Aristotle does little to frame his theory of categories, offering noexplicit derivation of it, nor even specifying overtly what his theoryof categories categorizes. If librarians categorize books andbotanists categorize plants, then what does the philosophical categorytheorist categorize?
Aristotle’s basic teleological framework extends to his ethicaland political theories, which he regards as complementing oneanother. He takes it as given that most people wish to leadgood lives; the question then becomes what the best life for humanbeings consists in. Because he believes that the best life for ahuman being is not a matter of subjective preference, he also believesthat people can (and, sadly, often do) choose to lead sub-optimallives. In order to avoid such unhappy eventualities, Aristotlerecommends reflection on the criteria any successful candidate for thebest life must satisfy. He proceeds to propose one kind of lifeas meeting those criteria uniquely and therefore promotes it as thesuperior form of human life. This is a life lived in accordance withreason.
Aristotle: Politics | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
In its most rudimentary formulation, hylomorphism simply labels each ofthe two factors: what remains is matter and what is gained isform. Aristotle’s hylomorphism quickly becomesmuch more complex, however, as the notions of matter and form arepressed into philosophical service. Importantly, matter and formcome to be paired with another fundamental distinction, that betweenpotentiality and actuality. Again in the caseof the generation of a statue, we may say that the bronze ispotentially a statue, but that it is an actual statuewhen and only when it is informed with the form of astatue. Of course, before being made into a statue, thebronze was also in potentiality a fair number of otherartefacts—a cannon, a steam-engine, or a goal on a footballpitch. Still, it was not in potentiality butter or a beachball. This shows that potentiality is not the same aspossibility: to say that x is potentially F is to say thatx already has actual features in virtue of which it might bemade to be F by the imposition of a F form upon it. So, giventhese various connections, it becomes possible to define form andmatter generically as
Aristotle and Happiness - Pursuit of Happiness
Necessary to the end of enhancing human flourishing, maintainsAristotle, is the maintenance of a suitable level of distributivejustice. Accordingly, he arrives at his classification of betterand worse governments partly by considerations of distributivejustice. He contends, in a manner directly analogous to hisattitude towards eudaimonia, that everyone will find it easyto agree to the proposition that we should prefer a just state to anunjust state, and even to the formal proposal that the distribution ofjustice requires treating equal claims similarly and unequal claimsdissimilarly. Still, here too people will differ about whatconstitutes an equal or an unequal claim or, more generally, an equalor an unequal person. A democrat will presume that all citizensare equal, whereas an aristocrat will maintain that the best citizensare, quite obviously, superior to the inferior. Accordingly, thedemocrat will expect the formal constraint of justice to yield equaldistribution to all, whereas the aristocrat will take for granted thatthe best citizens are entitled to more than the worst.
How to do Philosophy – Paul Graham
The correct are differentiated from the deviant by their relativeabilities to realize the basic function of the polis: livingwell. Given that we prize human happiness, we should, insistsAristotle, prefer forms of political association best suited to thisgoal.
I had several motives, some more honorable than others
In thinking about the possible kinds of political organization,Aristotle relies on the structural observations that rulers may be one, few,or many, and that their forms of rule may be legitimate orillegitimate, as measured against the goal of promoting humanflourishing (Pol. 1279a26–31). Taken together, these factorsyield six possible forms of government, three correct and threedeviant: