Abstract

A new assessment of Aristotle Politics 3.11 shows that most of the arguments contained in this chapter are strictly analogical and should not be granted too much weight in Aristotle’s overall conception of popular government. A close analysis of the four analogies used by Aristotle to illustrate the so-called “wisdom of the many” brings to light both the negative and the positive conclusions allowed by this chapter, the following in particular: 1) the partial inclusion of the people in government decisions is desirable insofar as the people are affected by these decisions; 2) the people’s judgements are most qualified in some areas of political life, such as the audit of the magistrates; 3) the optimal distribution of power in the political community is made in accordance with the relative merits of all its members.

In: Phronesis
In: Aesthetic Value in Classical Antiquity
In: Homer and the Good Ruler in Antiquity and Beyond