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Politics: A Treatise on Government Paperback – November 14, 2013

4.3 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 254 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (November 14, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1466336145
  • ISBN-13: 978-1466336148
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.6 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #636,259 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Philip Thompson on July 17, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Many readers dislike the pre-Christian tendencies in this work regarding subjects like slavery and women, but it must be admitted that this was a product of its era. And we are a product of our era (which has in no little part been influenced by Christian notions of fundamental human equality). Yet for such great distinction in eras, Aristotle offers us a remarkable discussion of enduring issues of populism and aristocracy, rule of all versus rule of some, and so on. I found a number of the insights, while dated, impressively relevant to our circumstance today. Aristotle saw some of the issues of democracy and oligarchy much clearer then than we do now. Perhaps because of the fog of the current two-party system we fail to understand the common sense of what influenced the founding of our nation so many years ago.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Rating a work by Aristotle is like rating a play by Shakespeare -- you don't rate the work, you rate the edition. This is a free Kindle edition and it's an acceptable translation. Buy a good print edition for serious study -- for a portable, searchable text, I recommend this one.
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A masterpiece establishing the basic ideas on Political thought 2500 hundred years ago. The philosopher at his best.
I wonder if our politicians has assimilated
the wisdom contained in this essay.
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What can I tell you?
A long and boring book. No frills and thrills. No action and adventure. Just a clear and precise description of the forms of government, and how democracy tends to fail.
Better read it wearing your thinking cap.
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Five stars because Aristotle informs and challenges me like the brilliant thinker he was. Read this to understand our Founding Fathers thinking when they created our constitution. It also gives a frightening glimpse of where the U.S. is headed. Not a quick read, but a very useful one.
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Format: Kindle Edition
The Politics is basically a treatise addressing the question "What type of government should we have?" To a large degree it is a response and refutation of Plato's The Republic, which should ideally be read first. Aside from the practical question of government itself, it is first worth noting the fundamental difference in the way these two men think. Plato (always quoting Socrates) attacks the problem top-down, ignoring experience and observation and thinking only of the ideal. Aristotle, in contrast, is a bottom-up thinker, looking around him and deciding what works and what doesn't. So instead of coming up with one ideal form of government, he classifies states into six fundamental types and gives us a set of recommendations for each type.

Aristotle's analysis makes for rather dry reading, and his conclusions are undramatic. The best form of government, he asserts, depends on the customs, economic status, and even the geography of the city being governed. In some cases a monarchy is best, in others an aristocracy, in other a democracy, etc. In all cases, however, the best government is that which is led by men of virtue and addresses the happiness and well-being of its people. He goes on to give advice for maintaining good government, selecting wise leaders, avoiding sedition and rebellion, and even selecting the appropriate location for a new city based on the type of government it will have. (Democracies, for example, thrive best on the plains. Oligarchies need hills, monarchies a natural citadel.)

As much as Aristotle's thought is at the root of modern political science, what is most striking in The Politics are the assumptions he makes which are completely at odds with modern ethical systems.
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Aristotle's words are as relevant today as they were when written. you will be astonished at how little things have changed through the centuries.
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Format: Paperback
Property rights, slavery, money-making, taxes, etc. - Just a few of the topics Aristotle covers. It is generally assumed that politics as a sport is a modern idea. Not so. Many of the journal articles and political books I have read, although empirical, are just regurgitating the ideas and observations of Aristotle. Among books from whence modern political philosophies and arguments stem, this is a must read. Your eyes will be opened as you begin to realize Aristotle's dilemmas are very similar, if not the same, to the dilemmas nations face today.
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