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3.97  ·  Rating details ·  33,262 ratings  ·  512 reviews
What is the relationship of the individual to the state? What is the ideal state, and how can it bring about the most desirable life for its citizens? What sort of education should it provide? What is the purpose of amassing wealth? These are some of the questions Aristotle attempts to answer in one of the most intellectually stimulating works.
Both heavily influenced by an
Paperback, thrift, 368 pages
Published November 15th 2000 by Dover Publications
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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 animal…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)
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Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
All people desire the Good. So says Aristotle.

Yes, EVERYTHING works for the Good. What Good, though?

Well, he says, their OWN version of Good! And THAT’s why all politicians are so inherently different - AND why some get on our nerves. And WE’VE all got different preconceptions - ourselves!

You see, he learned from his teacher, Plato, that the Good is naturally in our human subconscious - and is also an Ideal - ABOVE us!

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Ahmad Sharabiani
Πολιτικά = Politics, Aristotle

Aristotle's Politics is divided into eight books which are each further divided into chapters. Citations of this work, as with the rest of the works of Aristotle.

In the first book, Aristotle discusses the city (polis) or as he likes to call it a "political association". He states that this city and other cities like it are designed and created with the purpose of achieving happiness or something good.

Book II examines various views concerning the two different kinds
Jul 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Despite the warnings and protests that I have received from goodreads friends about reading Aristotle's politics into our current political situations and vice versa, I will attempt to do just that in this review - unapologetically. Obviously, I am well aware that Aristotle lived over 2300 years ago; indeed, I would have to be pretty ignorant to be reading him to this degree and not be aware of that fact (I have now completed almost his whole corpus - minus his zoological writings and his Eudemi ...more
Jun 27, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: politics, philosophy
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
Jonathan Karmel
Dec 17, 2011 rated it liked it
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
An interesting treatise, but I can see why only those interested in political theory return to it.
Paul Haspel
Jun 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Politics is intrinsic to human life, as Aristotle knew well. One of the most famous quotes from this classic work of political philosophy is “ὁ ἄνθρωπος φύσει πολιτικὸν ζῷον.” This Greek phrase is often translated as “Man is by nature a political animal,” though I prefer to think of it as saying that “Humankind is by nature a political species.” However you translate Aristotle’s words, the fact remains that, 2400 years after Aristotle wrote the Politics in the 4th century B.C., we in the 21st ce ...more
Jan 10, 2011 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
Mar 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Political philosophy is a fundamental part of the legacy of the ancient Greeks. The questions of distribution of power, public justice and order, rights and duties, citizenship, the efficient use of resources and national security, lay at the heart of this tradition. In a civilization of unparallel political constitutional creativity and diversity, legendary lawgivers and great political theorists, Aristotle is pushing the discussion further to reach matters we still debate today.

What seems most
Sep 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: philosophy, thinking, allegory
Shelves: classics
I especially enjoy Aristotle's works, as he is easy to read and his philosophy is beautifully stractured. In this book, some of the foundamental ideas of politics are presented, again with an ease so everyone could understand them and see how he reached his conclusion by a logical order. ...more
Kimberly Carson
Sep 22, 2015 rated it it was ok
Struggling to fully absorb the idea that Aristotle is a product of his time, but seemingly insurmountably disturbed by aggressive sexism.
Jul 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: politics, 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
Amira Hosam
Aug 17, 2011 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
Aug 26, 2016 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
Jan 31, 2010 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!

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
Apr 10, 2018 rated it did not like it
Such a pity that today's modern civilizations are built upon such one-dimensional, racist, sexist, ableist and hierarchic ideas of state, humanity, and nature. If politicians would read something else instead of this book, maybe things would have been very different than now. No wonder, that 'war' has been usually the determinate factor of the natural and normal discourses and traditions up until now.

Why is Aristotle so obsessed with determining the 'natural state' of 'everything'? As if, as soo
Jonathan Wang
Dec 31, 2019 rated it did not like it
Quite possibly one of the worst books I've read in recent memory. It was actually painful trying to finish reading this book. Aristotle's words are obtuse, his arguments vague and it all just makes me want to fall asleep (I have actually fallen asleep numerous times while reading this book due to sheer boredom and uninterest). I'm sure there is troves of important information among these pages of gobbledygook, but I think Aristotle was just too galaxy brained for it to be comprehensible to the m ...more
Brian Eshleman
Jan 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: librivox
Evaluating my experience with the book, without daring to say that Aristotle was anything less than a five star intellect.
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 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
Sep 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
“We should take it, indeed, that pretty well everything else too has been discovered many times, or rather an infinite number of times, in the long course of history. For our needs are likely to teach the necessities, and once they are present, the things that add refinement and luxury to life quite naturally develop. Hence we should suppose that the same is true of matters pertaining to constitutions. That all such matters are ancient is indicated by the facts about Egypt. For the Egyptians are ...more
Jun 20, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The final thought that Aristotle leaves us in Nicomachean Ethics is the main source of tension in The Politics. The goal of existence in Nicomachean Ethics is happiness which can be achieved through the contemplative life, but Aristotle is rooted in Greek culture and cannot conceive of happiness outside the city-state. His opening line in The Politics sets his baseline:
Since we see that every city is some sort of partnership, and that every partnership is constituted for the sake of some good
Jeremiah Lorrig
Dec 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Wow. I can see why this is the foundation that most political philosophy is built on all these centuries later.

While some of his conclusions are strange/bazar to the modern mind, his structure of thought and analysis established a framework for evaluating good and bad governance. What a brilliant mind.
Marts  (Thinker)
Aristotle's treatise on governance... ...more
Knight Atlantic
Jul 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Very good; speaks generally enough on many topics to still be of use today.
Otto Lehto
Jun 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
This marvelous book of which many things can be said was 1) the beginning of analytical political science and 2) a critical summation and refinement of the normative political theory of the Greeks (especially Plato). Its achievements are staggering. There is an astronomical amount of fascinating and deliriously analytical content here, from the small to the very big, that has kept generations of scholars very happy (and sometimes very despondent). Aristotle's great strength as a political philos ...more
Notes on Politiká

1. Previously, on his Ethics, Aristóteles had called politics the true human good. Politiká is in many ways a sort of companion piece of the ethical treaties, perhaps his intended centrepiece. It explores virtues this time in the context of communal life, a sort of macrowork where the previous one was more intimate, more personal. And in spite of it being a centrepiece of sorts, it's nowhere near as good as his Ethics. Has it aged? No doubt, but it'd be silly to expect otherwise
As Plato’s writings have been a cornerstone of Western thought, so have those of his pupil Aristotle through his own lectures and treatise sometimes agreed and disagreed with his teacher while shaping the views of millions over the millennia. Politics is one of the most important political treatise that has impacted society as it is studied alongside Plato’s own Republic not because they agree, but how they agree through different methods and disagree in conclusions.

Unlike the approach of Plato,
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(Greece: Αριστοτέλης)
(Arabic: أرسطوطاليس)
(Bulgarian: Аристотел)
(Russian: Аристотель)
(Ukrainian: Арістотель)
(Alternate European spelling: Aristoteles)
(Italian: Aristotele)

Aristotle (384–322 B.C.) 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 thro

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