Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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Höffe I 70
Slavery/Aristotle/Höffe: Slaves working in mines and handicraft enterprises, in private households and on agricultural goods are legally even worse off than the Helots ("serfs") who are important for the economy of Sparta.
Helots: Although they are excluded from land and political rights and are obliged to pay tribute to their masters, they live in a fixed place. Slaves, however, bought or captured in war, can be resold. In addition to their even lower legal status, they are not settled, i.e. they are homeless.
AristotleVsAlkidamas: Aristotle [claims] that there are people who deserve the slave status(1).
Master/Slave/Dominion/Slavery: For the relationship between master and slave is to be based on mutual advantage, that is, on justice: by nature (physei), that is, with good reason, master is he who is capable of foresighted thinking, by nature slave is he who lacks this ability, which is why he needs someone who thinks for him and, in return, has a body that is suitable for the "procurement of the necessary.(2)
Höffe I 71
Character weakness as an argument for slavery: lack of courage. (3)
Höfe: [This] reminds me of a famous thought by Hegel:
Master/Slave/Hegel: According to the chapter "Master and Slave" from the Phenomenology of the Spirit, the question of whether one becomes a master or a servant is not decided by the ability to think ahead, but by the willingness to fight to the death.


1. Politika I 4–7
2. I 5, 1254b22 ff
3. VII 7, 1327b27 f.


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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.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] 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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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2020-08-11
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