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Levels of ArgumentA Comparative Study of Plato's Republic and Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics$
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Dominic Scott

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199249640

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199249640.001.0001

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Political Science and the Longer Route

Political Science and the Longer Route

Chapter:
(p.104) (p.105) 6 Political Science and the Longer Route
Source:
Levels of Argument
Author(s):

Dominic Scott

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199249640.003.0007

This chapter argues that the Nicomachean Ethics is a work of political science: it gives an account of the human good to be used to benefit the citizens of a state. It is intended either for political leaders directly or philosophers who might advise them. This brings the work into closer alignment with the Republic, making a comparison between the two all the more plausible. The chapter then turns to the question of how Aristotle might have reacted to the idea of longer and shorter routes in practical philosophy. The shorter route explicates the human good with reference to moral psychology; the longer would probe the philosophical foundations of practical philosophy at the deepest level, involving forays into physics, biology, metaphysics, and epistemology. This sets up the question for the next two chapters: did Aristotle himself actually recommend following this longer route, a claim many of his commentators have assumed?

Keywords:   political science, the human good, legislation, metaphysics, philosophical method

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