Aristotle’s Defensible Defence of Slavery

Polis 23 (1):95-115 (2006)
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Abstract

This article is an attempt to break down Aristotle’s arguments in favour of slavery into what I take to be their constituent premises and conclusions, to set these out schematically in syllogistic form, and to display both how each of the arguments works on its own and how all of them fit together to form one overarching argument. The purpose of this exercise is to make as evident as possible the structure, coherence, and validity of Aristotle’s reasoning. This is something that is lacking in scholarly treatments of Aristotle on slavery, few of which make a serious attempt to engage with the details of Aristotle’s text.My conclusion is that Aristotle’s argument is not only valid but, on the assumption of his virtue theory, sound as well.

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Peter Simpson
CUNY Graduate Center

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Is Natural Slavery Beneficial?Thornton Lockwood - 2007 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 45 (2):207-221.

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