Essay on Aristotle's State Theory

1930 Words Sep 22nd, 2008 8 Pages
Aristotle’s claim that the state is the highest, most developed form of social organisation is at the centre of one of his major works, ‘The Politics’ . His theory focuses mainly on the state as a natural progression, and draws upon two central themes; ‘the good life’ and human beings as ‘political animals’ . Whilst Aristotle does raise many valid points, he does not convince us that the state is the pinnacle of social organisation. Although the state may be the highest form of social organisation, Aristotle fails to demonstrate how an active, political life equals a ‘good life’. Aristotle’s major use of teleology is another drawback, which limits his argument in many ways. To illustrate these concerns it is important to analysis …show more content…
Aristotle’s view of a natural evolving state has come under close scrutiny from many modern thinkers. Theorist Adam Smith is one known critic of Aristotle’s work, and has closely scrutinized Aristotle’s theory of the evolving state. In his work ‘insert’ , Smith argues that it is simplistic to argue that a state can just evolve. Smith uses to concept of the ‘invisible hand’ in particular to prove this point. If all citizens within a state are given freedom to buy whatever they choose, and the producers are free to choose selling prices, then a compromise will be made between the two and it will even out . This freedom allows the state to be beneficial to individuals and efficient and not lopsided. This emphasizes that all these effects will be automatic as individuals are free to make decisions. Aristotle’s view, that the state will evolve without serious consequence is too simple, and fails to account for other problems. Social and economic variables in reality are quite troublesome especially within states, and do not simply fall into a sequential category. Indeed, Smith is able to destabilize Aristotle’s argument at its most basic teleological level, which also brings the rest of it into question.
The ‘good life’ is another point raised in Aristotle’s work. For Aristotle, this is the goal of all individuals, which can be reached by engaging in an active, political life. It is here that Aristotle commits a major
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