“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.