Aristotle – The Politics
Augustine – City of God
1. What is justice to Aristotle? If justice is so important, why does Aristotle treat justice so indifferently or ambiguously?
2. How does Aristotle’s political science contend with the reality of human freedom?
3. What does Aristotle believe that political science can teach us? What is it that political can’t teach us?
4. Aristotle argued that politics must be governed by the virtue of prudence. What is prudence, exactly, and what role does it play in politics?
5. A twentieth century student of politics has written that politics must be evaluated in the light of two considerations: (1) Do they do justice to the latent moral resources of human nature and provide for the exploitation of ‘every latent moral capacity of human nature”? (2) Do they take into account the limitations of human nature? Using these criteria, evaluate the work of either Aristotle or Augustine.
6. It is often argued that there is a connection between the type of knowledge we value and the type of politics that we practice. How is this manifested in either Augustine or Aristotle?
7. In what ways might Augustine argue that a Christian philosophy provides for a better theoretical foundation for politics than does a classical Greek one?
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