Ethics By Aristotle Summary and Analysis Book I: Chapter II - Politics Is the Study of the Good

Summary

If there should exist an end which is desirable for its own sake, which determines and motivates all other actions and choices, this end would be that which is absolutely good. Knowledge of this good would be of great value, for it would provide an aim for life and a standard by which to evaluate all other activities and thoughts.

Politics, the most comprehensive of the practical sciences, is the field of knowledge to which the study of this good belongs. It is the aim of politics to create the best possible conditions in which citizens can lead good lives. This can only be achieved by a knowledge of the good. Thus, the end of politics is human good. The study of ethics, which shares this aim, is a branch of politics.

It is possible that the good of the community and the good of the individual are identical, but even so the good of the community is a greater and more perfect moral goal toward which to work. To achieve the good of the individual is worthwhile, but the good of the community, which is composed of many individuals, has a higher, more divine quality.

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