- From whom man originated
- Why public?
- Why political?
- What is the similarity with and difference from an ordinary animal?
- One of the important characteristics of a person is virtue
- What is the main goal of a person?
- What is the role of the state for the individual?
Man is considered to be the highest rational being and the best creation of nature, which prevails over all other creatures. However, Aristotle would not agree with us. The main idea of his doctrine of man is that, according to Aristotle, man is a social and political animal. Upright and thinking, but still an animal.
From whom man originated
Aristotle spoke about the origin of man as well as about the origin of all creatures, dividing them only into two types: bloodless and having blood. Man belongs to the second, those who have blood. Considering people as animals, Aristotle reduced his ideas about the origin of man to the fact that the ancestor of mankind is a monkey.
According to Aristotle, man is a political, but also a social being. From the very first day of life, he does not belong to himself, heserves society, family and state. By nature, a person should live in harmony with other people. Only by existing and developing in groups, people are able to achieve a high level of both morality and quality of life in general. The most important thing that occupied Aristotle, if we talk about personal qualities, is virtue, in its highest manifestations, which should be directed to the benefit of society. Man, being the only being who can be virtuous, is obliged to pay his debt to society. Great importance is attached to the justice that one person can show only in relation to another. According to this principle, a chain is created, which consists of caring for one person in caring for society as a whole.
A person has a weapon that nature has given him - the power of intellect and morality, but he can use this weapon in the other direction, so a person without moral principles is a lower and wild creature, driven only by animals and taste instincts
Aristotle's teaching about man is directly related to the arguments about politics and the state. The purpose of the analysis of political issues and human essence is to elevate to the public service not so much a person as a highly moral person. Regardless of estates, each person is born as a deliberately political being, with innate personal qualities and the instinct of "cohabitation with other beings." Every person should take part in the construction of the state. Therefore, byAristotle, man is a political animal.
What is the similarity with and difference from an ordinary animal?
If you and I can bring a lot of obvious and advantageous differences, then, according to Aristotle, a person differs from an animal only in the presence of intelligence. Intelligence refers to the moral side of the individual, which helps to adhere to the rules and laws of society. Man differs from an animal in that he can see where is good and where is evil. To see the difference between justice and injustice. A person who has attained the highest degree of perfection is higher than any of the animals. But he becomes lower than every creature if he lives contrary to laws and justice. In fact, there is nothing worse than injustice equipped with weapons.
As for the resemblance, it is biological. Both man and animal are equally striving to satisfy their base biological needs. These include the need to sleep, eat and procreate.
One of the important characteristics of a person is virtue
Having such a position, he nevertheless divided it into two types - intellectual and strong-willed. Volitional qualities include qualities of character, something that in most cases is inherent in nature and rarely changes. Aristotle gave his preference to the first, intellectual virtue. By intellectual virtue he meant acquired wisdom, rational activity, and prudence.
However, the presence of intelligence is notsays that this virtue is inherent in every person. It is peculiar only to those people who act. Moreover, the activity is not in any of its manifestations, but exclusively cognitive. A virtuous person cannot be one who enjoys material possessions, seeks praise, benefits, or strives to achieve certain goals. Virtue can be achieved only by getting real pleasure from the process of cognitive and theoretical activity.
Talking and talking a lot about virtue is not an indication that a person is virtuous. The same is with thoughts that are about justice - this does not mean that a person will actually be fair.
What is the main goal of a person?
The main purpose of human existence is good. The highest good is a feeling of happiness and complete bliss. But the good should not be individual for each person, it directly depends on the public good. Therefore, in order to achieve their goals, a person simply needs to unite with other “social animals”. And in order to carry out this association, people create the state. It is the state that is the link in human communication and interaction.
What is the role of the state for the individual?
You can not perceive the state as a tool to achieve economic benefits. The initial and main purpose of the emergence of the state is to create relationships in society for the common good. It turns out a vicious circle: the stateit is impossible to create without a person, and a person, in turn, cannot exist outside the state, because according to Aristotle, a person is a political being.
Also, Aristotle was well aware that it is impossible to consider every person equal, even if everyone pursues the same goal - the achievement of the public good. He divided people into three main categories: the overly rich, the poor, and the average in between. He treated the first two categories equally badly. The ideal model of a person's position is medium. In any of his aspirations, a person must go to the goal - to find the golden mean. This applies to both material we alth and moral and virtuous qualities.
A generous person is someone who gives the right thing to the right person at the right time.
A person determines his position in society with the help of property. This often becomes the subject of quarrels and discontent. However, each person must defend his right to property, developing which he is able to fight against social foundations for the sake of progress. At the same time, Aristotle urges society not to forget about mercy and generosity, helping those who need it. Showing solidarity and friendship is the highest manifestation of political and social virtue.