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Aristotle's ManSpeculations upon Aristotelian Anthropology$
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Stephen R.L. Clark

Print publication date: 1975

Print ISBN-13: 9780198245162

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198245162.001.0001

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Policy and Polity

Policy and Polity

(p.98) III.3. Policy and Polity
Aristotle's Man

Stephen R.L. Clark

Oxford University Press

This chapter outlines an Aristotelian approach of reconciliation. It also suggests that it can be solved, or dissolved, with the help of a ‘moral’ concept of personal identity, the theory that society has a life of its own, and the fact and nature of love. The reconciliation of individuality and gregariousness, in particular, is to be found in the discovery that one has created his identities, so that ‘self-interest’ is wholly ambiguous. The best is to make one that can love and be loved. Master–slave relationships are to be abandoned in favour of equal friendship, so that one act in accord with the principles of the best society and therefore of the divine in each and all human being. On Aristotle's terms a truly self-reflexive activity is impossible, so that any claim to self-reflexivity must unpack in terms of a separate subject and object. It is concluded that the reconciliation of man's capacities for solitude and togetherness, for self-service and altruism, lies in realizing that the self which is served is one that is created, and that the only reasonable self to create is a loving one.

Keywords:   reconciliation, policy, polity, love, individuality, gregariousness, master–slave relationships, Aristotle

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