"Two Going Together”
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Nicomachean Ethics

How to Cite

"Two Going Together”: The Alliance of Politics and Philosophy in Aristotle’s Ethics. (2021). The Political Science Reviewer, 45(1), 39-68. https://politicalsciencereviewer.wisc.edu/index.php/psr/article/view/659


Recent scholars have taken note of the rhetorical quality of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics to help understand his account of human flourishing.  Stressing the “apologetic tone” that Aristotle adopts in favor of philosophy, these scholars posit that the Ethics is directed toward non-philosophic readers, and that such a tone is employed to present philosophy as respectable to political authorities who may not initially see its worth.  I argue that paying attention to the rhetorical quality of the Ethics reveals that Aristotle also uses rhetoric to convince his philosophically inclined readers to concern themselves with political affairs.  In Book IX of the Ethics, Aristotle engages in a protreptic address designed to bring out the necessity and benefits of a friendship between the philosophically inclined and the politically powerful.  This friendship, I argue, can contribute to the common good and can result in the cultivation of a sense of homonoiaamong the citizens of the polis.

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