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Aristotle's PoliticsLiving Well and Living Together$
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Eugene Garver

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780226284026

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226284040.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 21 October 2021

Book I

Book I

Slavery and the Will to Power

(p.17) Chapter One Book I
Aristotle's Politics

Eugene Garver

University of Chicago Press

This chapter explores the most notorious feature of the Politics, the endorsement of slavery. This is an important feature of Aristotle's treatise since the issues raised by slavery cut deep into his way of thinking and help us understand what he means by saying that people are political animals. In Book I, Aristotle defends the naturalness of slavery and couples it with an analogous denigration of women. Worse, in Book VII, he provides a racial interpretation to slavery as he locates those suited to be slaves in Asia, as opposed to Europeans too wild to be domesticated and to the Greeks whose ideal psyches make them natural masters. This is a dismal example of a great mind unable to escape the prejudices of his time, and of philosophy enlisted as rationalization in the service of a hidden political agenda.

Keywords:   slavery, political animals, women, racial interpretation, political agenda

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