Page:Aristotle - The Politics, 1905.djvu/36
Man a Political Animal
8When several villages are united in a single community, perfect and large enough to be nearly or quite self-sufficing, the state comes into existence, originating in the bare needs of life, and continuing in existence for the sake of a good life. And therefore, if the earlier forms of society are natural, so is the state, for it is the end of them, and the [completed] nature is the end. For what each thing is when fully developed, we call its nature, whether we are speaking 9 of a man, a horse, or a family. Besides, the final cause and end of a thing is the best, and to be self-sufficing is the end 1253 a and the best.
Hence it is evident that the state is a creation of nature, and that man is by nature a political animal. And he who by nature and not by mere accident is without a state, is either above humanity, or below it; he is the
- Tribeless, lawless, hearthless one,
whom Homer  denounces— the outcast who is a lover of war; he may be compared to an unprotected piece in the game of draughts.
Now the reason why man is more of a political animal than bees or any other gregarious animals is evident. Nature, as we often say, makes nothing in vain , and man is the only animal whom she has endowed with the gift of 1 speech  . And whereas mere sound is but an indication -
- Il. ix.63.
- Cp. c. 8. 12.
- 3 Cp. vii. 13. 12.