“Does Aristotle's Political Theory Rest on ..
Aristotle’s Politics Essays | GradeSaver
This enables us to see how Aristotle's treatment of the intellectualvirtues does give greater content and precision to the doctrine of themean. The best standard is the one adopted by the philosopher; thesecond-best is the one adopted by the political leader. In eithercase, it is the exercise of an intellectual virtue that provides aguideline for making important quantitative decisions. This supplementto the doctrine of the mean is fully compatible with Aristotle'sthesis that no set of rules, no matter how long and detailed, obviatesthe need for deliberative and ethical virtue. If one chooses the lifeof a philosopher, one should keep the level of one's resources highenough to secure the leisure necessary for such a life, but not sohigh that one's external equipment becomes a burden and a distractionrather than an aid to living well. That gives one a firmer idea of howto hit the mean, but it still leaves the details to be worked out. Thephilosopher will need to determine, in particular situations, wherejustice lies, how to spend wisely, when to meet or avoida danger, and so on. All of the normal difficulties of ethical liferemain, and they can be solved only by means of a detailedunderstanding of the particulars of each situation. Having philosophyas one's ultimate aim does not put an end to the need for developingand exercising practical wisdom and the ethical virtues.
Essays Aristotle's Politics Aristotle’s Politics Essays ..
Aristotle makes it clear that the number of people with whom one cansustain the kind of relationship he calls a perfect friendship isquite small (IX.10). Even if one lived in a city populated entirely byperfectly virtuous citizens, the number with whom one could carry on afriendship of the perfect type would be at most a handful. For hethinks that this kind of friendship can exist only when one spends agreat deal of time with the other person, participating in jointactivities and engaging in mutually beneficial behavior; and onecannot cooperate on these close terms with every member of thepolitical community. One may well ask why this kind of closefriendship is necessary for happiness. If one lived in a communityfilled with good people, and cooperated on an occasional basis witheach of them, in a spirit of good will and admiration, would that notprovide sufficient scope for virtuous activity and a well-lived life?Admittedly, close friends are often in a better position to benefiteach other than are fellow citizens, who generally have littleknowledge of one's individual circumstances. But this only shows thatit is advantageous to be on the receiving end of a friend's help. Themore important question for Aristotle is why one needs to be on thegiving end of this relationship. And obviously the answer cannot bethat one needs to give in order to receive; that would turn activelove for one's friend into a mere means to the benefits received.