The State

Terence Irwin

in Aristotle's First Principles

Published in print April 1990 | ISBN: 9780198242901
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597770 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Paperbacks

 The State

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Aristotle’s account of how the political community promotes the human good supports an account of the ideal state, and why actual states fall short of it. Aristotle attributes much of what is wrong with prevalent political systems to mistaken conceptions of happiness. Honour and sensual gratification are viewed as genuine intrinsic good; but the right sort of honour does not require competition for external goods, and the right extent of gratification does not require an unlimited supply of them. Virtuous action is the primary constituent of happiness; ignorance of this explains the mistaken classification of goods in different political systems.

Keywords: Aristotle; state; happiness; human good; freedom; moral education; political system

Chapter.  7788 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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