In this landmark study of Aristotle's Politics Fred Miller argues that nature, justice, and rights are central to Aristotle's political thought. Miller challenges the widely held view that the concept of rights is alien to Aristotle's thought, and marshalls evidence for talk of rights in Aristotle's writings, arguing further that Aristotle's theory of justice supports claims of individual rights, which are political and based in nature. He also considers
the relation of Aristotles politics to other parts of philosophy, in particular to the teleological view of nature in the Physics and the theory of justice in the Nicomachean Ethics.
Professor Miller examines in detail the constitutional applications of Aristotle's theory, including the correct constitutions of kingship, aristocracy, and polity (based in the common advantage), and the deviant constitutions of democracy, oligarchy, and tyranny (based in the advantage of the rulers). Arisototle's treatments of revolution and property rights are also covered, and the major presuppositions of his political theory are critically examined and related to current issues including
the liberalism-communitarianism debate. This stimulating treatment of the Politics sheds new light on Aristotle's relation to modern political philosophy, in particular to
natural rights theorists such as Hobbes and Locke. It will be of value to philosophers, political scientists, classical scholars, and anyone interested in the theoretical foundations of human rights.
`this is one of the best books ever written on this subject. It will be very challenging for non-specialists, but Miller's clear writing makes difficult concepts understandable. Aristotle's Politics itself is a definite prerequisite. This book is required reading for students of Aristotle.'
John Lewis, Amazon.com website.
`Interest in Aristotle's Politics has grown in recent years, and Miller makes a valuable contribution not only to that branch of Aristotelian studies but also to the history of social and political philosophy ... Every student of Aristotle's social, ethical, and political philosophy will benefit greatly.'
Scott Carson, Religious Studies Review
`a careful and intelligent reconstruction of the major arguments in Aristotle's Politics ... Miller's book is especially useful because, surprisingly, it is the first thorough philosophic reconstruction of Aristotle's Politics as a whole ... Miller's book is a reliable guide through the controversial terrain that surrounds most of Aristotle's arguments about politics. It will enlighten students new to the world of the Politics and stimulate the minds of
those scholars who have long wandered this territory.'
Bernard Yack, The Review of Politics
`While Fred Miller argues the increasingly popular thesis that Aristotle defends a doctrine of rights, he does so far more straightforwardly and painstakingly than any book presently available ... it is assiduously analytic throughout.'
Judith A. Swanson, Political Theory
`What Miller gives us is a careful, judicious, and balanced reading of Aristotle's political theory, a reading which is informed (but not disfigured) by a central trope from contemporary political theory. ... Readers will encounter few shocks or surprises in this book; instead they will find much common sense applied to a careful and informed analysis of Aristotelian texts. ... this book is eminently valuable as a careful, detailed, and philosophically
sophisticated interpretation of Aristotle's social-political thought.'
Teaching Philosophy, 19:4, December 1996
`Miller's volume is valuable not only to scholars of ancient Greek philosophy but to anyone interested in political philosophy. . . . All the main themes of the Politics are dealt with--and dealt with superbly. . offering fresh (and usually convincing) interpretations . . . This is a superb book on the Politics. No library should be without a copy.'
J. Bussanich, Choice
`A timely clarification of Aristotle's political philosophy . . . Miller provides a closely reasoned scrutiny of the contents of the Politics . . . This book is an impressive contribution not only to Aristotelian studies, but to political science at large.'
David Rankin, Times Higher Education Supplement
`In this welcome contribution to serious study of Aristotle's great work, Fred D. Miller looks at the Politics from the . . . standpoint of a contemporary libertarian . . . [its] care and detail . . . make Fred Miller's libertarian approach to Aristotle worthy of careful attention.'
T. H. Irwin, Times Literary Supplement
`Splendid . . . Miller has made a great contribution to our understanding of the Politics'
Richard Kraut, Review of Metaphysics
1: The Argument of Aristotle's Politics
Part I: Political Theory
2: Nature and Politics
Part II: Constitutional Applications
5: Constitutions and Political Rights
6: The Best Constitution
7: The Second-Best Constitution
8: Deviant Constitutions
9: Property Rights
10: Aristotle's Politics Reconsidered