Ranking the Regimes in Aristotle's Politics: The Four-Principles Approach

Ross Mittiga
2020 The Review of Politics  
There is a long-standing debate over which constitution Aristotle regards as best in the Politics. I attempt to clarify his view by reconstructing four principles he uses to assess constitutions, in both ideal and more ordinary circumstances: (i) the supremacy-of-virtue principle, (ii) the more-virtuous-citizens-are-better-than-fewer principle, (iii) the equality principle, and (iv) the stability principle. I apply these principles to defend a rank ordering of constitutions, which situates the
more » ... deal aristocracy of books 7 and 8 at the top, and tyranny, along with unmixed forms of democracy and oligarchy, at the bottom.
doi:10.1017/s003467052000087x fatcat:mqwsta5m6rexvox3qmvqqzqd5a