Policy and Polity

Stephen R.L. Clark

in Aristotle's Man

Published in print May 1975 | ISBN: 9780198245162
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191680847 | DOI:
Policy and Polity

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This chapter outlines an Aristotelian approach of reconciliation. It also suggests that it can be solved, or dissolved, with the help of a ‘moral’ concept of personal identity, the theory that society has a life of its own, and the fact and nature of love. The reconciliation of individuality and gregariousness, in particular, is to be found in the discovery that one has created his identities, so that ‘self-interest’ is wholly ambiguous. The best is to make one that can love and be loved. Master–slave relationships are to be abandoned in favour of equal friendship, so that one act in accord with the principles of the best society and therefore of the divine in each and all human being. On Aristotle's terms a truly self-reflexive activity is impossible, so that any claim to self-reflexivity must unpack in terms of a separate subject and object. It is concluded that the reconciliation of man's capacities for solitude and togetherness, for self-service and altruism, lies in realizing that the self which is served is one that is created, and that the only reasonable self to create is a loving one.

Keywords: reconciliation; policy; polity; love; individuality; gregariousness; master–slave relationships; Aristotle

Chapter.  7148 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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