AN EXAMINATION OF THE CONCEPT OF MORALITY AND POLITICS IN ARISTOTLE’S PHILOSOPHY
Morality entails everything about man’s action, what he ought to do and what he ought not to do. Like moral standards and moral values, morality forms part and parcel of the life of every social group and civil society. Man as a social and rational being, is naturally moral and political. Politics on the other hand entails everything about the political life in the society. This includes who should, and how the ruler ought to rule. ‘The Concept of morality and politics in Aristotle’ is a fresh and specific approach adapted by the writer to have a philosophical and a critical view of Aristotelian morality and politics. Aristotle argues that there is an end which stands above other ends in relation to human function. He calls it happiness- the highest good. Medieval philosophers such as Thomas Aquinas and Saint Augustine call it summum Bonum. This is not in contradiction with the Aristotelian notion. Aristotle views the end as generality by postulating that everyone pursues it, both in the political life and in the moral life. For the excellence of the individual equals that of the state. For even the state should aim at providing the ultimate happiness for its citizens. For an individual does not seek morality in a vacuum but in a political society. The state should aim at achieving the ultimate happiness for its citizens. In this regard, this work sets out to discover the relationship of morality to politics and to show the relevance of morality in achieving a sound political system in Aristotle.
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