Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Politics” as Want to Read:
The Politics
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Politics

3.91  ·  Rating Details ·  23,392 Ratings  ·  275 Reviews
Every state is a community of some kind, and every community is established with a view to some good; for mankind always acts in order to obtain that which they think good. But, if all communities aim at some good, the state or political community, which is the highest of all, and which embraces all the rest, aims at good in a greater degree than any other, and at the high ...more
ebook, 181 pages
Published January 24th 2013 by Start Publishing LLC (first published 1885)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Politics, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Borum I have the University of Chicago edition and in line 1253a of chapter 2 (9) in the first book, it is written:
"... man is by nature a political…more
I have the University of Chicago edition and in line 1253a of chapter 2 (9) in the first book, it is written:
"... man is by nature a political animal. He who is without a city through nature rather than chance is either a mean sort or superior to man; "

and then in chapter 2 (12-13), Aristotle goes on to say,
"The city is thus prior by nature to the household and to each of us. For the whole must of necessity be prior to the part;"

Is this what you were looking for? Different translations may sound different. I think the translator in this edition (Carnes Lord) wanted to emphasize the political element rather than the social aspect of human nature.

These two llines are on page 4, so you don't need to go through too much of the book. It's practically in the very beginning of the book.(less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
❁ بــدريــه ❁

انتقل ارسطو بعلم السياسية من أسلوب
المحاورات المعروفة " أفلاطون " إلى أسلوب
المحاضرة المعروفة بدقتها والتي تظهر
بشكل ادبي مميز. اتبع ارسطو منهجًا
استقرائي واقعي ..

تمثل العائلة في نظر ارسطو الخلية الأولى
في بناء المجتمع وانها وجدت لأشباع
حاجات الأنسان الجنسية ورغبة الأنسان
في حفظ النوع ، هذا بالأضافة الى نظام
الرق الذي يقوم على العلاقة بين السيد
والعبد . اهتم بالاساس الأقتصادي وتوزيع
الثروة في عملية تقسيمة للمجتمع إلى
طبقات اجتماعية، واعتبر إن وجود الملكية
شرطًا أساسيًا للحياة الاجتماعية و
Jun 27, 2010 Jeremy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy, politics
This is quite a turn away from the optimistic "we can figure it all out" tone of the Nicomachean Ethics. In trying to confront both what a state is and how it functions, he creates this weird/insidious master/slave hierarchy, expanding it to encompass children, women, basically anyone who isn't a member of the Athenian aristocracy. While this in and of itself isn't really shocking considering how the typical greek polis maintained and grew it's own power (i.e. going to war, stealing women, land ...more
Jul 28, 2011 Tim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I personally find it tough to do any sort of a review on the classics, as just about everything that can be said about a 2400 year old treatise has probably been said. However, like scripture, everyone has their own interpretation of these kinds of documents from antiquity. The interpretations, like any reading, have to do with the culture and time in which one was raised, the society and government around them, as well as one’s age and any previous influential readings and/or life experience. T ...more
Jan 10, 2011 Cody rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Come on Aristotle! You really wrote a lame book man. I'm gonna have to go read Plato's Republic to shake the funk out. I mean hey, I know you're supposed to be one of the world's greatest thinkers and you were the founder of formal logic and all. But dude, your ethics suck. What the jazz are you talking about in this book about how everyone needs to be ruled, and those who lack the rationality to rule themselves need to be ruled by others?

I mean, I guess that ends up happening to people who lac
Jonathan Karmel
In Politics, Aristotle theorized that in a perfect world, a monarchy would be a benevolent dictatorship, an aristocracy would be rule by the virtuous and democracy would be rule by the people. But because of human frailty, monarchy actually becomes tyranny, aristocracy actually becomes oligarchy and pure democracy actually becomes mob rule. The practical solution is a form of government that mixes elements of a single ruler, rule by the few and majority rule.

This idea survived and evolved, and e
I can't give a rating to Aristotle's Politics.

That being said, Aristotle's political philosophy runs on a horrendously fallacious naturalistic track, leading him to bizarre conclusions about...everything.

It was perhaps useful as a way of solidifying my conceptions of the wheelings and dealings of classical-era poleis, especially having read this alongside Thucydides, where the abstract, nuanced comparisons Aristotle makes between direct democracy and oligarchy find grounding in the brutality of
Mohannad Najjar
Jun 18, 2012 Mohannad Najjar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

شرح في هذا الكتاب أرسطو كل تصوّرُه عن الدولة و مكان الفرد: المواطن/ العبد/ المرأة / الفلاح/ الأجانب فيها،
لا يبدو الكتاب مُغرياً و مُحفزاً للقراءة. لكنه عهد قطعناه على أنفسنا -بنادي كتاب الفلسفة السياسية- أن نقرأ كامل الكتاب -ولو بدا مملاً ثقيلاً- و نتناقش حوله على مدى الخمسة الجلسات الماضية، ليأتي كثاني كتاب في قائمة أول الكتب المؤلفة في الفلسفة السياسية.

لم أستطع أن أخرج من قراءة الكتاب إلا باحترام شديد لأرسطو، رغم أن المعايير المعاصرة للحقوق ترفض فكره في هذا الكتاب جملةً وتفصيلاً.. وأنا فعلاً
Fernando Ferreira
Os especialistas e entendidos no assunto dizem que Aristóteles é uma das figuras intelectuais mais importantes de todos os tempos — que ele é, juntamente com Platão, um dos fundadores da razão ocidental.

Dizem os especialistas também que a “Política”, do mesmo Aristóteles, é um dos livros mais importantes já escritos, um dos textos seminais da reflexão política.

Mas, olhando ao nosso redor, nós, homens do século XXI, vemos que nossa realidade, nosso mundo, é muito diferente daquele dum grego que v
Jul 08, 2016 Genni rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
“Man is a political animal.”-The perfect springboard for Aristotle's political tome.

The book is largely divided, though not perfectly sectioned off, into sections concerning his political philosophy and analysis. His philosophy was a little difficult to ascertain. His idea of a citizen is severely limited, arguing that men are born to “rule or be ruled”. He says that the same means are needed to make a good man as a good constitution. And his insistence that the whole comes before the parts (th
Jan 31, 2010 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: greek-philosophy
This was my first political science book, and I was surprised to see it becoming a real page turner after the first two hundred pages. I had no idea how important the middle group of people are in a state. I don't know how much this corresponds to the present, but you hear on the news how the middle class is disappearing, the rich are getting richer and the poorer are getting poorer, and now all of a sudden there is cause for alarm because Aristotle says this is how nations become unraveled!

Amira Hosam
Aug 17, 2011 Amira Hosam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
talks about state of nature and how to set "state" ,how to set laws and types of government and which type is the best ? also talks about human nature and how to make it good by education, proper upbringing and music .
may be it is long book , contains many names and many details which need specialist in political sciences or philosophy but u can get also usefulness from it by knowing types of governments, how to make human nature better also the main target is " that book will make u think in e
Sylvia You
Jan 05, 2016 Sylvia You rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
우리나라 정치 및 근대사를 좋아하고 관심있어하는 나로써는 정말 재미있게 읽었다. 인간은 이천년전이나 지금이나 다름없다는 사실과. 아리스토텔레스의 통찰력이 대단하다.
Robert Davis
Aristotle speaks through the ages in his classic Politics. Many of his observations, especially those on education, were prescient and are as relevant today as they were 2400 years ago. Aristotle examines different kinds of government and the advantages and dangers of each. He includes insight into many of the problems of democratic government that would be left unsolved for 2000 years- and some that remain unsolved. Aristotle not only predicts the dangers of socialism and communism, but also th ...more
Aug 26, 2016 Ξιτσυκα rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: politics
To anyone who is interested in this book: make sure you read Ethics first.

This is the first Aristotle I have read and I have more questions than opinions. It might turn out that this review is a total stupidity but -- I've done worse (plus I'm a heartless bitch). So here we go.

0) The nicknames "divine Plato and daemonic Aristotle".

I heard this notion from Leo Strauss in his lecture on Symposium and I kept wondering what this could mean. Still have no idea what it could mean -- that Plato is as d
Book I

Communities and states are established to bring the greatest good to its members. Qualifications of a king and master or householder are not the same as some (Plato) think. It’s not just the number of subjects they have to deal with. A statesman is also different and he rules when citizens set up a government and rule by political science. But there are different kinds of rule.

Aristotle goes no to consider the relationship between master and slave, absolute and relative meaning of the term
Ken Moten
"Every state is a community of some kind, and every community is established with a view to some good; for mankind always act in order to obtain that which they think good. But, if all communities aim at some good, the state or political community, which is the highest of all, and which embraces all the rest, aims, and in a greater degree than any other, at the highest good." from Book I

I read this book for one of my political science classes and it marks my introduction to Aristotle. I have to
May 23, 2014 Maria rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Aristotle, as well as Plato, holds that individuals aren't but part of a community, does not give rise to women in public, comparing them with slaves. Justifying slavery with nature, justifying all social malaise, responding to an anti democratic way of thinking, hence the need to say who is a citizen and who is not. Author atrocious, proving the insanity of the times before Christ, and the urgent need to revise more democratic and fairer systems. it's very clear how classical authors tends to ...more
Kimberly Carson
Struggling to fully absorb the idea that Aristotle is a product of his time, but seemingly insurmountably disturbed by aggressive sexism.
Justin Tapp
There are so many consequential ideas in this book that it's amazing it's not required reading in Western classrooms anymore. The Benjamin Jowett translation is easily accessible in many formats. Perhaps just as it was "lost" to the Middle Ages until "rediscovered" and translated into Latin in the 12th century it is lost to today.

Prerequisites for reading this book are Plato's Republic and The Laws, of which I read the former. The Republic is the more important as Aristotle spends much time crit
Aug 16, 2015 ziombel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
The work of Aristotle is a good source about the types of regimes prevailing in antiquity. The author describes both the disadvantages and the advantages of such regimes. The interesting thing is that in many places you can see that socialism and its related ideas are nothing new, because the author repeatedly mentions even with regimes that tried to set the equality of humans or plunder the rich to the poor. If someone is interested in various forms of governance in ancient Greece is recommende ...more
Feb 12, 2015 Ben rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the gifts I received for Christmas, which seems like such a long time ago now, was a £25 voucher to use on amazon. As soon as I saw the three-thousand digit code on the back of the card, I realised that there was only one thing I’d spend all that money on, books. That thought brought on a very rare occasion that I can’t take for granted: I made a rash decision and didn’t regret it. I bought The Collected Works of Plato, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, How to be both, Crime and Puni ...more
Rowland Bismark
Jun 03, 2010 Rowland Bismark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In many ways, the Politics is a companion volume to the “Nicomachean Ethics”, in which Aristotle defines a life of good quality and sets about describing how it should be achieved. The Politics, to a large extent, is an effort to describe the kind of political association that would best facilitate the ends described in the Ethics.

However, the Politics is not subservient to the Ethics. Aristotle's claim is not that cities must exist to serve the ends of individuals. Rather, he claims that indivi
Zaman Ali
One of the best book in Human history.
Oscar Despard
Feb 24, 2017 Oscar Despard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Aristotle’s ‘Politics’ is a fascinating read. For the most part, this book discusses different ways in which states may be constructed. Arguments for and against each form of constitution are presented, and the defects of the reasoning used to justify each are displayed to the reader. Aristotle's ideas, coming as they do from a different era, are different and thought-provoking. Calling democracy a ‘deviated’ constitution is unthinkable today, but it is a possibility that is worth exploring. Jus ...more
Dec 21, 2015 Borum rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my first time at reading Aristotle, and I thought I was ready after being trained by Plato's dialogues. Boy was I mistaken. I also made the error of not reading the Nichomachean Ethics before reading the Politics. It might not have mattered, but I'm considering reading the Politics again after I read the Ethics to get a better grasp at Aristotle's idea of political virtue and the difference between the virtue of man and the virtue of a citizen.

Aristotle and Plato is like the two sides of
Alan Johnson
I initially read Sir Ernest Barker's translation of Aristotle's Politics in 1965. The present edition by Carnes Lord includes an excellent translation and introduction with helpful endnotes regarding the meaning of important Greek terms, relevant ancient history, alternative translations, and variations in the manuscript sources. As for Aristotle's work itself, one finds many objectionable things (slavery, the inferior role of women typical of ancient Athenian society, the also typical incorpora ...more
Varlık Özerciyes
Aristo'nun anayasa nasıl yapılır, sistemlerın kıyaslamalar, toplum yaşamına yönelik düzenleme önerilerini içeren ders notları ya da kitapları için söyleyecek çok şey var, ara sayfalara not düştüm. Kitap Aristo'nun hocalarıyla Platon Sokrates olan ayrılıkları ile başlıyor, aile yaşantısı çocuk yetiştirmeye varana değin düzenleme önerilerini barındırıyor. Sorunların ya da düşüncelerin güzümüzle paralellik göstermesi ilginç. Düşünce yapısını verdiği örneklere göre oldukça ilerici buldum.
Dec 25, 2010 C.P. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: students of political science
What is remarkable is how little has changed in the conservative and liberal positions since Aristotle. Some of it reads like it came from a recent blog.

My interest in finishing reading this classic is to provide some context for my discussion of the polis and the oikos in the second and, hopefully soon, first published edition of my book "Popular Capitalism". The treatment of the oikos was superficial and none of analysis applied to the polis was used in a deeper analysis of the oikos. Federati
Política reúne los escritos que Aristóteles (384-322 a. C.) dedicó a la vida en sociedad y la organización de la convivencia cívica. Una suma de tratados menores de sorprendente riqueza de temas, expuestos con la agudeza y profundidad que caracteriza el pensamiento aristotélico. El discípulo de Platón comienza analizando las estructuras básicas de la sociedad, en la que la ciudad representa el logro más cabal: el hombre está definido como un ser cívico, zion politikón, y por encima de la familia ...more
The irony of me calling Aristotle's work average is not lost on me.: Yep, I feel way over my head giving Aristotle three stars, but I'm throwing in my two cents anyhow.

This book is an incredible window into another time. Aristotle's views on a number of topics (women and slavery come quickly to mind) stand out so opposed to our beliefs today that it's almost worth reading this book just to get some perspective on how new some of the social ideas we take for granted really are. Getting that sens
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • The Laws of Plato
  • The Discourses
  • On the Republic/On the Laws
  • Second Treatise of Government
  • The Spirit of the Laws (Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought)
  • On Liberty and Other Essays
  • Essential Manners for Men: What to Do, When to Do It, and Why
  • The Young Man's Guide
  • The Basic Political Writings
  • Elements of the Philosophy of Right
  • On Law, Morality, and Politics
  • The Book of Deeds of Arms and of Chivalry
  • Strenuous Life
  • The Enneads
(Greece: Αριστοτέλης)
(Arabic: أرسطوطاليس)
(Bulgarian: Аристотел)
(Russian: Аристотель)

Aristotle (384–322 B.C.E.) numbers among the greatest philosophers of all time. Judged solely in terms of his philosophical influence, only Plato is his peer: Aristotle's works shaped centuries of philosophy from Late Antiquity through the Renaissance, and even today continue to be studied with keen, non-antiquaria
More about Aristotle...

Share This Book

“Man is by nature a social animal; an individual who is unsocial naturally and not accidentally is either beneath our notice or more than human. Society is something that precedes the individual. Anyone who either cannot lead the common life or is so self-sufficient as not to need to, and therefore does not partake of society, is either a beast or a god. ” 306 likes
“Nature does nothing uselessly.” 171 likes
More quotes…