History of Philosophy Works-in-Progress Luncheon: Michael Promisel, "Aristotle and the Form(s) of Rule"


Location: 437 Geddes - Maritain Library (View on map.nd.edu)

Please join us for this week's History of Philosophy Works-in-Progress Luncheon! This week's presenter is Prof. Michael Promisel (Busch Family Visiting Fellow, Center for Citizenship & Constitutional Government), who will speak on "Aristotle and the Form(s) of Rule" (see abstract below).

Each meeting consists of a presentation by a graduate student or faculty member on a project that they are working on in the history of philosophy, followed by a period of comments/questions from other participants. The workshop is designed to give contributors the opportunity to develop ideas and receive helpful feedback on projects/papers in a friendly and low stakes environment.

Lunch is provided for registered attendees. Sign up here.

Abstract: The purpose of this chapter is to situate our understanding of leadership, especially its political form, within the systematic framework of rule developed in Aristotle’s political works. More specifically, this chapter details the first of the “four causes” of rule—its form—and is followed by a chapter detailing its final, material, and efficient causes: the common advantage, political craft, and prudence. According to Aristotle, rule is sown into the nature of communal life—that is, all communities exhibit forms of rule—and offers benefits to both ruler and ruled. Each community, however, exhibits a different form of rule depending upon three factors: the relation of ruler and ruled, the pursuit of common or personal advantage, and the particular arrangement of office and authority in the community. Though these factors yield a proliferation of various kinds of rule, Aristotle presents his account of the six political regimes (tyranny, monarchy, aristocracy, oligarchy, polity, democracy) as the best heuristic for classifying and understanding the operation of rule throughout communal life, political or otherwise. 

Originally published at historyofphilosophy.nd.edu.