Monarchy and political community in Aristotle's Politics


Monarchy and political community in Aristotle's Politics

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dc.contributor.advisor White, Stephen A. (Stephen Augustus)
dc.creator Riesbeck, David J., 1980- 2012-07-10T18:14:58Z 2012-07-10T18:14:58Z 2012-05 2012-07-10 May 2012
dc.description.abstract This dissertation re-examines a set of long-standing problems that arise from Aristotle’s defense of kingship in the Politics. Scholars have argued for over a century that Aristotle’s endorsement of sole rule by an individual of outstanding excellence is incompatible with his theory of distributive justice and his very conception of a political community. Previous attempts to resolve this apparent contradiction have failed to ease the deeper tensions between the idea of the polis as a community of free and equal citizens sharing in ruling and being ruled and the vision of absolute kingship in which one man rules over others who are merely ruled. I argue that the so-called “paradox of monarchy” emerges from misconceptions and insufficiently nuanced interpretations of kingship itself and of the more fundamental concepts of community, rule, authority, and citizenship. Properly understood, Aristotelian kingship is not a form of government that concentrates power in the hands of a single individual, but an arrangement in which free citizens willingly invest that individual with a position of supreme authority without themselves ceasing to share in rule. Rather than a muddled appendage tacked on to the Politics out of deference to Macedon or an uncritical adoption of Platonic utopianism, Aristotle’s defense of kingship is a piece of ideal theory that serves in part to undermine the pretensions of actual or would-be monarchs, whether warrior- or philosopher-kings.
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso eng
dc.subject Aristotle
dc.subject Ancient philosophy
dc.subject Greek political thought
dc.subject History of political thought
dc.subject Aristotle's Politics
dc.subject Monarchy
dc.subject Political community
dc.subject.lcsh Aristotle--Politics
dc.subject.lcsh Aristotle--Political and social views
dc.subject.lcsh Aristotle--Contributions in political science
dc.subject.lcsh Political science--Early works to 1800
dc.title Monarchy and political community in Aristotle's Politics 2012-07-10T18:15:13Z
dc.identifier.slug 2152/ETD-UT-2012-05-5032
dc.contributor.committeeMember Gagarin, Michael
dc.contributor.committeeMember Morrison, Donald
dc.contributor.committeeMember Perlman, Paula
dc.contributor.committeeMember Woodruff, Paul
dc.description.department Classics
dc.type.genre thesis
dc.type.material text Classics Classics University of Texas at Austin Doctoral Doctor of Philosophy

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