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The Politics of Slavery$
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Laura Brace

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474401142

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474401142.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 02 August 2021

Aristotle and the Strangeness of Slaves

Aristotle and the Strangeness of Slaves

(p.16) Chapter 2 Aristotle and the Strangeness of Slaves
The Politics of Slavery

Laura Brace

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter focuses on Aristotle’s theory of natural slavery, in particular the idea of the slave as a living tool. It explores psycho-ethical slavery, the entangled relations between political servitude and chattel slavery, the complications of manumission, and what it means not to be a slave. The chapter asks where the slave fits into the polis, and how Aristotle understands the relationship between slavery, citizenship and freedom. It goes on to explore his theory of the incompleteness of the slaves’ humanity and the significance of the idea that those who are ‘naturally’ slaves do not qualify for full personhood. In Aristotle’s theory, and in this chapter, slavery emerges as a complex set of social relations and as an unstable marker of both property and personhood. The chapter concludes by arguing that slavery has to be understood as a matter for politics, and is always concerned with boundary-setting and keeping.

Keywords:   Aristotle, natural slavery, psycho-ethical slavery, household, citizenship

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