Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Philosophy and Public Affairs

Reader 1

Adrienne Martin

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2017 Tarah L. Gilbreth


According to Aristotle, for a human being to live their best life, that is a life that flourishes, is to live a political life. A political life is lived best in a polis , or a self - sufficient community, so therefore, the most flourishing human life is one lived in a polis . Also, for a polis to be self - sufficient, its citizens must be flourishing, so there exists a special sort of constitutive relationship between the polis and its citizens. There are certain capacities available to human beings in the polis that promote their flourishing (namely loyalty and trust) that help fulfill important human needs. These capacities are best carried out through various subcommunities in the polis . Subcommunities range in size and interest, but the ones that best fulfil l important human needs also contribute most to the polis, and thus contribute most to human flourishing. In this paper, I will argue that physical retail space is a particular kind of subcommunity that can fulfill an important human need. While it is popular opinion that the shopping mall, and more - broadly physical retail as a whole, does not have a place in the increasingly technologically savvy community, physical retail space offers humans a place to engage that is necessary for their flourishing.