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Aristotle’s Pambasileia and the Metaphysics of Monarchy

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image of Polis: The Journal for Ancient Greek Political Thought

Aristotle’s account of kingship in Politics 3 responds to the rich discourse on kingship that permeates Greek political thought (notably in the works of Herodotus, Xenophon and Isocrates), in which the king is the paradigm of virtue, and also the instantiator and guarantor of order, linking the political microcosm to the macrocosm of the universe. Both models, in separating the individual king from the collective citizenry, invite further, more abstract thought on the importance of the king in the foundation of the polity, whether the king can be considered part of, or separate from, the polis, and the relationship between polis and universe. In addressing these aspects of kingship theories, Aristotle explores a ‘metaphysics of monarchy’, part of the long-running mereological problem of parts and wholes in the construction of the polis, and connecting his account of kingship to his thought on citizenship and distributive justice within the polis.

Affiliations: 1: St Hugh’s CollegeOxfordUnited Kingdomcarolatack@gmail.com

10.1163/20512996-12340054
/content/journals/10.1163/20512996-12340054
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/content/journals/10.1163/20512996-12340054
2015-10-01
2017-11-24

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