In Book III, Aristotle takes a different approach to understanding the city. Again, he asks himself the question of what the city is, but here is his method of understanding the parts that make the city: the citizens. “It is therefore necessary to examine who should be called a citizen and what the citizen is” (1274b41). For Americans, this is now a legal issue: anyone born in the United States or born to U.S. citizens abroad is automatically a citizen. Other people can become citizens by applying the right legal procedures for this purpose. This rule, however, is not acceptable to Aristotle, because slaves are born in the same cities as free men, but this does not make them citizens. For Aristotle, citizenship is more than living in a given place, participating in economic activities or being governed by the same laws. Instead, Aristotle`s citizenship is a kind of activity: “The citizen in a full and complete sense is defined by nothing but the sharing of decision and function” (1275a22). Later, he said: “Whoever has the right to participate in a function that involves deliberations or decisions, we can now say a citizen in this city; and the city is the multitude of those people who are appropriate for a life autarky to speak simply” (1275b17).
And this citizen is a citizen “especially in a democracy; he can, but will not necessarily be, a citizen in others” (1275b4). We still have to talk about what a democracy is, but if we do, this point will be important to define it correctly. When Aristotle speaks of participation, he thinks that every citizen should participate directly in the assembly – not by choosing representatives – and that he should be willing to serve on juries to maintain the law. Keep in mind the contrast with modern Western nation-states, where there are very few opportunities to participate directly in politics and most people find it difficult not to serve on juries. In the sixth book of ethics, Aristotle says that all knowledge can be divided into three categories: theoretical knowledge, practical knowledge, and productive knowledge. In simple terms, these types of knowledge are distinguished by their purposes: theoretical knowledge is aimed at contemplation, productive knowledge of creation, and practical knowledge of action. Theoretical knowledge involves the study of truth for one`s own good; It is the knowledge of things that are immutable and eternal, and contains things like the principles of logic, physics, and mathematics (at the end of ethics, Aristotle says that the most wonderful human life is a life lived in search of this type of knowledge, because this knowledge brings us closest to the Divine). In contrast, the productive and practical sciences meet our daily needs as human beings and deal with things that can and do change. Productive knowledge means, basically, know-how; Knowing how to make a table, a house or a pair of shoes, or how to write a tragedy, would be examples of this kind of knowledge.
This entry focuses on practical knowledge, that is, knowledge of how to live and act. According to Aristotle, it is the possession and use of practical knowledge that makes it possible to lead a good life. Ethics and politics, which are the practical sciences, deal with man as a moral agent. Ethics is primarily about the action of people as individuals, and in politics it is about the action of people in communities, although it is important to remember that for Aristotle, the two are closely related and each influences the other. . . .