Ideas from 'Politics' by Aristotle [332 BCE], by Theme Structure

[found in 'Politics' by Aristotle (ed/tr Reeve,C.D.C.) [Hackett 2017,978-1-62466-557-8]].

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1. Philosophy / D. Nature of Philosophy / 5. Aims of Philosophy / a. Philosophy as worldly
Free and great-souled men do not keep asking "what is the use of it?"
1. Philosophy / F. Analytic Philosophy / 1. Nature of Analysis
Our method of inquiry is to examine the smallest parts that make up the whole
2. Reason / A. Nature of Reason / 2. Logos
Human beings, alone of the animals, have logos
2. Reason / A. Nature of Reason / 4. Aims of Reason
Reasoning distinguishes what is beneficial, and hence what is right
2. Reason / A. Nature of Reason / 7. Status of Reason
Intelligence which looks ahead is a natural master, while bodily strength is a natural slave
2. Reason / F. Fallacies / 3. Question Begging
Men are natural leaders (apart from the unnatural ones)
2. Reason / F. Fallacies / 5. Fallacy of Composition
'If each is small, so too are all' is in one way false, for the whole composed of all is not small
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 8. Parts of Objects / c. Wholes from parts
The whole is prior to its parts, because parts are defined by their role
11. Knowledge Aims / A. Knowledge / 2. Understanding
Understanding is the aim of our nature
14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / g. Causal explanations
To grasp something, trace it back to its natural origins
14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / k. Explanations by essence
The nature of each thing is its mature state
16. Persons / B. Nature of the Self / 4. Presupposition of Self
The nature of all animate things is to have one part which rules it
19. Language / F. Communication / 1. Rhetoric
Rhetoric now enables good speakers to become popular leaders
20. Action / B. Preliminaries of Action / 2. Willed Action / d. Weakness of will
A community can lack self-control
21. Aesthetics / A. Aesthetic Experience / 5. Natural Beauty
Nothing contrary to nature is beautiful
21. Aesthetics / C. Artistic Issues / 5. Objectivism in Art
The collective judgement of many people on art is better than that of an individual
21. Aesthetics / C. Artistic Issues / 7. Art and Morality
Music can mould the character to be virtuous (just as gymnastics trains the body)
22. Metaethics / A. Value / 2. Values / f. Love
Spirit [thumos] is the capacity by which we love
22. Metaethics / A. Value / 2. Values / h. Self interest
Selfishness is wrong not because it is self-love, but because it is excessive
22. Metaethics / B. The Good / 1. Goodness / g. Consequentialism
The function of good men is to confer benefits
22. Metaethics / C. Ethics Foundations / 2. Source of Ethics / j. Ethics by convention
Some say slavery is unnatural and created by convention, and is therefore forced, and unjust
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 2. Elements of Virtue Theory / c. Motivation for virtue
People become good because of nature, habit and reason
Virtuous people are like the citizens of the best city
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 2. Elements of Virtue Theory / f. The Mean
The law is the mean
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 2. Elements of Virtue Theory / h. Right feelings
Virtue is concerned with correct feelings
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 3. Virtues / b. Temperance
It is quite possible to live a moderate life and yet be miserable
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 3. Virtues / c. Justice
Justice is a virtue of communities
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 4. External Goods / c. Wealth
The rich are seen as noble, because they don't need to commit crimes
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 4. External Goods / d. Friendship
Master and slave can have friendship through common interests
24. Political Theory / A. Basis of a State / 1. A People / a. Human distinctiveness
Only humans have reason
Man is by nature a political animal
People want to live together, even when they don't want mutual help
24. Political Theory / A. Basis of a State / 1. A People / c. A unified people
People who are anti-social or wholly self-sufficient are no part of a city
Friendship is best good for cities, because it reduces factions
The community (of villages) becomes a city when it is totally self-sufficient
A community must share a common view of good and justice
A city can't become entirely one, because its very nature is to be a multitude
A community should all share to some extent in something like land or food
24. Political Theory / A. Basis of a State / 2. Population / b. State population
The size of a city is decided by the maximum self-sufficient community that can be surveyed
24. Political Theory / B. Nature of a State / 1. Purpose of a State
Every state is an association formed for some good purpose
The same four cardinal virtues which apply to individuals also apply to a city
What is the best life for everyone, and is that a communal or an individual problem?
The happiest city is the one that acts most nobly
A city aims at living well
24. Political Theory / B. Nature of a State / 2. State Legitimacy / d. General will
The state aims to consist as far as possible of those who are like and equal
24. Political Theory / B. Nature of a State / 3. Constitutions
The best constitution enables everyone to live the best life
We must decide the most desirable human life before designing a constitution
Any constitution can be made to last for a day or two
The greed of the rich is more destructive than the greed of the people
A city is a community of free people, and the constitution should aim at the common advantage
The six constitutions are monarchy/tyranny, aristocracy/oligarchy, and polity/democracy
Constitutions specify distribution of offices, the authorities, and the community's aim
24. Political Theory / B. Nature of a State / 4. Citizenship
A citizen is someone who is allowed to hold official posts in a city
The middle classes are neither ambitious nor anarchic, which is good
The virtues of a good citizen are relative to a particular constitution
A person can be an excellent citizen without being an excellent man
24. Political Theory / C. Ruling a State / 2. Leaders / b. Monarchy
Kings should be selected according to character
24. Political Theory / C. Ruling a State / 2. Leaders / d. Elites
The only virtue special to a ruler is practical wisdom
The rich can claim to rule, because of land ownership, and being more trustworthy
The guardians should not be harsh to strangers, as no one should behave like that
People who buy public office will probably expect to profit from it
24. Political Theory / C. Ruling a State / 3. Government / c. Executive
Election of officials by the elected is dangerous, because factions can control it
In large communities it is better if more people participate in the offices
Officers should like the constitution, be capable, and have appropriate virtues and justice
24. Political Theory / D. Ideologies / 5. Democracy / a. Nature of democracy
Popular leaders only arise in democracies that are not in accord with the law
Choosing officials by lot is democratic
Democracy arises when people who are given equal freedom assume unconditional equality
Ultimate democracy is tyranny
The many may add up to something good, even if they are inferior as individuals
Like water, large numbers of people are harder to corrupt than a few
In many cases, the claim that the majority is superior would apply equally to wild beasts
24. Political Theory / D. Ideologies / 5. Democracy / d. Representative democracy
If the people are equal in nature, then they should all share in ruling
No office is permanent in a democracy
It is wrong that a worthy officer of state should seek the office
24. Political Theory / D. Ideologies / 6. Liberalism / b. Liberal aims
We aim to understand the best possible community for free people
24. Political Theory / D. Ideologies / 7. Communitarianism
Citizens do not just own themselves, but are also parts of the city
Look at all of the citizens before judging a city to be happy
Community is based on friends, who are equal and similar, and share things
The best communities rely on a large and strong middle class
24. Political Theory / D. Ideologies / 8. Socialism
People care less about what is communal, and more about what is their own
24. Political Theory / D. Ideologies / 9. Communism
There could be private land and public crops, or public land and private crops, or both public
Owning and sharing property communally increases disagreements
24. Political Theory / D. Ideologies / 12. Feminism
Both women and children should be educated, as this contributes to a city's excellence
25. Social Practice / A. Freedoms / 1. Slavery
Natural slaves are those naturally belonging to another, or who can manage no more than labouring
25. Social Practice / A. Freedoms / 6. Political freedom
One principle of liberty is to take turns ruling and being ruled
25. Social Practice / B. Equalities / 1. Grounds of equality
We can claim an equal right to aristocratic virtue, as well as to wealth or freedom
Equality is obviously there to help people who do not get priority in the constitution
It is always the weak who want justice and equality, not the strong
25. Social Practice / B. Equalities / 2. Political equality
It is dreadful to neither give a share nor receive a share
Faction is for inferiors to be equal, and equals to become superior
The Heraeans replaced election with lot, to thwart campaigning
25. Social Practice / B. Equalities / 4. Economic equality
Phaleas proposed equality of property, provided there is equality of education
Wealth could be quickly leveled by only the rich giving marriage dowries
25. Social Practice / C. Rights / 1. Basis of Rights
Law is intelligence without appetite
25. Social Practice / C. Rights / 4. Property rights
Property should be owned privately, but used communally
25. Social Practice / D. Justice / 1. Basis of justice
Justice is the order in a political community
Justice is equality for equals, and inequality for unequals
The virtue of justice may be relative to a particular constitution
The good is obviously justice, which benefits the whole community, and involves equality in some sense
25. Social Practice / D. Justice / 2. The Law / a. Legal system
Laws that match people's habits are more effective than mere written rules
Man is the worst of all animals when divorced from law and justice
If it is easy to change the laws, that makes them weaker
25. Social Practice / D. Justice / 2. The Law / b. Rule of law
Correct law should be in control, with rulers only deciding uncertain issues
It is said that we should not stick strictly to written law, as it is too vague
It is preferable that law should rule rather than any single citizen
25. Social Practice / E. Policies / 2. Religion in Society
The whole state should pay for the worship of the gods
25. Social Practice / E. Policies / 5. Education / a. Aims of education
A state is plural, and needs education to make it a community
The aim of serious childhood play is the amusement of the complete adult
A city has a single end, so education must focus on that, and be communal, not private
25. Social Practice / E. Policies / 5. Education / c. Teaching
Men learn partly by habit, and partly by listening
25. Social Practice / F. Life Issues / 3. Abortion
Abortions should be procured before the embryo has acquired life and sensation
26. Natural Theory / A. Speculations on Nature / 2. Natural Purpose / a. Final purpose
If nature makes everything for a purpose, then plants and animals must have been made for man
26. Natural Theory / A. Speculations on Nature / 2. Natural Purpose / b. Limited purposes
The best instruments have one purpose, not many
28. God / A. Divine Nature / 2. Divine Nature
God is not blessed and happy because of external goods, but because of his own nature
28. God / C. Attitudes to God / 4. God Reflects Humanity
Men imagine gods to be of human shape, with a human lifestyle