Civic Education and Communication in Aristotle

Proceedings of the 8th International Conference On Humanities, Psychology and Social Science

Year: 2018


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Civic Education and Communication in Aristotle

Yunrak SOHN



This study is the first step of a wider research plan to improve the democratic citizenship in South Korea through communication education, and to find a better method of civic education, which means the education for students to be good citizens. After examining the context of extensive issues on social communication and education in the history of ancient Greece, it aims to find the source of the concept of ‘communicating citizen’(civis communicans) in Aristotle’s ethics, political science, and rhetoric, in which Aristotle deals with the citizens and the state.What should be the civic education with the keyword of communication? A clue to find a solution of this question in Aristotle comes from a phrase that defines man as a political animal and at the same time defines it as the only animal with logos. This passage is important because, when Aristotle says here the difference of human from all the other animals is ‘logos,’ he describes logos as not only the ability to ‘think and to discern’ but also the ability to ‘talk and communicate’.According to these thoughts of Aristotle, a man does not think alone or speak alone, but grows up combining these two abilities while being educated in the home and society. Then, he lives not only thinking and discerning, but also participating in public affairs as a citizen by communicating with others in the state. It is a life to practice being a good citizen as a member of the community of Polis while pursuing personally to be a good person. And this is the image of ‘good man, good citizen’, which is the ideal goal of civic education pursued by this research.

Keywords: citizen in Aristotle, citizenship, civic education, communication, good man-good citizen.