Logos and the Political Nature of Anthrōpos in Aristotle’s Politics

in Polis: The Journal for Ancient Greek Political Thought
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Departing from Aristotle’s two-fold definition of anthrōpos (human) as having logos and being political, the argument of this article is that human beings are always fundamentally political for Aristotle. This position challenges the view that ethical life is prior to or beyond the scope of political life. Aristotle’s conception of the political nature of the human is developed through a reading of the linguistic argument at Politics 1.2; a careful treatment of autos, or self, in Aristotle; and an examination of the political nature of anthrōpos in the context of Aristotle’s candidates for the best life in Politics VII.1–3 and Nicomachean Ethics X.6–8. From this consideration the compatibility between Aristotle’s claims that anthrōpos is fundamentally political and that the highest end of the human is achieved in theoria is maintained, since even in pursuing the theoretic life, human beings take up the practical question of what the best life is.

Logos and the Political Nature of Anthrōpos in Aristotle’s Politics

in Polis: The Journal for Ancient Greek Political Thought

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