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1 Beaverton Philosophy- General

The Politics (Penguin Classics)


The Politics (Penguin Classics) Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

‘Man is by nature a political animal’

In The Politics Aristotle addresses the questions that lie at the heart of political science. How should society be ordered to ensure the happiness of the individual? Which forms of government are best and how should they be maintained? By analysing a range of city constitutions – oligarchies, democracies and tyrannies – he seeks to establish the strengths and weaknesses of each system to decide which are the most effective, in theory and in practice. A hugely significant work, which has influenced thinkers as diverse as Aquinas and Machiavelli, The Politics remains an outstanding commentary on fundamental political issues and concerns, and provides fascinating insights into the workings and attitudes of the Greek city-state.

The introductions by T. A. Sinclair and Trevor J. Saunders discuss the influence of The Politics on philosophers, its modern relevance and Aristotle’s political beliefs. This edition contains Greek and English glossaries, and a bibliography for further reading.


In "The Politics" Aristotle addresses the questions that lie at the heart of political science. How should society be ordered to ensure the happiness of the individual? Which forms of government are best and how should they be maintained?


Includes bibliographical references (p. 477-488) and index.

About the Author

Aristotle was born at Stageira, in the dominion of the kings of Macedonia, in 384 BC. For twenty years he studied at Athens in the Academy of Plato, on whose death in 347 he left, and, some time later, became tutor of the young Alexander the Great. When Alexander succeeded to the throne of Macedonia in 335, Aristotle returned to Athens and established his school and research institute, the Lyceum, to which his great erudition attracted a large number of scholars. After Alexander's death in 323, anti-Macedonian feeling drove Aristotle out of Athens, and he fled to Chalcis in Euboea, where he died in 322. His writings, which were of extraordinary range, profoundly affected the whole course of ancient and medieval philosophy, and they are still eagerly studied and debated by philosophers today. Very many of them have survived and among the most famous are the Ethics and the Politics.

Trevor J. Saunders has translated many volumes of Plato for the Penguin Classics.

Table of Contents

The Politics Translator's Introduction by T. A. Sinclair

Aristotle's Life and Works

Aristotle's Politics in the Past

Aristotle's Politics Today

Notes by the Reviser

Reviser's Introduction, by T. J. Saunders

A Modern Report on the Politics

Teaching and Research in the Lyceum

The Contents and Structure of the Politics

Aristotle's Philosophical Assumption

Why Read the Politics?

The Revised Translation

Principles of Revision

Translation of Key Terms

Refractory Terms

Italicized Prefaces to Chapters

Numerical References



Table of Contents and Index of Names



Book I

Preface to Book I

i. The State as an Association

ii. The State Exists by Nature

The Two "Pairs"

Formation of the Household

Formation of the Village

Formation of the State

The State and the Individual

iii. The Household and Its Slaves

iv. The Slave as a Tool

v. Slavery as Part of a Universal Natural Pattern

vi. The Relation between Legal and Natural Slavery

vii. The Nature of Rule over Slaves

viii. The Natural Method of Acquiring Goods

ix. Natural and Unnatural Methods of Acquiring Goods

x. The Proper Limits of Household-Management; The Unnaturalness of Money-lending

xi. Some Practical Considerations, Especially on the Creation of Monopoly

xii. Brief Analysis of the Authority of Husband and Father

xiii. Morality and Efficiency in the Household

Book II

i. Introduction to Ideal States: How Far Should Sharing Go?

ii. Extreme Unity in Plato's Republic

iii. Extreme Unity is Impracticable

iv. Further Objections to Community of Wives and Children

v. The Ownership of Property

vi. Criticisms of Plato's Laws

vii. The Constitution of Phaleas

viii. The Constitution of Hippodamus

ix. Criticism of the Spartan Constitution

The Helots

Spartan Women


The Ephors

The Board of Elders

The Kings

Some Common Meals

Some Further Criticisms

x. Criticism of the Cretan Constitution

xi. Criticism of the Carthaginian Constitution

xii. Solon and Some Other Lawgivers

Book III

i. How Should We Define "Citizen"?

ii. A Pragmatic Definition of "Citizen"

iii. Continuity of Identity of the State

iv. How Far Should the Good Man and the Good Citizen Be Distinguished?

v. Ought Workers to Be Citizens?

vi. Correct and Deviated Constitutions Distinguished

vii. Classification of Correct and Deviated Constitutions

viii. An Economic Classification of Constitutions

ix. The Just Distribution of Political Power

x. Justice and Sovereignty

xi. The Wisdom of Collective Judgments

xii. Justice and Equality

xiii. The Sole Proper Claim to Political Power

xiv. Five Types of Kingship

xv. The Relation of Kingship and Law (1)

xvi. The Relation of Kingship and Law (2)

xvii. The Highest Form of Kingship

xviii. The Education of the Ideal King

Book IV

i. The Tasks of Political Theory

ii. Consitutions Placed in Order of Merit

iii. Why There are Several Constitutions

iv. The Parts of the State and the Classification of Democracies

Definitions of Democracy and Oligarchy

The Parts of the State, and Resulting Variety among Constitutions (1)

Plato on the Parts of the State

The Parts of the State, and Resulting Variety among Constitutions (2)

Varieties of Democracy

v. The Classification of Oligarchies

vi. Four Types of Democracy and Four of Oligarchy

vii. Varieties of Aristocracy

viii. Polity Distinguished from Aristocracy

ix. Polity as a Mixture of Oligarchy and Democracy

x. Three Forms of Tyranny

xi. The Merits of the Middle Constitution

xii. Why Democrats and Oligarchs Should Cultivate the Middle Ground

xiii. Right and Wrong Strategems to Ensure a Majority for the Constitution

xiv. The Deliberative Element in the Constitution

xv. The Executive Element in the Constitution

xvi. The Judicial Element in the Constitution

Book V

i. Equality, Justice, and Constitutional Change

ii. Sources of Constitutional Change (1)

iii. Sources of Constitutional Change (2)

iv. The Immediate Occasions of Constitutional Change

v. Why Democracies Are Overthrown

vi. Why Oligarchies Are Overthrown

vii. The Causes of Factions in Aristocracies

viii. How Constitutions May Be Preserved (1)

ix. How Constitutions May Be Preserved (2)

x. The Origins and Downfall of Monarchy

xi. Methods of Preserving Monarchies, with Particular Reference to Tyranny

xii. The Impermanence of Tyrannies; Plato on Constitutional Change

Book VI

i. How Do Constitutions Function Best?

ii. Principles and Practices of Democracies

iii. Ways of Achieving Equality

iv. The Best Democracy

v. How Democracies May be Preserved

vi. The Preservation of Oligarchies (1)

vii. The Preservation of Oligarchies (2)

viii. A Comprehensive Review of Officialdom

Book VII

i. The Relation between Virtue and Prosperity

ii. The Active Life and the Philosophic Life (1)

iii. The Active Life and the Philosophic Life (2)

iv. The Size of the Ideal State

v. The Territory of the Ideal State

vi. The Importance of the Sea

vii. The Influence of Climate

viii. Membership and Essential Functions of the State

ix. Citizenship and Age-Groups

x. The Food-Supply and the Division of the Territory

xi. The Siting and Defence of the City

xii. The Siting of Markets, Temples and Communal Refectories

xiii. Happiness as the Aim of the Constitution

xiv. Education for Citizenship

xv. The Proper Education for Cultured Leisure

xvi. Sex, Marriage and Eugenics

xvii. The Main Periods of Education; Censorship


i. Education as a Public Concern

ii. Controversy about the Aims of Education

iii. Leisure Distinguished from Play; Education in Music (1)

iv. The Limits of Physical Training

v. Education in Music (2)

vi. Gentlemen versus Players

vii. Melodies and Modes in Education

Select Bibliographies




Index of Names

Product Details

Sinclair, T. A.
Saunders, Trevor J.
Sinclair, T. A.
Revised by:
Saunders, Trevor J.
Saunders, Trevor J.
Sinclair, T. A.
Saunders, Trevor J.
Saunders, Trevor J.
Penguin Books
London, England
Political science
History & Surveys - Ancient & Classical
General Philosophy
Philosophy : General
Edition Number:
Rev. ed. /
Edition Description:
Penguin classics
Series Volume:
37, 1
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
from 12
7.76x5.14x.90 in. .79 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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The Politics (Penguin Classics) Used Trade Paper
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Product details 512 pages Penguin Books - English 9780140444216 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , In "The Politics" Aristotle addresses the questions that lie at the heart of political science. How should society be ordered to ensure the happiness of the individual? Which forms of government are best and how should they be maintained?
"Synopsis" by , Includes bibliographical references (p. 477-488) and index.
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