ARISTOTLE (2014)Apunte Inglés
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—Born in Macedonia, IV b.C.
MAIN POINTS OF HIS THINKING: -Whole to the part.
-Superiority of the soul to body.
-Superiority of reason to desire.
-Superiority of limits and moderation to the immoderate desire of wealth.
WHICH IS THE BEST CONSTITUTION FOR A CITY? 1. Parents must rule children.
2. The wellborn must rule the vulgar.
3. The old must rule the young.
4. Master must rule the slaves.
5. The better must rule the worst.
6. The thinking (wise) must rule the ignorant.
—> According to Aristotle the family is very important to the polis: Family must be integrated to the state.
-The State cannot interfere to the nature of the family: it must be respected.
There is no good life in a polis unless people can enjoy the family life.
*He’s aware of the importance of the strong feelings that connect children with their parents, and there’s no possibility to create balanced society unless we integrate this factor into the city.
1-The State is not contradictory to the nature of human being (against of the conception of the sophistic).
The State has to integrate the will, the interest and the most strong feelings of the people.
WHO IS CITIZEN OF A STATE? 1. IUS SANGUIS — Relation between the individual and the community.
-The descendant is part of the community because their ascendants were part of the community as well.
2. IUS SOLIS — Conception that means that you are part of a community when you were born in that community.
*According to Aristotle, living in the place doesn’t mean being member of that community = Living in the city is not enough — it is necessary, but it’s not enough.
—> You need to live in the place but you need that your parents were from that community as well.
The GOAL of our true government is the COMMON GOOD of the society.
*When the government forgets about the common good, this government is not legitimate anymore.
Every constitution can be degraded because of the immoral content of the Government.
We are in danger: There is no guarantee of moral quality.
There is something very important in the city that depends on the education.
MORAL QUALITY is a result of education, not of an institution.
—Moral constitution of the citizens cannot be changed by any political constitution.
RIGHT CONSTITUTION DEVIATION FORMS MONARCHY TYRANNY ARISTOCRACY OLIGARCHY POLITY DEMOCRACY WHICH IS THE BEST FORM OF GOVERNMENT? According to Plato: The government of the philosophers.
Aristotle doesn’t have a fixed answer: It depends.
-Wait and look how the society is, what the society needs: Then, choose the best way of government.
*It depends on society’s needs.
THE BEST WOULD BE A MONARCHY — It is almost impossible.
Extremely fragile and difficult: It’s difficult to find a person with moral values.
PROBLEMS: 1- Humanity is extremely VULGAR = Almost everybody is interested in mediocrity and vulgar aspects.
2- If we could find the perfect person to be a king, the problem would be the acceptance of people: It is difficult that everybody accepts this new king.
-People doesn’t accept people who is different or qualified as perfect.
Aristotle gives continuity to the idea of MOST OF THE PEOPLE IS NOT INTERESTED IN THE TRUTH.
Happiness has to do with the fact that people is surrounded by their friends.
An excellent person cannot be happy because he is not surrounded by excellent people: he is surrounded by vulgar and mediocrity people.
INTERNAL STRENGTH: Capacity of facing the typical problem of an excellent person — Incomprehension and solitude.
-He must be prepared to face solitude and incomprehensions and nevertheless being happy.
The best we can imagine would be a Monarchy — People wouldn’t accept someone perfect (just as what happened with Socrates).
CONCLUSION: An excellent person would always be isolated or just recognized by intelligent people.
*Society doesn’t have the capacity to understand intelligent people.
We have a few number of good men — a team of good men, in whose hands we have the destiny of the polis.
WISDOM arises from the DIALOGUE (is a technique, an art).
*Not everybody has the capacity to enter to a dialogue: - HAVE THE CAPACITY TO LISTEN. — By nature the tendency is to think that we are right and that the others are always wrong.
- ACCEPT OTHER REASONS.
- BE READY TO CHANGE MY MIND.
—> WISDOM ARISES FROM HUMILITY.
In a team, decisions should be taken after a dialogue.
1- Techniques are not given by nature — we have to learn them.
2- Being surrounded by people can contribute to mitigate our passions.
Even in that case we can expect difficulties: Moderation & wisdom won’t be accepted by the majority.
It is very difficult to hope that is possible to have a good government for a long time.
-An excellent person is an exception.
-An excellent government is an exception as well.
WE ARE SURROUNDED BY VULGARITY.
Soon or later in our lives and cities we will have to face DECADENCE.
DECADENCE is part of our nature, our humanity and our history.
WHO IS INTERESTED IN EQUALITY? Equality is a value.
The one who has nothing to offer to the society or to others is interested in equality.
*It’s the way to open the path to decadence — To be equal means to be equally vulgar.
Politics and Ethics are deeply CONNECTED.
The most important goal of the Government: Provide a good life and moral values for the citizens.
*Not only to ensure material needs, but also moral values and education.
-The State has a moral responsibility towards the community.
ONLY EDUCATION CAN CHANGE HUMAN BEING WHY IS EDUCATION SO IMPORTANT? -Education provides almost a “second birth” to humans.
There is no polis without education -Human being shapes thanks to it.
HAPPINESS is the most important GOAL — It can only be reached with education.
EUDAEMONIA = Good spirit = HAPPINESS.
This spiritual happiness is only possible with education.
WHAT IS A HAPPY LIFE? What is needed to make sure that people enjoy a happy life? There is no simple answer to this question.
We have to consider 3 dimensions: 1- EXTERNAL GOODS 2- GOODS OF THE BODY: “We don’t have a body, we ARE body”.
3- SOUL (ANIMA): EXTERNAL GOODS AND THE GOODS OF BODY.
Assumption that PERFECTION means LIMITATION.
Perfect = Finish = To have limits — Perfection depends on limits.
Optimum is not maximum — Optimum is always something limited.
1- A polis, in order to be happy, must have a certain number of inhabitants. — Too much people or too less people is incongruent with happiness (Not too much, not too less).
HAPPY POLIS: The polis where everybody knows each other.
-Certain familiarity is needed for people to be happy — People are not strange to each other.
2- How big is the territory of a city — Expansion is not a good advice in order to reach a happy life.
*Expansion causes problems.
The quality of our soul makes a person happy or unhappy.
What is extremely important is EDUCATION.
The differences between people have usually the same source, and this source is the QUALITY OF EDUCATION that this person has received.
To be a good and a happy person: 1-Repetition of acts over and over — In order to be considered generous, we need to be generous over and over again, not just one day.
-No one is a good person unless he is always a good person (or almost always).
HAPPINESS has to do with a LIFESTYLE — Happiness is a way of living.
*It covers all my activities.
*Eudaemonia is a consolidated state of my soul.
-Education is reduced to just INSTRUCTION. — This is a big mistake! *EDUCATION IS MUCH MORE THAN INSTRUCTION! POLIS CAN ONLY EXIST IF WE HAVE SOMETHING IN COMMON.
What should we share in order to be together? There is no political community unless we love each other, unless there is a kind of friendship.
-If there is hate, it is impossible to keep people together.
WE HAVE TO LEARN HOW TO LOVE EACH OTHER — How to live together, how to be generous together… A community should be based in love.
WHAT SHOULD WE LOVE? Love of excellence — Loving the highest way of living.
We have to love an excellent life in order to be together. — We all must be interested in an excellent life, in the highest way of living.
DESIRE OF LIVING AN EXCELLENT LIFE. — It’s the most important thing to avoid decadence.
We cannot expect to be happy if we don’t live with people who share our same values.
-It wouldn’t be possible a multicultural society: We have to share the same values.
*It’s impossible to love each other if we don’t share the same values.
The need to SHARE something in order to build a POLITICAL SOCIETY.
A society must share MORAL VALUES.