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The Link between Constitution and Justice
Aristotle was a Greek logician, scientist and philosopher. He is considered as the most dominant prehistoric thinkers in several philosophical disciplines including being a political premise. His father was king Macedon's court physician. Aristotle attended Plato's academy in Athens. He then moved outside Athens, went to carry out biological and philosophical study in Lesbos, Asia and Minor, and afterwards called by King Philip II of Macedon to teach his little son, Alexander the Great. During the entire period of his life, he was highly influential in the political field in several ways. His concentration in biology appeared to be articulated in the naturalism of his politics, his concern with proportional politics, and his considerations for democracy. Democracy and monarchy were persuaded by his voyages and experience of varied political techniques. Aristotle comprehends the elementary normative difficulty of politics in terms of what the law giver should establish in the constitution and preserve in what substance for the sake of the end. However, the main aim of this context is to examine the link between constitutions and justice in the Politics book by Aristotle.
Constitution and Justice in Aristotle's Politics
Aristotle’s Politics book demonstrates a clear connection between the constitutions and justice in several ways. To begin with, the book talks about city-state constitution which is a government by people. The book evidently showed that the lawgiver and politician are entirely engaged in city-state and the constitution employed as a certified way of controlling those who reside in the city-state . This constitutional theory by Aristotle is established in his politics III where he begins by describing citizens because the city-state is naturally a group and crowd of citizens. The citizens are separated from other individuals like foreign occupants and slaves. This means that the constitution was for people because it was to control the operations of the country. The fact that the citizens were protected by constitution particularly against invaders, aliens and slaves ensured a fair life for all the Greece people. Besides, Aristotle described citizens in this constitution as people who have the right to take part in the purposeful or judicial responsibilities. In Athens for instance, citizens had the right to be present at the assembly, the committee and other associations or to convene on juries.
A country's justice refers to the fairness of ruling and control of performance and events as a way of fostering democracy to its citizens. Therefore, the involvement of citizens in judicial responsibilities and the governing process makes the Athens constitution to delegate justice to its citizens. That constitution clearly implicated the best example of justice in a country is rarely observed in the world today. Note that this was just a reflection of Aristotle's description of citizen without examining any form of qualification. Besides, in the same way, he defined citizenship with unqualified logic, he described city-state as a massive number of such citizens, which is enough, for a self-adequate life. Therefore, the city-state constitution was a people’s government that portrayed the best example of an equitable government. Aristotle described the constitution as a means of systematizing the city-state's offices especially the self-governing office.
The constitution, describes the ruling body which assumes distinct forms: for instance, in a democratic system, it is the citizens, and in an oligarchy, it is the wealthy or the well born whereby no form of justice and equitability is observed. Before examining the concepts handled and difference in various constitutions, it is necessary to examine two questions posed by Aristotle in the Politics book. First, why does a city in a state come to existence? Before giving an explanation of another constitution, he remembered the theory that the people are political animals by nature because they natively want to live together. The tote up that the ordinary merit also gets them jointly as far as everyone of them acquires a noble life. This is beyond all of them in terms of closing stages both in common and separately. What Aristotle meant concerning this type of constitution is that sometimes a situation can force people to unite even when they do not want. This means that they leave under hatred and abhorrence and in that case, no form of democracy or justice can prevail. This type of constitution involves dictatorship by its leaders and therefore its people are not happy with the leaders.
Second, what are the distinct mode of principle through which a single person or crowd can govern over another? This means that when people can live together in unity and harmony being delightful to select one of them to rule the rest. Aristotle differentiates numerous kinds of governance centered on the nature of the spirit of the ruler and the focus. He initially looks at despotic governance, which is demonstrated, in the master-slave association. He believes that such governance is justified in the sense that native slaves lack a purposeful power and sense that they require a natural master to lead them. The master-slave constitution is also a kind of dictatorial leadership where the slaves suffer, get hurt through thorough beatings every time and wish their leader were dead. This makes them build up hatred in their hearts against the leader because he demonstrates zero equitability to them. If the constitution is democratic, its people may have voice and responsibilities in its implementation, but in case of dictatorial governance such as the master-slave association, there is no form of justice and equitability experienced other than dictatorship and slavery. Therefore, Aristotle only attempted to enlighten people to be careful in amendment of their constitutions in order to make sure their democratic rights are protected. In other words, through the Politics book, Aristotle advocated for justice and equitability in various constitutions meaning that he played a vital role in the politics of Greece though some leaders did not like him at all. He opposed despotic rule, where the ruler is able to lead people and rule the way he wishes and not in accordance to the citizen's desire.
The other type of constitution examined in the book was paternal and marital rule which he observed as justifiable in the sense that the male are by nature able to run leadership than female unless he goes against the nature. He added on that the elderly and perfect men may offer naturally quality leadership than leadership by younger and imperfect people. This is because children deserve adult care and administration since their rationality is never perfect or matures. Women also require men's care and protection though Aristotle suggested that this is done without any authority, just for obedience and respect because the man is the head of the house. In this way, this constitutional suggestion was justified because that order was there from the beginning of the world where God created a man and a woman came under him. Besides, there is no kind of leadership by a female observed in the Bible. Therefore, he evidently defended justice from a spiritual point of view. However, paternal and marital rule are exercised for the sake of the governed (child and wife) where protection is maximized.
He compared this rule to the political rule which is most suitable when the governor and the citizens have equal and comparable rational abilities. This was the basis for the elementary claim of Aristotle's constitutional thesis which refers to constitutions that target the ordinary benefit is right, just and equitable without prerequisite. However, those that target to benefit the governors only are abnormal and inequitable since they encompass despotic rule, which is not suitable for a community of democratic people. Through these statements, it is clear that Aristotle was a democratic person, and he profoundly defended justice and democracy in his constitution.
Moreover, Aristotle was also able to condemn the suggestions of his precursor in politics and went ahead to issue out a vague plan of his own politics VII and VIII. Despite the fact that Aristotle's Plato who was his teacher influenced his observations and opinions, Aristotle was also significantly decisive of the perfect constitution established in Plato's republic. This was under the argument that it valued political accord. It also accepted a system of collectivism that is unreasonable and unfavorable to the nature of human beings, and it rejects the happiness of particularized citizens. This is a direct opposite of Aristotle's best constitution, which implies that each inhabitant will acquire moral assets and integrity as well as the apparatus to implement it and thus acquire a life of fineness and full contentment. This is the exact explanation whereby the inhabitants of a country become satisfied with leadership and every step undertaken in governance.
Aristotle was an influential person who had studied philosophy and politics exhaustively. He was able to influence the creation of the best constitutions in Athens and the entire Greece where many residents could enjoy the leadership and their constitutions. This is because they are included in justice and have a responsibility in the constitution implementation process. In other words, the constitutions by Aristotle were a true explanation or description of justice to the citizens. Therefore, there is a clear link between the constitutions and justice as observed in Aristotle's politics book.
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