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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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Book II

Book II

Aristotle’s State as a Work of Art

(p.42) Chapter Two Book II
Aristotle's Politics

Eugene Garver

University of Chicago Press

This chapter shows how Politics II moves from considering the polis as natural, to the polis as the product of human artifice. Aristotle has exhausted the resources of the analogy between the polis and natural things in the first book, and so turns to the analogies between poleis and artifacts in Book II, to discover the limitations of that analogy as well. Book III will finally put us in a position to think about the state in terms of phronesis, practical wisdom, and neither art nor nature. The chapter also shows that Book I lacks an account of the relation between economic self-sufficiency and the ethical self-sufficiency of the good life. It is argued here that the lack of a single relation between the two leads to the variety of constitutions and the variety of relations between a good polis and a good life.

Keywords:   polis, human artifice, natural things, artifacts, phronesis, economic self-sufficiency, ethical self-sufficiency, constitutions, good polis, good life

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