Aristotle and Citizenship

An examination of the way that Aristotle views the importance of citizenship.

This paper explains how, for Aristotle, the human is by nature destined to live in a political association. It discusses the problem of why not all who live in the political association are citizens and not all citizens are given equal share in the power of association.
“Slaves and women have virtues however they are always subordinate to free men. In Politics book one chapter 13, Aristotle makes a distinction between parts of the soul and kinds of virtue. He makes a distinction within the reason. One-part rules and the other is ruled. One part of the soul is deliberative/reasonable, it reasons, draws conclusions. The other is persuadable, the irrational/emotional part of the soul. It is reasonable in the sense that it is persuadable by reasoning, because the emotions are persuadable. Corresponding to the two reasonable parts of the soul there are two sets of virtues: intellectual and moral virtues. Intellectual virtues are of the reasoning ability. Moral virtues are of the persuadable part, the part of the soul that is capable of being influenced by reasoning. Slaves can have only the virtues belonging to the part of the soul that is influenced by reasoning, while women can also have the intellectual virtues, but in a subordinate way. “deliberative part of the soul is entirely missing from a SLAVE; a WOMAN has it but it lacks authority” (I, 1260 a12-13).”