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Single Idea 21046

[catalogued under 25. Society / B. The State / 3. Constitutions]

Full Idea

Legislators make the citizens good by forming habits in them, and this is the wish of every legislator, and those who do not effect it miss their mark, and it is in this that a good constitution differs from a bad one.

Gist of Idea

The aim of legislators, and of a good constitution, is to create good citizens


Aristotle (Nichomachean Ethics [c.334 BCE], 1103b03), quoted by Michael J. Sandel - Justice: What's the right thing to do? 08

A Reaction

I always admired the UK Race Relations Act, which made certain sorts of racism illegal, quite a long time before many of the population grasped the point. The legislation educated the citizens.

Book Reference

Aristotle: 'Ethics (Nicomachean)', ed/tr. ThomsonJ A K/TredennickH [Penguin 1976], p.81