By Robert C. Bartlett
This wide-ranging number of essays through ecu and American students offers probably the most fascinating and demanding paintings now being performed at the political philosophy of Aristotle. half One investigates what's arguably the main pressing and debatable query of outrage to scholars of Aristotle at the present time, specifically, the potential of grounding ethical and political motion in a few model of Aristotelian rationalism. half considers a sequence of particular questions bobbing up from the Politics and the Nicomachean Ethics, between that are Aristotle's realizing of ethical advantage; the matter of evil; justice, and the very concept of "common good," friendship; the prestige of the philosophic existence vis-a-vis the political; and the outlines of the absolute best political neighborhood.
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Extra info for Action and Contemplation: Studies in the Moral and Political Thought of Aristotle
Arendt, The Human Condition (Chicago, 1 958); German edition: Vita activa oder vom tatigen Leben, Stuttgart, 1 960. 7. -G. Gadamer, Wahrheit und Methode. Grundzuge einer philosophischen Hermeneutik (Tiibingen, 1 960) . 8. -G. Gadamer, Wahrheit und Methode, 295-307) . T H E R E H A B I L I TAT I O N O F P R A C T I C A L P H I L O S O P H Y 21 9. Cf. R. H . , Methoden der Politologie (Darmstadt, 1 967) ; H. Sch neider, ed. , Aufgabe und Selbstverstiindnis der politischen Wissemchaften (Darmstadt, 1 96 7).
The general laws that the people decide for themselves in a fair procedure are supposed to filter the general inter ests out of the multiplicity of particular interests. Moreover, the laws regulate only the external relations of the citizen. Whatever is not forbidden is permit ted. " The Contrat Social begins with the statement that the democratic sovereign can only change the laws, not human beings. This is the very opposite of Aristotle's posi tion. An externally effective, institutionalized, positive-legal process takes the place of virtue, which is no longer necessary in order to arrive at rational regula- T H E M O D ERN FORM OF THE C LASSI CAL R E P U B L I C 33 cions.
In the Book ofjudges (8:22) , which in no sense corresponds to the conception of theocracy assumed by Hannah Arendt, but is rather an example of "regulated anarchy" (Christian Sigrist) , Gideon rejects the offer of the royal crown with the words: "I will not rule over you, and my son will not rule over you; the Lord will rule over you. " This passage formulates a principled reservation against every form of the rule of some human beings over others. While for the Greeks and Romans isonomy or republican govern ment implied a principled reservation against all ruling of some citizens over others, the thought that every form of the rule of some human beings over others stands under a principled reservation about legitimacy, breaks open the 34 HAUKE BRUNKHORST horiwn of their political thought.
Action and Contemplation: Studies in the Moral and Political Thought of Aristotle by Robert C. Bartlett