The Priority Argument and Aristotle's Political Hylomorphism

Abstract

I wish to demonstrate in this article that Aristotle's argument for the priority of the city in Politics I 2 is supported by his conception of the ontological priority of form (and actuality) over matter (and potentiality). This interpretation should enable us to see that, just as his hylomorphism is a middle path between Presocratic materialism and Platonic dualism, Aristotle's political hylomorphism is a middle path between two radical versions of political naturalism by Antiphon and Plato.

Key words: political priority, political hylomorphism, Phusis, Nomos

In Politics I 2, Aristotle argues that the city is prior to the household and the individual in a similar way as ...

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highest human good is the concern of political art (PI???t???) which is "the most authoritative (?????t?t??) art and that which is most truly the master art," (NE 1094a26-28) while in Politics I 1 he claims that the city is the most authoritative (?????t?t?) of all human communities (Pol. 1252a4-5). In NE I 2 he points out that the end of political art embraces (PIe??????) all the other human ends (NE 1094b6-7), while in Politics I 1 he remarks that the city embraces (PIe??????sa) all the other human communities (Pol. 1252a6). These parallelisms between the beginnings of Nicomachean Ethics and Politics, along with the finishing lines of the former that transits the whole investigation to the latter, make it clear that these two works are two consecutive parts of the same course of lectures on political philosophy that constitute "the philosophy of human affairs (? PIe?? t? ?????PIe?a f???s?f?a)." (NE 1181b15) The primacy of the city is therefore of paramount importance for ...

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the basis of this metaphysical middle path, Aristotle's political philosophy steers a middle path between two versions of radical naturalism by Antiphon and Plato. From this perspective, Aristotle's political philosophy can be viewed as the political application of hylomorphism: political hylomorphism.

1. The Buried-bed Argument: Antiphon Refuted

In the first book of Physics, Aristotle systematically investigates his predecessors' views concerning the origins and causes of change as an undeniable phenomenon of the natural world. His conclusion is that matter (???) and form (e?d??) are the origins and causes of the coming-to-be and existence of natural things (Phys. 190b17-20). ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 7/9/2017 05:15:16 AM
Submitted By: siyichen
Category: Philosophy
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 6956
Pages: 26

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