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Aristotle's First Principles$
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Terence Irwin

Print publication date: 1990

Print ISBN-13: 9780198242901

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198242905.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 11 December 2019

The State

The State

(p.407) 19 The State
Aristotle's First Principles

Terence Irwin (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Aristotle’s account of how the political community promotes the human good supports an account of the ideal state, and why actual states fall short of it. Aristotle attributes much of what is wrong with prevalent political systems to mistaken conceptions of happiness. Honour and sensual gratification are viewed as genuine intrinsic good; but the right sort of honour does not require competition for external goods, and the right extent of gratification does not require an unlimited supply of them. Virtuous action is the primary constituent of happiness; ignorance of this explains the mistaken classification of goods in different political systems.

Keywords:   Aristotle, state, happiness, human good, freedom, moral education, political system

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