Article Review 1 - Aristotle's Government
Socrates, Aristotle's predecessor, makes a bold statement, "The unexamined life is not worth living," in his work The Apology. Basically, the philosopher is saying if a person does not closely examine his life it has no value. God has given people the faculties to reason, explore, experiment, test, and evaluate so that they can live a life of excellence. People are programmed from birth, good or bad. By contemplating and evaluating behaviors, individuals can begin to determine the "lenses" that they see life through. Most of these lenses are developed subconsciously through vows and judgments made in life to escape pain. Moreover, self-examination defines those areas a person currently values. For example, if a person values financial security they will seek it with abandon. It is important that people examine the thought process to determine if they have acquired the correct set of beliefs because they influence our thinking and motivate our action. According to Aristotle, all men are capable of governing, but not all men should govern.
Aristotle believed that the good life was an examined life. He goes to state that a happy life is a virtuous life and that this virtue is the mean - not good or evil. He stresses that life is best lived in the "means" or middle ground. More pointedly, that in order to live a good life, a person must be part of a political community, that it is a "social instinct implanted in all men by nature." Therefore, the quality of a person is directly linked to their civic responsibility. If a person was to fulfill the potential of their humanity, they must lead a virtuous rational existence serving their political district. Clarity to citizenship is essential in that women, children, foreigners, or slaves were not classified as citizens of the Greek city-states.
Structurally, Aristotle states that the middle class represents the ordinary citizen and that the majority make up the middle...