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Aristotle on natural slavery

Heath, M. (2008) Aristotle on natural slavery. Phronesis: A Journal for Ancient Philosophy, 53 (3). pp. 243-270. ISSN 1568-5284

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Aristotle's claim that natural slaves do not possess autonomous rationality (Pol. 1.5, 1254b20-23) cannot plausibly be interpreted in an unrestricted sense, since this would conflict with what Aristotle knew about non-Greek societies. Aristotle's argument requires only a lack of autonomous practical rationality. An impairment of the capacity for integrated practical deliberation, resulting from an environmentally induced excess or deficiency in thumos (Pol. 7.7, 1327b18-31), would be sufficient to make natural slaves incapable of eudaimonia without being obtrusively implausible relative to what Aristotle is likely to have believed about non-Greeks. Since Aristotle seems to have believed that the existence of people who can be enslaved without injustice is a hypothetical necessity, if those capable of eudaimonia are to achieve it, the existence of natural slaves has implications for our understanding of Aristotle's natural teleology.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 2008 Brill. This is an author produced version of a paper published in Phronesis: A Journal for Ancient Philosophy. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher's self archiving policy.
Institution: The University of Leeds
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts (Leeds) > School of Humanities (Leeds) > Classics (Leeds)
Depositing User: Sherpa Assistant
Date Deposited: 22 Aug 2008 14:34
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2013 17:05
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/156852808X307070
Status: Published
Publisher: Brill
Identification Number: 10.1163/156852808X307070
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/4463

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