Whose Prayer? The Best Regime of Book 7 and the Lessons of Aristotle's "Politics"

Political Theory 35 (1):29 - 46 (2007)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Most modern readers of Aristotle's "Politics" assume that the regime "according to prayer" (kat' euchên) in Book 7 is the culmination of the work as a whole, a utopia designed to guide political reform. I say no. This polis is not an ideal to be applied to practice, but one aspiration among several to be seriously examined and consulted by political people as they deliberate about what to do in particular situations. The prayer presented in chapters 4-12 is not meant to be understood as Aristotle's own, but as coming from one imagined voice among the several presented in the "Nicomachean Ethics" and "Politics." Would Aristotle pray for this regime? No. It is instead the prayer of a "real man" (an anêr) fully committed to political life, someone who, unlike Aristotle, can imagine nothing more beautiful than a beautiful polis. Aristotle's subtlety here has important implications for understanding the philosophy/politics relationship.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 94,726

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Whose Prayer?Stephen Salkever - 2007 - Political Theory 35 (1):29-46.
The Meaning of Aristocracy in Aristotle's Political Thought.Liz Anne Alexander - 1997 - Dissertation, University of Toronto (Canada)
The Best Regimes of Aristotle's Politics.L. A. Alexander - 2000 - History of Political Thought 21 (2):189-216.
Aristotle's Political Philosophy.David Keyt - 2018 - In Sean D. Kirkland & Eric Sanday (eds.), A Companion to Ancient Philosophy. Evanston, Illinois: Northwestern University Press. pp. 393–412.
Politics II: Political Critique, Political Theorizing, Political Innovation.Thornton Lockwood - 2015 - In Thornton Lockwood & Thanassis Samaras (eds.), Aristotle’s Politics: A Critical Guide. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press. pp. 64-83.


Added to PP

62 (#257,853)

6 months
8 (#528,488)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Citations of this work

Mind your Prayers. Aristotle’s Notion of euchê.Pavlos Kontos - 2023 - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 105 (3):388-413.
Colloquium 2: Living Well and Living Together: Politics VII 1-3 and the Discovery of the Common Life.Eugene Garver - 2010 - Proceedings of the Boston Area Colloquium of Ancient Philosophy 25 (1):43-67.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Aristotle: Political Philosophy.Richard Kraut - 2004 - Philosophical Quarterly 54 (216):468-469.

Add more references