Loving freedom: Aristotle on slavery and the good life

Bentley, Russell (1999) Loving freedom: Aristotle on slavery and the good life. Political Studies, 47, (1), 100-113. (doi:10.1111/1467-9248.00190).


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Original Publication URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-9248.00190


Most commentators on Aristotle's theory of natural slavery locate the source of slavishness in an intellectual deficiency that Aristotle describes. This paper sets out to show that Aristotle's natural slaves are not intellectually deficient in the way normally assumed, but are lacking an emotional faculty, thymos, which Aristotle connects to actual enslavement through its power to generate a love of freedom. It is also argued that Aristotle's understanding of slavishness entails a risk for a democratic regime, such as Classical Athens, since such a system has highly inclusive criteria for membership in the political association. Commentators have also failed to connect natural slavery to Aristotle's ethical thought and to note the theory's practical relevance to the goal of living a good human life.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1111/1467-9248.00190
ISSNs: 0032-3217 (print)
Related URLs:
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DE The Mediterranean Region. The Greco-Roman World
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
J Political Science > JC Political theory
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Social Sciences > Politics and International Relations
ePrint ID: 34095
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
March 1999Published
Date Deposited: 18 Dec 2007
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 12:01
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/34095

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