An Analysis of Aristotle's Politics: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

An Analysis of Aristotle's Politics

1st Edition

By Katherine Berrisford, Riley Quinn

Macat Library

103 pages

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Description

Aristotle remains one of the most celebrated thinkers of all time in large part thanks to his incisive critical thinking skills. In Politics, which can be considered one of the foundational books of the western political tradition, the focus is on problem-solving, and particularly on the generation and evaluation of alternative possibilities.

Aristotle’s aim, in Politics, is to determine how best to organize a society. He looks in turn at several different type of organization – kingship, oligarchy and the polity, or rule in the hands of many – and evaluates the arguments for each in turn. But he takes the exercise further than his predecessors had done. Having concluded that rule by the aristocracy would be preferable, since it would mean rule by citizens capable of taking decisions on behalf of the society as a whole, Aristotle subjects his solution to a further checking process, asking productive questions in order to make a sound decision between alternatives.

Politics was ground-breaking in its approach. Unlike previous thinkers, Aristotle based all his ideas on a practical assessment of how they would play out in the real world. Ultimately, Aristotle argues, the problem of self-interest means that the adoption of a mixed constitution – one based on carefully considered laws which aims at a balance of power between the people and the elite – is most likely to bring eudaemonia (happiness). It’s a conclusion firmly based on careful evaluation (not least the process of judging the adequacy of arguments) and the product of outstanding problem-solving skills.

Table of Contents

Ways in to the Text

Who was Aristotle?

What does Politics Say?

Why does Politics Matter?

Section 1: Influences

Module 1: The Author and the Historical Context

Module 2: Academic Context

Module 3: The Problem

Module 4: The Author's Contribution

Section 2: Ideas

Module 5: Main Ideas

Module 6: Secondary Ideas

Module 7: Achievement

Module 8: Place in the Author's Work

Section 3: Impact

Module 9: The First Responses

Module 10: The Evolving Debate

Module 11: Impact and Influence Today

Module 12: Where Next?

Glossary of Terms

People Mentioned in the Text

Works Cited

About the Authors

Katherine Berrisford is researching a PhD thesis in political theory at the University of Exeter.

Riley Quinn holds master’s degrees in politics and international relations from both LSE and the University of Oxford.

About the Series

The Macat Library

Great Works for Critical Thinking

Making the ideas of the world’s great thinkers accessible, affordable, and comprehensible to everybody, everywhere. 

With a growing list of over 180 titles across a broad range of subject areas, Macat works with leading academics from the world’s top universities to produce new analyses that focus on the ideas and the impact of the most influential works ever written. By setting them in context – and looking at the influences that shaped their authors, as well as the responses they provoked – Macat encourages readers to look at these classics and game-changers with fresh eyes.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LIT000000
LITERARY CRITICISM / General
POL000000
POLITICAL SCIENCE / General
POL010000
POLITICAL SCIENCE / History & Theory