Political participation and Eudaimonia in Aristotle's Politics

History of Political Thought 19 (1):21-34 (1998)

Current debates surrounding Aristotle's Politics involve attempts to explain the role of political participation in the pursuit of Aristotle's human telos, eudaimonia. Many argue that political participation is crucial to eudaimonia, equating the good man with the good citizen. Often this argument is based on Aristotle's labelling of humans as zoon politikon, or ‘political animal’, and the misleading translation of eudaimonia as ‘happiness’. We provide supported explanations of eudaimonia and zoon politikon which do not force us to equate the good man and the good citizen. We illustrate Aristotle's analogy between the eudaimon man and the eudaimon polis and emphasize the role political participation sometimes plays in the pursuit of eudaimonia. On the basis of this evidence, we argue that Aristotle did not equate the good man with the good citizen necessarily, nor did he find political participation essential to eudaimonia. We then demonstrate that even without political participation, the polis plays a unique role in the pursuit of eudaimonia
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 39,940
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Two Conceptions of Happiness.Richard Kraut - 1979 - Philosophical Review 88 (2):167-197.
"Eudaimonia" in Aristotle's "Rhetoric".Marcus H. Worner - forthcoming - Proceedings of the Boston Area Colloquium of Ancient Philosophy.
Aristotle's Dilemma.A. F. Mackay - 2005 - The Journal of Ethics 9 (3-4):533 - 549.
Natural Capacities and Democracy as a Good-in-Itself.Josiah Ober - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 132 (1):59 - 73.
The Doctrine of the Mean in Aristotle's Ethical and Political Theory.I. Evrigenis - 1999 - History of Political Thought 20 (3):393-416.
Prichard's Heresy.Sandy Berkovski - 2011 - Philosophy 86 (4):503-524.
The Self-Justifying Desire for Happiness.Raffaele Rodogno - 2004 - South African Journal of Philosophy 23 (4):343-352.
Aristotle on Well-Being and Intellectual Contemplation: David Charles.David Charles - 1999 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 73 (1):205–223.
Aristotle on Well-Being and Intellectual Contemplation: Dominic Scott.Dominic Scott - 1999 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 73 (1):225–242.
The Structure of Praxis and the Time of Eudaimonia.David Webb - 2010 - Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy 14 (2):265-287.


Added to PP index

Total views
40 ( #192,895 of 2,235,423 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #751,929 of 2,235,423 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes

Sign in to use this feature