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Aristotle

The primary concern of political theorists is to determine by what form of constitution the state will most likely succeed. According to Aristotle the definition of political success means the general happiness of the citizenry. Both Aristotle and James Q. Wilson share the belief that molding excellent character within the citizenry is the first and most important step towards solidifying the happiness of the state as a whole. The basic structure of Aristotles philosophies are derived by gathering as much information about the history of a subject as possible (in trying to develop the ultimate constitution Aristotle went through 150 constitution from historically great nations) taking from the good and removing the bad Aristotle thought he could develop superior political theories. The conclusion Aristotle came to in his effort to write the perfect constitution was that it was necessary to first pay attention to the development of the parts of a society (the citizens). Once the parts are in harmony the emergence of the whole is the next logical step. In developing political theory Aristotle begins by addressing issues of personal character on a microscopic level believing that in turn this will assist the state on a macroscopic level. Developing character or as Aristotle refers to it, human excellence is an activity of the soul, rather than the physical body. Aristotle refers to the cultivation of human excellence as an activity of the soul because on a spiritual level he believes the soul to be the whole of an individual, similar to his belief that on the political level the state is the whole of a group of citizens. Aristotles ideas concerning the relationship between the cultivation of character and the maintenance of a just, free, and orderly political system can be most clearly seen in book VIII of The Politics when he discusses the value of molding the minds of the youth. Aristotle proposes that the constituents of a ...

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