Aristotle vs. Hobbes: Equality.

2378 Words Mar 5th, 2006 10 Pages
Aristotle vs. Hobbes, constitutes a debate between two great thinkers from two profoundly different periods of time. Whereas Aristotle (384 - 322 BCE) had been a part of the Greek's and more precisely, Athens's Golden Age, Thomas Hobbes (1588 - 1679) had lived through the English Civil War of 1640s to become one of the most influential philosophers. Based on their own personal experiences and surroundings, both Aristotle and Hobbes had developed a view of what human equality should sustain. However, Hobbes' understanding of natural equality is preferable, as he provides society with the extra room for equality and opportunity that the subjects of a good sovereign would experience to be available to them, in comparison to Aristotle's …show more content…
In fact, people would never be satisfied with what they have, since the need for more would increase with the possessions owned (Aristotle, p. 17-20). That is why the only way for people to achieve their higher virtue would have been through politics and practical reason. It is only natural to think that, as Aristotle points out, because no other being posses the ability to reason. Thus, it is the citizens' main goal in life, to achieve the natural telos, the good life, by enhancing more upon his political participation (Aristotle, p. 3-5).

The natural slaves, however, cannot achieve any such telos due to their natural impairment and inferiority to the citizen. Their natural purpose in life is to serve the ruler and provide for them, since the natural slave lacks such capabilities as reason, "For he is a slave by nature who is capable of belonging to another - which is also why he belongs to another - and who participates in reason only to the extent of perceiving it, but does not have it" (1254b16-23). Usually, as Aristotle points out, natural slaves bread other natural slaves, although, sometimes superiors are known to have natural slaves as well. However, he struggles to determine whether the natural slave is in fact completely rationally impaired and upon what reasons he should be enslaved. Thus, this creates difficulties when trying to differentiate who should be enslaved, why and how to distinguish between a natural slave and a natural

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