By K. Morrell

This thought-provoking e-book will entice either experts and newbies to Aristotle. experts will welcome the eye to unique texts that underpin a lot of our rules on politics, company experiences, and different social sciences, while newbies will savor the lucid summaries and purposes that make Aristotle fascinatingly obtainable.

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The state is by nature clearly prior to the family and to the individual ... the individual when isolated, is not self-sufficing; and therefore he is like a part in relation to the whole. But he who is unable to live in society, or who has no need because he is sufficient for himself, must be either a beast or a god; he is no part of a state. A social instinct is implanted in all men by nature. ((Politics, 1253a19–30) In passing, to show the fluency between the terms politics and society in Aristotle, Barker translates ‘live in society’ (above) as ‘share in the benefits of political association’.

Still at heart they prompt us to ask why should this (or any) commentary seek to defend Aristotle? Without even contesting whether these criticisms of Aristotle are fair, it is worth noting, to our collective shame, that it would require very little work to turn the most offensive aspects of Aristotle’s political philosophy into a description of the way our post-Enlightenment world is structured. Patriarchy, global capitalism, and the legacy of colonialism combine in such a way that our supposedly modern society realizes and entrenches principles of misogyny, slavery and racism.

Applying this to Aristotle, knowledge-relativism suggests that any claims that he made to understand society were local to his time and place, and are not portable. Though he is by no means a relativist, Lukacs (1971: 111) asserts this when he says, ‘it is as idle to imagine that in Plato we can find a precursor to Kant ... as it is to undertake the task of erecting a philosophy on Aristotle’. The basic charge of relativism is familiar enough, and it is fair to say that to embrace it in full would seem to represent a threat to any attempt at scholarship.

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