Aristotle says the city-state or polis "comes to be for the sake of living, but it remains in existence for the sake of living well" (chapter 2). What does he mean by that? What do notions of "the beneficial or harmful...just or unjust...good or bad" have to do with the city-state?

Aristotle says the city-state or polis "comes to be for the sake of living, but it remains in existence for the sake of living well" (chapter 2). What does he mean by that? What do notions of "the beneficial or harmful...just or unjust...good or bad"

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In Politics (book 1, chapter 2), Aristotle says that we band together in increasingly large groups, from family to village to city-state, for the sake of safety and survival. Once we reach the level of the city-state, however, we have everything necessary to lead a good life, which is to...

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In Politics (book 1, chapter 2), Aristotle says that we band together in increasingly large groups, from family to village to city-state, for the sake of safety and survival. Once we reach the level of the city-state, however, we have everything necessary to lead a good life, which is to say one dedicated to the pursuit of virtue. Aristotle’s view of society is fundamentally aristocratic. It does not include slaves, who are “animate possessions”—only there to assist their master in living well.

Those who are involved in the enterprise of seeking virtue, Aristotle says, can best do so through dialogue with their peers in a well-governed city state where they are free to discuss such matters. Speaking and reasoning with each other allows us to discover what is beneficial or harmful, just or unjust, good or bad. We can then apply these principles in the government of the city, since they are best practiced as civic virtues.

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