Citizenship and Politics

Term: Fall 2011

Subject Code: GPHI

Course Number: 6116

In Book III of the Politics Aristotle defines the city as a multitude of citizens. Hence it becomes necessary to define what a citizen is, in order to be able to enquire what the function of a city is and how the city should be organized. The ancient philosophical and historical definition and redefinition of citizenship is at the core of Greek understanding of the politics of the polis. In this course we will confront Plato's and Aristotle's views on citizenship and on the political community, reading them in the light of the political transformations Athens and the Greek cities underwent between the 6th and the 4th Century BC. We will therefore discuss such notions as isonomia, freedom, and property as they are linked to the definition of the citizen.

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