The Problems Of A Political Animal

Overview


A bold new interpretation of Aristotelian thought is central to Bernard Yack's provocative new book. He shows that for Aristotle, community is a conflict-ridden fact of everyday life, as well as an ideal of social harmony and integration. From political justice and the rule of law to class struggle and moral conflict, Yack maintains that Aristotle intended to explain the conditions of everyday political life, not just, as most commentators assume, to represent the hypothetical ...
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Overview


A bold new interpretation of Aristotelian thought is central to Bernard Yack's provocative new book. He shows that for Aristotle, community is a conflict-ridden fact of everyday life, as well as an ideal of social harmony and integration. From political justice and the rule of law to class struggle and moral conflict, Yack maintains that Aristotle intended to explain the conditions of everyday political life, not just, as most commentators assume, to represent the hypothetical achievements of an idealistic "best regime."

By showing how Aristotelian ideas can provide new insight into our own political life, Yack makes a valuable contribution to contemporary discourse and debate. His work will excite interest among a wide range of social, moral, and political theorists.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520081673
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/1993
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.72 (d)

Meet the Author


Bernard Yack is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and author of The Longing for Total Revolution: Philosophic Sources of Social Discontent from Rousseau to Marx and Nietzsche (1986).
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
Political Community as a Term of Distinction 6
Distorted Images of Aristotelian Politics 10
Interpretive Approaches 18
1 Community 25
The Communal Animal 27
The Forms of Friendship and Justice 33
Aristotelian Community and Modern Social Theory 43
2 Political Community 51
The Defining Characteristics of Political Community 53
The Political Animal 62
The Ancient Polis and Modern Political Communities 71
Appendix. Monarchy add Political Community 85
3 Political Teleology 88
The Naturalness of the Polis 90
Politics and the Good Life 96
An Anthropocentric Universe? 100
The Good Life in Imperfect Political Communities 102
4 Political Friendship 109
Neither Brothers nor Comrades 110
The Dangers of Political Intimacy 118
Political Friendship and the Inconveniences of Political Life 122
5 Political Justice 128
Political Justice and Reciprocity 133
Natural and Conventional Right 140
The Subject of Justice 149
General and Distributive Justice 157
A Political Conception of the Common Good 166
6 The Rule of Law 175
What Is Law? 178
Adjudication 184
A Political Conception of the Rule of Law 194
7 Class Conflict and the Mixed Regime 209
Class Conflict in Ancient Greece 210
A Political Understanding of Class Conflict 215
Perceived Injustice and Class Interests 218
Political Friends, Class Enemies 224
The Mixed Regime and Political Justice 231
Appendix. "Political Revolution": A Missing Aristotelian Category 239
8 The Good Life in Political Context 242
Moral Character in Political Context 243
Misfortune and the Asymmetry Between Praise and Blame 251
Moral Conflict in Political Context 259
9 The Good Life in Extrapolitical Context 268
How Good Is the Aristotelian Good Life? 269
The Tensions Within a Good Human Life 277
Conclusion 281
Bibliography 285
Index of Citations from Aristotle's Works 301
General Index 305
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