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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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The Best Life and the Common Life

The Best Life and the Common Life

(p.172) Chapter Six The Best Life and the Common Life
Aristotle's Politics

Eugene Garver

University of Chicago Press

This chapter offers a treatment of the city of prayer, as seen in Books VII and VIII, that turns on two textual questions, both concerning the relation between the best life and the best constitution. The textual puzzles provide access to philosophical problems. The first three chapters of Book VII are examined here in an effort to show how their complex argument entitles Aristotle to talk about a constitution as happy and virtuous without falling into circularity and the fallacy of composition. Utilizing such predicates gives Aristotle the ability to infer from the best life to the best constitution, and equally, from the best constitution to the best life. Book VII also contains three separate examinations of the best life, which is a subject of discussion here. From these three discussions of happiness, the author aims to identify exactly what can be inferred from them in constructing the best state.

Keywords:   prayer, textual questions, best life, best constitution, fallacy of composition

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