Aristotle's Politics: Living Well And Living Together

Paperback | April 4, 2014

byEugene Garver

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“Man is a political animal,” Aristotle asserts near the beginning of the Politics. In this novel reading of one of the foundational texts of political philosophy, Eugene Garver traces the surprising implications of Aristotle’s claim and explores the treatise’s relevance to ongoing political concerns. Often dismissed as overly grounded in Aristotle’s specific moment in time, in fact the Politics challenges contemporary understandings of human action and allows us to better see ourselves today.

Close examination of Aristotle’s treatise, Garver finds, reveals a significant, practical role for philosophy to play in politics. Philosophers present arguments about issues—such as the right and the good, justice and modes of governance, the relation between the good person and the good citizen, and the character of a good life—that politicians must then make appealing to their fellow citizens. Completing Garver’s trilogy on Aristotle’s unique vision, Aristotle’s Politics yields new ways of thinking about ethics and politics, ancient and modern.

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“Man is a political animal,” Aristotle asserts near the beginning of the Politics. In this novel reading of one of the foundational texts of political philosophy, Eugene Garver traces the surprising implications of Aristotle’s claim and explores the treatise’s relevance to ongoing political concerns. Often dismissed as overly grounded ...

Eugene Garver is the Regents Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at Saint John’s University and adjunct professor of philosophy at the University of Minnesota. His most recent books include Aristotle’s Rhetoric: An Art of Character and Confronting Aristotle’s Ethics: Ancient and Modern Morality.

other books by Eugene Garver

Format:PaperbackDimensions:312 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.8 inPublished:April 4, 2014Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022615498X

ISBN - 13:9780226154985

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Abbreviations of Aristotle’s Works

Introduction: Aristotle’s Politics: Living Well and Living Together

I. Six Chapters to Living Well and Living Together
II. Politics IV.1–2: The Four Kinds of Best and Aristotle’s Four Causes
III. Ethics and Politics
IV. What Can the Politics Tell Us About Politics?


1. Book I: Slavery and the Will to Power

I. Slavery: Incomplete Actions and Incomplete Souls
II. Slavery and Slavishness
III. Despotism
IV. Slavery, Despotism, and Human Nature
V. Natural Rulers, Political and Despotic
VI. Thumos: Domination and Friendship
VII. Aristotle’s Slavery and Contemporary Problems


2. Book II: Aristotle’s State as a Work of Art

I. The Ideal State and Its Problems
II. Property and a Unified Polis
III. Private Property, Ancient and Modern
IV. Property versus Education as a Unifying Force
V. The Modesty and Ambition of the Politics
VI. Politics as Practical, not Productive
VII. From the Preface to Politics to Politics Itself


3. The Justice of Book III and the Incompleteness of the Normative

I. Aristotle versus Liberalism: The Right and the Good
II. The Meaning of “Form” in
Politics III
III. The Definition of “Citizen”:
Politics III.1–3
IV. The Good Man and the Good Citizen:
Politics III.4–5
V. The Kinds of Constitutions:
Politics III.6–8
VI. Justice as Proportional to Merit:
Politics III.9–13
VII. The Rule of the Best versus the Rule of Law:
Politics III.14–18
VIII. Conclusion


4. Practical Knowledge and the Four Orientations to the Best

I: The Kinds of Constitutions: IV.3–10
II: Polity and the Best in General
III. The Best in Particular Circumstances: Chapters 12–13
IV. Formal Possibilities and the Best in Particular
Circumstances: Chapters 14–16
V. Conclusion


5. Factions and the Paradox of Aristotelian Practical Science

I. Asymmetries, Epistemological and Ethical
II. Faction and Constitutional Change
III. Book V.1–4: Faction in General
IV. Book V.4: A Fifth Cause?
V. Book V.5–7: Faction and Particular Constitutions
VI. Book V.8–9: Preservation (and Improvement?)
VII. Preserving the Constitution and the Arts of Appearance
VIII. Stopping Factions versus Preserving the Constitution
IX. The Revolt of the Just
X. Political Philosophy: Inside or Outside the Polis?
XI: Philosophy and Phronesis: Logos and E¯thos


6. The Best Life and the Common Life

I. Book VII.1
II. Nature Versus Justice
III. Book VII.2
IV. Book VII.3
V. Book VII.4–7
VI. Book VII.8
VII. Book VII.13
VIII. Book VIII: Virtue and Music
IX. The Ideal and the Practical


Conclusion: People as Political Animals

Notes
Works Cited
Index

Editorial Reviews

“Lord succeeds in heightening his original translation by honing in on certain expressions and sharpening passages in favor of readability and better access to the text.”