Political Theory 37 (1):44 - 68 (2009)

Steven Skultety
University of Mississippi
By examining his account of individual virtues, making inferences from his analyses of flawed cities, and teasing out the tacit assumptions behind claims about the nature of political activity, I argue that Aristotle thinks of competition as being a political ideal rather than as an inevitable corruption of civic life. Virtuous citizens compete for civic honor through traditional "competitive outlays" and contend against one another for prestigious offices in the city. Moreover, I argue that the very structure of political deliberation is competitive. It is through a "vis-à-vis" competition among proposals that a winning policy is adopted, and the speakers who offer these proposals are themselves involved in a competition for political influence.
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DOI 10.1177/0090591708326643
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