Plato, Aristotle, and the Purpose of Politics

Plato, Aristotle, and the Purpose of Politics

by Kevin M. Cherry

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Overview

In this book, Kevin M. Cherry compares the views of Plato and Aristotle about the practice, study, and, above all, the purpose of politics. The first scholar to place Aristotle's Politics in sustained dialogue with Plato's Statesman, Cherry argues that Aristotle rejects the view of politics advanced by Plato's Eleatic Stranger, contrasting them on topics such as the proper categorization of regimes, the usefulness and limitations of the rule of law, and the proper understanding of phronēsis. The various differences between their respective political philosophies, however, reflect a more fundamental difference in how they view the relationship of human beings to the natural world around them. Reading the Politics in light of the Statesman sheds new light on Aristotle's political theory and provides a better understanding of Aristotle's criticism of Socrates. Most importantly, it highlights an enduring and important question: Should politics have as its primary purpose the preservation of life, or should it pursue the higher good of living well?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781107021679
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 05/31/2012
Pages: 246
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Kevin M. Cherry is Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Richmond. His research has appeared in the American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Politics and History of Political Thought.

Table of Contents

Introduction; 1. A place for politics: the household and the city; 2. The beginnings and ends of political life; 3. Political knowledge and political power; 4. Political inquiry in Aristotle and the Eleatic Stranger; 5. Philosophy and politics in the Eleatic Stranger, Socrates, and Aristotle; 6. Modern politics, the Eleatic Stranger, and Aristotle; Conclusion.

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