Early on in the Nicomachean Ethics reading, the section on political science piqued my interest. The main reason was that I had never thought about political science in the way Aristotle had described it. I always pictured it as a study of government behavior (which, by this definition, had never earned my attention).

Aristotle began his description of political science by identifying “the best good”. It is the end one desires from his actions, and only desires because of the end itself. If he desires it for another purpose then he is not achieving the best good. This will disable a person from reaching happiness because as Aristotle says, “it will go on without limit, making desire empty and futile.” Next, one must identify and aim at the good like it is his mission to attain it. The “most controlling science” deals with this topic, which Aristotle declares political science to be. This is because all other sciences are subordinate to it since its “end will include the ends of the other sciences”. Through political science it is possible to acquire and preserve the good for a community. Now I can understand how the study of political behaviors aims for the good of the people.

Advertisements