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Why did Aristotle believe in natural slavery?

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  1. Introduction
  2. The notion of slavery to Aristotle
  3. Natural and conventional slavery
  4. Conclusion
  5. Bibliography

Aristotle wrote Politics as a criticism of Plato's Republic, after having been his student for 20 years. Aristotle especially disagrees with Plato's view that only knowledge and perfect forms count. He would criticize Plato's view that women and children should be held in the perfect state and that there should be no private property. These major differences between both authors come from their different approaches. Plato was using inductive reasoning: leaving from his own assumptions on justice then describing the city afterward, meanwhile Aristotle was having an empirical reasoning as he was starting from the components of the city to reach its whole. We will then see that it is this particular approach that may excuse slavery to Aristotle.

[...] The natural slave has lack of deliberation and judgment and has the body made for servile tasks meanwhile conventional slavery can be unjust and is the result of customs. CONCLUSION Aristotle would make definitely scandal at our times by promoting natural slavery but one shall replace the writings in the Ancient Greece context where slavery was used at a great extent, without being a problem for the non-slaves. It was then the norm and as we said earlier, Aristotle decided to use an empirical approach which seeks to leave from what exists and is more explanative of reality compared [...]

[...] Just as in the human body, one has the body and the other is bringing the brain and soul. He therefore explains that some individuals are fated to rule over others, such as the Soul is ruling over the body: . ] some should rule and others be ruled is a thing not only necessary, but expedient; from the hour of their birth, some are marked out for subjection, others for rule.? (I.1254a21-23). As said earlier, Aristotle is making a difference between two kinds of people: those being ruled by their soul and those ruled by their body. [...]

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