AristotleThe Politics Essay Research Paper Aristotle believes — страница 2

  • Просмотров 271
  • Скачиваний 9
  • Размер файла 15

maximizes the opportunity for its citizens to display goodness and afford happiness. In the ideal polis, the foundation of the ideal social structure is based on serfs and slaves. That is, it is implicit in Aristotle?s conception of the good life that not everyone is meant to achieve goodness and that these people are better off serving those who can. Elite citizens own property, but it is the slaves and serfs that farm and run this property, and do all the necessary work that is not associated with political activity. In the ideal state the elite citizens always have time for leisure activities and political activities thanks to serfs and slaves. Leisure is based on participation in political activities, recreation (rest and rejuvenation) and cultivation of the mind. Public

service is part of life in the ideal polis but it is important to note that these political activities always include time for leisure. During the younger years one engages in civil activities including military and defense. The middle years are devoted to government. During the older years one is to be responsible for the conduct of public worship in the church. In accordance with his goal of goodness for full citizens, Aristotle has a unique approach to the proper use of land to help create equality in society. In this ideal world the soul and body are taken care of by the city. To accomplish this he believes that the top citizens should not be committed to one type of land use but instead they should have public land and private land. Public land is to be used for service of

the gods, and provides food and income for the clergy. Public land also facilitates collective feeding, a system of common meals available for citizens and their family (adequate health). Because land near the border is more likely to be taken over by neighboring states private land is separated into two plots. One plot near the center of the city and one plot of land close to the border. This would allow each citizen adequate wealth and help with foreign affairs. A state cannot be happy unless it prospers and Aristotle argues that the above system will lead to prosperity and virtue. Finally, Aristotle?s education system is required to obtain his goal of active goodness. First, a uniform system of public education prepares one for military service. There are four phases in

Aristotle?s system and the purpose of his curriculum is to foster moral virtue, useful knowledge and readiness for the proper use of leisure. The first stage is early childhood which begins at birth and continues until age seven. During this stage training is done at home because it is important that kids start with the right familial influence. Aristotle favors censorship, and does not want small children exposed to foul language (he actually punished people for using profanity.) Furthermore, if home, the young cannot mingle with the slaves and contract slave-like habits. The second phase comes at age seven through puberty. The emphasis here is on physical training with a focus on the development of courage. The aim here is to be physically fit and capable of military service

and not be burdened by mental activities. Aristotle does not want to burden adolescents by dividing their time between training of the mind and training of the body. The next educational phase attacks the mind and begins during puberty. Here the emphasis shifts to the mind with training in reading, writing, drawing and music. Phase four begins early in the high school years. The aim of this training is preparation for the military and includes hard physical training and a strict diet. According to Aristotle a proper social structure and education system will result in a life of active goodness for the individual and the collective society.