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Aristotle on the City-state

The most famous ancient analyst of Greek politics and society, the philosopher Aristotle (384-322 B.C.), later insisted the emergence of the polis had been the inevitable result of the forces of nature at work. “Humans,” he said, “are beings who by nature live in a polis.”1 Anyone who existed outside the community of a polis, Aristotle only half-jokingly maintained, must be either a beast or a deity. In referring to nature, Aristotle meant the combined effect of social and economic forces.

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