In Emma Cohen de Lara & Rene Brouwer (eds.), Aristotle’s Practical Philosophy: On the Relationship between the Ethics and Politics. Cham, Switzerland: pp. 171-186 (2017)

Authors
Brian J. Collins
California Lutheran University
Abstract
In this chapter I take up the question of how Aristotle understood the relationship between the contemplative life and the active life in contributing to human flourishing and to the political regime. While the connections between Aristotle’s ethics and politics are abundant, there exists a prevalent assumption in the inclusive/dominant debate concerning the interpretation of eudaimonia (human flourishing) that Aristotle’s Politics cannot or should not play a prominent role in helping to understand eudaimonia. On the ‘inclusivist’ reading, eudaimonia is understood as being a composite of all human goods or virtues. On the ‘dominant’ reading, eudaimonia is understood as being a single dominant good, theōria (contemplation). With this chapter I offer a competing interpretation which is in some ways similar to the recent ‘all-inclusive’ reading, but which relies heavily on the connection between Aristotle’s ethics and politics in order to explain how theōria fits into humans’ composite and political nature.
Keywords Aristotle  Political Philosophy  Ethics
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