The Explanatory Power of Ethics in Aristotle's Theory of Politics and Law

Andres Rosler

in Political Authority and Obligation in Aristotle

Published in print March 2005 | ISBN: 9780199251506
Published online April 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602306 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Aristotle Studies Series

 The Explanatory Power of Ethics in Aristotle's Theory of Politics and Law

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It takes exception to the claim that since his political theory addresses legislators and statesmen rather than citizens or subjects, Aristotle is therefore not concerned about the interests of citizens and subjects and is thus unimpressed by the issue of political obligation. This chapter argues that once due consideration is given to Aristotle’s adoption of a practical viewpoint in his study of social reality, it is reasonable to conclude that the interests of citizens or free subjects are indeed a concern of his. It also explains that Aristotle’s political theory is not merely descriptive and/or explanatory but also basically normative. Special emphasis is given to the normative subtext of many of his descriptive and explanatory statements.

Keywords: agency; ethics; explanation of action; lawgivers; philosophy of social science; rationality

Chapter.  16787 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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