Aristotle's Politics (350 bc)

Saoirse Burnell
Mind Map by , created almost 6 years ago

University Political Ideas in Revolution Mind Map on Aristotle's Politics (350 bc), created by Saoirse Burnell on 01/05/2014.

Saoirse Burnell
Created by Saoirse Burnell almost 6 years ago
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patsonaki .
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Aristotle's Politics (350 bc)
1 zoon politikoon
1.1 Man is a political animal and we can only achieve good by living as citizens in a state
2 Six kinds of constitution
2.1 Just (where the rulers benefit everyone in the city)
2.1.1 Polity (ruled by everyone for everyone) Least susceptible to corruption
2.1.2 Aristocracy (ruled by few for everyone)
2.1.3 Monarchy (ruled by one for everyone)
2.2 Unjust (where rulers benefit only themselves)
2.2.1 Democracy (where everyone rules badly)
2.2.2 Oligarchy (where select few rule for themselves)
2.2.3 Tyranny (rule of one for his own benefit)
3 Distributive Justice
3.1 Distributing benefits to citizens depending on their contribution to that state
4 Tension between rich and poor
4.1 Strong middle class keeps this in check
5 Three branches of civil government
5.1 Deliberative make major political decisions
5.2 Executive runs day to day business
5.3 Judicial overseas legal affairs of the state
6 Maintaining power
6.1 Give rich minority and poor majority equal power, so that rich individuals have more power than poor, but the classes are equally represented
7 Books VII VIII discuss the ideal state
7.1 The good life is rational contemplation, and the political state is the means of securing this life
7.2 Young citizens serve in military, middle age citizens govern and older citizens take care of religious affairs while non-citizen labourers take care of farming and crafts
7.3 A Public education of reading, writing, physical education, music and drawing
8 The Community is prevalent over the individual
9 Law should be over the governing body to avoid abuses of power
10 Slavery
10.1 Natural Slavery
10.1.1 It is natural for these slaves to be slaves and their masters to be masters.


  • Slaves are tools to their masters, and a slave lacks all the freedom a citizen. Natural slavery is not unjust as slaves lack reason, knowledge wisdom, character, virtue. He refers to anonymous 'opponents of slavery' and in Rhetoric, he quotes Alcidamas who believes 'All men are equal, including slaves.' 
10.2 Legal/conventional slavery
10.2.1 eg. taking slave after defeat of other polis is unjust


  • Although he declares this unjust, he is not an ambassador against it, and doesn't feel strongly about it being unjust.
10.3 Relationship between slave and master is compared to relationship between; king and subject, soul and body, and craftsman and tool.

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