Volume 17, Issue 2, Spring 2013
Special Issue: The Ancient Philosophy Society
Adriel M. Trott
Rule in Turn
Political Rule against Mastery in Aristotle's Politics
Aristotle’s political theory is often dismissed as undemocratic due to his treatment of natural slavery and women and to his conception of political rule as rule by turns. The second reason presents no less serious challenges than the first for finding democracy in Aristotle’s political theory. This article argues that Aristotle’s account of ruling in turns hinges on a critique of master rule and an affirmation of political rule, which involves both the rulers and the ruled in the project of ruling. Ruling in turns makes the rule shared, not merely an exchange of opportunities to rule as a despot.