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Full Online Book HomeNonfictionsA Treatise On Government - BOOK III - Chapter II
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A Treatise On Government - BOOK III - Chapter II Post by :chersern Category :Nonfictions Author :Aristotle Date :January 2011 Read :953

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A Treatise On Government - BOOK III - Chapter II

ommon use they define a citizen to be one who is sprung from
citizens on both sides, not on the father's or the mother's only.
Others carry the matter still further, and inquire how many of his
ancestors have been citizens, as his grandfather, great-grandfather,
etc., but some persons have questioned how the first of the family
could prove themselves citizens, according to this popular and
careless definition. Gorgias of Leontium, partly entertaining the same
doubt, and partly in jest, says, that as a mortar is made by a
mortar-maker, so a citizen is made by a citizen-maker, and a
Larisssean by a Larisssean-maker. This is indeed a very simple account
of the matter; for if citizens are so, according to this definition,
it will be impossible to apply it to the first founders or first
inhabitants of states, who cannot possibly claim in right either of
their father or mother. It is probably a matter of still more
difficulty to determine their rights as citizens who are admitted to
their freedom after any revolution in the state. As, for instance, at
Athens, after the expulsion of the tyrants, when Clisthenes enrolled
many foreigners and city-slaves amongst the tribes; and the doubt with
respect to them was, not whether they were citizens or no, but whether
they were legally so or not. Though indeed some persons may have this
further (1276a) doubt, whether a citizen can be a citizen when he is
illegally made; as if an illegal citizen, and one who is no citizen at
all, were in the same predicament: but since we see some persons
govern unjustly, whom yet we admit to govern, though not justly, and
the definition of a citizen is one who exercises certain offices, for
such a one we have defined a citizen to be, it is evident, that a
citizen illegally created yet continues to be a citizen, but whether
justly or unjustly so belongs to the former inquiry.
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A Treatise On Government - BOOK III - Chapter III A Treatise On Government - BOOK III - Chapter III

A Treatise On Government - BOOK III - Chapter III
It has also been doubted what was and what was not the act of thecity; as, for instance, when a democracy arises out of an aristocracyor a tyranny; for some persons then refuse to fulfil their contracts;as if the right to receive the money was in the tyrant and not in thestate, and many other things of the same nature; as if any covenantwas founded for violence and not for the common good. So in likemanner, if anything is done by those who have the management of publicaffairs where a democracy is established, their actions are to beconsidered as the actions
PREVIOUS BOOKS

A Treatise On Government - BOOK III - Chapter I A Treatise On Government - BOOK III - Chapter I

A Treatise On Government - BOOK III - Chapter I
Every one who inquires into the nature of government, and what are itsdifferent forms, should make this almost his first question, What is acity? For upon this there is a dispute: for some persons say the citydid this or that, while others say, not the city, but the oligarchy,or the tyranny. We see that the city is the only object which both thepolitician and legislator have in view in all they do: but governmentis a certain ordering of those who inhabit a city. As a city is acollective body, and, like other wholes, composed of many parts, it isevident our first
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