HASS Colloquium Series (By Associate Professor Ioannis Kalogerakos) – ‘The Philosophy of Human Affairs’: Ethics and Politics in Aristotle

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Abstract

Aristotle approaches ethics and politics as intertwined branches of philosophy. He argues for the interconnection between ethics and politics (i) by outlining the dimensions and the extent of human actions, individual and social alike, (ii) by declaring the essence of man as a political, i.e. a social being, and (iii) by underlining the role of city(/state) for the unfolding of man’s humanity and the achievement of happiness. For Aristotle, the individual is essentially a member of the society, and the good life of the state exists only in the good lives of its citizens; for the community there is no good that could ever be gained at the expense of the individuals who constitute it. Ethics and politics constitute a “philosophy of human affairs” (peri ta anthrōpeia philosophia), a genuine philosophical anthropology, within which ethics, apart from examining the normative fundamental notions, which both ethics and politics use, is also examining the actions of the individuals, while political philosophy is dealing with the investigation of institutions and constitutions.

Speaker Bio

Ioannis Kalogerakos (1960) is associate professor of ancient Greek philosophy at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens [N.K.U.A.] (Department of Philosophy, Pedagogy and Psychology – Sector of Philosophy) and teaching associate with the Hellenic Open University. He pursued undergraduate studies in philosophy at the N.K.U.A. and continued with postgraduate studies at the Universities of Cologne and Bonn as a scholar of the Sophia Saripolou Bequest (N.K.U.A.) and of the German Exchange Service (D.A.A.D.). He was awarded a Ph.D. in philosophy at the University of Cologne (1991). He has worked at the Academy of Athens (Research Centre for Greek Philosophy), the University of Patras (Department of Philosophy), the University of Heidelberg (Philosophisches Seminar) and the University of Cyprus (Department of Classics and Philosophy). His research focuses on ancient Greek philosophy with emphasis on its early and classical period; ontology, philosophy of nature, ethics, political philosophy and philosophy of education are also within his research interests. He is the author of Seele und Unsterblichkeit. Untersuchungen zur Vorsokratik bis Empedokles, Stuttgart / Leipzig 1996 (repr. Berlin / New York / London 2014) and Παιδεία και πολιτειακή αριστεία. Ο δρόμος προς την αρετή στο αριστοτελικό ιδανικό κράτος [Paideia and Constitutional Excellence. The Way to Virtue in Aristotle’s Best State], Athens 2015 (22016).