is also the author of "Aristotle's Theory of Poetry and Fine Art,"
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
The idealist tradition inaugurated by Plato led to the rise of universal, all-encompassing theories. That is, those which assert that there is a single unifying principle tying up together economics, politics, ethics, and social organization, and that this principle (whichever it may be) is suitable for any society at any time and place. Hence, Rousseaunianism, Socialism, Communism.
The "realist" tradition springing from Aristotle simply says that human problems can not be resolved by magical formulas or recipes. Social situations can not be severed from their immediate environment. Aristotle, then, classifies possible types of systems and defines their advantages and disadvantages for different types of societies.Read more ›
In "The Politics", the author begins by analyzing the human being, that is in his opinion a political animal by nature. Afterwards, he explains what are, for him, the origins of the polis: family, small village and then, polis. Aristotle says that even though the polis is the last chronologically, it is all the same the most important, because it is autarchic. The polis (not exactly like our states, but similar to them in some aspects) is a natural community, because it answers to something that human beings need. Only in the polis will men find perfection, only there will they be completely human. Aristotle distinguishes between citizens and non-citizens (the vast majority), and points out that only citizens have political rights. The author delves in many other themes, for example the causes of revolution, the good and bad forms of government, and the "ideal" form of government. What is more, he also considers several constitutions, and talks about the adequate education that forms good citizens for the polis.
Now, why should you read a book that was written many centuries ago and that on top of that isn't especially easy to read?. The answer is quite simple: "The Politics" is worth it.Read more ›
Aristotle's outline for government and state has been influential to political scientists for over 2,400 years. His discussion on the cons of complete unity, as well as his chapter on "the natural and unnatural methods of acquiring goods," certainly must have influenced Karl Marx, and his discussions on the "good of all" certainly led to Mills and Bentham's utilitarianism.
The Penguin Classics edition gives the reader an authoritative, inexpensive copy that is ideal for scholars as well as students. The footnotes are helpful, but not excessive. An excellent purchase all around.
Political science must start with an understanding and knowledge of human nature. What makes men form communities anyway? Aristotle's story is simple, but useful: first, there must a union of those who can not exist without each other, the male and female, who come together not of deliberate purpose, but out of the instinctive urge to make life continue. The family then comes into existence for the supply of men's everyday wants, and when families organize the village comes into existence and when villages come together society has reached its zenith -- the creation of the city-state.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a fascinating book about politics in ancient Greece that can reflect very easily on modern day politics except outdated notions like slavery, misogynistic views on... Read morePublished 8 days ago by Sonny Laskin
Slavery is something that Aristotle allows and I think it's the only flaw in his political system.Published 3 months ago by Marjorie Rose
The first book written solely to discuss the ideal social order in the Greek city-states. The idea of having a philosopher king, which was thoroughly discussed in this masterpiece. Read morePublished 6 months ago by sarah phillips