Aristotle: Nicomachean Ethics

What is the key difference between politics and other sciences such as mathematics or physics in Book I, Chapter 3?


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Aristotle is clear that politics is less precise than mathematics and other disciplines that we would now call “natural sciences”; however, this does not mean that politics is somehow less important or even less rigorous. For Aristotle, it is simply the nature of the sciences that some demand more precision than others. He uses the example of the geometer and the carpenter. Whereas the geometer demands mathematical certainty, the carpenter is just trying to get something “good enough to build.”


Aristotle, Nichomachean Ethics, Book I