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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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Factions and the Paradox of Aristotelian Practical Science

Factions and the Paradox of Aristotelian Practical Science

(p.132) Chapter Five Factions and the Paradox of Aristotelian Practical Science
Aristotle's Politics

Eugene Garver

University of Chicago Press

This chapter discusses the advice provided by Aristotle in Books V and VI on how to make the state stable and secure instead of how it can aim at a good life, and even in opposition to the good life. Stability as the goal of politics seems to reject the identification of the end of the state with living well. Instead, the stable state is merely a necessary condition for human flourishing, much like the contemporary liberal state. Under that understanding, there could be nothing noble about political activity. Aristotle states in the Ethics that the good man “will choose intense pleasure for a short time over slight pleasure for a long time, a year of living finely over many years of undistinguished life, and a single fine and great action over many small actions.” On the other hand, he states in the Politics that stability is a measure of the excellence of a constitution.

Keywords:   good life, stability, stable state, liberal state, constitution

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