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Polis: Polis (πόλις) means "city" or "city-state." In philosophy, it refers to the unique form of political community that developed in ancient Greece. The polis was a relatively small, self-governing community of citizens who shared a common culture and identity. It was also a place where citizens could participate in public affairs and deliberation. See also State, Society, Community, Deliberative democracy, Ancient philosophy.
Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

Plato on Polis - Dictionary of Arguments

Höffe I 32
Polis/Platon/Höffe: The polis genesis, which extends over several books, begins with the elementary, healthy polis and leads via the luxuriant, civilized polis to a purification (catharsis) from the evils of civilization, and finally to completion in the callipolis, the polis that is "beautiful" not in the aesthetic but in the moral sense.(1) It makes possible in a political sense what the self-respect of the just personalizes: the unity of the morally good with the personally happy life. On the negative side, this four-step ascent corresponds to four unjust constitutions with the human characters assigned to them.
, >Governance/Plato, >Politics/Plato.
Höffe I 33
Question: Why do people join together to form a community at all?
a) Anthropological argument: the individual human being is not self-sufficient
b) Rationality argument: (...) every activity can be improved by a division of labour based on specialisation.
1st stage: At the first stage, in the healthy polis, a cooperative rural-industrial community, the citizens live in peace and harmony, because they are free from envy, jealousy and other "antisocial passions".(2)
Problem: The happy elemental polis only works because of a psychological condition, a frugality, a primordial satisfaction of all involved.
2nd stage: The "lush" polis: Its advantage of satisfying rampant needs, however, comes at a high price: it needs domination. Because of increased needs, the community is not satisfied with its previous territory. It wants to expand, which leads to wars (...).
Höffe I 34
3rd stage: At the third stage the original satisfaction is irretrievably lost. But the desire, which is conflictual because of its boundlessness, is overcome by self-control, not self-suppression. Plato calls this new, reflected relationship to needs prudence. With it, the quartet of cardinal virtues raises.
Prudence: Man does not come back to himself regressively, but only progressively, through moral culture.

1. VII 527c
2. 372 a-c

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Höffe I
Otfried Höffe
Geschichte des politischen Denkens München 2016

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