Twenty-three centuries after its compilation, "The Politics" still has much to contribute to this central question of political science. Aristotle's thorough and carefully argued analysis is based on a study of over 150 city constitutions, covering a huge range of political issues in order to establish which types of constitution are best - both ideally and in particular circumstances - and how they may be maintained. Aristotle's opinions form an essential background to the thinking of philosophers such as Thomas Aquinas, Machiavelli and Jean Bodin and both his premises and arguments raise questions that are as relevant to modern society as they were to the ancient world.
Aristotle was born at Stagira, in the dominion of the kings of Macedonia, in 384 BC. For twenty years he studied at Athens in the Academy of Plato. Some time later, became the tutor of young Alexander The Great. His writings have profoundly affectedthe whole course of ancient and medieval philosophy. T. A. Sinclair was Professor of Greek at the Queen's University of Belfast for 27 years. Trevor J. Saunders is Professor of Greek at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne.
Translator's introduction, T.A. Sinclair: Aristotle's life and work; Aristotle's politics in the past; Aristotle's politics today. Reviser's introduction, T.J. Saunders: a modern report on the politics; teaching and research in the Lyceum; the contents and structure of "The Politics"; Aristotle's philosophical assumptions; why read "The Politics"; the revised translation - principles of revision, translation of key terms, refractory terms, italicized prefaces to chapters, numerical references. "The Politics" Book 1: the state of an association; the state exists by nature - the two "pairs", formation of the household, formation of the village, formation of the state, the state and the individual; the household and its slaves; the slave as a tool; slavery as part of a universal natural pattern; the relation between legal and natural slavery; the nature of rule over slaves; the natural method of acquiring goods; natural and unnatural methods of acquiring goods; the proper limits of household - management - the unnaturalness of money-lending; some practical considerations - especially on the creation of monopoly; brief analysis of the authority of husband and father; morality and efficiency in the household. Book 2: introduction to ideal states - how far should sharing go?; extreme unity in Plato's "Republic"; extreme unity is impractical; further objections to community of wives and children; the ownership of property; criticisms of Plato's laws; the constitution of Phaleas; the constitution of Hippodamus; criticisms of Spartan constitution the Helots. (Part contents)