Published by Crackers Books,

17 June 2024

Aristotle’s Politics:

A Concise Overview

Aristotle’s Politics is a foundational text in Western political philosophy, offering comprehensive insights into the nature of political communities, the roles of citizens, and the pursuit of the common good. The work is critical in understanding the relationship between individuals and the state and the nature of political justice and governance. Here are five key points about Aristotle’s Politics based on recent scholarly research:

  1. Nature of the State and Citizenship: Aristotle posits that the state is a natural institution arising from the fundamental human need to form communities. He famously asserts that "man is by nature a political animal," emphasizing that human beings achieve their highest potential within a political community. This idea underpins his analysis of different political systems and the role of citizens within the state (Stewart, 2020).
  2. Best Constitution and Mixed Government: Aristotle critically evaluates various forms of government, including democracy, oligarchy, and monarchy. He argues that the best constitution is a mixed government that incorporates elements of all three forms. This balance is essential to achieving stability and justice in the political community (Danilova, 2019).
  3. Role of Education and Virtue: In Politics, Aristotle highlights the importance of education and virtue for the health of the state. He believes that the cultivation of virtue among citizens is crucial for achieving the common good and maintaining political stability. This educational framework is designed to produce citizens capable of contributing to the state's well-being (Striker, 2022).
  4. Justice and the Common Good: Aristotle's notion of justice is closely tied to the concept of the common good. He argues that justice in the state involves ensuring that each citizen can fulfill their role and contribute to the overall harmony of the community. This principle guides his vision of a well-ordered society where laws and policies aim to benefit the collective rather than individual interests (Onwunali, 2018).
  5. Critique of Pure Democracies and Oligarchies: Aristotle critiques pure forms of democracy and oligarchy, asserting that they often lead to instability and conflict. He believes that when power is concentrated in the hands of the few (oligarchy) or the many (democracy) without consideration for the common good, it can result in governance that serves only a segment of the population. Instead, he advocates for a polity that balances the interests of all citizens (Kwak, 2021).


Aristotle's Politics provides a detailed and nuanced exploration of political theory, emphasizing the natural origins of the state, the importance of a mixed government, the role of education, the pursuit of the common good, and the dangers of extreme forms of government. His ideas continue to influence contemporary discussions on political theory and practice.


  • Danilova, V. (2019). The Problem of the Best Constitution in Aristotle's "Politics". Relevant lines of scientific research: theory and practice. Link.
  • Kwak, J.-H. (2021). Deliberation with persuasion: the ‘political’ in Aristotle’s Politics. Australian Journal of Political Science, 56(3), 318-333. Link.
  • Onwunali, K. U. (2018). Aristotle’s notion of common good. Conhecimento & Diversidade. Link.
  • Stewart, J. (2020). Aristotle’s Politics. In The Emergence of Subjectivity in the Ancient and Medieval World. Link.
  • Striker, G. (2022). Aristotle’s Ethics as Political Science. In From Aristotle to Cicero. Link.