Should the Politician Contemplate the Cosmos? Politics and Cosmology in Aristotle


  • Gaia Bagnati Università Ca’ Foscari di Venezia



Cosmos, Polis, Man, Divine, Science


In Aristotle’s Ethics and Politics the cosmological references are few whereas Plato, in Timaeus and Laws, lays the foundations of ethics and politics in cosmology. This paper is concerned with the examination of the relationships between politics and cosmology in Aristotle’s perspective in comparison to Plato. It aims to determine some of the theoretical reasons for which Aristotle, differently from Plato, has not kept a connection between the two disciplines. The author first argues that the aristotelian division of sciences implies the uselessness of cosmology for politics. Then she focuses on the necessary bond established from Plato between cosmological notions, political activity and the divine, showing how it reflects the polis’s subjection to the government of the cosmic soul. Afterwards she underlines that, for Aristotle, the political sphere deals exclusively with “human things” and demonstrates that the cosmic system does not affect the carrying out of the specific activities of the polis.



How to Cite

Bagnati, Gaia. “Should the Politician Contemplate the Cosmos? Politics and Cosmology in Aristotle”. Acta Philosophica 26, no. 1 (March 1, 2017): 85–104. Accessed March 2, 2024.