My aim in this paper is to demonstrate the relevance of the Aristotelian notion of civic friendship to contemporary political discussion by arguing that it can function as a social good. Contrary to some dominant interpretations of the ancient conception of friendship according to which it can only be understood as an obligatory reciprocity, I argue that friendship between fellow citizens is important because it contributes to the unity of both state and community by transmitting feelings of intimacy and solidarity. (...) In that sense, it can be understood as an important relationship predicated on affection and generosity, virtues lacking from both contemporary politics and society that seem to be merely dominated by Post-Enlightenment ideals. For Aristotle, friendship is important for society because it generates concord, articulating thus a basis for social unity and political agreement. (shrink)
My aim in this paper is to attempt a philosophical reading of M. Karagatsis’ novel Kitrinos Fakelos (1956), focusing my analysis on the passions and the emotions of its fictional characters, aiming at demonstrating their independence as well as the presentation of their psychography in Karagatsis’ novel where the description of the emotions caused by love is a dominant feature. In particular, I will examine the expression of desire, love (erôs) and sympathy in this novel – passions and emotions that (...) play an important role to moral life and human existence in general. I will be approaching these issues from the point of view of moral philosophy, analyzing the passions and the emotions expressed by the fictional characters in Kitrinos Fakelos, and in particular of the fictional character of Manos Tasakos. At the same time, I will attempt to show the philosophical influences that M. Karagatsis has received in his literary work, and especially in his novel Kitrinos Fakelos, by the philosophical thought of Friedrich Nietzsche. In addition, I will try to demonstrate the contrast between the Nietzschean moral model and that of both ancient and contemporary virtue ethical theory, in relation to the traditional interpretation of the work of Nietzsche’s that Karagatsis adopts, along with many of his contemporaries in Greece from the beginning of the 20th century until the 70’s at least. (shrink)
Ιn this paper I aim to analyze Aristotle’s account of political justice (to politikon dikaion) in both the Nicomachean Ethics and the Politics, since it is these accounts that are most relevant to his advocacy of moderation and mixed constitution, and I aim to show how justice and equality are crucial for the promotion of the common interest of the polis. In addition, I explore the connection made between justice, equality, democracy, liberty, and friendship, and attempt to further excavate Aristotle’s (...) conception of political justice and moderation in the polis. We will see how this bears on questions in contemporary political philosophy concerning the role of justice as the most fundamental virtue for society, and as an institution that serves to fix the limits of human conduct and to settle the principles specifying the just distribution of benefits and burdens in a democratic society of equals. (shrink)
This paper aims to reevaluate Aristotelian political theory from an egalitarian perspective and to pinpoint its legacy and relevance to contemporary political theory, demonstrating its importance for contemporary liberal democracies in a changing world, suggesting a new critique of liberal and neoliberal political theory and practice, and especially the improvement of our notion of the modern liberal-democratic state, since most contemporary representative liberal democracies fail to take into account the public interest of the many and do very little in order (...) to advance it. The paper will focus on key aspects of Aristotle’s thought, such as his notions of justice (δικαιοσύνη/dikaiosunē and ἁπλῶς δίκαιον/aplōs dikaion), concord (ὁμόμοια/homonoia), friendship (φιλία/philia) and the art of ruling (τέχνη τοῦ ἄρχειν/technē tou archein), arguing that Aristotle’s theory requires us to have concern for our fellow citizens; ‘concern for others’ as opposed to the mere ‘respect for others’ that contemporary neo-Kantian liberalism advocates . Hence, I will examine these aspects of Aristotle’s philosophy that have not so far been adequately discussed, in relation to his conception of the ‘common or public interest’ (τὸ κοινῇ συμφέρον/to koinē sympheron) which is essential in order to understand the Aristotelian vision for ‘the art of politics’ (τέχνη τοῦ ἄρχειν) which should always aim towards the interest of the many, i.e., the people (πλῆθος/plēthos). (shrink)
Since the 1980’s, a key issue in political philosophy has been the debate between communitarian philosophers, such as Alasdair MacIntyre, Michael Sandel, Michael Walzer and Charles Taylor, and those who support forms of liberal individualism, such as that found in Rawls’s Theory of Justice. In this debate, reference has quite often been made to Aristotle. This is particularly so in the case of Alasdair MacIntyre, who is frequently seen as presenting a neo-Aristotelian view. Nevertheless, it is not clear whether MacIntyre (...) always presents a plausible interpretation of Aristotle’s arguments. What is most important concerns the historical foundations of the concept of the Aristotelian tradition. If, as I argue in this paper, MacIntyre articulates an unhistorical view of what he calls the ‘Aristotelian tradition’, then his is a forced view of methodology that must fail. However, if this ‘embedded’, historicist methodology fails, then MacIntyre’s argument loses its strength. He would have to support it by using rationalistic methodology, since all his historicist methodology is unhistorical, but this would mean using argumentative resources that he does not have, since he has rejected the possibility that philosophical theory must be based on recognised first principles available to us all. (shrink)
This compelling and distinctive volume advances Aristotelianism by bringing its traditional virtue ethics to bear upon characteristically modern issues, such as the politics of economic power and egalitarian dispute. This volume bridges the gap between Aristotle's philosophy and the multitude of contemporary Aristotelian theories that have been formulated in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Part I draws on Aristotle's texts and Thomas Aquinas' Aristotelianism to examine the Aristotelian tradition of virtues, with a chapter by Alasdair MacIntyre contextualising the different readings (...) of Aristotle's philosophy. Part II offers a critical engagement with MacIntyrean Aristotelianism, while Part III demonstrates the ongoing influence of Aristotelianism in contemporary theoretical debates on governance and politics. Extensive in its historical scope, this is a valuable collection relating the tradition of virtue to modernity, which will be of interest to all working in virtue ethics and contemporary Aristotelian politics. (shrink)
This volume is the result of the research project that was realized under the sponsorship of the Onassis Foundation. The eleven papers that are included in the volume have been selected vis-à-vis the actuality of the Greek, European and International political crisis. The organization of this collective volume into four thematic sections aims at revealing as many as possible contexts of the thematic dipoles: cosmopolitanism-patriotism, democracy-friendship, rights-toleration, identity-diversity, via different and often conflicting theoretical approaches.