Idealism in the Politics: The ‘Best State Absolutely’
It remains to consider that part of the Politics that deals with ‘the best regime’. The matter is complicated in several respects. For one thing, Aristotle suggests that it might be necessary to distinguish between what is best absolutely and what is an attainable best (cf. IV. xi 1295 a25–33; also II. vi 1265 a19–20, VII. iv 1325 b37ff.). Then too, the discussion of ‘the best’ (in both senses) is scattered throughout the Politics; an adequate discussion is forced to pull together many separate strands of thought. Further, it is not always clear that the many passages that address this subject are all mutually compatible; they often seem discrepant in a variety of ways. And it does not help matters that, of the two major parts of the Politics where ‘the best’ is discussed, one of them is certainly incomplete and the other may well be too.1
KeywordsGood State Political Association Good Regime Political Office Middle State
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