The Role of Education in Aristotle’s Politics
Keywords:education, political community, politics, virtue, happiness, disagreement, dispute
Aristotle analyzed the problem of education in the seventh and eighth books of Politics. Most researchers interpret his thoughts on education as “the education of the youth”. Some authors try to convince us of the significance of contemplation and the problem of the best possible way of life in analyzing Aristotle’s education theory. We would like to regard the problem of education in another frame. The role of education is exceptionally significant, judging from the central theme of Politics – the political practice of human beings. Therefore, the critical question we want to ask here is – what is the reason for creating a polis? Only when we understand Aristotle’s answer to this question will we know why education plays such an essential role in a polis. Aristotle avoids definitively prescribing and ordering what music children and citizens should listen to. He leaves open the critical question about “how children and citizens should be educated”. Disagreeing on the proper way of education is the very essence of education. No ready-made best way to be educated has to be applied in every case. The best way is only the one that is the outcome of the particular dispute. Just as citizens, while in power, have to think about those who are subordinate because they replace each other, when thinking about the aim of education, they have to think about each other. Outside of that process, there is no ideal form of education, the application of which would improve the political community.
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