Aristotle Book 3 Analysis

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This essay is an analysis and summary of Book III of 4th century Greek philosopher

Aristotle's Politics, a work that concerns government in human society as well as other topics

such as human relations and rights.

Book III is largely about which type of people can and can't be citizens of a city, with

other focuses including the different classifications of monarchy. The definition of citizenship has

changed over time to be applied to any person who is legally resides within a country. This may

include other rights such as the right to vote if the country is a democracy or the right to property,

but the basic definition is just a person who lives somewhere legally. Aristotle discusses what a

state is in the beginning of Book …show more content…

Aristotle doesn't define a citizen in this way because he says that slaves can also live in a

place with a citizen, which already shows that his definition of citizen excludes some sort of

people group, which already clashes with the current definition of the word. He adds another

perimeter around which people can't and can be full citizens, the perimeter being age. He says

that people who are too young and people who are too old cannot be citizens entirely, only in

the sense that they qualify to be citizens. Aristotle states that "a state is a body of citizens

sufficing for the purpose of life."

In Part II, Aristotle discusses how lineage is important in relation to citizenship.

He writes that a citizen is defined by their ancestors being citizens. He seems to be not

entirely convinced that this is a good definition because he does add that this can't always

be true because some people are the first inhabitants of a city or some people join a city after a

revolution. However, he definitely prefers this definition to the one given earlier.

"This is a better definition than the other." He also discusses a citizen being defined by his rule

or holding of an …show more content…

Aristotle doesn't believe that all men are citizens like we do, so there is a distinction to

be had here. He makes a comparison of sailors to citizens, because each has a job and must

employ teamwork to accomplish their goals. The two are similar in many ways. They have a

common goal, "the salvation of the community." Aristotle writes that the community is the

constitution, therefore the virtue of a citizen has to be as virtuous as the constitution, or in other

words, a citizen must follow the constitution well if he is to be a proper citizen. He asks if a

city can be entirely good. If everyone in the city is a virtuously good citizen then the city can be 

good, but obviously that is not nearly possible. Here Aristotle is arguing that in order for

anything to be good, all parts of it must be good, or "one bad apple can spoil the whole barrel".

He also makes a distinction between the good man and the good citizen, since the obligations of

a citizen and a man are much different, the citizen's job being the rule of the men in his city.

He further draws a line in the sand between the citizen and the common person, stating that in

some places, certain lower classes are not even allowed to participate in politics. He says

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