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Ancient Philosophy

Aristotle

What did Aristotle think about government and politics?

Aristotle believed that human beings are social by nature, so the right form of government is necessary to support happy and self-sufficient citizens. He posited three main forms of government, each of which could degenerate: monarchy that could fall into tyranny; aristocracy that could fall into oligarchy (rule by a few based on wealth); and polity that could fall into democracy. Like Plato, Aristotle viewed democracy as mob rule because the great masses of people in their day were uneducated and unrefined. Aristotle thought that the best form of government was polity, a kind of democratic rule within an aristocratic class, where turns were taken for top positions and all of the privileged members had their say.



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