Thursday, July 29, 2010

Aristotle's Politics, A.1-2 a translation of my own devising. Notes and thoughts to follow.

Aristotle, Politics [that is: “what is proper to the citizen”]

(1252a1) Since we see that every city is a sort of community and that every community is joined together for the sake of some good – for everyone does everything for the favor of what seems to be good – then clearly, as every community endeavors for some good, doubtless (5) the most sovereign of all will endeavor for the most sovereign of all goods and the one encompassing all the others. And this community is called the city or the political community.

And so those who suppose that what is proper to a citizen and to a king and to the head of a household and to a master are all the same do not speak beautifully. For they hold that each of these is (10) distinguished by being many or few, but not by its form, such that a few would be proper to a master, more to the head of a household, and yet more to a citizen or a king, as if there were no distinction between a large household and a small city. And as for what is proper to a citizen and to a king, whenever one is set above, this is kingly, and whenever, one in part rules and in part is ruled, (15) according to the account of science, this is civic. But none of this is true.