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Le substrat biologique de la recommandation aristotélicienne en matière d'alimentation des nourrissons (Pol., VII 17, 1336a2-8)

Abstract : By addressing the future legislator responsible for the establishment of the best constitution (ἀρίστην πολιτείαν), Aristotle proposes in Politics (Book VII, chapter 17), a series of regulations with regard to the care and education of young children, namely to what our ancestors framed as child rearing (παιδοτροφία) in antiquity. The present study focuses on one particular type of childcare recommendation according to which milk is considered as the essential dietary basis of infants up to approximately two years old. Approaching the above mentioned regulation under the lens of the Aristotelian biological treatises, our aim is to manifest that the reason why the Stagirite philosopher poses breastfeeding as the ideal diet for infants, lies in his scientific knowledge on the effects -positive and negative- that the quality of the received nutrition can have on children’s health and bodily development, in this particular case of milk. In other words, it constitutes a childcare regulation of preventive character, which Aristotle grounds in his biological theory and which fully serves the perfectionist (τελειοκρατικό) aim of his eugenic program, as developed by the philosopher in chapters 16-17 of the 7th book of Politics.
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Yiannis Panidis. Le substrat biologique de la recommandation aristotélicienne en matière d'alimentation des nourrissons (Pol., VII 17, 1336a2-8). Philosophia. Yearbook of the Research Centre for Greek Philosophy at the Academy of Athens, Academy of Athens, 2017, 47, pp.120-153. ⟨halshs-02715659⟩

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