What is it about?

Aristotle simultaneously argues that citizens are not morally serious and that they praise justice. So what is it that they praise? This article argues that Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics suggests that ordinary citizens are motivated by envy to support conventional, political justice.

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Why is it important?

Contemporary political philosophers are interested in citizens non-moral motivations for supporting justice. This paper argues Aristotle supplies such a motivation not only in shame, but also in envy.


Those interested in the philosophy of the affects, or in the increasing appreciation of Aristotle as a realistic thinker who takes class conflict seriously, might be especially interested in this article.

Robert Wyllie
Ashland University

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This page is a summary of: Nemesis, Envy, and Justice in Aristotle’s Political Science, Polis The Journal for Ancient Greek and Roman Political Thought, May 2021, Brill,
DOI: 10.1163/20512996-12340324.
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