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Aristotle and democracy.

Papageorgiou, Charalambos Ioannou; (1991) Aristotle and democracy. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D.), University College London. Green open access

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Abstract

The thesis undertakes a reconstruction and critical assessment of Aristotle's theory of democracy. The process of reconstruction requires at first the collection and organisation of the relevant material, since Aristotle's references to democracy, although numerous, are scattered throughout his political and ethical writings. A chapter is devoted to this task. This chapter also seeks to describe the historical and intellectual context in which Aristotle developed his ideas on democracy. The thesis then attempts to identify the fundamental principles which underlie Aristotle's conception of democracy. These are examined both in their relation to one another and also in their relation to the fundamental principles of Aristotle's political philosophy in general. Aristotle's teleological conception of the state and his theory of distributive justice based on proportionate equality are singled out as the salient principles which shape his conception, classification and criticism of democracy. These issues are dealt with in a number of chapters. One of them deals with the questions of equality and justice. Aristotle is described as having developed a theory of distributive justice which differs considerably from the democrats' corresponding conceptions thus giving rise to Aristotle's criticism of the democratic distribution of political power. In another chapter, the evaluative principles which lie behind Aristotle's classification of democracies are identified and their effect on his conception of democracy is discussed. Having identified the structure of Aristotle's ideas, the thesis undertakes an evaluation of his assessment of democracy. Both the arguments which Aristotle employs against democracy and his defence of a moderate and restricted version of democracy are examined in their own terms and also in terms of their place within the Aristotelian political philosophy seen as a whole. Emphasis is given to Aristotle's proposals aiming at reforming democracy by moderating it, since this seems to be the practical aim of his theory of democracy. In short, Aristotle's theory of democracy is shown to be broadly consistent, though not necessarily convincing.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D.
Title: Aristotle and democracy.
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis Digitised by Proquest.
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10124355
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