Estrangement: Political Philosophy and Good Life Essay

868 Words Dec 12th, 2005 4 Pages
Blake Lewis
Professor Eskandari
Political Science 132
December 5, 2005
Unessentially Estranged Chapter two of Glenn Tinder's, "Political Thinking: The Perennial Questions" on estrangement and unity asks us whether we as humans are estranged in essence. This question really sets the tone for the rest of the book, because if humans are estranged then we would not be living together in societies, therefore not needing political science to answer such questions that deal with societies. As Tinder describes it, " politics is the art of reconcilliation, and that the need for this art always arises from some kind of estrangement"(23). Tinder's point does not answer the question of whether or not we are truly estranged in essence, that
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Perhaps we may say that there is an element of good even in mere living, provided that life is not excessively beset with troubles. Certainly most men, in their desire to keep alive, are prepared to face a great deal of suffering, as if finding in life itself a certain well-being and a natural sweetness. (Aristotle, Politics Book II)
If man indeed is a political animal, and our commmon interest does bring us together in the hopes of having "the good life" or eudeamonia then it seems somewhat impossible be estranged in essence. For, by the deffinition aforementioned of being estranged man would not and certainly could not live together, and certainly not for institutions to keep those bonds strong. Afterall who in their right mind would enjoy or choose living in a state of hostility. Aristotle would almost certainly dissapprove of this version of nature. Living in a state of hostility for him would be almost a tyrannical form of life with fear as the tyrant itself. Since Aristotle ultimately approves of a Monarchy aiming at the common interest he admits that humans do suffer from feelings of estrangement but that a single outstanding man (or small group) can, through reason, render useless feelings of estrangement in a society by way of distributive justice. Meanwhile, Thomas Hobbes asserting his viewpoint of pre-political man as a war, "of every man against every man" (Leviathan)
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