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Individual Responsibility in Aristotle’s Politics

By Ben Mueser

From the author:

I wrote this paper as an exploration of the question, "where do we as individuals end, and the society that made us begin?" This question, in various forms, consistently nagged me throughout my last year at Goucher. Many times I found myself responding to different prompts and topics with answers that reached back to what was on my brain, always bringing it to the forefront. I was often taking issue when I heard people make claims that something abstract and natural - like "natural rights" or "human nature" - was responsible for enormous parts of our society - like the legal system, or the marketplace. I believed that it was people themselves who were responsible for these institutions. But I could not answer the rebuttal: "Didn't those same people come from their society?" So I wrote this people to work through that argument, trying to discover how we can be both a product of, and responsible for, the world we live in. 

 

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