Aristotle's Politics

Pierre Pellegrin

in The Oxford Handbook of Aristotle

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780195187489
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy

Aristotle's Politics

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  • Classical Philosophy
  • Social and Political Philosophy



Is there something like an Aristotelian political thought or philosophy? Apparently so: we have a special treatise by Aristotle that takes as its object the consideration of the city (polis)—its components, its functioning, and, most of all, the different possible forms of constitution it may have. This treatise was probably given its title, Politics, by Aristotle himself, whose political philosophy, if any, is based upon an analysis, objective as well as prescriptive, of the political reality of his day. According to Plato, at least in the Republic, there is no real political science, because there is only one science, which he calls “dialectic”, which encompasses everything. This article explores the position of politics in Aristotle's thought, the relationship between politics and theory, the family and the city, the politics of slavery, citizens and constitutions, and political science and realpolitik.

Keywords: Aristotle; political thought; political philosophy; politics; political science; Plato; city; slavery; family; constitutions

Article.  15180 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Classical Philosophy ; Social and Political Philosophy

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