Michael Weinman on Aristotle and the violence in Charlottesville (Public Seminar)

In his most recent contribution to Public Seminar, “Aristotle on Charlottesville,” faculty member Michael Weinman uses Aristotle’s analysis of “mixed actions” to discuss the rally in Charlottesville and the violent reactions to it on August 11-12, 2017. 

In Aristotle’s view, “mixed actions” defy the classification voluntary / involuntary since they are chosen in extreme circumstances as the “least bad course of action.” While such acts would be normally considered blameworthy, Aristotle considers that they should be met with pity or pardon. Weinman argues that “is the most helpful lens through which to view and debate the moral and the political judgment in which we engage as citizens when we view the refusal to engage in only acts of non-violence of some of the counter protestors, and especially those who are residents and citizens of Charlottesville itself.”

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