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A Letter from The Editor


Plato and Aristotle in The School of Athens, by Raphael

        In a slightly controversial fashion, the Greek philosopher Aristotle once declared that “man is by nature a political animal.” I came across this quote in an assigned reading of Aristotle's Politics, examining its significance to Aristotle’s foundational philosophy of "politeia," or his discovery of what makes an effective government. Aristotle defines the individual as their role in a society governed by laws and customs. Furthermore, he believes that one’s potential can only be fully realized within the social context of their political activism. Aristotle develops many claims from this central argument, but his focus may not be as exaggerated in modern times as it may seem. Aristotle highlights his interest in the importance of political participation and the question of what it means to be a citizen. An interest and definition I agree with: above all, a citizen is defined by their ability to participate in their governance. 


       With such close proximity to our nation’s capital, it is no surprise that the University of Maryland has a politically active and dedicated student body. In lectures and discussions across the University's individual colleges and departments, students will interact with the political climate we are observing -- and with these observations comes the opportunity to analyze the impacts and implications of politics on our society. 


Thus, The Observer was created as a platform for students to share these observations and further encourage the consideration of social justice, societal customs, and political themes across a wider range of interests. I truly believe that politics shapes much of our endeavors as humans, and that we must strive to be more informed, more active, and more encouraged, in order to be citizens. 




Nikita Kale 


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