Some people might worry that Aristotle is wrong in making this claim by presuming that happiness is a state of mind rather than a constant pursuit in which a person must actively strive for throughout the entirety of ones life.
Aristotle states that “the politician and lawgiver is whollyoccupied with the city-state, and the constitution is a certain way oforganizing those who inhabit the city-state” (III.1.1274b36-8).His general theory of constitutions is set forth in PoliticsIII. He begins with a definition of the citizen(politês), since the city-state is by nature acollective entity, a multitude of citizens. Citizens are distinguishedfrom other inhabitants, such as resident aliens and slaves; and evenchildren and seniors are not unqualified citizens (nor are mostordinary workers). After further analysis he defines the citizen as aperson who has the right (exousia) to participate indeliberative or judicial office (1275b18–21). In Athens, forexample, citizens had the right to attend the assembly, the council,and other bodies, or to sit on juries. The Athenian system differedfrom a modern representative democracy in that the citizens were moredirectly involved in governing. Although full citizenship tended to berestricted in the Greek city-states (with women, slaves, foreigners,and some others excluded), the citizens were more deeply enfranchisedthan in modern representative democracies because they were moredirectly involved in governing. This is reflected in Aristotle'sdefinition of the citizen (without qualification). Further, he definesthe city-state (in the unqualified sense) as a multitude of suchcitizens which is adequate for a self-sufficient life (1275b20-21).
Making Sense of Aristotle by Jon Haarberg, O. …
Most scholars of Aristotle make no attempt to show that he is alignedwith any contemporary ideology. Rather, insofar as they find himrelevant to our times, it is because he offers a remarkable synthesisof idealism and realpolitik unfolding in deep and thought-provokingdiscussions of perennial concerns of political philosophy: the role ofhuman nature in politics, the relation of the individual to the state,the place of morality in politics, the theory of political justice,the rule of law, the analysis and evaluation of constitutions, therelevance of ideals to practical politics, the causes and cures ofpolitical change and revolution, and the importance of a morallyeducated citizenry.
Aristotle's Politics: Critical Essays ..
Political science studies the tasks of the politician or statesman(politikos), in much the way that medical science concernsthe work of the physician (see Politics IV.1). It is, infact, the body of knowledge that such practitioners, if truly expert,will also wield in pursuing their tasks. The most important task forthe politician is, in the role of lawgiver(nomothetês), to frame the appropriate constitution forthe city-state. This involves enduring laws, customs, and institutions(including a system of moral education) for the citizens. Once theconstitution is in place, the politician needs to take the appropriatemeasures to maintain it, to introduce reforms when he finds themnecessary, and to prevent developments which might subvert thepolitical system. This is the province of legislative science, whichAristotle regards as more important than politics as exercised ineveryday political activity such as the passing of decrees (seeEN VI.8).
of Aristotle's Political Theory.
The real puzzle, I wish to argue, is that so many critics and academics (not to mention their students) still seem to take Boal's reading of Aristotle's Poetics at face value, rather than examining the way Boal, like Brecht, first constructs – and then demolishes – the "Aristotle" he needs in order to suit his own rhetorical purposes. As Drew Milne puts it, the basic strategy is a "negation of Aristotelianism as the poetics of oppression [which] makes Boal's poetics of the oppressed the positive term to that which is negated" (116). I should stress at the outset that my purpose here is not so much to salvage the reputation of Aristotle as to highlight the problematic justifications of TO which arise from Boal's apparent desire to "have done" with Aristotle once and for all. I would also add that this critique of Aristotle can only really make sense (and here it makes good sense) when the theatrical and political context in which Boal was writing is kept very closely in mind: while offering an [End Page 635] oversimplified view of the relations between theatre, theory, and the state in Ancient Greece, he nevertheless provides a compelling account of the struggle to make theatre a tool for progressive social change under a regime as brutal and coercive as the military dictatorship that took control of Brazil after the coups of 1964 and 1968.