Is Man the Worst of All Animals when Separated from Law Essay

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  1. Why, according to Aristotle, is man the worst of all animals when separated from law (1253a)? What are the advantages of law and what are its disadvantages? How do Aristotle’s arguments about law in Books I and III illuminate his thesis that “man is by nature a political animal” (1253a)?

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Aristotle's Politics (Law)

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Aristotle's Politics (Law)

Why, according to Aristotle, is man the worst of all animals when separated from law?
Aristotle claims that the human is the worst of all animals when separated from law, and in
Book I he argues that man is by nature a political animal. Now, if this thesis is to be taken seriously,
then it must at least be understood that for Aristotle law has some role or another in making man's
life good. He argues that humans are meant for life in society, and that law is necessary for them to
live together in peace and harmony. Law is not perfect, but it is the best system that humans have
come up with so far for organizing society.
In his argument, Aristotle explains that people associate in groups because it is impossible
for them to live apart from each other. This is illustrated by a man and a woman come together and
reproduce as well as a master and his or her slave associate together towards the goal of self
preservation. A master will use his knowledge to rule over his slave while the slave will use his
body to perform labor. Aristotle also explains that villages are founded naturally from these groups
of people with a goal of satisfying everyone's needs. Aristotle continues to argue that when several
villages come together to extend their needs, communities emerge. Ultimately, many communities
form a city state which has its ceiling of self-sufficiency (1252b).
Aristotle puts out three claims about the relation between nature and city state. In the first
claim, Aristotle states that a city state exists by nature. This is because of their primitive natural
relations and their self-sufficiency. In the second claim, Aristotle claims people are political animals
by nature and this is because nature does not exist in vain thereby helping people to develop speech
ability thus allowing them to speak concerning moral issues such as justice which are vital in the
establishment of villages and city states. In the third claim, Aristotle states that a city state is a
natural phenomena to people. This is because people cannot undertake their natural duties from the
city state since they are not self-sufficient.

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Aristotle believes law is necessary for man because of his weak nature. He believes that
without law, men would suffer from constant fighting, arguing, and war. It is clear that Aristotle
sees law as a means to prevent conflict among men. It must be noted that without the presence of
“law” in the harsh sense, i.e., a sovereign power with an effective monopoly on the use of force,
society would be in chaos and man would be worse off than any other animal. Aristotle believes that
when man is separated from law, he is the worst of all animals.

What are the advantages of law and what are its disadvantages?
Law has many advantages, such as providing a measure of justice, preventing violence, and
establishing social order. However, law also has disadvantages, such as being a restraint on freedom
and creating inequality. Aristotle's arguments about law in Books I and III of the Politics illuminate
his thesis that "man is by nature a political animal" (1253a).
Aristotle defines law as "a certain ordering in some community respecting the just and
unjust" (1253b). Laws are established to provide a measure of justice, prevent violence, and
esta...


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