According to Miller (2017), psychology has been a science for barely a hundred years. However, its roots are etched in philosophy in which great scholars made invaluable contributions, especially in ancient Greece. Among the great philosophers is Aristotle, who was born in 384 BCE and passed on in 322 BCE. Aristotle serves as the basis of this paper as it analyses his contributions to the field of psychology today.
Aristotle is an automatic choice for this paper because his thought process is pure, clear and his articulation of principles is concise. For example, he is revered as being among the most influential thinkers from that era, especially in the political theory arena. As Rist (2019) observes, Aristotle has a solid scientific research background in the sense that he conducted both philosophical and biological research in Asia Minor and Lesbos.
Conversation with Aristotle
The world today is experiencing unprecedented dynamism in geopolitics as never before. For example, in the past few days, the Russian Federation, whose president is H.E. Vladimir Putin, has annexed large swathes of Ukrainian territories.
Q. What do you suppose is Putin’s agenda in global geopolitics?
- Aristotle: This may either be as a show of power or an act of deterrence to the growing influence of the ‘West’s’ democratic policies, which are being groomed right at the Kremlin’s doorstep. It can be asserted from existing evidential proof that the president is cunningly trying to relive and actualize his glory U.S.S.R days and through the eyes of his mentor and former President Boris Yeltsin.
Different people and governments opine why Putin has decided to invade Ukraine, with some asserting that he may have a mental breakdown based on points taken from several of his published works which indicate that he had an emotional breakdown after the breaking up of the former U.S.S.R republic.
Q. Based on your philosophical work is the Russian President a statesman?
- Aristotle: Based on this current affairs precedence my book ‘politics’ shows that there is sufficient evidence to the claims of Putin’s mental instability in light of a seemingly erratic decision to encroach into another country’s sovereign territory (Miller, 2017). This claim is emboldened by the fact that for over three decades, Europe has not seen any intra-continental war and the logic for this particular one seems far-fetched even for an individual such as President Putin. The threat that he recently issued putting Russian nuclear arsenal on high alert does not provide a counter position on such allegations.
Q. What is your perspective on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine?
- Aristotle: Politics is a science that can be termed practical because it entails noble actions intended to create happiness for the residents of a particular geographical area. The science may be closely associated with other sciences such as productive science due to its intention to create, maintain, and bring positive change in political institutions. “Even as the end may be the same for a person or for a city-state, the city-state may be, by all standards, greater and more complete to attain and maintain. For even as it is more expedient to attain it for individuals, it is far noble and ethically correct to do so for the whole nation” Thus the Russian president may have erred since his individual pursuits have to be superseded by the greater and nobler good of the Ukrainian city-state, the Russian nation—currently facing sanctions—and the relationships hanging on the balance between the Russian people and citizens of the world (Huppes & Coelho, 2018).
As we can adduce, a city-state is a society comprising of individuals and each society is formed to increase certain utilities or wholesome goodness being that everyone conducts themselves in ways they believe to be good, similarly the society will seek to achieve this collective good but in instances where two societies have conflicting goods or utilities they aspire to achieve, the society with the most authority and works for it the most, attain it. Such is the political community well manifested in the Russo-Ukrainian context.
Aristotle is a wise and informed thinker logician, and scientist. His thoughts capture today’s events as well as the past’s politics quite articulately. Time may have elapsed between ages but the relevance of the subject matters discussed then remain relevant today, such as the enduring wealth of knowledge in philosophy and psychology as well (Huppes & Coelho, 2018).
Aristotle’s work with Alexander the Great as inferred from Segev (2018) puts him at the forefront in addressing matters of geopolitics having morphed the young Alexander into a proper war strategist. The achievements made in authoring books that provide guidelines to statesmanship show a great understanding of politics, leaders and ethics.
Huppes-Cluysenaer, L., & Coelho, N. M. (Eds.). (2018). Aristotle on emotions in law and politics (Vol. 121). New York: Springer.
Miller, F. (2017). Aristotle’s political theory (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy). Stanford.edu.
Rist, J. M. (2019). The mind of Aristotle. University of Toronto Press.
Segev, M. (2018). Aristotle on Plato’s Republic VIII-IX: Politics v. 12, 1316a1-b27. Polis: The Journal for Ancient Greek and Roman Political Thought, 35(2), 374-400.