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  • Aristotle

    Aristotle


    “Aristotle was the unimpeachable authority on every science and art
    known to his day.”
    (Maxey)


    Aristotle was born in 384 BC. His
    father was Physician. He studied in Plato’s Academy for about 17 years. He was
    attached to Plato’s Academy for two reasons:

    1.It was the cradle
    of education in Greece for advanced studies.
    2.He was so much
    influenced by Plato’ teaching.

    He served as tutor of Alexander the Great
    in 343 BC and kept his school in the Lyceum for 12 years. After the death of
    Alexander the Great, the Athenians revolted and prosecuted the accused persons
    of whom Aristotle was one of the many. He was charged for impiety but he fled to
    avoid punishment.

    During the middle Ages, he was simply considered “the
    Philosopher”. The recovery of his manuscripts in the thirteenth century marks a
    turning point in the history of philosophy. According to Dunning, “the capital significance of Aristotle in the history of
    political theories lies in the fact that he gave to politics the character of an
    independent science.”


    He is founder of science of logic. His
    monumental treatise “Politics” is the most valuable works on Political Science.
    The “Politics” is a chief work on the science and art of Government
    giving full justification for existing of the institution like the state,
    slavery and family is calculated to suggest the remedies for the ill of the
    body-politic of the city-state. Though it is generally said that “Politics” is
    an unfinished treatise and often obscure but the half understood words of
    Aristotle have become laws of thoughts to other ages.

    Zeller says,
    “Politics of Aristotle is the richest treasure that has
    come down to us from antiquity, it is the greatest contribution to the field of
    political science that we possess.”




    Aristotle as Father of Political
    Science



    The title of fatherhood of Political
    Science bestowed upon Aristotle is not without justification. He was brought up
    in the order of medicine as his father was a physician of the king of Macedonia.
    Since his childhood he got every opportunity and encouragement to develop a
    scientific bent of mind. Instead of turning towards literature like his great
    master Plato, he built the terminology of science and philosophy.

    In the
    words of Renan, “Socrates gave philosophy to
    mankind and Aristotle gave science to it.”


    Aristotle gives us
    definite and clear-cut dogmas, instead of groping in illusions and imaginations.
    He does not believe in abstract notions of justice and virtue, but has a
    concrete approach. He discarded utopian philosophy of Plato and advocated
    logical and scientific theories based upon realism. Aristotle supported the
    principle of unity through diversity. He was of the view that reality lay in the
    concrete manifestation of things. He separated ethics from politics.

    We
    can say that Aristotle laid the foundation of a real political science by his
    keen and practical political approach and systematic treatment of the subject.
    He may be called the “Scientist of Politics” because of his empirical study. He
    collected his data with care and minuteness, clarifies and defines it and draws
    logical conclusions which deserve nothing but admiration and praise.

  • #2
    Aristotle’s Views on Origin of State

    Aristotle’s Views on Origin of
    State


    “Man is a political
    animal, destined by nature for state life.”

    “State exists for the sake of
    good life and not for the sake of life only.”
    (Aristotle)


    Aristotle was of the view that the origin of the
    state is present in the inherent desire of man to satisfy his economic needs and
    racial instincts. The family is formed by male and female on the one hand and
    master and slave on the other hand. Then they work for achievement of their
    desires. They live together and form a such family in household which has its
    moral and social unity and value.

    Aristotle said, “Family is the association established by nature for the supply
    of man’s everyday wants. But when several families are united and the
    association aims at something more than the supply of daily need, then come into
    existence the village. When several villages are united in a single community,
    perfect and large enough to be quite self-sufficing, the state comes into
    existence, originating in the bare needs of life and continuing in existence for
    the sake of good life.”


    Three elements are essential to build
    the state on perfect lines i.e., fellowship, practical organization and justice.
    A man without state is either a beast or a God. According to Aristotle, “he who by nature and not be mere accident is without a state
    is either above humanity or below it, he is tribe-less, lawless and heartless
    one.”


    The family is natural and inborn instinct, similarly the
    state is also natural for individuals. Baker said, “The state is the natural home of the fully grown and natural man.
    It is an institution for the moral perfection of man to which his whole nature
    moves.”


    Aristotle was of the view that state is a
    “Political Koimonia”, an association which represents a functional unity
    of varied and reciprocal parts made by the pursuit of a common aim in which
    their nature, their habits and their training lead them all to join.
    Maclwain said, “The state is a kind of Koimonia
    which is a supreme over all others, and embraces them all.”
    State is
    an association of human being and the highest form of association existing for
    the sake of perfect and healthier life.

    Functions of
    the State

    1.The state is not merely an association of
    associations but it is a highest natural association for pursuits of spiritual
    class of common life of virtue.
    2.The state is based on the element of
    justice
    3.It also aims at the highest good of the community for its
    proper realization of demands and needs in it.
    4.The state functions
    to ensure a perfect and self-sufficing life of all its components
    members.
    5.The state also ensures to fulfill all the natural needs of
    its members and to provide opportunities to the individuals for the attainment
    of moral, intellectual and physical excellence.
    6.According to
    Aristotle, “Man is essentially good and the function of the state is to develop
    his good faculties into a habit of good actions.”

    Rule
    of Law

    Aristotle believed in natural laws but not the natural
    rights. The absence of law is the negation of good laws and this meant lack of
    constitutional laws. Law was superior to the Government because it checked the
    latter's irregularities. Rule by law was better than personal rule because law
    had as impersonal quality which the rules lacked.

    Sabine paid
    tribute to Aristotle in these words, “the supremacy of
    law is accepted by Aristotle as a mark of a good state and not merely as an
    unfortunate necessity.”


    Justice means that every citizen in
    the state should abide by the dictates of law and fulfill its moral obligation
    towards community members. According to Aristotle there should be two kind of
    justice:
    1.Distributive Justice
    It is mainly
    concerned with voluntary commercial transaction like sale, hire, furnishing of
    security, acquisition of property etc.
    2.Corrective
    Justice

    It deals with proper allocation to each person according to
    his capacity and worth.

    Aristotle emphasis that reward and honors should
    not be offered to the virtuous few but to others as who collectively contribute
    in the welfare of the state and should be proportionately rewarded.

    Comment


    • #3
      Theory of Revolution

      Theory of
      Revolution


      Decay and disturbance in political life
      brought crucial changes in the Governments of the city-state in Greece, made
      Aristotle to contemplate deeply and to stress the causes of the Revolution and
      its remedies. Aristotle’s theory is divided into two
      parts:

      1.First part is a practical manual of conduct advising
      democrats, aristocrats, monarchs and oligarchs and even tyrants as how to keep
      themselves in power.

      2.Second part is a treatise on the
      philosophical basis of the good and stable governments.

      What is Revolution?

      To Aristotle, if any change
      occurs in the existing system or constitution of the state, it means revolution.
      For example, if in the state the constitution has changed from monarchy to
      democracy, it is a revolution. Aristotle was of the view that if the
      constitution remains the same, but the ruling party has been transferred from
      one man to another, it is also a revolution.


      General Causes of Revolution:
      1.The main feature
      of revolution is to be the craving of men for equality. Equality has two
      characters-absolute and proportional. The proletariat are passionate to secure
      absolute equality for the availability of the same rights that are possessed by
      few. The few struggle for proportional equality for perpetual upgrading
      superiority in power and privilege.

      2.Strong desire for justice
      becomes another feature of revolution. Aristotle was of the view that men turn
      to revolution when they think they have not got their
      dues.


      Particular Causes of
      Revolution:

      1. Desire for gain and
      profit.

      2. Universal desire for honor and
      prestige

      3. The possession of sovereign power by an individual or
      group so as to create fear and apprehension in the minds of the
      subject

      4. Undue priority and prominence of individuals caused
      great stir in the heart of the subdued people

      5. Disproportionate
      increase of power and wealth in any part of the state

      6. Elections
      intrigues and moral degradation kept up in the selection of some
      people

      7. Carelessness shown in granting public offices to
      disloyal citizens and undue favoritism shown to the individuals

      8.
      Too much power concentrated in one man or class of men for political
      gains

      9. Dissimilarity of different elements in the
      state

      10. The rivalries of people of different races in the
      state

      11. Dynastic quarrels and conflicts

      12. Free
      immigration of outside races with different notions of justice and
      law


      Revolutions in Particular kind of
      State:


      1.Democracy
      In democracies,
      revolutions are led by the dogmatic policies of demagogues in attacking the
      rich.

      2.Tyranny or Oligarchy
      In oligarchies,
      revolutions take place due to two reasons:
      a)Oppressive or
      Totalitarian rule
      b)Rivalry among the ruling
      dictators

      3.Aristocracy
      In aristocracies,
      revolution held to the policy of narrowing down the circle of the Government.
      Aristocracy tends to become oliogarchy, through the undue encroachment of the
      richer classes polity to become democracy, through the undue aspiration of the
      poorer class. According to Dunning “Stability can
      be maintained only by proportionate equality and by giving to each his
      own.”
      Aristotle was of the view that democracy is more secure and
      stable than oligarchy.


      Remedies for
      Revolution:

      1.Abundant political power should not be
      concentrated in the hands of one man or one class of men.

      2.The
      various classes in the state without any discrimination of color and creed
      should be treated alike and with proper consideration

      3.Honors and
      rewards should be distributed as fairly as possible only to deserving ones
      because inequalities of offices and honors drive men to
      revolt.

      4.Political offices should be within reach of every
      individual who is able of performing his functions best.

      5.The
      Government should be so vigilantly organized that the political office-holders
      cannot make money out of their offices. Bribes and other kinds of illegal
      gratification should be made quite impossible to accept.

      6.A
      Government would gain popularity and political stability if it so arranges
      things that the internal details of the administration, particularly the
      administration of public finances is open to public
      scrutiny.

      7.Proper education should be imparted to the citizens in
      the spirit of constitution.

      8.Political stability and internal
      solidarity can be gained by maintaining proportionate
      equality.

      9.The habit of obedience and submission to law should be
      instilled. Lawlessness and anarchy should not be allowed to creep in even in
      small and trifling matter.

      10.In oligarchy and aristocracy, the
      inferior class must be well treated and the principles of democratic equality
      must be followed among the privileged classes. In democracy, the poor and the
      rich should be encouraged to take part in the state administration which does
      not affect the sovereign power.

      Aristotle also suggested various methods
      in making oligarchies and tyrannies-stable which are to be followed by a
      tyrant.

      a)A tyrant must employ spies particularly females to trace
      out disloyal persons to gallows the concerned.

      b)He should follow
      an aggressive policy abroad

      c)He should always warn people about
      constant fear of invasion from outside

      d)He should keep the people
      busy and never allow them to remain in vertigo and lethargy.

      e)He
      must extend enthusiasm in religion

      f)He should punish the guilty
      so that crimes must be ended for the peaceful order in the
      state.

      g)He should increase the material well-being of the
      citizens.

      h)He should perish the intellectual life of the citizens
      to perish revolutionary tendencies.

      i) He should adorn his city
      and must work for its glory

      j)He must have respect for the
      good.

      Aristotle put the security of the state above everything else. He
      even permitted interference in the privacy of individual’s life when necessary
      in the interests of the state. According to Aristotle “A
      revolution constitutes more a political than a legal change. It had the effect
      of reversing ethical, social and economic standard."

      Comment

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