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

Politics

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  31,510 ratings  ·  492 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
...more
Paperback, thrift, 368 pages
Published November 15th 2000 by Dover Publications (first published -350)
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 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 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)
Avinash You have understand that the times when this was written were very male dominant. As in, a woman was seen as a meek creature that cannot amass any sor…moreYou have understand that the times when this was written were very male dominant. As in, a woman was seen as a meek creature that cannot amass any sort of intelligence or significance. Men, on the other hand, were seen as the brave ones, the ones who fought, who did business, who ruled and governed. So, the phrase: 'a logic so masculine,' implies to 'a logic so powerful.'
It is not forgivable, but that's how it used to be.(less)
The Republic by PlatoThe Prince by Niccolò MachiavelliPolitics by AristotleCapital, Vol. 1 by Karl MarxThe Concept of the Political by Carl Schmitt
Politics
356 books — 466 voters
Being and Time by Martin HeideggerThe Republic by PlatoCritique of Pure Reason by Immanuel KantThus Spoke Zarathustra by Friedrich NietzscheHegel's Phenomenology of Spirit by Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
Best World Philosophy Book
918 books — 1,399 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  31,510 ratings  ·  492 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of Politics
Fergus
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!

Want a friendly tip?

When you’re finished browsing through the latest headline
...more
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
...more
Tim
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
Erick
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
Jeremy
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
Ana
An interesting treatise, but I can see why only those interested in political theory return to it.
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
...more
Cody
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
...more
Phoenix2
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.
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.
Genni
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
...more
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
...more
Chris
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!

The
...more
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
hami
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
...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.
8314
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
...more
Matt
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
...more
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
Marts  (Thinker)
Aristotle's treatise on governance...
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
...more
ziombel
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
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
Lucas
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
...more
Alex
Feb 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: aristotle, politics, greek
In Politics, Aristotle sets out to analyze the state. He's aware that one has to define first of all what a state is. He doesn't define it by a border, it's “a community of citizens united by sharing in one form of government, ”and a citizen would by anyone qualified to participate in such a community. The state is formed organically, a product of human nature. Most people want to associate with others, and this tendency will naturally lead to the creation of a government. It's a realistic origi ...more
Matt
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,
...more
Laila Kanon
Mar 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-non-fiction
It's rather silly to be critical on Aristotle's views on slavery, women, virtues and such; he was merely reflecting the culture and the setting of his time. Sadly, while slavery had been abolished or criminalized in most part of the world, nevertheless modern slavery still exist. Meaning we as human race still don't get it that enslaving fellow human beings for whatever reason is wrong.
I agree with Aristotle that democracy while not the best form of governance is far better than the alternatives
...more
Alex
Oct 31, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: politics, philosophy
" . . . [I]t is quite evident that the city must be concerned [with] virtue . . . [f]or otherwise the community becomes an alliance, differing only in location from others in which the allies live far apart, and law becomes an agreement . . . but not such as to make the citizens good and just."

The rejection of defining a community based on social contract or economic incentive is a correct course, but it is not one genuinely kept throughout the pages of this work.
Galicius
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
...more
Mεδ Rεδħα
Nov 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophie
What is "politics"? Is it a natural vocation for man? These questions deserve to be asked at a time when observers are making individualism and disaffection for the public good the characteristics of contemporary societies. The answer of Aristotle comes to us from another time, but will help us to better understand ours and what it misses perhaps. Society and its political organization are not for the author of La Politique a historical invention which has become necessary by the force of habit. ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Republic
  • Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy
  • Two Treatises of Government
  • Five Dialogues: Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Meno, Phaedo
  • The Trial and Death of Socrates (Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Phaedo (death scene only))
  • Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit
  • Second Treatise of Government
  • The Federalist Papers
  • Meditations on First Philosophy
  • Utilitarianism
  • Meditations
  • An Essay Concerning Human Understanding
  • The Discourses
  • The Laws of Plato
  • Leviathan
  • Common Sense, The Rights of Man and Other Essential Writings
  • Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals
  • Beyond Good and Evil
See similar books…
3,316 followers
(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
...more

News & Interviews

You know the saying: There's no time like the present...unless you're looking for a distraction from the current moment. In that case, we can't...
25 likes · 10 comments
“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. ” 460 likes
“Nature does nothing uselessly.” 235 likes
More quotes…