“Logos and the Political Nature of Anthrôpos in Aristotle’s Politics

Polis 27 (2):292-307 (2010)

Adriel M. Trott
Wabash College
Departing from Aristotle's two-fold definition of anthropos as having logos and being political, the argument of this article is that human beings are always fundamentally political for Aristotle. This position challenges the view that ethical life is prior to or beyond the scope of political life. Aristotle's conception of the political nature of the human is developed through a reading of the linguistic argument at Politics I.2; a careful treatment of autos, or self, in Aristotle; and an examination of the political nature of anthropos in the context of Aristotle's candidates for the best life in Politics VII.1-3 and Nicomachean Ethics X.6-8. From this consideration the compatibility between Aristotle's claims that anthropos is fundamentally political and that the highest end of the human is achieved in theoria is maintained, since even in pursuing the theoretic life, human beings take up the practical question of what the best life is
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