SOPhiA 2019

Salzburgiense Concilium Omnibus Philosophis Analyticis

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Programme - Talk

Ancient Analytics: the ontology of state in Aristotle's philosophy
(History of Philosophy, English)

While studying Aristotle's Politics one might come to conclusion, that the state is a natural entity, existing separately from other beings, with accordance to its own nature. But even if Aristotle himself explicitly said that states "exist by nature" (I.2.1253a2), he also describes lawgiver -- man (or men) who constitutes state's form -- as a craftsman, and thus compares states to products of art (e.g. VII.4.1325b40-1326a5).

But are those two descriptions necessarily contradicting? During my presentation I will argue, that Aristotle's state can be interpreted as artefact of practical reason which serves as mean to actualize human nature. I will try to refer to Aristotelian state as a way of being a human instead of an ontological separate entity. Since according to Aristotle people are naturally political beings, I will claim that living in a state is the right way of being a human, a proper mean to an ultimate end to which our nature leads -- the goal described in Nicomachean Ethics as eudaimonia, happiness (I.1095a15__25). As a result, I will argue for the recognition of Aristotle's politics as an extension of his anthropology and I will seek for mentioned earlier "nature by which states exist" in the nature of human beings.

In my analysis I will consider Aristotle's Politics and Nicomachean Ethics together with some of modern analysis of Aristotle's political theory (D. Keyt, F. Miller). The study will be completed by references to De Anima and Metaphysics, which will supplement its ontological and anthropological framework. As a result I will try to answer the question whether the Aristotelian state should exist like other beings -- according to its own nature -- or does it only serve to realize the nature of men, as a specific for human beings modus of living?

Chair: Gregor Greslehner
Time: 10:00-10:30, 20 September 2019 (Friday)
Location: SR 1.005

Paweł Neumann-Karpiński 
(Jagiellonian University, Poland)

Paweł Neumann-Karpiński -- 4th year student of Philosophy and graduate of three years of studies in Finance and Accounting. President of Section of Ancient Philosophy at Students Philosophical Association at Jagiellonian University. Examines issues related to education, in particular political education, both in history and in the contemporary democratic context. Author of numerous conference speeches covering this subject and the article "What the ruler should know about ruling (...)" (2017), in which he made a comparative analysis of Prince N. Machiavelli and teachings for rulers from Ancient Egypt.

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