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Aristotle’s Political Justice and the Golden Ratio between the Three Opposing Criteria for the Distribution of Public Goods among Citizens: Freedom, Wealth and Virtue

Department of Philosophy and Society, Complutense University of Madrid, 28040 Madrid, Spain
Academic Editor: Marcin J. Schroeder
Philosophies 2021, 6(4), 96; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies6040096
Received: 23 October 2021 / Revised: 19 November 2021 / Accepted: 22 November 2021 / Published: 27 November 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Studies on Virtue Ethics: Law, Lawfulness, and Virtue)
In this article, I interpret Book V of the Nicomachean Ethics in which Aristotle presents a geometrical problem to explain which is the Best Criterion for the Distribution of Political and Economic Rights and Duties among Citizens, starting from the empirical evidence that there are three opposing opinions on which is the fairest distribution criterion: for some it is Freedom (Democrats), for others Wealth (Oligarchs), and for others Virtue (Aristocrats). Against the almost unique and most quoted interpretation of the geometrical problem, I present my mathematical solution, which I arrived at thanks to the Doctrine of the Four Causes and the Theory of the Mean. My thesis is that the Mean Term of Distributive Justice is the Golden Ratio between the opposite criteria of distribution, and the unjust distribution is the one that violates this ratio. This solution allows us to understand what is the Rational Principle at the basis of just distribution: that is, Geometrical Equality as opposed to Arithmetical Equality. Indeed, by applying the geometric figure of the Golden Triangle to the different political constitutions, I show, in line with Politics, that the Best Form of Government is the Aristocratic Politeia, i.e., a mixture of Democracy, Oligarchy and Aristocracy. View Full-Text
Keywords: Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics; Aristotle’s Politics; Aristotle’s Doctrine of the Four Causes; Aristotle’s Theory of the Mean; Aristotle’s Distributive Justice; Virtue; Geometrical Equality; Golden Ratio; Aristocratic Politeia Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics; Aristotle’s Politics; Aristotle’s Doctrine of the Four Causes; Aristotle’s Theory of the Mean; Aristotle’s Distributive Justice; Virtue; Geometrical Equality; Golden Ratio; Aristocratic Politeia
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MDPI and ACS Style

Salamone, M.A. Aristotle’s Political Justice and the Golden Ratio between the Three Opposing Criteria for the Distribution of Public Goods among Citizens: Freedom, Wealth and Virtue. Philosophies 2021, 6, 96. https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies6040096

AMA Style

Salamone MA. Aristotle’s Political Justice and the Golden Ratio between the Three Opposing Criteria for the Distribution of Public Goods among Citizens: Freedom, Wealth and Virtue. Philosophies. 2021; 6(4):96. https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies6040096

Chicago/Turabian Style

Salamone, Maria Antonietta. 2021. "Aristotle’s Political Justice and the Golden Ratio between the Three Opposing Criteria for the Distribution of Public Goods among Citizens: Freedom, Wealth and Virtue" Philosophies 6, no. 4: 96. https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies6040096

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