The City as a Living Organism: Aristotle’s Naturalness Thesis Reconsidered

History of Political Thought 41 (4):517-537 (2020)

Xinkai Hu
Southeast University
In this paper, I wish to defend Aristotle’s naturalness thesis. First, I argue against the claim that the city fails to meet the criteria (e.g. separability, continuity, etc.) Aristotle sets for substantiality in the Metaphysics. Second, I examine the problem of the Principle of Transitivity of End in Aristotle’s telic argument for the naturalness of the city. I argue that the city exists for its own end. Finally, I discuss the problem of the legislator in the genesis of the city. I argue that the legislator is only responsible for the actualization of the potential form that Nature has set forward.
Keywords Aristotle   naturalness thesis   nature   the city   natural substance   artifact   legislator
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