The Politics

The Politics

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Man is by nature a political animal

In The Politics Aristotle addresses the questions that lie at the heart of political science. How should society be ordered to ensure the happiness of the individual? Which forms of government are best and how should they be maintained? By analysing a range of city constitutions - oligarchies, democracies and tyrannies - he seeks to establish the strengths and weaknesses of each system to decide which are the most effective, in theory and in practice. A hugely significant work, which has influenced thinkers as diverse as Aquinas and Machiavelli, The Politics remains an outstanding commentary on fundamental political issues and concerns, and provides fascinating insights into the workings and attitudes of the Greek city-state.

The introductions by T. A. Sinclair and Trevor J. Saunders discuss the influence of The Politics on philosophers, its modern relevance and Aristotle's political beliefs. This edition contains Greek and English glossaries, and a bibliography for further reading. For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 512 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 22mm | 351g
  • London, England, United States
  • English
  • Revised
  • Revised ed.
  • notes, bibliography, glossary, index
  • 0140444211
  • 9780140444216
  • 26,189

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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About Aristotle

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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