Deliberation can be easily defined as good decision making or contemplation usually prior to voting. The concept of a deliberation day in Aristotle’s viewpoint will be discussed in the following paragraphs with reference to his work. He emphasizes the reasons to what the notion of a deliberation day is. His work is highly diverse and much of it concentrates on constitutions and the good life. Aristotle wants to establish a good life for people and he believes that the individual is much more important than a society and that is shown through the ways in which he talks about politics. He puts too much thought and reflection into these matters. The three prime concepts relating to a deliberation day according to Aristotle are distributive justice, collective judgement in relation to man and democracy. His approach to political theory is that everything has a purpose therefore, which is why one should understand the purpose of something through and make a theory through political thought. His outlook on the positive and negative aspects of decision making along with his hopes and dreams of a good life for the people of society will be focused on in this essay.
Firstly, let us take a look at the theories about the distribution of political power from an Aristotelian perspective. He believes that the superior groups of society will always be more educated and have better capacities but he also mentions that the there are others in society who are deprived of participating into decision making. He suggests that they ought to be considered and that is the main aim of what Aristotle is trying to achieve, where a society that allows all to participate in decision making so a better result will equate to a better society therefore a good life. He claims that ‘Thus it is thought that justice is equality; and so it is, but not for all persons, only for those that are equal’. (Aristotle, (19921962), p.195). Based on this normative claim, it can be agreed that the unequals in society should be equal and not to everyone because that is what makes equality of people, what you deserve or entitled to should be done. For example, once these people are equal including participation in decision making will shape a good life for everyone in society. He argues that ‘But a states purpose is not merely to provide a living but to make a life that is good'(Aristotle, (19921962), p.196) and by doing so he believes that all members of society should come together and voice their opinions in order for the state to make a better constitution hence, a good life which will not treat the poor lesser than the rich. It can be agreed that his reasons to make life good for everyone through the concept of distributive justice are valid. One can learn that the happiness of the individual is vitally the more important aspect in ‘The Politics’ of Aristotle and through achieving this happiness, all must be equal. He enjoys the idea of diversity and believes that to achieve the ‘good life’, people should mix with others from different backgrounds, allowing them to intermarry etc so one day all members of society could live a happy life together as the main root to reaching this goal is nonetheless, through the process of decision making allowing the state to serve it’s correct purpose. As he puts it: ‘and a state is an association of kinships and villages which aims at a perfect and self-sufficient life’.(Aristotle, (19921962, p.198).
The second aspect that will be discussed in this paragraph is the wisdom of the collective judgment in relation to man. Aristotle favours the idea of the collective judgment as coming together for an important decision to be made through each and every individuals differentiated knowledge and wisdom. He claims that if men were to share high positions in office that their unjust standards will enable them to enact inequity and their absence of judgement will lead them into delusion. Oligarchy is a term used to describe this form of government. However, Aristotle discourages this idea of oligarchy as he perceives it as a corrupted form of government and in fact will not achieve or come near pursuing a good life for people of society and that is where democracy comes in to preserve the good life that will later be discussed in the following paragraph. ‘To let them share in the the highest offices is to take a risk: inevitably, their unjust standards will cause them to commit injustice, and their lack of judgment will lead them into error’.(Aristotle, (19921962) P.203). Regarding this view, Aristotle nevertheless wants them to participate in decision making in which he tells us that ‘But it can still remain open to them to participate in deliberating and judging’.(Aristotle,(19921962) p.203). He believes that by combining the inferior of people with the superior that they will provide good service for their state which obviously ties back into the idea of deliberation. ‘By thus mixing with the better sort, they render good service in their state’.(Aristotle,(19921962),p.204). He concludes that a majority of people are not so great at decision making on their own but instead collectively with others there is a chance of a better outcome. ‘That provided the mass of the people is not too slave like, each individual will indeed be a worse judge than the experts, but collectively they will be better , or at any rate no worse’.(Aristotle,(19921962),p.204/205).
The third concept that will be argued in this paragraph is democracy. Democracy can be defined as the institutionalization of freedom of the people, by the people and for the people. Aristotle wants to equate the ruling class. He wants all members of a society to distribute political power through equity or proportionality. For example A’s power should be equal to B’s power. Perhaps that is the reason in which he longs for the poor to be equal to the rich (oligarchy). He believes wealth is an outstanding standard for distributing political power. Primarily, if you have a lot of money you can have the power to pay people to make things that you want them to do. ‘Politeia’ is an Aristotelian term used to describe the best constitution comes from a society who is composed of virtuous people regardless of their status. He has hope that arithmetic equality, virtue, the right principle and the right standard will equal to aristocracy. This is portrayed through the following sentence: ‘To allow everyone to decide, and on all matters, is democratic; for such equality is what the common people seek!’ as people are looking to be equal in a society.(Aristotle,(19921962), p.277). Nevertheless, he nurtures the idea of justice, community, hierarchy and puts a lot of emphasis on duty and inequality. He disgusts the idea of, when one is treated less when it comes to approval in a state and superior when it rejects. As he puts it: ‘One should make the people sovereign when it rejects, not sovereign when it comes to approval’. (Aristotle, (19921962), p.280). From an Aristotelian perspective, dangers of socio-economic inequality will rise. The poor will have strong incentives to change society. He suggests that there should be communal property and that children ought to be communally raised. The outcome of this democracy will be effective, particularly for the poor as they will gain insight into the diverse opinions,interests and rights of other members of society.
In conclusion, Aristotle’s main point is to establish a good life for people and he believes that that the individual is much more important than a society and that is shown through the ways in which he talks about distributive justice, collective judgment and democracy. Eudaimonia is an Aristotelian term used to depict what the good life ought to be. Aristotle believed that the best way to understand why things are the way they are is to understand what purpose they were designed to serve. According to Aristotle, in order to preserve the common good, one must follow the theoretical knowledge and that is the rule of law- something that applies equally to everyone. His theories include that if you lead a good life you will be happy. He wants everyone to be sensitive to cultural difference in order to be fair to all members of a society. Additionally, the solution to this is democracy as it is so effective in decision making allowing all members of society to participate. It has been noted by critics that it is one of the best decision making processes. Therefore, distributive political power, collective judgment and democracy all of which contributes to the good life and the happiness of the individual through the process of good decision making in the perspective of Aristotle.