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In this book, Kevin M. Cherry compares the views of Plato and Aristotle about the practice, study, and, above all, the purpose of politics. The first scholar to place Aristotle's Politics in sustained dialogue with Plato's Statesman, Cherry argues that Aristotle rejects the view of politics advanced by Plato's Eleatic Stranger, contrasting them on topics such as the proper categorization of regimes, the usefulness and limitations of the rule of law, and the proper understanding of phronēsis. The various differences between their respective political philosophies, however, reflect a more fundamental difference in how they view the relationship of human beings to the natural world around them. Reading the Politics in light of the Statesman sheds new light on Aristotle's political theory and provides a better understanding of Aristotle's criticism of Socrates. Most importantly, it highlights an enduring and important question: Should politics have as its primary purpose the preservation of life, or should it pursue the higher good of living well?
Cambridge University Press
Plato, Aristotle, Politics, Statesman, Plato's Eleatic Stranger
School of Arts and Sciences
Ethics and Political Philosophy | Political Science
Cherry, Kevin M. Plato, Aristotle, and the Purpose of Politics. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012.