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

[found in 'The Politics' by Aristotle (ed/tr Sinclair,T.A. /Saunders,T.) [Penguin 1992,0-14-044421-1]].

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1. Philosophy / D. Nature of Philosophy / 4. Aims of Philosophy / a. Philosophy as worldly
Free and great-souled men do not keep asking "what is the use of it?"
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
20. Action / B. Motives for Action / 3. Acting on Reason / a. Practical reason
The only virtue special to a ruler is practical wisdom
21. Aesthetics / B. Aesthetic Experience / 1. Beauty
Nothing contrary to nature is beautiful
21. Aesthetics / C. Aesthetic Judgement / 1. Objectivism in Art
The collective judgement of many people on art is better than that of an individual
22. Metaethics / A. Ethical Ends / 9. Selfishness
Selfishness is wrong not because it is self-love, but because it is excessive
22. Metaethics / B. Basis of Ethics / 3. Morality as Convention
The virtues of a good citizen are relative to a particular constitution
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
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 2. Elements of Virtue Theory / d. Teaching virtue
Music can mould the character to be virtuous (just as gymnastics trains the body)
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 2. Elements of Virtue Theory / f. The Mean
The law is the mean
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 / 4. External Goods / d. Friendship
Master and slave can have friendship through common interests
24. Applied Ethics / C. Death Issues / 3. Abortion
Abortions should be procured before the embryo has acquired life and sensation
25. Society / A. State of Nature / 1. A People / a. Human distinctiveness
The state exists not for community, but for noble actions
Man is by nature a political animal
A community must share a common view of good and justice
People want to live together, even when they don't want mutual help
25. Society / B. The State / 1. Purpose of a State
Aristotle says the state is natural, not conventional or contractual
Every state is an association formed for some good purpose
We must decide the most desirable human life before designing a constitution
25. Society / B. The State / 2. State Legitimacy / e. General will
The state aims to consist as far as possible of those who are like and equal
25. Society / B. The State / 3. Constitutions
The six constitutions are monarchy/tyranny, aristocracy/oligarch, and polity/democracy
Any constitution can be made to last for a day or two
25. Society / B. The State / 8. Religion in Society
The whole state should pay for the worship of the gods
25. Society / C. Political Doctrines / 5. Democracy
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
It is wrong that a worthy officer of state should seek the office
25. Society / D. Social Rights / 1. Legal Rights / a. Basis of rights
Law is intelligence without appetite
25. Society / D. Social Rights / 3. Social Equality / a. 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. Society / D. Social Rights / 3. Social Equality / b. Political equality
The good is obviously justice, which benefits the whole community, and involves equality in some sense
25. Society / D. Social Rights / 3. Social Equality / d. Economic equality
Phaleas proposed equality of property, provided there is equality of education
25. Society / E. State Functions / 2. The Law / a. Legal system
It is preferable that law should rule rather than any single citizen
If it is easy to change the laws, that makes them weaker
Man is the worst of all animals when divorced from law and justice
25. Society / E. State Functions / 5. Education / b. 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
25. Society / E. State Functions / 5. Education / c. Teaching
Men learn partly by habit, and partly by listening
26. Natural Theory / A. Heart of Nature / 2. Natural Purpose
The best instruments have one purpose, not many
If nature makes everything for a purpose, then plants and animals must have been made for man
28. God / A. Divine Nature / 2. Divine Nature
God is not blessed and happy because of internal goods, but because of his own nature
28. God / A. Divine Nature / 7. God Reflecting Humanity
Men imagine gods to be of human shape, with a human lifestyle