Two of his most famous treaties, “Politics” and “Nicomachean Ethics” practical domain of philosophy. Works are “practical” in the sense that they are not textbooks. On the contrary, they abound in the analyzes and arguments, relying more on historical and scientific research. They are works of practical philosophy, “practice”, because their purpose or goal is to provide the truth, but to change the facts.
Humans differ from other animals in that they possess the power of reason and thought. People “contained something divine – what we call intellect is divine” and our intellect is “the divine within us.” Indeed each of us is a true intellect, “for he [intellect] is what human nature is nobler and more elevated.”
Intellectual activity is not sufficient. People are not isolated individuals. “Man,” says Aristotle, “is by nature a social animal”. This remark is not made at random aphorism but a sample of biological theory. “Social animals are those that have a single activity in common, so are people, bees, wasps, ants and cranes.”. “And this human characteristic feature is unlike all creatures, so he is feeling good and one evil, of right and injustice and all other moral status. Community of beings with such features create family and the State. ”
The first thing to put out about Aristotelian idea of the State is its size. “For if the ten men would not be a city, a hundred thousand would not be a city.” He never changed his opinion that small city-states were the most friendly – and most natural – form of civil society.
A State, however it is constituted, must be self-sufficient and achieve the goal for which it exists. “Welfare”, which is the goal state is identified with “eudaimonia” (happiness), what is the individual. States are natural entities, like other natural objects have a purpose or a goal. The notion of purpose of the state is related to another high ideal. “The fundamental principle of democratic constitutions is free [...] The first form of freedom is to lead and be led, in turn [...] Another form of it is left right to live as he likes.”
But freedom is severely restricted in the State of Aristotle. It is a prerogative of citizens, but most of the population does not have citizenship. Women were not free, were slaves. According to Aristotle, some people are slaves by nature, and so it is actually allowed to be subjugated. Citizens could hold slaves as they could have and other forms of property. “Obviously,” he writes, “it is better that property should be private, but people need to put together to use.” But he immediately adds: “It is the job of the legislature to ensure that citizens do so.”. Aristotle’s state will not have the means of production, it does not directly control any economy. But legislator ensure that the financial system of citizens to be governed according.
Aristotle describes in great detail the various ways in which the State can regulate people’s lives. Each restriction, as well as for the purposes intended, it is a restriction of freedom. In Aristotle’s statement that “all citizens belong to the state” can foresee seeds of totalitarianism. Its highly authoritarian state.