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Citizenship Essay, Research Paper

Aristotle discusses the ideal state and citizens. In his ideal state,

Aristotle states about the features of citizens and answers the question of

” who sould be citizen? “. The concept of citizen is very important in his

ideal state, because according to Aristotle citizens have the fullest

sovereign power, and it would be ridiculous to deny their participation in

the state management.

Aristole’s inspiration is from biology. It depends on teleology.

Teleology is about purposefullness.Everything has a purpose. So the

form of the citizen is like that. Aristotle argues that citizens have a

common purpose for the stability of association, because they are the

most important part of society.

According to Aristotle, a citizen is one who participates

in giving judgement and holding office. For citizens membership on

juries has no limitation or to be a member of an assembly. But there is no

agreement as what constitutes a citizen generally. The citizens will

necessarily vary according to the constitution. In a democracy, the all

poor people could be citizens; however in an oligarchy the rich people

are going to be citizens. It means in an oligarchy only rich people will

give judgement and hold office.

Aristotle states that resident foreigners and slaves are not citizens.

Because citizens are a particular class of men, the others (slaves,

foreigners, workers…) don’t have the function of ruling and being ruled

according to Aristotle. Therefore the occupations of others are different

from the citizens.Aristotle makes discrimination in society. Many people

couldn’t have right to be citizens because of their occupations or

situations in society.

Aristotle argues some virtues about the citizens and rulers. At first

he states that the virtue of the citizen must be in relation with the

constitution. There are many types of constitutions. In each constitution

there are different virtues. For instance in Aristocracy courage is the

main virtue but in monarchy wisdom is the main virtue. So it is hard to

explain certain virtues for citizens. With the consideration of

circumstances we can say some virtues for citizens. But the most

important and main virtue of the citizen is to contribute to the stability of

association as it is mentioned. Aristotle states that the virtues of ruler and

ruled person are different. He states that the virtue of ruler is practical

wisdom and the ruled person should have correct opinion. Of course, the

concept of “correct opinion” should conform to the constitution.

According to Aristotle citizens should have so much features

,which are seemed to be impracticable in society. Aristotle argues that

citizens should participate in judgement and hold office. That means the

good citizen must have the knowledge and ability both to rule and to be

ruled. It is very hard to find a citizen who fits these qualifications,

because every person can not have the ability to ruling. Aristotle wants to

explain the form of citizen with teleology. A citizen should have a

purpose for the stability of the association. But I think a citizen should

not to be compelled to rule.

Aristotle politics


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