An analysis of aristotles nicomachean ethics book ii chapter 1

This belief means that women are denied access to certain areas of life such as politics. Many liberal democracies fail to get even half of their potential voters to cast a ballot at election time, and jury duty, especially in the United States, is often looked on as a burden and waste of time, rather than a necessary public service that citizens should willingly perform.

This is not to excuse Aristotle or those of his time who supported slavery, but it should be kept in mind so as to give Aristotle a fair hearing. Lifespan increases with gestation periodand also with body mass, so that elephants live longer than mice, have a longer period of gestation, and are heavier.

The reader should keep in mind that if the word "constitution" is used this does not mean a written constitution of the sort that most contemporary nation-states employ.

As he says in Nicomachean Ethics at b30, "The end [or goal] of politics is the best of ends; and the main concern of politics is to engender a certain character in the citizens and to make them good and disposed to perform noble actions.

In Chapter 11, Aristotle notes that there is a lot more to be said about enterprise in business, but "to spend much time on such things is crude" b This, for most contemporary readers is one of the two most offensive portions of Aristotle's moral and political thought the other is his treatment of women, about which more will be said below.

For now, he simply says that these pairs of people come together and form a household, which exists for the purpose of meeting the needs of daily life such as food, shelter, clothing, and so forth.

People in Western societies are used to thinking of democracy as a good form of government - maybe the only good form of government — but Aristotle considers it one of the flawed regimes although it is the least bad of the three and you should keep that in mind in his discussion of it.

The Doctrine of the Mean. It would be wrong for the other people in the city to claim the right to rule over them or share rule with them, just as it would be wrong for people to claim the right to share power with Zeus.

All of these things depend on the group that holds political power in the city. First, Aristotle points out that although nature would like us to be able to differentiate between who is meant to be a slave and who is meant to be a master by making the difference in reasoning capacity visible in their outward appearances, it frequently does not do so.

It is possible that Aristotle never finished writing it; more likely there is material missing as a result of damage to the scrolls on which it was written.

Aristotle has already told us that if the regime is going to endure it must educate all the citizens in such a way that they support the kind of regime that it is and the principles that legitimate it.

Aristotle also provides advice for those that want to preserve any of the existing kinds of regime, even the defective ones, showing a kind of hard-headed realism that is often overlooked in his writings.

So whatever regime is in power should, to the extent possible, allow the laws to rule. Instead, we can only observe that right conduct consists of some sort of mean between the extremes of deficiency and excess.

Secondly, most people who read Aristotle are not reading him in the original Attic Greek but are instead reading translations. This is another aspect of political science that is still practiced today, as Aristotle combines a theory about how regimes ought to be with his analysis of how regimes really are in practice in order to prescribe changes to those regimes that will bring them more closely in line with the ideal.

Rearranging the text in this way would have the effect of joining the early discussion of the origins of political life and the city, and the nature of political justice, with the discussion of the ideal city and the education appropriate for it, while leaving together books which are primarily concerned with existing varieties of regimes and how they are preserved and destroyed and moving them to the conclusion of the book.

Although the founders of cities create them for the sake of more comfortable lives, cities are unique in making it possible for people to live well. The oligarchs assert that their greater wealth entitles them to greater power, which means that they alone should rule, while the democrats say that the fact that all are equally free entitles each citizen to an equal share of political power which, because most people are poor, means that in effect the poor rule.

The extent and content of any missing material is a matter of scholarly debate. It is not made once and for all, but must be made over and over again as we live our lives.

Aristotelianism

As a final example, fecundity decreases with lifespan, so long-lived kinds like elephants have fewer young in total than short-lived kinds like mice. Human beings, for better or worse, cannot do this.

Nicomachean Ethics - Book I Summary & Analysis

They are necessary for the city to exist - someone must build the houses, make the shoes, and so forth — but in the ideal city they would play no part in political life because their necessary tasks prevent them from developing their minds and taking an active part in ruling the city.

Before the 12th century, the whole Byzantine output of Aristotelian commentaries was focused on logic. This examination of existing cities must be done both in order to find out what those cities do properly, so that their successes can be imitated, and to find out what they do improperly so that we can learn from their mistakes.

Desire is a thing of this sort; and spiritedness perverts rulers and the best men. He wrote about meteorology, biology, physics, poetry, logic, rhetoric, and politics and ethics, among other subjects. Moral purpose and moral responsibility. There is a distinction between things that are praised and things beyond praise, that are above it.

The Nicomachean Ethics

The women, slaves, and manual laborers are in the city for the good of the citizens. Aristotle also in Book III argues for a principle that has become one of the bedrock principles of liberal democracy: One of the important elements of creating a polity is to combine the institutions of a democracy with those of an oligarchy.

Virtuous acts require conscious choice and moral purpose or motivation. This is also one reason why many students have difficulty reading his work: But a democracy in which the interests of the wealthy were taken into account and protected by the laws would be ruling in the interest of the community as a whole, and it is this that Aristotle believes is the best practical regime.

For Aristotle, however, expertise in business is not natural, but "arises rather through a certain experience and art" a5. The Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle's most important study of personal morality and the ends of human life, has for many centuries been a widely-read and influential book.

Though written more than 2, years ago, it offers the modern reader many valuable insights into human needs and conduct.

A summary of Book II in Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of Nicomachean Ethics and what it means. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans. Free summary and analysis of Book 1, Chapter 1 (a) in Aristotle's The Nicomachean Ethics that won't make you snore.

We promise. Aristotle: Politics.

Aristotle's Ethics: Book 1

In his Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle ( B.C.E.) describes the happy life intended for man by nature as one lived in accordance with virtue, and, in his Politics, he describes the role that politics and the political community must play in bringing about the virtuous life in the citizenry.

The Politics also provides analysis of the kinds of political community that. Aristotle views ethics as a necessary part of political science. Both topics discuss the good for the individual and the community. Both topics discuss the good for the individual and the community.

Aristotle feels individuals and communities are inseparable, whether the community is a family, a tribe, or a city.

Aristotle: Politics

Aristotle: Nicomachean Ethics study guide contains a biography of Aristotle, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.

An analysis of aristotles nicomachean ethics book ii chapter 1
Rated 3/5 based on 85 review
The Nicomachean Ethics Book 2, Chapter 1 (bb25) Summary