Thus it is manifest that the best political community is formed by citizens of the middle class, and that those states are likely to be well-administered in which the middle class is large, and stronger if possible than both the other classes.
The Best Political Community
Topic: Society & Civil Religion
“Thus it is manifest that the best political community is formed by citizens of the middle class, and that those states are likely to be well-administered in which the middle class is large, and stronger if possible than both the other classes.”
Aristotle was a prominent Greek philosopher and polymath during the Classical period in Ancient Greece. Born in 384 BC in Stagira, a small town in northern Greece, he was the student of Plato and later became the tutor of Alexander the Great. Aristotle's works cover a wide range of topics, including logic, metaphysics, ethics, politics, rhetoric, poetry, biology, and zoology. His ideas have profoundly influenced Western thought and various branches of knowledge, such as philosophy, natural sciences, and political theory.
Aristotle's scientific and philosophical ideas were based on empiricism, the belief that knowledge is gained through sensory experience. He is credited with establishing the foundations of formal logic and the scientific method, concepts that have shaped the course of Western intellectual history. Aristotle’s ethical philosophy, especially his concept of virtue ethics, has been influential as well, introducing the idea of moral virtues as a middle path between extremes. Additionally, his work in political philosophy, particularly his assertion that 'man is a political animal,' has been foundational in political science.
In the Middle Ages, Aristotle's works were rediscovered by Islamic scholars and later transmitted to the West. This reintroduction played a significant role in the development of Scholasticism, a method of learning that dominated medieval universities. One of the most important figures in this period was St. Thomas Aquinas, a theologian and philosopher who integrated Aristotle's philosophy with Christian doctrine. Aquinas, often considered the greatest of the Scholastic philosophers, adopted and adapted Aristotle's ideas, particularly his views on metaphysics, ethics, and the nature of the soul, creating a synthesis that has shaped Catholic thought for centuries. This enduring influence testifies to Aristotle's profound impact on a wide range of academic disciplines and intellectual traditions.
Wilson, Andrew, editor. World Scripture II. Universal Peace Federation, 2011, p. 1021 [Aristotle, Politics 4.11].
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