Single Idea 2818

[catalogued under 25. Society / B. The State / 4. Citizenship]

Full Idea

The virtue of the citizen must be in relation to the constitution; and as there are many constitutions, there cannot be just one single and perfect virtue of the sound citizen.

Gist of Idea

The virtues of a good citizen are relative to a particular constitution


Aristotle (Politics [c.332 BCE], 1276b28)

Book Reference

Aristotle: 'The Politics', ed/tr. Sinclair,T.A. /Saunders,T. [Penguin 1992], p.179

A Reaction

This is very striking support for the view that Aristotle's account of the virtues in 'Ethics' is merely a description of conventions (Athenian, presumably), rather than an appeal to nature. However, see his account of the soul, and human function.