The ideal citizen, according to Aristotle, is someone who best serves the ends of the city. Because there are many different kinds of constitutions, and each constitution calls for many different kinds of citizens, there must necessarily be many different standards for excellence in a citizen. However, there is only one universal standard for excellence in a man. This set of circumstances means that it is possible for a good citizen without being a good man. The end goal of every city is to make a life of good quality possible for its citizens, but only the best citizens in the best city will be able to attain this end. A good leader, Aristotle suggests, is practiced at both ruling and being ruled, and so has all the necessary qualities that make a good man.

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