For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work


by Aristotle (1932)


Key Passage

In ancient times in fact the artisan class in some states consisted of slaves or aliens, owing to which the great mass of artisans are so even now; and the best-ordered state will not make an artisan a citizen. While if even the artisan is a citizen, then what we said to be the citizen’s virtue must not be said to belong to every citizen, nor merely be defined as the virtue of a free man, but will only belong to those 3who are released from menial occupations. Among menial occupations those who render such services to an individual are slaves, and those who do so for the community are artisans and hired labourers. The state of the case about them will be manifest from what follows when we consider it a little further[, for what has been said when made known itself makes it clear]. (p.197)


Ancient Greece, Aristotle, Slavery, Citizenship, Virtue, Artisan, Craftsmanship


Aristotle Citations, Ancient Greece

Links to Reference


Rackham, H.



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