Research Programs: Summer Stipends

Period of Performance

5/1/2010 - 9/30/2010

Funding Totals

$6,000.00 (approved)
$6,000.00 (awarded)

Conflict in Aristotle's Political Philosophy

FAIN: FT-57983-10

Steven Christian Skultety
University of Mississippi (University, MS 38677-1848)

Nearly all scholars agree that Aristotle rejects Plato's utopian approach to politics, along with its stress on perfect unity and harmony. Yet, surprisingly, there have been very few attempts to examine Aristotle's understanding of the disunity one would thus expect in his political theory. The importance of my work, however, is not merely that it does its part to fill an obscure scholarly lacuna. Rather, its significance consists in its discovery that Western philosophy has incorporated and celebrated notions of civic conflict from the very beginning of political thought. This discovery upsets the standard narrative that attributes the rise of conflict-ridden communities to negative aspects of modernity, and sheds new light on the origin and meaning of democracy. The project to which I would devote a NEH Summer Stipend would be to transform four articles I have written on Aristotelian political conflict into a five-chapter monograph.