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Loving freedom: Aristotle on slavery and the good life

Record type: Article

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.

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Citation

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

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Published date: March 1999

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 34095
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/34095
ISSN: 0032-3217
PURE UUID: 0e3ab55e-5c3e-48de-8ad7-8d4b2509972f

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Date deposited: 18 Dec 2007
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 15:51

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