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Aristotle on Stasis - Dictionary of Arguments

Gaus I 313
Stasis/Aristotle/Keyt/Miller: since the perception of injustice often leads to stasis, or faction, the opposition between homonoia and stasis is closely tied to that between justice and injustice. Aristotle discusses stasis in Politics V and homonoia, or like-mindedness, in Eudemian Ethics V 11.7 and Nicomachean Ethics IX.6. >Justice/Aristotle.
Polis: Poleis are of one mind, Aristotle says, 'when their citizens agree about what is advantageous,
choose the same things, and do that which is decided upon in common', whereas when each of two rivals wishes himself to rule, they engage in stasis (EN IX.6.1167a26-34). The rulers under correct constitutions cultivate homonoia by aiming at the common advantage, whereas those under deviant constitutions generate stasis by aiming solely at their own advantage (Pol. II.6.1279a 17-20).
Questions: Scholars disagree over whether Aristotle
Gaus I 314
understands the common advantage as the overall advantage (holism) or the mutual advantage
(individualism). If the latter, then Aristotle's theory of justice supports rights, or just claims, in an interesting sense.
Literature: (For varying views see Miller, 1995(1) and 1996(2); Cooper, 1996(3); Kraut, 1996(4); Schofield, 1996(5). For Aristotle's account of stasis see Yack, 1993(6), and the commentary on Politics V in Keyt, 1999(7).)

EE: Aristotle Eudemian Ethics
EN: Aristotle Nicomachean Ethics
Pol: Aristotle Politics


1. Miller, Fred D. (1995) Nature, Justice, and Rights in Aristotle's Politics. Oxford: Claredon.
2. Miller, Fred D. (1996) 'Aristotle and the origin of natural rights'. Review of Metaphysics, 49: 873—907.
3. Cooper, John M. (1996) 'Justice and rights in Aristotle's Politics'. Review ofMetaphysics, 49: 859-72.
4. Kraut, Richard (1996) 'Are there natural rights in Aristotle?' Review of Metaphysics, 49: 755—74.
5. Schofield, Malcolm (1996) 'Sharing in the constitution'. Review of Metaphysics, 49: 83—58.
6. Yack, Bernard (1993) The Pmblems of a Political Animal: Community, Justice, and Conflict in Aristotelian Political Thought. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
7. Keyt, David (1999) Aristotle Politics Books V and VI. Oxford: Clarendon.

Keyt, David and Miller, Fred D. jr. 2004. „Ancient Greek Political Thought“. In: Gaus, Gerald F. & Kukathas, Chandran 2004. Handbook of Political Theory. SAGE Publications


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Gaus I
Gerald F. Gaus
Chandran Kukathas
Handbook of Political Theory London 2004


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