Aristotle and the Defense of Freedom
Nov 13, 1992
As Objectivists, we know Aristotle as one of the greatest philosophers in history, second only to Ayn Rand. We know that Ayn Rand considered him to be her only significant intellectual ancestor, and that she wrote that Aristotle (via John Locke) “was the philosophical father of the Constitution of the United States, and thus of capitalism.”
But this is not the common view of Aristotle. Aristotle is commonly portrayed as a defender of statism, in particular of the legislation of morality. Conservatives frequently invoke Aristotle in defense of their policies of censorship and governmental support of religion. This talk explores the validity of this characterization.