Aristotle, Politics

LCL 264: 2-3

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I. Ἐπειδὴ πᾶσαν πόλιν ὁρῶμεν κοινωνίαν τινὰ1 οὖσαν, καὶ πᾶσαν κοινωνίαν ἀγαθοῦ τινος ἕνεκεν συνεστηκυῖαν (τοῦ γὰρ εἶναι δοκοῦντος ἀγαθοῦ χάριν πάντα πράττουσι πάντες), δῆλον ὡς πᾶσαι 5μὲν ἀγαθοῦ τινος στοχάζονται, μάλιστα δὲ καὶ τοῦ κυριωτάτου πάντων ἡ πασῶν κυριωτάτη καὶ πάσας περιέχουσα τὰς ἄλλας· αὕτη δ᾿ ἐστὶν ἡ καλουμένη πόλις καὶ ἡ κοινωνία ἡ πολιτική. ὅσοι2 μὲν οὖν οἴονται πολιτικὸν καὶ βασιλικὸν καὶ οἰκονομικὸν καὶ δεσποτικὸν εἶναι τὸν αὐτόν, οὐ καλῶς λέγουσιν· πλήθει γὰρ καὶ ὀλιγότητι νομίζουσι 10διαφέρειν ἀλλ᾿ οὐκ εἴδει τούτων ἕκαστον, οἷον ἂν μὲν ὀλίγων, δεσπότην, ἂν δὲ πλειόνων, οἰκονόμον, ἂν δ᾿ ἔτι πλειόνων, πολιτικὸν ἢ βασιλικόν, ὡς οὐδὲν διαφέρουσαν μεγάλην οἰκίαν ἢ μικρὰν πόλιν· καὶ πολιτικὸν δὲ καὶ βασιλικόν, 15ὅταν μὲν αὐτὸς ἐφεστήκῃ, βασιλικόν, ὅταν δὲ


Politics, I. I.

Aristotle’s Politics

Book I

1I. Every state is as we see a sort of partnership,a Book I. The Family. and every partnership is formed with a view to some good (since all the actions of all mankind are done with a view to what they think to be good). It is therefore The State differs generically from the Family. evident that, while all partnerships aim at some good, the partnership that is the most supreme of all and includes all the others does so most of all, and aims at the most supreme of all goods; and this is the partnership entitled the state, the political association. 2Thoseb then who think that the natures of the statesman, the royal ruler, the head of an estatec and the master of a family are the same, are mistaken; they imagine that the difference between these various forms of authority is one of greater and smaller numbers, not a difference in kind—that is, that the ruler over a few people is a master, over more the head of an estate, over more still a statesman or royal ruler, as if there were no difference between a large household and a small city; and also as to the statesman and the royal ruler, they think that one who governs as sole head is royal, and one who,

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.aristotle-politics.1932