Nature, Action, and Politics

Ancient Philosophy 37 (1):113-128 (2017)
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Political theorists and feminist theorists alike have challenged accounts of political life that rest on an overcoming or separation from nature. They argue that such conceptions of political life divide between those who overcome their more natural existence to become political and those persons who are more closely associated with nature—women, workers, persons of color—and unable to be political (eg, Okin 1991, Pateman 1988, Mills 1997, Agamben 1998). Aristotle might be taken to offer an alternative conception of political community by deeming it natural. Yet many commentators on Aristotle Politics maintain that even Aristotle’s πόλις is not really natural but made since it comes into being through the work of a legislator. On this view, human reason itself seems unnatural; any contribution from human beings would make political life unnatural. 1 I have elsewhere argued that Aristotle’s πόλις is natural, having a …



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Adriel M. Trott
Wabash College

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