Aristotle's manipulative maxims

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


In actual regimes as described by Aristotle, authoritative civic choices were not the outcome of speech among citizens about the noble things and the just things. Rather, he saw them as products of the flawed presuppositions and misperceptions of dominant factions. Since he held that the human good was dependent on the persistence of lawful systems of rule, no matter how flawed, he viewed the tendency of dominant factions toward regime-destructive extremism as the fundamental political problem. His short-term response was to teach manipulative rhetoric and the outline of a strategy for regime preservation to his students. This equipped his students to prevail against the speech of the ignorant and malevolent and impressed those students with the need to acquire political knowledge. His long-term response was the initiation of a system of education that would turn citizens away from regime-destructive predilections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)371-392
Number of pages22
JournalReview of Politics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


Dive into the research topics of 'Aristotle's manipulative maxims'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this