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Title: Aristotle's Doctrine of the Evolution of Society, with special reference to the First Book of the Politics, together with a brief consideration of the relevance of this doctrine to recent developments of communities in certain parts of West Africa
Author: Sodipo, J. O.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2743 8950
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 1964
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The study deals generally with Aristotle's ethical and political philosophy; the primary theme, however, is Aristotle’s theory of the nature of society as expounded in the First Book of the Politics. The study, therefore refrains from going into the details of the so-called primitive elements in Greek culture, and of questions like exogamy, endogamy, totemism etc. which bulk so largely in works like G. Thomson's "Studies in Ancient Greek Society". The introduction deals with earlier conceptions of man and society as reflected in the conception of dúois gives some close attention to Protagoras' doctrine of the development of society as expressed in Plato's 'Protagoras'. Chapter 2 examines Plato's conception of dúois and relates this to his theory of man and society. Chapter 3 critically examines the various conceptions of dúois ascribed to Aristotle, especially in so far as those views imply judgements on Aristotle's doctrines in the Politics. Chapter k examines Aristotle's conception of human nature, and of the relation of Ethics to Politics. Chapter 5 examines the Greek Household and Aristotle's conception of the nature of the Household. Chapter 6 deals with Aristotle's theory of slavery. Chapter 7 gives an account of the Greek village or clan-community the development of the village-community is reviewed with reference to the emergence of the state and Aristotle’s conception of the role of the village in the developed state. Attention is here drawn to the 'tribal' , elements in Aristotle's political thought. Chapter 8 examines Aristotle's conception of the nature of the city-state. Attention is drawn to both the merits and the inadequacies of Aristotle's conception of the state through a close examination of his conception of (a) political justice and (b) friendship or social sympathy. Finally, though no special attempt has been made in the study to gig into the primitive past of Greek culture, it is argued that the society which Aristotle analysed has sufficient similarities to some West African societies to make his categories applicable to those societies. These similarities are more obvious in family and religious customs, but even, in more political terms, what Aristotle says of the clan-village contains lessons relevant to the study of any 'tribally' based society.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available