Review of Johnson, Philosophy and Politics in Aristotle's Politics [Book Review]

Ancient Philosophy 37 (1):227-230 (2017)
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It is a truism that Aristotle distinguishes theoretical, practical, and productive sciences; but Aristotle’s Metaphysics begins with a discussion of the nature of the free person and his Nicomachean Ethics concludes with one of his clearest statement of the nature of theoria, so perhaps the boundaries between those sci-ences in existing works are more porous. Curtis Johnson, author of Aristotle’s Theory of the State (New York: Macmillan, 1990), in his current volume seeks to clarify the boundary between theoretical science (the ‘Philosophy’ of his title) and practical science (the ‘Politics’) in Aristotle’s Politics in order to identify the theoretical philosophy that he believes undergirds the work and to engage some of the perennial practical problems in the text (such as the identity of what Aris-totle calls ‘the best constitution’).

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Thornton Lockwood
Quinnipiac University


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