Sunday, January 8, 2012

"Aristotle's Politics"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Aristotle's Politics: Living Well and Living Together by Eugene Garver.

About the book, from the publisher:
“Man is a political animal,” Aristotle asserts near the beginning of the Politics. In this novel reading of one of the foundational texts of political philosophy, Eugene Garver traces the surprising implications of Aristotle’s claim and explores the treatise’s relevance to ongoing political concerns. Often dismissed as overly grounded in Aristotle’s specific moment in time, in fact the Politics challenges contemporary understandings of human action and allows us to better see ourselves today.

Close examination of Aristotle’s treatise, Garver finds, reveals a significant, practical role for philosophy to play in politics. Philosophers present arguments about issues—such as the right and the good, justice and modes of governance, the relation between the good person and the good citizen, and the character of a good life—that politicians must then make appealing to their fellow citizens. Completing Garver’s trilogy on Aristotle’s unique vision, Aristotle’s Politics yields new ways of thinking about ethics and politics, ancient and modern.
Among the early praise for Aristotle's Politics:
“Upending a truism, Garver finds Aristotle’s Politics more practical for us than his Ethics. In a work that is at once meditative and analytical, Garver leads us to realize that our actual, as opposed to our imagined, sense of the political can, upon reflection, give us a conception of the human good as substantive, shared, flexible, and multifaceted as Aristotle’s. In his refracted light we can see, as he did, that constitutions can be made morally better than the people in them and that under some conditions political stability is a moral good. Students and scholars of ancient philosophy, political theorists, and political scientists alike will find their minds turned around by this book.”—David Depew, University of Iowa