What qualifications required for the highest offices

What qualifications required for the highest offices


Those who come into the highest offices require some three qualifications: first, loyalty to the established constitution, then, the greatest capacity for performing the duties of the office, and third, virtue and justice analogous to each constitution; for if what is just is not the same in all constitutions, there must be a difference in justice also.

However, there is a question, when the above qualifications do not attend the same person, how the selection is to be made. Suppose, for example, one man is a capable general but a bad man and no friend of the constitution, another one just and loyal, how should we choose?

We must consider two points

It seems, however, that we must consider two points: of which all men partake more, of which less. This is why in the case of a general one must consider experience more than virtue (for they partake less in military skill and more in virtuousness). On the other hand, in observation and management of finances the opposite (for these require more virtue than most men possess, while the knowledge required is common to all).

One might raise the question whether virtue is needed if both capacity and loyalty to the constitution are present, since both of them are enough to do what is in the interests of the constitution. Or perhaps those who possess these two qualifications might lack self-control, so that just as they do not serve their own interests, although they know how to and they love themselves, so also with regard to the common interests there is nothing to prevent some from being in the same condition.

Bibliography: Aristotle Politics (1309a.33)
Translation – text editing: George Kotsalis