By T. Pangle, J. Lomax
Political societies usually regard philosophers as strength threats to morality and faith, and people who converse for politics frequently call for a protection of philosophy. This e-book will tackle philosophy as a method of life placed into question.
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Extra info for Political Philosophy Cross-Examined : Perennial Challenges to the Philosophic Life
And it would appear to follow necessarily that, even as absolute, benevolent kingship has here again apparently been proven to be most in accord with nature where there is present in a community the very best individual (recall 1288a15–32 and 1284b25–34), so universal, benevolent empire would appear to be most in accord with nature for the very best city (which might well have to use armed violence or intimidation to deprive recalcitrant cites, with deviant regimes, of their independent rule). 20 Morally serious students, drawn to a life of noble rule, who have followed this Aristotelian dialogue, cannot but be deeply troubled.
The explicit case for theory is spelled out by Aristotle in the next to last part of the last book of the Nicomachean Ethics, where he returns to the theme to which he had devoted its first book, happiness. The discussion of happiness in the first book had postponed to an unspecified sequel a consideration of the claim of the theoretical life in that regard (1096a4– 5). Connected with this postponement is the fact that while the earlier discussion had indeed called attention to the link between happiness and some activity—the point from which the later discussion can be said to begin—it had failed to identify the activity in question (1097b22– 1098a20, 1177a12– 19, 1176a32-b2).
Aristotle’s question is of the political arrangements that would satisfy the requirements of justice. He approaches it via the dispute on that score between the oligarchs and the democrats, which he proposes to arbitrate. The presence of these two groups, the rich and the poor—the irreducible components of any political community (1291b2–8)—is thus presupposed from the outset: even their oaths can be heard (1281a16, b18). Oligarchy and democracy had been identified in the immediately preceding section of the text as unjust regimes, insofar as they look not to the common benefit but to that of the rulers themselves (1279a17–31, b4–10).