Politics: On Slavery, c. 330 BCE
1. What is a slave?
he who is by nature not his own but another's man,
is by nature a slave; and he may be said to be another's man who, being a
human being, is also a possession.”
2. Is slavery natural?
that some should rule and others be ruled is a thing not only necessary,
but expedient; from the hour of their birth, some are marked out for
subjection, others for rule....Again, the male is by nature superior, and
the female inferior; and the one rules, and the other is ruled; this
principle, of necessity, extends to all mankind.”
3. What is the nature of the slave?
then there is such a difference as that between soul and body, or between
men and animals (as in the case of those whose business is to use their
body, and who can do nothing better), the lower sort are by nature slaves,
and it is better for them as for all inferiors that they should be under
the rule of a master.”
4. How does Aristotle's logic break down in this passage?
would like to distinguish between the bodies of freemen and slaves, making
the one strong for servile labor, the other upright, and although useless
for such services, useful for political life in the arts both of war and
peace. But the opposite often happens---that some have the souls and others
have the bodies of free men.”