Questions for Aristotle’s Politics, Book I

  • What does Aristotle mean when he says “man is a political animal”? Do you think all people/personalities are meant to be political leaders, or better yet, have the ability to be a political figurehead?
  • Aristotle discusses four elements that make up a household: master-slave, husband-wife, parent-child, and the “art of acquisition.” Which element does Aristotle see as the most significant and most important to a city?
  • “Man is a political animal.” Is it necessary to have¬†hierarchy or is it possible to have good while still remaining equal to all?
  • If hierarchy is the only way to have good, does that mean that slaves and masters are good, or is there some balance or limit of power that needs to be written in a polis’ constitution?

One thought on “Questions for Aristotle’s Politics, Book I

  1. Gabbie Rivera

    For questions number two I would say that art of acquisition is the most significant. Even though he says the art of acquisition in regards to wealth is unnatural, he does distinguish between acquisition of property and wealth. On pg. 367 Aristotle says, “one kind of property acquisition is natural part of household management, then, in that a store of the goods that are necessary for life and useful to the community of the city-state…” While he does say that wealth acquisition is not part of household responsibility it is important for the city-state to have knowledge of wealth acquisition, “It is also a useful statement to know about these things, since many city-states have an even greater need for wealth acquisition and the associated revenues than a private household does. That is why indeed some statement restrict their political activities entirely to finance.” (pg. 370). Thus, the art of acquisition is important for both the household and the city-state, however, Aristotle does believe that each is better suited for the acquisition of either wealth or property.

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