Aristotle: “The Nature, End, and Origin of the States”

(ca. 335–323 BCE)

Document Text


Book I

1. The Nature, End, and Origin of the States

Every state is a community of some kind, and every community is established with a view to some good; for mankind always act in order to obtain that which they think good. But, if all communities aim at some good, the state or political community, which is the highest of all, and which embraces all the rest, aims, and in a greater degree than any other, at the highest good.

Now there is an erroneous opinion that a statesman, king, householder, and master are the same, and that they differ, not in kind, but...

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