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Aristopolitics: The Quest for Political Excellence: Classic Ideals & Systemic Ideas

Title:

Aristopolitics: The Quest for Political Excellence: Classic Ideals & Systemic Ideas

Arnopoulos, Paris (2004) Aristopolitics: The Quest for Political Excellence: Classic Ideals & Systemic Ideas. Skepsis: A Journal for Philosophy and Interdisciplinary Research, 15 (2-3). ISSN 1105-1582

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Abstract

A perennial question in political theory is how to improve political practice. This fundamental question is philosophically translated into a quest for what constitutes political excellence. Ever since Ancient Greece, this problem of public ethics and politics has bothered both thinkers and actors and has not abated to this day.

As all philosophical issues, the quest for political excellence is so intransigent because it concerns complex functional relations among multiple physiological, psychological and sociological variables. In order to make such large inquiry more manageable here, we have to concentrate on a highly abstract level involving the basic relation between possibility and desirability.

Since excellence is a mental ideal, whereas politics is a behavioral activity, these two human values are reflected in the famous mind-body duality. Furthermore, grasping the content of this duality in the context of its environment, requires consideration of the wider natural-cultural interface. In this way, we maintain the proper perspective between mental and physical, ideal and real.

Finally, in order to anchor this highly abstract discussion in an actual historical example, we consider the case of ancient Greece, where and when it all started. By such exemplification, we hope to show the everlasting significance of classical wisdom, and its utility in contemporary discussions.

The methodology follows a logical path starting with the definition of terms, i.e. politics and excellence; continuing with the general principles of the combined relationship, i.e. political excellence; and ending with the particular ideals of classical civilization, i.e. Ancient Greece.

This process will show how the modern concept in political science compares with the classical ideal of political philosophy. By juxtaposing these two historically separated views, we may be able to see their similarities and differences and thus combine their best elements in an eclectic synthesis.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Political Science
Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Authors:Arnopoulos, Paris
Journal or Publication:Skepsis: A Journal for Philosophy and Interdisciplinary Research
Date:2004
ID Code:983138
Deposited By: DANIELLE DENNIE
Deposited On:01 Nov 2017 15:35
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:56

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