we are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars

Friday, 7 November 2008

Man as a Political Animal - Aristotle strikes again

Are we best served to follow cutlure or nature?

Or are we naturally cultural?

I, at first glance, I would side with Aristotle in that man is not an animal in cultural chains but a cultural animal. Our moral and intellectual faculties make it imperative that we live in a structured society.

At second glance I would observe that perhaps the kind of city-states, with under 100,000 people, that Aristotle spoke about made this rule more relevant then than now.

Is law really natural? Since the earliest times, man has formed a circle and judged criminals with the aid of a chief. So, yes.
But have we taken it too far, with our modern systems, to reliant upon written laws and too little on human judgment? I'm not sure if there is a way to have an ideal, or near ideal, law system for such large groups of people as we try to today. After all, is not any system of law based upon the fundamental moral values of a society? How, then, can we expect this to function for a society that has such a diverse range of value systems?
I don't think we can.

Aristotle - 1
Jessica - 1

Related books to read:

Aristotle's Politics
Alan Harding's A Social History of English Law


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