(Rescheduled) Spring Forum: Christof Rapp (LMU Munich), "Some Queries Regarding the Naturalism of Aristotle’s Ethico-Political Thought"


Aristote La Politique

Professor Christof Rapp of LMU Munich will be giving the penultimate lecture of our Spring Forum series, entitled "Some Queries Regarding the Naturalism of Aristotle’s Ethico-Political Thought." All are welcome to attend! Please register here for the Zoom meeting.

(Please note: as this meeting has been rescheduled, those who registered for the original date will still need to re-register with this new link.)


Aristotle is traditionally regarded as the originator of so-called ‘Political Naturalism’, a philosophical position according to which the norms of political communities and their institutions are “evaluated from the standpoint of nature” (Miller/Keyt). Relatedly, there is a debate on nature as a source of normativity for Aristotle’s ethical thought; in some recent debates even the analogy between human happiness and the flourishing of members of non-human species (and, thus, the reference to biology) is found helpful and pertinent.

The talk queries certain naturalist tendencies in the interpretation of Aristotle’s ethico-political thought; it will especially take issue with the reference to non-human or biological nature, arguing among other things that many notorious mentions of what is ‘natural’ or exists ‘by nature’ boil down to arguments building on the nature of human beings, aka ‘their essence’.