Issue 1 (19) 2013



O.M. Belyaeva

Kazan (Volga Region) Federal University
18, Kremlyovskaya st., Kazan, 420008
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

In this article there is an analysis of Aristotle’s views on the best government system. Some attention is paid to criticism at Plato’s project of an ideal state (Plato was Aristotle’s teacher). Also, in the article there is an analysis of this thinker’s statements on the right and wrong government systems; we also elicit any state’s aim and nature, politics’ tasks; in the article we describe the philosopher’s views on the slaveholding system and private ownership.

Aristotle’s political and legal views found their reflection in his works: “Athenian politia”, “Nickomakhov’s ethics”, “Politics”. In Aristotle’s judgment, the aim of state is common good and happiness of its every citizen. At the same time, city-state (polis) is considered as a political communication of free and equal people. The most correct form of government is politia where the middle class of people predominates in all spheres, to be precise, the middle class as the majority rules in the interests of common good. Politia is a specific kind of confusion of oligarchy and democracy deprived of extremes and disadvantages.

Aristotle was one of the supporters of the organic theory of state’s origin; he pointed out that state was the product of natural development that was conditional on the nature of a man himself: “The man is a political and social being”. The state itself is the end of genesis of the man’s political nature.

Aristotle criticizes Plato’s project of an ideal state (“Plato is my friend, but I appreciate truth more”) because of his attempt to make a state “excessively united”. So, community of ownership, wives and children proposed by Plato will result, in the last analysis, in degeneration of the state itself, the philosopher thought.

Plato was against private ownership, but Aristotle advocated the maintenance of ownership; he pointed out that “private ownership is rooted in the human nature, in the man’s love to himself”. So far as Aristotle was an aristocrat, he had rather determined views on the slavery as well. Slavery was ethically justified; the relations between master and slave had a family nature. Moreover, the notion of a citizen itself is formed by the philosopher from the person’s ability to participate in the legislative and judicial activities of the state.

Aristotle was one of the most universal philosophers in the history of mankind. The appearance of metaphysics as a method of cognition and the tradition of Athenian school – a lyceum – are connected exactly with his name nowadays. Really, in Aristotle’s works there is interpretational synthesis of all the ancient theories that is of especially great interest in our time. As never before the critics of democracy is actual now (in Aristotle’s view, it is one of the worst government systems along with tyranny), in the period of global crisis and fall of universal values.

Thanks to his incontestable authority, Aristotle’s views became starting points for the whole political and legal thought not only on the West, but on the East too, right up to the beginning of XVIII century.

 Keywords: Aristotle; politia; form of government; law

Bibliograficheskij spisok

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  3. Machin I.F. Istorija politicheskih i pravovyh uchenij. M.: Vysshee obrazovanie, Jurajt-Izdat, 2009. 412 s.

  4. Muhaev R.T. Istorija politicheskih i pravovyh uchenij. M.: Prior-izdat, 2004. 608 s.

  5. Mysliteli Grecii. Ot mifa k logike: sochinenija / sost. V.V. Shkoda. M.: Izd-vo Jeksmo-Press; Har'kov: Izd-vo Folio, 1998. 832 s.

  6. Pravovaja mysl': antologija / avtor-sost. V.P. Malahov. M.: Akad. proekt; Ekaterinburg: Delovaja kniga, 2003. 1016 s.

  7. Taranov P.S. Filosofija soroka pjati pokolenij. M.: Izd-vo AST, 1998. 656 s.

  8. Jelektronnyj resurs: (data obrashhenija: 23.12.2012).






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