"In democracies, of the more extreme type there has arisen a false idea of freedom which is contradictory to the true interests of the state. For two principles are characteristic of democracy, the government of the majority and freedom. Men think that what is just is equal; and that equality is the supremacy of the popular will; and that freedom means the doing what a man likes. In such democracies everyone lives as he pleases...But this is all wrong; men should not think it slavery to live according to the rule of the constitution; for itis their salvation."--Aristotle on the importance of the constitution in a democracy. From the series Great Ideas of Western Man.

images for "In democracies, of the more extreme type there has arisen a false idea of freedom which is contradictory to the true interests of the state. For two principles are characteristic of democracy, the government of the majority and freedom. Men think that what is just is equal; and that equality is the supremacy of the popular will; and that freedom means the doing what a man likes. In such democracies everyone lives as he pleases...But this is all wrong; men should not think it slavery to live according to the rule of the constitution; for itis their salvation."--Aristotle on the importance of the constitution in a democracy. From the series Great Ideas of Western Man.
Topic
Figure group\male
Dress\historic\classical dress
Occupation\education\philosopher
Allegory\civic\democracy
Portrait male
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Artist
Edgar Miller, born Idaho Falls, ID 1899-died 1993
Sitter
Aristotle
Credit Line
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Container Corporation of America
Medium
tempera on plaster
Dimensions
34 3/8 x 29 5/8 in. (87.3 x 75.3 cm.)
See more items in
Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
Department
Painting and Sculpture
1950
Type
Painting
Object number
1984.124.214