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by Aristotle

The writings of Greek philosopher ARISTOTLE (384BC-322BC)-student of Plato, teacher of Alexander the Great-are among the most influential on Western thought, and indeed upon Western civilization itself. From theology and logic to ethics and even biology, there is no area of human knowledge that has not been touched by his thinking.

In Politics-considered a companion

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The writings of Greek philosopher ARISTOTLE (384BC-322BC)-student of Plato, teacher of Alexander the Great-are among the most influential on Western thought, and indeed upon Western civilization itself. From theology and logic to ethics and even biology, there is no area of human knowledge that has not been touched by his thinking.

In Politics-considered a companion piece to Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics-the philosopher discusses the nature of the state, of citizenship, of public education and private wealth. In what is a response to the works of his teacher Plato, Aristotle explores the idea of the individual household as a microcosm and building block of the state; examines trade and the economy as functions of human affairs; discusses the battle between self-interest and nationalism; and much more. This edition features the classic introduction by H.W.C. Davis, the renowned English historian of the early 20th century.

Students of philosophy, government, and human nature continue to find Aristotle's Politics a provocative work more than two millennia after it was written.

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Meet the Author

Aristotle was born at Stageira, in the dominion of the kings of Macedonia, in 384 BC. For twenty years he studied at Athens in the Academy of Plato, on whose death in 347 he left, and, some time later, became tutor of the young Alexander the Great. When Alexander succeeded to the throne of Macedonia in 335, Aristotle returned to Athens and established his school and research institute, the Lyceum, to which his great erudition attracted a large number of scholars. After Alexander's death in 323, anti-Macedonian feeling drove Aristotle out of Athens, and he fled to Chalcis in Euboea, where he died in 322. His writings, which were of extraordinary range, profoundly affected the whole course of ancient and medieval philosophy, and they are still eagerly studied and debated by philosophers today. Very many of them have survived and among the most famous are the Ethics and the Politics.
Trevor J. Saunders has translated many volumes of Plato for the Penguin Classics.

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Table of Contents

The PoliticsTranslator's Introduction by T. A. Sinclair
Aristotle's Life and Works
Aristotle's Politics in the Past
Aristotle's Politics Today
Notes by the Reviser

Reviser's Introduction, by T. J. Saunders
A Modern Report on the Politics
Teaching and Research in the Lyceum
The Contents and Structure of the Politics
Aristotle's Philosophical Assumption
Why Read the Politics?
The Revised Translation
Principles of Revision
Translation of Key Terms
Refractory Terms
Italicized Prefaces to Chapters
Numerical References
Table of Contents and Index of Names


Book I
Preface to Book I
i. The State as an Association ii. The State Exists by Nature
The Two "Pairs"
Formation of the Household
Formation of the Village
Formation of the State
The State and the Individual iii. The Household and Its Slaves iv. The Slave as a Tool v. Slavery as Part of a Universal Natural Pattern vi. The Relation between Legal and Natural Slavery vii. The Nature of Rule over Slaves viii. The Natural Method of Acquiring Goods ix. Natural and Unnatural Methods of Acquiring Goods x. The Proper Limits of Household-Management; The Unnaturalness of Money-lending xi. Some Practical Considerations, Especially on the Creation of Monopoly xii. Brief Analysis of the Authority of Husband and Father xiii. Morality and Efficiency in the Household

Book II
i. Introduction to Ideal States: How Far Should Sharing Go?
ii. Extreme Unity in Plato's Republic
iii. Extreme Unity is Impracticable iv. Further Objections to Community of Wives and Children v. The Ownership of Property vi. Criticisms of Plato's Laws
vii. The Constitution of Phaleas viii. The Constitution of Hippodamus ix. Criticism of the Spartan Constitution
The Helots
Spartan Women
The Ephors
The Board of Elders
The Kings
Some Common Meals
Some Further Criticisms x. Criticism of the Cretan Constitution xi. Criticism of the Carthaginian Constitution xii. Solon and Some Other Lawgivers

Book III
i. How Should We Define "Citizen"?
ii. A Pragmatic Definition of "Citizen"
iii. Continuity of Identity of the State iv. How Far Should the Good Man and the Good Citizen Be Distinguished?
v. Ought Workers to Be Citizens?
vi. Correct and Deviated Constitutions Distinguished vii. Classification of Correct and Deviated Constitutions viii. An Economic Classification of Constitutions ix. The Just Distribution of Political Power x. Justice and Sovereignty xi. The Wisdom of Collective Judgments xii. Justice and Equality xiii. The Sole Proper Claim to Political Power xiv. Five Types of Kingship xv. The Relation of Kingship and Law (1)
xvi. The Relation of Kingship and Law (2)
xvii. The Highest Form of Kingship xviii. The Education of the Ideal King

Book IV
i. The Tasks of Political Theory ii. Consitutions Placed in Order of Merit iii. Why There are Several Constitutions iv. The Parts of the State and the Classification of Democracies
Definitions of Democracy and Oligarchy
The Parts of the State, and Resulting Variety among Constitutions (1)
Plato on the Parts of the State
The Parts of the State, and Resulting Variety among Constitutions (2)
Varieties of Democracy v. The Classification of Oligarchies vi. Four Types of Democracy and Four of Oligarchy vii. Varieties of Aristocracy viii. Polity Distinguished from Aristocracy ix. Polity as a Mixture of Oligarchy and Democracy x. Three Forms of Tyranny xi. The Merits of the Middle Constitution xii. Why Democrats and Oligarchs Should Cultivate the Middle Ground xiii. Right and Wrong Strategems to Ensure a Majority for the Constitution xiv. The Deliberative Element in the Constitution xv. The Executive Element in the Constitution xvi. The Judicial Element in the Constitution

Book V
i. Equality, Justice, and Constitutional Change ii. Sources of Constitutional Change (1)
iii. Sources of Constitutional Change (2)
iv. The Immediate Occasions of Constitutional Change v. Why Democracies Are Overthrown vi. Why Oligarchies Are Overthrown vii. The Causes of Factions in Aristocracies viii. How Constitutions May Be Preserved (1)
ix. How Constitutions May Be Preserved (2)
x. The Origins and Downfall of Monarchy xi. Methods of Preserving Monarchies, with Particular Reference to Tyranny xii. The Impermanence of Tyrannies; Plato on Constitutional Change

Book VI
i. How Do Constitutions Function Best?
ii. Principles and Practices of Democracies iii. Ways of Achieving Equality iv. The Best Democracy v. How Democracies May be Preserved vi. The Preservation of Oligarchies (1)
vii. The Preservation of Oligarchies (2)
viii. A Comprehensive Review of Officialdom

Book VII
i. The Relation between Virtue and Prosperity ii. The Active Life and the Philosophic Life (1)
iii. The Active Life and the Philosophic Life (2)
iv. The Size of the Ideal State v. The Territory of the Ideal State vi. The Importance of the Sea vii. The Influence of Climate viii. Membership and Essential Functions of the State ix. Citizenship and Age-Groups x. The Food-Supply and the Division of the Territory xi. The Siting and Defence of the City xii. The Siting of Markets, Temples and Communal Refectories xiii. Happiness as the Aim of the Constitution xiv. Education for Citizenship xv. The Proper Education for Cultured Leisure xvi. Sex, Marriage and Eugenics xvii. The Main Periods of Education; Censorship

i. Education as a Public Concern ii. Controversy about the Aims of Education iii. Leisure Distinguished from Play; Education in Music (1)
iv. The Limits of Physical Training v. Education in Music (2)
vi. Gentlemen versus Players vii. Melodies and Modes in Education

Select Bibliographies
Index of Names

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