Citizens and Statesmen: A study of Aristotle’s Politics

Nichols, Mary P. Citizens and Statesmen: A study of Aristotle’s Politics. Lanham, Md.: Rowman and Littlefield, 1992.


” In the first two books of the Politics,  Aristotle explores the dual origins of the city. He gives to explanations of why human beings are political animals and why the city is natural. Human beings are political animals, in the 1st place, because they are rational, the animals possessing speech. They can fully exercise their capacity for  reason and speech only by communicating with others about what is advantageous and just.  Politics is natural because it calls forth  the exercise of humanity’s highest natural capacity. On the other hand, Aristotle also presents the city as a natural growth, analogous to any other living being, in which there appears little room for any distinctively human activity. Moreover, that growth is more violent than a harmonious—the result of, what engendered by physical needs and disruptive passions. Human life is to a large extent ruled by necessity—by compulsion or force, rather than calculation or choice, by the needs of survival rather than concerns of nobility. But while the city comes into being for the sake of life, Aristotle says, it continues to exist for the sake of the good life. Politics involves both the necessary and noble.”