Nicomachean Ethics

by

Aristotle

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Political Science Term Analysis

Aristotle describes political science as the highest of the sciences, to which all other fields of study are subordinate. Its goal is securing and maintaining the happiness of society through laws and systems of governance. Since Nicomachean Ethics is an inquiry into what produces human happiness, it can be considered a work of political science by Aristotle’s definition.

Political Science Quotes in Nicomachean Ethics

The Nicomachean Ethics quotes below are all either spoken by Political Science or refer to Political Science. For each quote, you can also see the other terms and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Nature and Pursuit of Happiness Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Hackett edition of Nicomachean Ethics published in 1999.
Book 1 Quotes

And so, since this is our subject and these are our premises, we shall be satisfied to indicate the truth roughly and in outline; since our subject and our premises are things that hold good usually, we shall be satisfied to draw conclusions of the same sort. Each of our claims, then, ought to be accepted in the same way. For the educated person seeks exactness in each area to the extent that the nature of the subject allows; for apparently it is just as mistaken to demand demonstrations from a rhetorician as to accept [merely] persuasive arguments from a mathematician. Further, each person judges rightly what he knows, and is a good judge about that; hence the good judge in a given area is the person educated in that area, and the unqualifiedly good judge is the person educated in every area. This is why a youth is not a suitable student of political science; for he lacks experience of the actions in life, which are the subject and premises of our arguments.

Related Characters: Aristotle (speaker)
Page Number: 3
Explanation and Analysis:
Book 10 Quotes

Since, then, our predecessors have left the area of legislation uncharted, it is presumably better to examine it ourselves instead, and indeed to examine political systems in general, and so to complete the philosophy of human affairs, as far as we are able. First, then, let us try to review any sound remarks our predecessors have made on particular topics. Then let us study the collected political systems, to see from them what sorts of things preserve and destroy cities, and political systems of different types; and what causes some cities to conduct politics well, and some badly. For when we have studied these questions, we will perhaps grasp better what sort of political system is best; how each political system should be organized so as to be best and what habits and laws it should follow. Let us discuss this, then, starting from the beginning.

Related Characters: Aristotle (speaker)
Related Symbols: The City
Page Number: 171
Explanation and Analysis:
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Political Science Term Timeline in Nicomachean Ethics

The timeline below shows where the term Political Science appears in Nicomachean Ethics. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book 1
The Nature and Pursuit of Happiness Theme Icon
Virtue and Community Life Theme Icon
The Political Life vs. the Contemplative Life Theme Icon
The “highest ruling science,” Aristotle claims, is political science . This science prescribes which sciences should be studied in cities, who should study them,... (full context)
The Nature and Pursuit of Happiness Theme Icon
Virtue and Community Life Theme Icon
The Political Life vs. the Contemplative Life Theme Icon
Because political science uses these other sciences, its end includes the ends of the other sciences, too. This... (full context)
Virtue and Community Life Theme Icon
The Political Life vs. the Contemplative Life Theme Icon
...that same spirit. He also argues that a young person isn’t an appropriate student of political science , because a young person is inexperienced and driven by feelings. But for students who... (full context)
The Nature and Pursuit of Happiness Theme Icon
Book 1, Chapter 4. So what is this highest good that political science seeks? Most people would agree that it is happiness, but they disagree about what happiness... (full context)