The Monstrosity of Vice: Sin and Slavery in Campanella’s Political Thought

Aither: Journal for the Study of Greek and Latin Philosophical Traditions 12 (2):232–248 (2020)
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This paper opens by reviewing Aristotle’s conception of the natural slave and then familiar treatments of the internal conflict between the ruling and subject parts of the soul in Aristotle and Plato; I highlight especially the figurative uses of slavery and servitude when discussing such problems pertaining to incontinence and vice—viz., being a ‘slave’ to the passions. Turning to Campanella, features of the City of the Sun pertaining to slavery are examined: in sketching his ideal city, Campanella both rejects Aristotle’s natural slave and is critical of the European institutions of slavery. The fact that slavery has no place in the City of the Sun takes on added significance when complemented with Campanella’s remarks on dominion and servitude in his Quaestiones de politiciis: I show that Campanella’s conception of slavery is intimately bound to sin, and consider whether his employment of the trope of slavery within the context of vice diverges from familiar usage.



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Brian Garcia
Assumption University

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