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THE

ETHICS OF AEISTOTLE
ILLUSTRATED WITH

ESSAYS AND NOTES.

BY

SIE
LL.D.

ALEXANDEE GEANT, BAET.


(eDINBUEGH, GLASGOW, cambeidgb),

d.c.l. (oxfobi)),

AND VICE-CHANCELLOR IN THE TJNIVERSiry OF EDINBITRGH HON. BTEMBER OF


THE UNIVERSITIES OF ST. PETERSBURG AND MOSCOW, AND OP THE FRANKLIN
INSTTTDTB OF PENNSYLVANIA
FORMERLY FELLOW AND NOW
HON. FELLOW OF ORIEL COLLEGE, OXFORD.

PRIKCIPAIi

FOURTH

IN

EDITION, REVISED.

TWO VOLUMES.
VOL.

I.

LONDON

LONGMANS, GEEEN, AND


1885.

CO UNI-'
All

rights

reserved.

'

CO.

DEDICATE THIS BOOK


TO THE

EEV.

BENJAMIN JOWETT,

D.D.,

LL.D.,

REanrs protessor of grebe, maotee op balliol college, and

TIOE-OHANOELLOR IK THE DNIVEHSITY OF OXFORD

THE SOCRATES OF MY YOUTH;

MY UNFAILING FRIEND DURING NEARLY FORTY YEARS;


THE WISEST AND BEST MAN THAT

HAVE EVER KNOWN.

PREFACE
TO

THE rOUETH EDITION.

rpHE

call for a

new

edition of a

book on

Aristotle's

Ethics, after an interval of ten years, gives

an

opportunity for second thoughts, which indeed are


necessitated

by the valuable work,

connection

in

not only with this treatise, but with the Aristotehan


writings in general, which has been done by scholars
in the

meantime.

Accordingly, after reading Zeller's

monstration that

all

the

great works

were known to the world during the

learned deof Aristotle

last

250 years

before the Christian era, I have modified the view,


too hastily adopted in former editions, of

of Aristotle's writings' (see Essay

A good deal
'

I.

'

the fate

p. lo).

of scrutiny has of late been directed

In the third edition of his Philosophie der Griechen (Leipsic, 1879),

pp. 147-152.

PREFACE TO THE

viii

upon the

text of

Nicomachean

V., VI.,

expressed

new phase

rise to

various
to

the

The question has

cer-

by scholars

authorship of these Books.


tainly entered a

and VII. of the

which has given

Ethics,

being

opinions

Books

as

since I first ventured to

write on the subject, some twenty-seven years ago.

At

everyone in Oxford accepted

that time almost

the three Books, without suspicion, as an integral


Spengel, however,

part of the Nicomachean treatise.

had proved to the


the

Eudemian

satisfaction of the

Ethics were not

by

Germans that

Aristotle, but

were

by

a modified copy of Aristotle's treatise, written


his disciple

Book Vn.

Eudemus

and he had also pronounced

of the Nicomachean Ethics to belong to the

Eudemians, while he maintained that Books V. and


Fischer and Fritzsche

VI. were Nicomachean Books.

had gone
as

further,

and had given up Book VI.

Eudemian, while they held

to

Book V. (with

also

the

exception of the last chapter) as belonging to the


original
It

work

seemed

of Aristotle.
to

me

then, and

an onus probandi rests on those

Book V. from Books

it

does so now, that

who would

separate

VI. and VII. and say that

stands on quite a different footing from them.

three Books together form


treatise,

part of the

it

The

Eudemian

with which they agree very well, and this by

FOURTH EDITION.

would seem a primd facie ground

itself

that whatever theory

But one common

for supposing

you adopt about one or two

them must hold good of them

of

IX

all.

characteristic of these Books,

tending to separate them from the other Books of


the Nicomachean Ethics, has lately been brought into

prominence

namely, the peculiar condition

Hildenbrand,^

text.

says that in this

by

who

only considers

Book a number

suspicion,'

and that

'

by

text

by

must have contributed

to

of

the

though the Nicomachean Ethics

this,

whole,

among

writings.'

V.,

their position, excite

corruption

external circumstances

Book

of passages, partly

'

their construction, partly

of their

are,

on the

the best preserved of the Aristotelian

Eassow^ says:

'It

is

incredible that the

three Books, in the form in which they

come before

can have been published by Aristotle himself.

us,

The

faults in these

Books are such that they cannot

be ascribed to the carelessness of copyists, nor can


^ Geschickte und System der BecTitsund StcMUphilosophie (Leipsic, i860),

vol.
'

i.

p.

324.

Forschungen iiber die Nikomakische

But

after all

Ethik des Aristoteles (Weimar, 1874).


little work, full of

thought

This interesting

of Bekker, in

acumen, consists chiefly of sugges-

if

tions for the

Doubtless
tions

amendment

if all

it

best to adhere to the text

which the

difficulties,

sometimes caused by the errors of

of the text.

editors or copyists, are certainly also

Rassow's emenda-

sometimes due to the carelessness of

were adopted, the Ethics of


would read more smoothly.

Aristotle

they are conjectures^

however happy.
Therefore, except
in a few cases, where it was a question
of changing a letter or two, I have

the original writer.

PKEPjiCE TO THE

they be the result of any confusion that took place

MS/

in the leaves of the original

(pp. 49-5o)-

'

The

theory of a Double Eecension, of which traces are

undoubtedly to be found in these, and also to some


extent in the other books of the Nicomachean Ethics,

not sufficient to account for the striking pecu-

is

liarities

of these

portions

which
'

(p. 50).

The

Books

must be

copyists, I think,

V., VI.,

it

origin
left

out

would be too remarkable

if

and VII. they had committed more

than in aU the rest of the Books put together.

faults

AristoteUan

of

not

are

of the question, for


in

Undeniably they contain

Books.

displacement of the leaves of the original MS.

will not do, for

no rearrangement succeeds

membra

the disjecta

Eamsauer* says
this in

common

in putting

into their proper place


'

Books

that there

V., VI.,

'

(p. 39).

and VII. have

more corruption and

is

confusion in them than in the seven remaining Books


(p.

He

641).

also

most corrupted of

is

compilation

'Book V.

the Books

all

Mr. Cook Wilson


the Ethics

says that

says

'

'

{ib.).

not the only one which seems to be a

most of the Books show more or

Ethica
Nicomachea
Commentario Continuo in-

Arisioielis

strtixit

far the

is

The Seventh Book of

traces of something of the kind

edidit et

'

G. Samsauer (Leipsic, 1878).

after the

Aristotelian

1879).
1

Part

I.

less

Seventh

Studies

(Oxford,

FOURTH EDITION.

Book the most remarkable


The

resolution

is

perhaps the Fifth.

is

more obvious

XI

"!n

the Seventh, the

evidence of divers authorship stronger in the Fifth

and Sixth

'

(p. 4).

Eassow having strongly


the
(p.

corrupt condition of
50)

'

No

criticisms,

stated, as

the

we have

three

seen,

Books, adds

however, touch the peculiar

kernel of these Books, which wears so

much

the

garb of genuineness that the attempt of Fischer,


Fritzsche, and Grant to claim these
in part for the

Eudemian

Books wholly or

Ethics must be considered

Nothing remains but to suppose that the

a failure.

genuine Books were worked over by some strange


hand.

This, I believe,

inquiry,

up

is.

the safe result, to which aU

to the present time, leads

every step

further conducts us into a dark, perhaps never to be


enlightened,
'

Besides

numerous

field,

which

double

recension,

interpolations.

made probable

that

dechne to tread

the

'

(p. 50).

we must suppose

Allowing that

it

has been

suspected portions were

taken out of the Eudemian Ethics, the question

whether

all

the difficulties

namely,

may

is,

not have arisen from

Books of

the same source

that the genuine

Aristotle having

perhaps become mutilated, were

afterwards completed out of the


(P- 51).

Eudemian Ethics

PREFACE TO THE

xii

Eamsauer
or
is

more

gives, only

He

a similar view.

indefinitely, the

same

'There

says (page 641):

only one Aristotelian treatise on the matter con-

tained in the three Disputed Books.


that the loss of the one treatise

was connected with

the corruption of the text of the other


fusions arose at that time

know

somehow were badly

may

This you

other.

who thought

The con-

the one treatise,

not how, went to ruin [pessuvi

contents

those

when

not likely

Is it

and

iret),

transferred

to

we
its-

the

fancy to have been done by

in this

way

to preserve

what was

already mutilated and confused.'

Eassow's theory,

must be observed, gives no

it

explanation of the manner in which the treatise on

Pleasure in

Book

came

VII.

the Nicomachean Ethics.

nounces against

its

to be introduced into

He

very distinctly pro-

having been written by Aristotle,

saying (p. 48): 'If one does not wish to attribute


to Aristotle that

which

in other writers one

would

consider absolutely monstrous, one must agree with


those

who

VII.

Look

are found

neither

reject the treatise

at the state of matters.

two lengthy

makes the

treatises

clear

by

its

in

Book

In two Books

on Pleasure, whereof

slightest reference to the other.

The second, incomparably the


it

on Pleasure

richer, treatise

makes

opening words that Pleasure has never

FOURTH EDITION.
been previously treated

most

in the

The two

of.

ivspysta., so

hspysia.

as

Book X. opposes
good
its

that in

is

VIE., as

mark

it

is

treatise
is

in

the chief

might be expected from


at things,

endeavours to

probable that at least one kind of Pleasure

it

the

Book Vn.
The

a,vs[j.Tr6Bi(rTog.

whole way of looking

make

in

the view that Pleasure

Book

is

be made to appear

as to

a mere quality of the latter


defined

treatises differ

In Bftok X. Pleasure

essential points.

separated from

XIU

This attempt by

oipia-rov.

Book

the treatise in

itself

to

suffices

VII. as ungenuine, since

it

would impress on the Aristotelian Ethics a hedonistic


which

character,

inconsistent

is

with

their

other

views.'

Rassow agrees with Spengel that the


Pleasure in

Book

VII.

is

later

treatise

on

than that in Book X.,

and that the author of the former probably had the


latter

But he dechnes

before him.

inference of Spengel, that


in

Book

sow says that

with the

how

first

This
it

the treatise on Pleasure

lie

this

under the same verdict.

Eas-

because the

does not follow,

on Pleasure has no necessary connection

treatise

age.

accept the

pronounced un-Aristotelian, the

VII. be

whole Book must

if

to

half of the

may be

so

Book

it is

mere append-

but Eassow does not explain

comes to pass that the unknown

editor,

who,

PREFACE TO THE

Xiv

according to his theory, wrote over

Book

the Nicomachean Ethics, introducing into

out of the Eudemians, came also to


a spurious

and unnecessary

Surely

far

is

it

more natural

passages

it

append

treatise

to

it

on Pleasure.

to suppose

whole Book was written originally

VII. of

for the

that the

Eudemian

Ethics,

and having been transferred to the Nicoma-

cheans,

brought with

it

this superfluity.

Eassow's sweeping and somewhat dogmatic assertion, that

'

the essential kernel of the three Disputed

Books bears the mark of genuineness,' seems based


on what has been called

which disdains

Everyone would

to explain itself

admit that the matter of these Books, even

were not written by


Aristotle,

and

Aristotelisches Gefuhl,

Aristotle,

was

all

if

they

derived from

possibly copied or paraphrased from three

Books of the Nicomachean

now

Ethics,

lost

or, if

such Books were never written, then made up out of


unfinished

from

writings

of Aristotle

himself,

his oral lectures, or out of conclusions arrived

at in his other works,

in short,

from the

of the Peripatetic School, with so


ality in the

way

lar doctrines as

the
this

'

or notes

kernel

'

may be

of origin-

of developing or modifying particu-

Eudemus showed

of the Books, then,


at

much

repertoire

in his Ethics.

means

If

their matter,

once conceded to be on the whole

FOURTH EDITION.

and yet nothing

Aristotelian,

as to the authorship of the

XV
have been proved

will

Book*
"We require an investi-

It is a question of form..

gation of the subject in detail, and a theory as to

what was the skeleton of each of these supposed


Nicomacliean Books, and where the Eudemian interpolations were brought

in.

Eassow, without being explicit on

up the

gives

by an

Book V.

latter half of

chapter on Equity, the

He

himself.

also

gives

up the

VI., as evidently written, not

He

of his school.
ness of the

say that

it

But,

first

difiiculty:

patchwork

work

of Aristotle

latter part of

Book

but by one

Aristotle,

holds apparently to the genuine-

half of

Book

VII.,

though he would

had been worked over and interpolated.


supposing Eassow's

finally,

accepted,

by

as a

point,

however, an ex-

unskilful hand, containing,

cellent

this

would

it

If

give

Books V.,

rise

VI,,

to

theory to be
the

and

following

VII.

of

the

Nicomachean Ethics were mutilated, and then made

up out of corresponding Books


Ethics,

how came

it

existence,

Against this something might be


The account of Equity in Eth,

that in Ehetoric,

very jejune compared with

wrote his Ethics.

said.
V.

X.

is

Eudemian

the

to pass that those corresponding

Eudemian Books went out of

in

i.

xiii.,

and the

which had

been written by Aristotle before he

PREFACE TO THE

Xvi
])atclied

place

up Nicomachean Books were put into their


How did it happen that
Also we may add
:

up Nicomachean Books

the patched

Eudemian

well into the

ably

fitted so

treatise

remark-

and corre-

sponded by divers references with the remaining

Books of the same ?


Bamsauer's theory
stated

namely,

know

that

as

is,
'

we have

when

its

were badly transferred to the

mean one
of the

of

two things

Eudemian

one

the

not how, went to ruin,

seen, vaguely
treatise,

contents

we

somehow

This must

other.'

three Books

either that

having become mutUated,

Ethics

the remaining fragments of them were, with a view


to

preservation,

their

ingrafted

corresponding Nicomachean Books

upon

the

or, three

three

Nico-

machean Books having been nearly destroyed, the


fragments which remained were ingrafted upon the

But the former hypothesis seems

Eudemian Books.

What inducement would

absurd.

three finished Books of Aristotle's

them with fragments of


writing

interpolating

disciple's

far

Books were originally written

treatises,

fragments of
I

by

inferior

The second hypothesis would imply

these three

Eudemian

his

there be to spoil

lost

for

that

the

but afterwards interlarded with

Nicomachean Books

could quite accept, but

it

which theory

would be inconsistent

XVU

FOURTH EDITION.
with

Eamsauer's

other

views,

he

for

distinctly

pronounces the three Books to heNicomachean.


Eamsauer's theory seems to
in this

Books

that

lie

differ

from Eassow's

considers the fragments of mutilated

have been ingrafted upon the text of entire

to

Whereas Eassow thought that

Books.

mutilated Books were

made up out

lacunce

in

of the text of

entire Books.

Eamsauer appears
Aristotelian scholars

to

who

me

to

be one of those

are as reluctant to admit

Books may have been com-

that the three Disputed

posed by some hand other than that of Aristotle


himself,

as

some Theologians are

Deuteronomy may be a work of


other parts of the Pentateuch.
^loKpuT^oLTTcuv, to

Books.

About Book

the

'Book

641):

Nicomachean

Eudemus,
will less

is

that

later date than

some

He

argues, wg U<riv

save the credit of each of the three


V., having admitted that

the most corrupted of


(p.

allow

to

much

VI.,

all

the

to

the

to decline

from

meagreness

And no wonder.

less so.

is

Books, he proceeds

which seems

fulness

it

of

People

meddle with a book whose parts can be

counted on the fingers, than with one in which a


difficult

matter had to be copiously, and as far as

possible artistically, set forth.'

might have been argued


VOL.

I.

it

But just the opposite


might have been
a

said

PREFACE TO THE

xvm

that the psychology of the Moral Faculties

would be more
treatise

We

more

improve a meagre

likely to try to

than one which was copious and

artistic.

have seen that Eamsauer attributes a Eude-

mian character

Book

to

VI.

Book Nouj and the other


manner

are treated in a

they are taken up

suddenly

says (p. 368)

'

admits that in this


Excellencies

Intellectual

which we

Eudemian Ethics

namely,

and curtly defined and then

And

dropt.''

He

similar to that in

find subjects treated in the

Eamsauer

yet, in spite of this,

Those who attribute Book VI. to

Eudemus should

reflect

whether the Eudemianisms in

the Book, which have led to ascribing

may

and that people

than Justice,

subject

'difficult'

is

Eudemus,

to

it

not conversely have been borrowed by the

disciple

from

this

very Book (the work of his master)

and made use of elsewhere.'


remark, that while

it is

On which we may

easy to believe that

might have borrowed particular formulce


see below,

page 61) from

before him,

it is difficult

moulded

his

whole

this

Book,

if

to suppose that

style

Eudemus
(like opof,

he had

it

he can have

on the worst written Book

of an Aristotelian treatise.

'

This same characteristic,

it

must

be noticed, appears in Book V.


rective Justice

Exchange

(c. iv.),

(c. T.),

Cor-

the theory of

and Equity

(c.

x.)

are all dropt in

manner,

without

the

same abrupt

respective
bearing on the main question of the

Book being

their

sufficiently

worked

out.

FOURTH EDITION.

Eamsauer wavers

He

VI.

says (p.

Aristotle or for

of

them

as to the authorship of

369)

It

seeflis

this

Book

'

by which

forces {copias)

XIX

Eudemus

is

always treats the Book as

if it

that the

won

to be

are about equal

carry the day.'

sufficient to

me

to

Book

for

neither

But he himself

had been won for

Aristotle.

With regard
that in

Book

to

VII. he remarks

(p.

425),

no part of the Magna Moralia has the

author of that compilation so fully reproduced the


matter of either the Nicomachean or the Eudemian
Ethics as in his account of syxpareia (cf
II. iv.-vi.

from

with Eth. Nic. VII.

this that at the

time

i.-xi.).

when

was written there was only one


on that subject

Of course
sition of the

the

Mag. Mor.

And he

infers

Magna Moralia

Aristotelian treatise

in existence.

may

this

only

mean

Magna Moralia was

that the

compo-

posterior to that

literary convulsion in which, according to the theory

of Eamsauer, three Books of either the Nicomachean


or the

Eudemian

were mutilated, and their

treatise

fragments interpolated into the corresponding Books


of the other treatise.

But

it

is

at least

an equally

probable hypothesis that there never was more than

one

treatise,

syHpuTsia,

in

literary

and that

form,

on the subject of

this (as the treatise

on Pleasure,
a 2

PEEFACE TO THE

XS

would suggest) was written or made

appended

to

up

Eudemian Ethics,krisiotle never having

for the

it,

this part of his Ethical system.

completed

explain the presence of a double

In order to
treatise

on Pleasure

Eamsauer

the

in

Nicomachean

Ethics,

643-4) resorts to an hypothesis of

(pp.

He

desperate ingenuity.

supposes

that

Aristotle,

intending to give a literary unity to his Ethics, wrote


his theory of the Chief

Good and

of Virtue,

Books

I.-VI., X. vi.-ix., thus completing the treatise all but

an intermediate space

up

this

and that he afterwards

filled

space (i) by composing a treatise on Con-

tinence and one on Pleasure,

Book Vn.

which was

(2)

which together formed

by composing a

suffered to

on Friendship,

treatise

run out to disproportionate

length (Books VIII. and IX.), and in the course of

which Aristotle arrived

at conclusions

(IX.

ix.

9)

distinguishing the consciousness of an hsfiysia, from

the evspyeta

itself,

which conclusions were inconsistent

with his already written treatise on Pleasure, and


necessitated

its

being

This

rewritten.

Aristotle

accordingly did (Eth. Nic. X. i.-v.), without, however, cancelhng the

former treatise

on the same

subject.

Unfortunately for this hypothesis,


to be supported

it

by internal evidence.

does not seem


I agree

with

FOURTH EDITION.

XXI

Ramsauer

in believing that Aristotle

part and

the concluding part

wrote the

first

df his Ethics, thus

giving the complete literary framework of his system

and leaving an intermediate space to be

clear that the concluding part cannot have

it is

menced with the


8s

filled in.

T<Sv

Book

sixth chapter of

rag apsTOLg ts uai

TTspl

X.,

<pi7\.i0Lg

But
com-

Ejpvj/Asvo))/

r^Zuvag,

xeti

because these words imply that Books VIII. and IX.

Book X.

and

i.

had been written

-v.

Therefore I consider that the space

up corresponded with what


Books

v., VI., VII.,

and

later

the

be

left to

filled

now occupied by

is

that, as

Book

the treatise on Pleasure in

previously.

Spengel supposed,
VII.

was written

than that in Book X., and was indeed part of

Eudemian paraphrase.
Again,

if

the treatise on Pleasure in

Book X. had

been written expressly to bring out the distinction

between Pleasure and the


panies,

this

point would

more prominent than


in a parenthetical

it is,

evipysia,

surely

which

it

accom-

have been made

and not dismissed,

as

it is,

and half-disdainful way,^ quite

at

the end of the treatise.

'

See Etk.

X.

v.

6-7, -where

the

it

and

Aristotle adds,

'

Nay, the con-

mnin proposition is that the Pleasure


resulting from an iv4pyeia is more
closely connected with that ivepysia

nection of Pleasure with

than the Desire which has preceded

But Burely Pleasure

ei/ipyeio, is

so close as to have given rise to a

doubt whether they are not identical.


is

not identical

PREFACE TO THE

XXll

Having pointed out the

me

to beset the

difficulties

recent

theories of

as to the authorship of the three

now

turn to the scholarlike

On

Wilson,

the Structure

Nicomachean

which seem

German

monograph of Mr. Cook

of

Book of

Seventh

the

come from some

versions, minutely examines

and

finds in

it

Book

Some

mosaic, Mr. Wilson thinks,


;

III.,

two

had

parallel

VII. of the Ethics,

traces of not only two, but sometimes

three, parallel versions.

Aristotle

the present

De Anima, Book

sort of combination of

the

Mr. Wilson,

following up Torstrik's suggestion that

order of the context in

critics

Disputed Books, I

chapters i.-x.

Ethics,

to

of the pieces of this

may

others bear traces of

be attributed to

Eudemianism

others seem to belong to a post-Eudemian


possibly a disciple of

Eudemus.

while

writer,

Mr. Wilson, without

expressly saying so, seems to point to the conclusion


that the earlier chapters of

Book

VII. were certainly

not written in their present form by Aristotle for the

Nicomachean

demus

Ethics,

nor were they written by Eu-

for his paraphrase

but that they were put

together out of divers versions by some Peripatetic


later

than Eudemus."

with Eeasoning, nor with Perception


would be absurd to say so. But

cording

from

bringing

it

their

being

inseparate

think that they are identical.'

some
Ac-

treatise

"

to

Eamsaner,

was written

the

whola

for the sake of

in tliis sentence.

In one argument Mr. Wilson

is

xxm

FOURTH EDITION.

The question

composite character of

as to the

various parts of the

'

Works

of Aristotle

be further worked out, and more hght


in the process.

'

has yet to

may

be eHcited

In the meanwhile, taking into con-

sideration all the peculiarities of these three Disputed

Books, I

am

still

inclined to figure to myself that

Eudemus, having paraphrased the seven completed


Books of

Aristotle's Ethics,

middle space to

found that he had a

up, and no longer a finished

fill

treatise of Aristotle's to copy.

Instead of

this, his

would now

materials

consist

of posthumous fragments, and the notes of the Peri-

The

patetic School.

repetitions in the text

which he

produced may have partly been caused by careless-

by a

ness, partly

reverential wish not to lose

any of

the ipsissima verba viagistri, whenever they had- been

recorded.

We

see the

same kind of

literary irregu-

larity in the Metaphysics of Aristotle, which, as tra-

dition says,

were posthumously edited by -Eudemus.

In writing the three Disputed Books, I should imagine


that

Eudemus was

inconsistent with this view.

partly

For he

suggests (p. 38, note) that Eth. Eud.


II. xi. was intended for a reconstruction of
Nic. VI.

and improvement upon Eth.


xii. 7-IO, which would prove

that Eth. Nic. vi. could not he attri-

buted to Eudemus.

But at the same

editing

time

it

and preserving

would prove that Books VI.


(for they must surely go

and VII.

together) were composed earlier than


the Etidemian. Ethics.

But

I confess

on comparing the two passages,


I do not derive from them the same
impression as Mr. Wilson has done.

that,

PREFACE TO THE

xxiv

Aristotle's doctrine

on Justice," the Moral Standard,

perhaps Incontinence,

and

own

treatise, as

with

it

the close connection of these Books

in

the recent discussions seems to

to shake the hypothesis that the

may

Three Books, what-

belonged

have not thought

it

I speak of

these Books, I

mus, whether

'

would only beg

Eudemus with
'

may be understood

in his

There-

treatise.

necessary to alter what I

formerly wrote on this subject.

when

form to the

present

their

in

Eudemian, and not the Nicomachean

that

me

otherwise have been their literary history,

originally

fore I

his

seems to show.

Nothing

ever

completing

partly

reference to

mean Eude-

to

'

own language paraphrasing

improving upon the ideas of Aristotle, or

(as

or

may

frequently have been the case) availing himself of

the exact words of his Master, from whatever source


derived.'

'" Book v., -wbicli hns


hitherto been
unanimously pronounced to be Moomachean, i.e. written by Aristotle,

seems to

me

to

owe

of

A good

stotle.

and

this character

partly to

its representing Aristotle's


theory of Justice, as fa/r as he had
gone in, the subject, partly to its

v.

exact

words,

lectures.
|

'

whether

taken

or

down

written

from

by
his

I do not go further into

the question, but I consider the sotting

Book to be Eudemian,
whatever nuggets of Aristotle it may
of the whole

'

deal of chapters iv.

probably consists of Aristotle's

himself

containing several fragment* of Aristotle's writing.


Por instance, the
opening of the Book down to c. i. 14

appears to me to be essentially Eudemian, whereas from 15 to the end

comes in a piece

the chapter

written in the best manner of Ari-

contain,

FOURTH

Out of
to

emerge

sauer

all

the discussions one conclusion seems

namely,

what

'

words of Eam-

In hac Ethices

parte pro duplici disputatione ne

quidem habemus

we

that, to use the

about the Disputed Books,

Aristotelicce

is

XXV

EDITIOlf.

satis

sanam

atque integram.'

have always ventured

could not be certain that

And

to maintain

we

possessed

entirety Aristotle's theory of Justice or of the

Standard.

EDLNBtTEGH: October, 1884.

unam
this

that
in its

Moral

CONTENTS OF THE ESSAYS.

ESSAY
On

the

Nicomachean

I.

Ethics, in relation to the other Ethical

Writings included among the Wci'lcs of Aristotle.


PAGE

Results of

Modem

Criticism on the

'

Works

of Aristotle

'

......
.......

Chronology of the Life of Aristotle

Incompleteness of his "Writings

Strabo's Story of the Fate of his Writings

Examination

of this Story

Cicero's silence with regard to it

The great works

The Peripatetic School


The Catalogue

after the

Death

of Diogenes Laertius

Aristotle's lighter

Works

were never

of Aristotle

lost

lost

of Aristotle
.

..11

.14

..16

was made

The Pour Ethical Treatises among the Works

of Aristotle

The Theory

of Spengel as to their respective

The Nicomachean Ethics a Genuine Work


Characteristics of the

Eudemian

Ethics

Ancient Authorities as to their Authorship


Characteristics of the Great Ethics

The Tract On Virtues and

Traces of an Editorial

This

Work

Mode

Hand

in the

Nicomachean

22

31

39

Oreat
.

Work
.

18

42

44

.......

not a Congeries of Smaller Treatises

of its Composition

'

-34

-23

Names Nicomachean, Eudemian, and

Origin of the
Ethics

Vices

Authorship

.10

Principles on which the Edition of Andronious


'

46
47

CONTENTS OF

XXviii

PAGE

Authorship of Books V. VI. VII

5^

Supposed References to them in other Works of Aristotle


Their Correspondence with the Eudemian Ethics
.

Casaubon's Theory of Book


Fritzsche's

Theory

52

57

VII

65

Book V.

of

The Ettdemian Ethics not a Parallel to the Laws of Plato


The Nicomachean Ethics an Unfinished, or Mutilated, Treatise
.

supplemented by the Peripatetic School

Order of Aristotle's "Writings

ESSAY
On

the History

70

-71

66

71

II.

of Moral Philosophy in Greece previous


to

Aristotle.

.....
......
......

Aristotle himself gives no History of Moral Philosophy

73

Sketch given in the Great Ethics

74

Three Eras of Morality

76

The First or Unconscious Era

General Characteristics of the Hellenic Morality

Elements of the Popular Moral Teaching in Greece

The Morality

of

Homer

84

89

of Solon

90

.......
.......
....
......
.....
.........
....

General Character of the

82

86

The Morality of Hesiod


The Seven Wise Men
The Morality

78
81

'

Gnomes

'

91

Theognis of Megara

92

Simonides of Ceos

95

The Morality

of Pindar

The Morality

of the Attic Dramatists

97

99

Influence of the Mysteries

lOI

General Conceptions of the Good

102

Moral Opinions
critus

Second Era

of the Pythagoreans, Heraclitus,

.....
.....

of Morality, the Sophists

Grote's Defence of the Sophists

History of the word

'

Sophist

and Demo
103

104
iS
106

THE ESSAYS.

XXIX
PAGE

General Opinions entertained of the Sophists in the 4th Century B.c

The Sophists

as Teachers

The Schools

of Rhetoric

Sophists

of Rhetoric historically

Internal Character of Rhetoric

The

Eristic of the Sophists

The Philosophy

of certain Sophists

The Philosophy

of Gorgias

The

The Fable

of Prodicus

of

Their Opposition of

'

Nature and
'

History of this Doctrine

'

View

Summary with

Convention

of the Sophists

regard to the Sophists

Third or Conscious Era of Morality

Personal Traits of Socrates


'

Supernatural

'

'

Was

'

.155

Element

Socrates the

'

of his

'53

155

.156

149

.150
.151
.152

156
157

of Aristotle regarding hira

Account

145

146

of Socrates

The Statements
Aristotle's

137
142

'

Uncertainty about the Doctrine of Socrates

The Irony

.148

Application by the Sophists of this and other Principles

His

133

.134

the Sophists either Rhetorical or

Casuistry of the Sophists

Aristotle's

132

.144

..........

The Moral Teaching


Sceptical

129

.130

.127
.

Eristical

Protagoras

Sophists in relation to Ethics

Their Teaching Virtue

.125

The Earlier Sophists Rhetorical, the Later Ones

123

..127

The Fallacies of the Sophists


Change in Plato's Mode of representing the Sophists
.

123

and

.122
.

Gorgias, Polus, and Alcidamas

119

.118
.

113

among the

'Sicilian' School

The Place

of Rhetoric Protagoras, Prodicus,

'

Hippias

The

as Authors of Rhetoric

The Greek School


'

Money

Their Teaching for

The Sophists

Method

First Moral Philosopher

158
159

'

Did he divide Science into Ethics, Physics, and Logic


Did he believe in the Immortality of the Soul

.161
.161
162

CONTENTS OP

XXX
Socrates as a Teacher of

Youth

His Doctrine that Virtue


His Want of Psychology
His Moral Paradoxes

is

a Science

PAGE

164

...

.......
.......

His Dialectic contrasted with that

The

...

Socratic Schools

168
169

of the Sophists

170
171

Relation of the Cynics and Cyrenaics to Socrates


Spirit

and Doctrines

.....
.....
.....

of the Early Cynics

The Cyrenaic System

of Ethics

The Cyrenaic Doctrine

174

of Pleasure

Relation of the Doctrine to Plato and Aristotle


Influence of the Cyrenaic School

ESSAY
On

172

176

177

in.

the Relation of Aristotle's Ethics to Plato

and

the Platonists.

Importance of Plato in the History of Philosophy

179

.....
.....

Characteristics of the Dialogues of Plato

180

Aristotle as the Successor to Plato

182

The Ethics of Plato


His Contribution to Psychology
His Doctrine

His

of the

Unity

183

184

of the Cardinal Virtues

185

........

Identification of Vice with Ignorance

His Eschatology

General Advance upon his Doctrines made by Aristotle

187
188
189

Doctrines in the Ethics of Aristotle that are borrowed from


Plato

(i)

On

(2)

Of the Chief Good

(3)

Of the Proper Function

(4)

Of the Divisions of the Mind

(5)

Of the Mean'

(6)

Of

(7)

Of Pleasure

(8)

Of Friendship

(9)

Of the Relation

(10)

the Nature of Politics

'

Thought in
'

190
191

of

Man

....

192

193
193

relation to the

Moral Nature

193

/ipB)
197
of Ignorance to

Of the Excellence

of Philosophy

Vice

197

198

THE ESSAYS.

XXXI
PAGE

Metaphors and

Illustrations

Aristotle's Dissent

Plato's

System

of

'

borrowed from Plato

from the System of Plato

Aristotle's Rejection of this as a Principle for Ethics

His Arguments against

Aristotle's Early Polemic against Plato

His Analytic Tendencies


of Ethics

His Tone and Style

of

Writing

The End-in-itself

of

205

208
209
213

.216

..217

Mhics of Aristotle.

Forms
.

.221

221

.221

220

Application of the Final Cause to Ethics

End-in-itself of

IV.

General Doctrine of the Four Causes

The

Speusippus, Eudoxus, and

Meaning and Application

diflferent

204

..215

Importance, in his System, of Scientific

Ends

200

.214

Introduction by Aristotle of Scientific Phraseology

Ethical

the Philosopliical Formulce' in the

(i) Tt'Aos, its

ESSAY
On

from Theology

Characteristics of the Platonists

Xenocrates

......

Unfairness of these Arguments

His Separation

as a Metaphysical Principle

it

199

.....

Good

Plato's Doctrine of the Idea of

and Import

Ideas,' its Origin

199

222

from Physical

223

Moral Action

224

Thought

228

........

Difficulties regarding the End-in- itself in relation to Consider-

ations of

Time

229

General Aspect of the Theory


(2) 'Evepycta, its

230

Meaning and Application

.231

..........

Philosophical Doctrine of 'Evepyeia


Its Origin

Its Universal Application

How it comes into Ethics


How it is applied to express the Moral Nature
Its New Import in relation to the Mind
.

Its

Use

in the Defijiition of Pleasure

233

234

.237

Man

of

231

238
243
(247

CONTENTS OP

XXxii

FACK

Its

Use

Happiness

in the Definition of

Meaning and Application

(3) Me(roTi?s, its

.250

Its

254

Adoption by Aristotle

Relation of

/tetronys to

255

Xoyos

Formula as a Principle

Criticism of the

252

.252

History of the Doctrine traced from the Pytliagoreans


Its Development by Plato

of Ethics

257

.258

express Will and Action


263
(4) The Syllogism as applied to
the
treatise
On
in
the
Statement of the Practical Syllogism
.

Soul

~.

Exposition of the Doctrine in the Peripatetic treatise

Motion of Animals
Its Application in

268

V.

and Theological Ideas in

the Physical

264
267

ESSAY

263

the

Mh. VI. and VII

Criticism of its Value

On

On

the

Ethics of Aristotle.
Necessity of seeking Aristotle's Opinions on Questions which

he excluded from his Ethical Treatise

tion of his Writings


Aristotle's Metaphysical

Aristotle as a Physicist

His Conception
Its Relation to

of

Intelligence

and Design in Nature

Relation of

Man

Expressions relative to

Account

Its Relation to the

of the

of

God

Human
.

Its partial Independence of the

Soul

Body

285

290

295

.296

280

.292

...
.

278

.288

.282

Doctrine of the Active and Passive Reason

272

-279
.

271

-277

in the Ethics

Theology as a Science

God

Body

of Composi-

Nature as a Whole

His Reasonings upon the Nature


Aristotle's

Chance and Necessity

to

Mode

System never completed

Nature

Aristotle's Conception of

........

Considerations deduced from the Order and

297

.298

THE ESSAYS.

XXXIU
PAGE

.........

Deduction from this made by Averroes

And by

Grote

Indeterminateness of Aristotle's

lost

Dialogue Eicdemus

299
299

own Expressions on the Sub-

....

ject of the Immortality of the Soul

His

The Ethics uninfluenced by any regard

ESSAY

to a

Future Life

300

301

302

VI.

The Ancient

Stoics.

....
....

34

........
......
........
..........
.........
.........

308

Characteristics of the Post- Aristotelian Philosophy

Predominance now given to Ethics


Causes of this

305

306

Chief Cause of the Peculiarities of the Stoical School to be

sought in the Race of

The Early Stoics almost


The Semitic Spirit

its

Founders

307

Semitic Race

all of

Contrast between Stoicism and Epicurism

309

310

Three Periods of Stoicism


(i)

312

Formation

Zeno

312
312

Cleanthes

313

Chrysippus

Relation of Stoicism to Earlier Philosophy

....

Stoicism and Cynicism

The

Formula

Stoical

Adoption of

this

of

'

317

Life according to Nature

319

Formula by Bishop Butler

Stoical Ideal not of the Past

The Ideal Wise Man


The Idea of Advance
'

315

316

'

320
.

321

322

...

324

'Duty'

The

324

Stoical Cosmopolitanism

The Theology

of the Stoics

...

The

Hymn

The

Stoical Necessarianism

The

Stoics

and Popular Religion

VOL.

I.

of Cleanthes
.

326
.

327

328

...

330
332

CONTENTS OF

Xxxiv

PAGE

333

Life
Their Platonising Visions of a Future
Suicide
Their Exaltation of
Promulgation. Stoicism reacting on the East

334

335

(2)

Its Influence

336

among the Jews

337

Traces of Stoicism in Ecclesiastes


Its Influence

on

St.

Stoicism brought to
Pansetius

Posidonius

Paul

337

Rome

340

....
.

342

343
344

Household Philosophers
Philosophy among the

Romans

345

Transient Influence of Epicurism on the


(3) Stoicism in

Characteristics of

Seneca

Roman World
Roman Stoics

the

348

....
......

Self-discipline

354
357

Modern Times

to Stoicism

364
366

370

371

ESSAY

VII.

the Relation of Aristotle's JEthics to

Modern Systems.

.....

Aristotle's Ethics soon superseded in the

Aristotle in the Middle

358
360

Merits and Defects of Stoicism

On

353

...

of

35

....

Marcus Aurelius
Stoicism and Roman Law
Debt

348

His Utterances on Sin and Human Corruption


His Views of Death and Suicide
Epictetus

347

His Didactic Turn


His Moralising and

Romans

Ages

Ancient World

372

374

Fresh Start of Ethical Philosophy after the Renaissance

377

Modem

377

Ethical Questions.

The Ground of Action


Modern Ethical Systems

Free-will and Necessity

378

full of

Psychology

The Casuistry of Modern Times


Recent Discussions on the Origin

of the

Moral Faculties

379
380
381

XXXV

THE ESSAYS.

PAGE

The Theory

of

'

Evolution

'

382

..........

Contrast between Aristotle and the Materialists of the Present

Day

Humanity
This contrasted with the Views of Aristotle
The Comtist Religion

of

'

'

383

384

386

Fundamental Differences between Aristotle and Modern


Systems of Ethics

387

Modem

Survival of Aristotle's Terminology in

Why

the Ethics of Aristotle are

still

worth studying

APPENDIX
On

the Ethical

Was

he a

'

Dogmatic

Modem

the

are mentioned

VII.

i.

Dialogues

...
.

'

Exoteric Discourses
.

'

395

397

.398
.401

Exoteric Discourses

'

.402

.........

contains a

Fragment

of one of Aristotle's

General Conclusions with regard to the whole Question

APPENDIX
On

392

B.

Examination of the Passages in which

Politics

389

'EHOTEPIKOI AOrOI.

Controversy on the

Theory of Bernays

APPENDIX
On

388

Method of Aristotle.

....

"I

A.

His own Discussions on the Logic of Ethics

His Actual Procedure

Language

406

.407

C.

the Political Ideas in the Ethics of Aristotle.

Slight Influence

of Political

Views on

Aristotle's

Moral
4^0

System
His Conception of the State a Background to his Ethics

His virtual Separation of Ethics from

Politics

412

413

ESSAY
On

Nicomachean

the

I.

Ethics, in relation to the other

among

Ethical Writings included

the

Works of

Aristotle.

rilHE

question of the genuineness and of tke literary clia-

racter of eacli of the several works whicli have

-*-

down

to us under the

name

come

of Aristotle, has been mooted

and discussed with increasing earnestness during the

By

half-century.

the diligence of modern

most part Germans, the whole


Byzantine,

Alexandrian,

critics,

field of Classical,

last

for the

Patristic,

Jewish, and Scholastic

Arabian,

literature has been searched, and every fragment, reference,


allusion, or mention,

however incidental, everything in short

bearing even remotely on the question, has been carefully


collected

and brought

to light.

say, in brief, that the general

show

first,

all

this labour

we may

outcome and result has been to

that external authorities are seldom in them-

selves decisive, but require to

each other,

Of

be checked in comparison with

and to be weighed against internal evidence;

secondly, that

many

of the problems

which have been started

about Aristotle and the Aristotelian writings cannot be resolved with certainty, and

indeterminate

must be

thirdly, that these

left

in the region of the

problems are

for the

most

part comparatively unimportant, as for instance those relating


to the character of the

VOL.

I.

'

lost writings

'

of Aristotle, or to the

ESSAY

I.

particular
genuineness of some of the smaller treatises or of
genuine
to
be
portions of works otherwise acknowledged

that

fourthlij,

a general

consensus

and nothing

ratifies,

seriously impugns, the belief, that in the leading portions of

the great treatises which

make up our

edition

'

of Aristotle

'

possess the thought of the philosopher pretty nearly in

we

the form under which

it

came from

given originally either to his

The

among
way

several

'

own

'

exemplify in a remarkable

above-stated conclusions, and an examination of

the

them, with the assistance of


internal

which we find included

ethical treatises

the works of Aristotle

own mind and was

his

disciples or to the world.

or

external,

all

serves to throw

whether

clues

available

an interesting

upon the philosophical history of the Peripatetic

light

School.

But, in order to the due conducting of such an examination,


will

it

sum up and

be necessary beforehand to briefly

writings

of Aristotle in general as bear

set

upon the

forth the results of such parts of the controversy

upon the

special

which we

questions, with reference to the ethical treatises,


shall find before us.

With regard

to the personal life of Aristotle,

for present purposes to observe that

certainty

two

(B.C. 322),

points,

it is

we know with

namely, that Aristotle died

being about 63 years

old,

and that

Athens.'

Holding to these points, we may

tolerable

01. 114. 3

for

previous to that date he had held a school in the

enough

13 years

Lyceum

at

for the present

leave in abeyance the various questions which have been

See an extract from the Chrono-

logy (XpoviKck) ot ApoUodorus, given


by Diogenes Laertius (v. i. 9). This

ApoUodorus has been generally considered a trustworthy authority, but


of late doubt has been thrown

upon
his statements regarding Aristotle by

Valentine Eose,
dates

given

who

above

mentioned,

filling

in of

V.

treats

all the

by him, except tbose


as

the mythical

what was really blank


Hose de Arisiotelis Uhrorum ordhie

et auctoritate.

Berlin, 1854.)

THE WOKKS OF ARISTOTLE.


mooted about other parts of the

life

of Aristotle,

as for

instance whether he passed an irrggular or a steady youth

whether he began the study of philosophy early or

late

whether he was really a disciple in the school of Plato


twenty years, or

and

critic of Plato's writings,

for

was only a reader

for a shorter period, or

and an occasional hearer and

personal friend of Plato himself; whether he 'tried his 'prentice

hand

weak

in philosophy

'

by writing dialogues

imitation of Plato's

manner

of writing,

in

somewhat

and whether

the dialogues of this kind which Cicero read and admired

were really written by Aristotle, or were

either one

way

These

all forgeries.

and other questions of the kind might

all

be answered

or the other without affecting our

on the ethical treatises which have borne the

judgment

name

of

Aristotle.

With regard

we may

to the literary career of Aristotle,

admit that we have no certain information.

But the general

opinion has been that those of his works which have been
preserved were
his

life,

all

composed during the

last thirteen years of

when he was holding

his philosophical school in the

And, with regard

to the great majority of the

Lyceum.

extant writings of Aristotle, internal evidence


to this view.

quite

not opposed

For these books may be stated broadly to be

homogeneous.

They belong

to

mind.

Though most

of

philosopher's

is

freshness of original speculations


are expressed in a settled

and

one

period of the

them have
inquiries,

all

still

the

they

and peculiar terminology, which

must have been beforehand gradually formed and adopted by


their

author during a long

life

of thought.

It is only in

minute points that a development of ideas or of modes of


expression can be traced by comparing different parts of
these works with each other.
'

On

this point a

And

word or two

another argument for the

will he said in

Appendix B.
n 2

ESSAT

same hypothesis
so

is

I.

to be found in the unfinished character of

much that bears the name of Aristotle.


If we could fancy that Thucydides, instead

history of the Peloponnesian

War

of writing the

had undertaken to

alone,

narrate a dozen diiferent periods in a dozen totally separate

works, and had

and

left

these at his death almost

unpublished

all

in different stages of completion, but all indicating

openings the grasp which their writer had at-

their several

tained over each of the periods to be treated,

conceive

by

of such a result in history as

we should

would have been

analogous to the actual result in philosophy exhibited by the

We

works of Aristotle.

organic distribution of

see

here

vastness of conception,

human knowledge

into its

various

departments, the ground plan laid for the complete exposition

of these several departments, and then the

of each

indications of premature arrest stamped

But

great designs.
fail.

in one point our imagined parallel

composing books within his own study

him

must picture
activity,

as

teacher,

results of
life

all

whose

we

rather

multifarious

whose inquiries and conclusions, original and

all

tentative as they often were, all

whose summings up of the

knowledge and thought, were in relation with the


of a school engaged in prosecuting

master's guidance the

To remember
ductiveness,

school

would

For Aristotle must not be represented as a man of

letters,

daily

upon many of these

same

under their

lines of philosophical speculation.

that Aristotle, during his great period of pro-

was not only writing but teaching, and that

was probably meant

some extent took

to

his

be associated, and actually to

part, in the composition of his works,

wUl

be an important element towards estimating the character


of his remains.
in the

We

shall return to this consideration,

meantime certain data

examined.

but

of external evidence have to be

THE STOEY OF STEABO.


The

of these

first

the celebrated story of the fate of the

is

writings of Aristotle, given

repeated by Plutarch.*

and MSS. of

by^Strabo/ and afterwards

first

This story

as follows

is

The

library

Aristotle came, at his death, into the possession

of Theophrastus (who continued for 35 years chief of the


Peripatetic School at Athens), and

when Theophrastus

died,

the whole joint collection containing the original works of

both philosophers, and


respectively bought,

friend

went by bequest to Neleus, a philosophical

and pupil of Theophrastus, and were by him carried

own home

to his

at Scepsis in the Troad.

after this occurrence, the

books

the books of others they had

all

for their royal

off

generation

kings of Pergamus began collecting

and the heirs of Neleus, in

library,

order to save the precious collection which was in their possession,

but of which they themselves could make no use,

from being seized and carried


in a cellar, where
for nearly

it

50 years.

off to

Pergamus, concealed

it

remained, a prey to worms and damp,

At the end

of that time, the Attalid

dynasty at Pergamus was at an end (the last of these kings,

kingdom

Attains, having died in 133 B.C., bequeathing his


to the

The then

Eomans).

and Theophrastean
fear

libraries,

possessors of the Aristotelian

having no longer anything to

their hiding place,

and sold them

for a large

licon of Teos, a wealthy

man, resident

tached to the Peripatetic

sect.

transferred, about the year 100

been

MSS. from
sum to Apel-

from royal requisitions, brought out the

lost to

the world for

at Athens,

The precious
B.C., to

87 years.

rolls

and

at-

were now

Athens, after having

They were found

to

be in very bad condition, and Apellicon caused copies of

them

to be taken, himself filling

up on conjecture the gaps

which now existed in the worm-eaten

'

Strabo, xiii.

i.

418.

text.

His conjectures.

Platarcli, Vit. Sullts,

c.

26.

ESSAY

I.

a bibliophilist
however, were infelicitous, as he was more of
Soon after his death, Athens was taken
than a philosopher.
by Sylla (86 B.C.), and the library of Apellicon was seized

by him and brought to Eome.


custody of

the

resident at

Eome

a librarian,

It

was there preserved under

and various

gained access to

literary

Greeks

Tyrannion, the learned

it.

MSS.

friend of Cicero, got permission to arrange the

and

Andronicus of Rhodes, applying himself with earnestness to


the task of obtaining a correct text and furnishing a complete edition of the philosophical

works of

Aristotle, arranged

the different treatises and scattered fragments under their

proper heads, and getting numerous transcripts made, gave


publicity to a generally received test of Aristotle.

The above

story comes mainly from Strabo,

who

gives

it

in his geographical book as a local fact in connection with

the town of Scepsis

he however mentions only Tyrannion

as having taken the

MSS.

tale in his life of Sylla,

in hand.

and adds the important

made by Andronicus.

recension

Plutarch repeats the

Plotinus, carries this

information

that Andronicus had

'

divided

fact of the

Porphyry, in his
still

further

by

life

of

stating

the works of Aristotle and

'

Theophrastus into systems (Trpayfiarsias), bringing together

under common heads the speculations that properly belonged


to the respective subjects.'

These various statements seem in their origin to

start

from the very fountain head of contemporary authority.

For

Strabo was a pupU of the learned Tyrannion, in Rome, about


the year 70

'O Se

(ppiffTov

B.C., or

little later.

TO 'ApLCTTOTeXovs
els

irpaynarelas

Kai 060-

Sif7>\.e

toj

There must then, beyond

of Plotinus, and that he thus -with


regard to them substituted a logical

oiKflas inro04<Teis els Taiirhv (Twayaycitv.

for

Porphyry says that he himself copied

the writings.

this procedure, in editing the

works

a chronological arrangement of

THE STOEY OF STEABO.

doubt, be an element of historical truth in the account

all

which he gives of the library of Apellicon, and which he

must

originally have got from Tyrannion himself.

the exact accuracy of

which Strabo says on

all

In the

cannot be depended on.

knew

only

But

still

this subject

first place,

even Tyrannion

the relations of Apellicon to the

MSS. which he

had bought in Scepsis, or the amount of alteration introduced by Apellicon into them, by a hearsay tradition going
back

for a period of nearly

twenty years.

probably wrote his account of


later,

and

all

Secondly, Strabo

many

these matters

years

without any notes of what he had heard in his youth,

his

Thirdly,

memory may

in

some points have played him

seems a striking instance either of this kind of

it

want

forgetfulness, or else of a

what had been done


should have omitted
nicus, of

false.

of thorough

knowledge as to

for the Aristotelian text, that Strabo


all

mention of the recension of Andro-

which such striking af&rmation was afterwards

made.

Tyrannion was the friend of Cicero, and

remarkable

it is

that Cicero should never in his works have referred to so

curious a literary anecdote as


Aristotelian

MSS., and

that of the finding of the

their ultimately being brought to

Rome.

But Cicero evidently knew very

He had

in the library of his Tusculan Villa"

works of Aristotle as we

at present possess

copies of the recension of Andronicus, but he

studied them.

When

of Aristotle.

little

some of the

them, possibly

had not

his friend Trebatius asks

the Topics of Aristotle were about, Cicero advises

own

interest

'

'

him

'

for his

to study the book for himself, or else consult

a certain learned rhetorician.


pelled

really

him what

Trebatius, however,

by the obscurity of the writing, and the

Cicero, Topica

i.

i.

De

Finihus,

v.'

v.

is

re-

rhetorician.

(written 45 and 44 B.C.)

ESSAY

I.

wlien consulted, confesses his total ignorance of Aristotle.


Cicero thinks this no wonder, since even the philosophers

know hardly anything about him, though they ought


'

to have

been attracted by the incredible flow and sweetness of the

He

diction.'

then proceeds to give Trebatius a summary of

a few pages of the Topics of Aristotle, which he had appa-

up

rently read
'

sweetness

for the occasion.

'

Dialogues which

torical

Cicero's

remark about the

of Aristotle's diction entirely refers to the rheexisted

numbers

considerable

in

under the name of Aristotle, and which Cicero often quotes.

Whether
but at

all

all

any of these were genuine, may be a question

or

events they bore only a slight relation to the real


Cicero referred to by name, and

philosophy of Aristotle.

probably possessed, the Nicomachean Ethics

whether they were by the father or the son

he
;

doubted

but he mis-

quotes them, and has only superficially studied them, for he


praises

them

tune.

But

as

making happiness independent

of good for-

Cicero was only superficially acquainted with

if

Aristotle's greater works, he at all events possessed copies of

some
being

of

them

lost

and

if

these had been works which, after

by a strange destiny

been recently brought to light and


lished, Cicero could hardly

nearly 200 years, had

for

for the first

time pub-

have failed to make mention of so

striking a circumstance.

The reason why Cicero did not

tell

the tale of the fate of

the writings of Aristotle, was, that there was no tale to


It is a point of very
stotle, containing, it

tell.

minor interest that the library of Ari-

may

be, the original

autographs of his

works, was bequeathed by Theophrastus to Neleus (that this

was the

fact is corroborated

who has

preserved the Will of Theophrastus)

collection
cellar,

went

by Diogenes Laertius

to Asia Minor,

(v.

and that

52),
this

and was stowed away in a

and was ultimately brought back by Apellicon, and

so

THE STOEY OP STEABO.


gradually got to Eome. All this tHere
it is

of interest for bibliophilists

Very

importance

different in

is

no reason to doubt, but

ratb^ than

for philosophers.

the assertion that

is

all

the

great works of Aristotle were, thirty-five years after his death,

and put out of

entirely suppressed
patetic School,

and a fortiori the

sight,

rest of the philosophic world,

knowledge of them, and that

lost all

and that the Peri-

it

was by the merest

chance that the Aristotelian system of philosophy, by which


the history of the Middle Ages and the forms of

modem

thought have been so profoundly influenced, were ultimately


rescued and brought to light.

But the

made

is

actually the one that Strabo

he added to his story of Aristotle's library in the

for

cellar of

statement

latter

Neleus an account of the consequences which ensued

to the Peripatetic School

saying that

'

the result was that

the earlier Peripatetics, immediately after Theophrastus, being

works of

entirely deprived of the

Aristotle, except a

few of

the more popular treatises, were debarred from systematic

philosophy and were reduced to rhetorical essay-making


while the later

members

been brought to

of the school, after these books

light,

though they knew Aristotle better

than their predecessors had done, were


to conjecture as to

most points of

multitude of errors which had

And

had

obliged to resort

still

owing

his system,

now

crept into the

to the

MSS.'

''

Plutarch, in repeating Strabo's story about the library

of Aristotle, reproduces also this corollary to


sised form,

saying expressly that

it

it

in an

empha-

was from no want of

personal zeal or ability, but from the want of the text of

'

Strabo,

I.e.

avvi^i]

T&v irepnrdruv, roTs

fj^ev

Se

Ik

rois

iriiKat

rois

juera @e6tppa(rToi/ ouk exovtrty SAcds

irpay/ji.artK&s

fj.7jSev

aWa

e;^eii/

tk

&i$\ta itK^v 6\lyuv Koi fidhio'Ta t&v


4^UTepiKuiv,

(ptXotrotlieTv

64ffsts \T]Kv6t^eiv

tols

(/>?!'

'

S'

Sffrepov,

cuf)'

ov

ir/JOTJA^ec, &fietvoy fiky

tA

fii$\la

iKsivuv

toSto

</>tAo(ro-

koL aptffTOTe\i^iVt ayayKd^etrOat

/xdyroi

ret

irKTJBos

ruv

ttoW^

eittdra Keyeiv Sta

afiapTiuy.

rh

ESSAY

10

I.

had

Aristotle's writings, that the Peripatetic School

previously-

declined.

Now,

statement be literally accepted, the conclusion

if this

drawn from

must be that the philosophy of Aristotle under-

it

went extreme risk

of total deletion

If

and annihilation.

it

be

and Plutarch would imply, that the library

true, as Strabo

purchased by Apellicon contained unique copies of

works of Aristotle except his Dialogues and popular


(which had been previously published),

all

the

treatises

clear that the

it is

merest chapter of accidents led to the resuscitation, arrange-

ment, and editing of

all

that

we now know

as

Works

the

'

of

According to this hypothesis, a few years more of

Aristotle.'

the cellar of Neleus and the work of obliteration would have

been completed

Aristotle's philosophy

would have been

and his Dialogues (genuine or spurious) alone preserved.

lost,

And

thus would have been brought to pass the saying of Lord

Bacon

that

Time

'

like a river, bringing

which are lighter and more

and

The

solid sink.'

stotle

what

inflated, lets

is

to us things

more weighty

story of the fate of the writings of Ari-

would thus be a strange eventful

interest in the history of

of the present

down

human

work the

story,

tale, full of

thought.

In a former edition

viewed under this

too hastily accepted and set forth.

light,

his exhaustive

relating

Aristotelian

to

review of

Griechen

attainable facts

all

during

literature

centuries and a half before our era,

was

But the publication by

Zeller of the third edition of his Philosojphie der

(1879) and

romantic

the

last

two

show that such a fancy

is

untenable, and that the philosophy of Aristotle was exposed

to

no such

MSS.
of

peril as

of his great

them

all

we have supposed

In proof of

for while the original

works were mouldering

were being used,

by philosophers

if

at Scepsis, copies

not by the Peripatetic School,

of other sects.
this point, after citing Chrysippus, Critolaus,

THE PERIPATETIC SCHOOL.

11

Herillus, Pansetius, Antiocliiis, Posidonius, Stilpo,

ance with Aristotle, Zeller


of Aristotle's works, as

list

and Her-

showed an intimate acquaint-

marclius, as pHlosopliers wlio

p.

(ii.

we

147-8) goes through the

possess them,

and

finds traces

of each in catalogues or references previous to the date of

And he

Andronicus.

winds up by saying,

'

Altogether out of

the genuine works in our edition of Aristotle there are only


those on the Parts, the Generation, and the Gait, of Animals,

and the minor Anthropological

treatises, of

which there are not

distinct evidences or highly probable indications that they


still

used after the removal from Athens of the library of Theo-

And even with regard to the works mentioned, there

phrastus.
is

were

no reason to doubt that they

prove

it

and

were used, only we cannot

also

this is not at all surprising

when we

consider our

imperfect information as to the post-Aristotelian literature.'

Neither Diogenes Laertius nor any of the Greek Commentators on Aristotle makes any allusion to the supposed

temporary
born as

loss of his

late as

470

Only Boethius, who was

writings.

A.D.,

speaks of Andronicus as

'

exactum

diligentemque Aristotelis librorum et judicem et repertwem,'

but this phrase

may

very possibly have been based upon the

statements of Plutarch.
alone in their account of
that while the

away the

what happened, and we can now

see

part of their story, as to Neleus taking

first

library,

Strabo and Plutarch, then, stand

was probably correct enough

the second

part, as to the consequences of this to the Peripatetic School,

was a mere deduction grounded not on

We know that
phrastus,

fact,

but on fancy.

after the death of Aristotle, his scholars,

Eudemus,

Strato, Phanias,

and

others,

Theo-

were busily

engaged in editing his works or writing works of their

own on the same

lines.

And

it

is

in the highest

degree

improbable that in the thirty-five years, during which Theophrastus presided over the Peripatetics, they should have had

ESSAY

12

I.

no copies made of the more important treatises


phrastus himself,

showed great

who in

or that Theo-

his Will (see Diogenes Laertius, v. 52)

solicitude for the School,

their gardens, their houses,

and

their

bequeathing money

for

museum, should have

alienated (as Zeller says) their most indispensable treasure,

the writings of their master, unless they had been well pro-

That there was a rapid

vided with copies of those writings.


decline, almost a

sudden

collapse, of the Peripatetic philosophy

soon after the death of Theophrastus,

was a

fanciful deduction

was a

paralysis of the school caused

is

true enough, but

it

on the part of Strabo to say that this

by the

loss of the

works

of Aristotle.

One point

who

certainly

an equal
patetics,

to

to be

remarked

had not

deterioration.

they

is

lost the

And

that the Academic School,

works of Plato, exhibited


with regard to the

Peri-

showed from the very outset a tendency

abandon what was deepest, most systematic, and most

philosophical in the

thought of Aristotle, and to go

off

in various d^"rections of more popular and easy modes of

Thus they followed

thinking.

impulse into

many

out

fields of inquiry,

without

to a central philosophical point of \Iew.


'

problems

'

inductive

Aristotle's

much

reference

They

collected

with their answers, such as could be given

and

they contributed monographs on special questions.

The

Charaderes

suc-

cessor, are

Some

of

Theophrastus himself, Aristotle's

first

an instance of observation without philosophy.

of the School were content with producing

of Aristotle's treatises.

compendia

Others resorted to the rhetorical

sermonizing attributed generally to the sect by Cicero and by


Strabo.

There seems every reason to believe that after the

death of Theophrastus the Peripatetic School had comparatively poor


all

and unworthy adherents, while in the meantime

the philosophic ability round the

^gean

Sea was throw-

THE PERIPATETIC SCHOOL.


ing

itself

into

13

following the fresh

impulse of either the

The

later Peripatetics can-

Stoic or the Epicurean tenets.

not be justified by the theory of Strabo any more than the

In the

earlier ones.
stotle, as

those

lacunce

MSS.

In the second

Athens were unable

properly understand, the text


it

damp which Strabo

rescued by Apellicon.

place, if the Peripatetics at

was

exhibit any decided traces of

caused by worms and

attributed to the

works of Ari-

place, the greater

first

we know them, do not

when brought

to restore, or

to light,

how

that Andronicus some fifty years later was able to

bring out a lucid and trustworthy recension

Either he must

have had other copies of the Aristotelian writings at his

command (which

the Peripatetic School might equally have

obtained) to collate

MSS.

with the

was an able man competent

of Apellicon

the other professed adherents of which had lost

and

all

or

he

else,

to edit a system of philosophy,

power of understanding

all

hold of

it

it.

Andronicus of Ehodes was the tenth Scholarch of the

Of his

Peripatetics, in succession to Aristotle.


is

known, so we cannot

tell

life

very

little

whether he resided and taught at

Rome, because that was now the metropolis of the world and
offered better chances of

than the Provinces,

employment, even to philosophers,

or whether he followed thither the

library of Apellicon, in order to use

it for

At

projected edition of Aristotle.

all

the purposes of his


events there

doubt that Andronicus, about 50 years

Eome the first collective edition of


And there seems equally no doubt
recension of Andronicus

Grote called

it,*

is

B.C.,

'

produced at

the works of Aristotle.


that the epoch-making

identical with

in contrast to

no

is

'

mir Aristotle

'

as

the Aristotle of the Catalogue

namely, the catalogue of the Aristotelian writings given by


Diogenes Laertius in his Lives of
Aristotle,

by George Grote,

the Philosophers (v.

&c., 1872, vol.

i.

p. 45.

i.

12).

ESSAY

14

Of the age

I.

of Diogenes Laertius notliing certain

is

known

he was at least as late as the end of the second centniy

and may have been considerably


nation of his work shows

him

But

later.

A.D.,

internal exami-

mere thoughtless

to have been a

compiler from the works of others, without criticism or suf-

knowledge

ficient

His

a farrago of gossiping

of

consists

for his task.

Life

'

of Aristotle

statements

of some

dates from the Chronology of Apollodorus (which are really


valuable)

of fragments of verse attributed to Aristotle

of a

chapter of Aristoteliana or pithy sayings of the philosopher,

which have nothing Aristotelian about them


Catalogue

and of an attempt

of Aristotle

Diogenes

number

of the celebrated

of the most ludicrous misrepresentations.

full

that

says

at a sketch of the philosophy

composed an extraordinary

Aristotle

of books, the titles of which he has determined to

transcribe,

on account of their author's excellence in every

He

subject.

then gives his Catalogue, enumerating

distinct titles of works, divided into about

400

we

are

sections.

The

'

Aristotle

'

with which

consists of about forty works,

number
works

'

books

146
'

or

acquainted

and these are not only fewer in

than, but also apparently diflPerent in kind from, the

specified in the Catalogue.

We

know

only

Aristotle

as the author of systematic treatises (TrpayfiaTSi&v)

on the

great branches of philosophy


politics,

ethics,

natural

together in continuous

logic, physics, metaphysics,

systems, just

Porphyry they came forth from the


nicus.

But the

'

These

history, &c.

as

we

editorial

Aristotle of the Catalogue

are
are

massed
told

by

hand of Andro'

appears as the

author of a great number of smaller works discussing special


questions, rather than as the composer of great philosophical

systems.

Again, a large number of the works in the Cata-

logue are evidently quite difierent in form from the writings

which we are accustomed

to attribute

to Aristotle.

For

THE CATALOGUE OF DIOGENES.


such

instance,

Rhetoric

Lover
of

'

'

'

'

names

Sophist

as

;
'

'

NerintLus

'

Menexenus

-j^

;
'

'

'

15

Gryllus,

Symposium

or

on

'

The

;
'

Alexander, or on Colonies,' &c., remind us at once

the Dialogues

and we

of Plato,

see

that

here are

enumerated some of those half-rhetorical writings, which


whether they were

forgeries, or

were really the crude philo-

sophic essays of Aristotle written in popular and

form

were

dialogic

and admired under the name of

certainly read

by some not very discriminating generations of

Aristotle
antiquity.

When we
Catalogue
believe,

ask,

what

the origin and authority of the

is

Diogenes?

of

seems not unwarrantable

it

with Grote, that this catalogue contains the

the books existing under the

name

dria, or
B.C.

made by

by

that

found

of

B.C.

that

it

was

Callimachus, the chief librarian at Alexan-

his pupil

it

titles

of Aristotle in the Alex-

andrian Library during the third century


originally

to

Hermippus, between the years 240-210

its

way

into

some biography of Aristotle,

and was thence mechanically copied by Diogenes, in ignorance


or disregard of the edition of Andronicus.
so far as to

say,

with Valentine Rose, that

enumerated in this Catalogue and

monographs executed during

may even have been

sophical essays

by himself

all

Many

of Aristotle were forgeries.

others

We need not

of

stUl

'

lost

works

them were probably

his lifetime

earlier

the works

all

the so-called

go

by

his disciples

and more popular philo-

more probable

is

it

that a

large proportion were small works, either epitomizing separate

parts of his system, or stating separate ideas belonging to his

system in rhetorical and sometimes in dialogic form, which

were composed after his death, and which in good


or at

all

with the

faith,

events in unconsciousness of fraud, were inscribed

name

of Aristotle

by

his well-meaning followers.

It

seems to be indicated by the Catalogue that such as these were

ESSAY

16

I.

the kind of writings which the Peripatetic School, before

had been dead

Aristotle

Thus copies of them were multiplied

exclusively to care for.

and became available

had come almost

for forty years,

for the

Alexandrian Library; and as

they were a class of literature comparatively easy of imitation,


a considerable crop of pure forgeries

grown up and have gone

may

Aristotle's reputation with the ancients as a

writer,

the author of 400 books

While there

is

very likely have

Hence

to swell their number.

most voluminous

a great, almost total, discrepancy between

the Catalogue of Diogenes and

'

our Aristotle,'

would be a

it

mistake to suppose that the Catalogue leaves the impression


that none of the Aristotelian philosophy, properly so called,

had reached the Library of Alexandria.


almost

all

On

the contrary,

the existing treatises of Aristotle seem to be there,

only with a diiference as to form or number of books.


instance,

we

and two

find

of Posterior Analytics.

mentioned, and these

may

IV.,

Of

Ethics, five

books are

possibly correspond with

on the

Aristotle first accomplished


II., III.,

For

mention of nine books of Prior Analytics

subject, namely.

and X. of the Nicomachean

what

Books

I.,

Ethics, the treatise

on Friendship (Books VIII. and IX.) having been written

and Books V., VT., and VTI. having been

later,

In

even at his death.

have the

first

'

left unfinished,

Rhetoric two books

'

we perhaps

part of Aristotle's existing BJietorio, of which

the third book was probably written after an interval.


find

two books on

Discourse,

There

is

Politics

and nine books of a

which may or may not answer to

'

our

a book on Various Meanings of Words

Koa-a'xSss Xsyofisvcov)

We

Political
'

Politics.

(irspl

twv

answering to Metaphysics Book IV.

There are several books on Syllogisms, Definitions, Commonplaces (roTToi), and other logical matters

books on Pleasure,

the Voluntary, Friendship, Justice, the Art of Poetry, &c.

On

ARISTOTLE S LIGHTER WORKS LOST.

And

Animals nine books.


a-vvaymj^, or

now

Aristotle's

17

lost

The

of Systemsmof Rhetoric, and

Collection

X.

Constitutions of 158 States, perhaps referred to Eth.

Not a

Ts'x^vwv

ix. 23.

and exoteric works

single one of the dialogues

mentioned in the Catalogue, and often quoted by the ancients,

now

The specimens of these writings which

remains.

in quotation

what was
interest

is,

seem

show that in losing them we have

to

what were the causes that produced

plete extinction

And,

in

answer to

lost

One question

of comparatively little worth.

exist

this, it

their

of

com-

seems a highly

probable conjecture to attribute that result in the

place

first

to the entire exclusion of the whole class of exoteric writings

his edition of the works of Aristotle.

by Andronicus from

If our edition of Aristotle corresponds with that

Andronicus,

and

it

is

clear that these writings

a remarkable fact

in

the time

'

Dialogues of Aristotle

of Andronicus

and long

Cicero, the friend of Tyrannion, speaks

thusiasm and quotes them.

made by

were excluded,

that this should have been

Plenty of the so-called

the case.
existed

is

it

And

yet

of

him.

after

them with en-

when

Andronicus,

endeavouring to form a complete edition of the works of


Aristotle, appears sternly to
fact that

was the

he did

have excluded them

so, his

him

to set

down

ductions, even

if

critical

by

judgment

these writings as forgeries, or else, his

condemned such merely

philosophic taste

it

motive for doing so must

have been one of two things: either his


led

If

all.

pro-

rhetorical

Aristotle himself, as unsuitable to form

part of an edition which was to comprise only systematic


treatises.

However

this

may have

been,

it

seems credible

that the edition of Andronicus had a great deal to do with

the preservation of all the works that were included in

with the loss of

all

those that were not so included.

it,

and

Perhaps

copies of the entire recension of Andronicus, stamped with

VOL.

I.

ESSAY

18

his authority,

I.

were placed not only in the

libraries of the

Peripatetic schools, but also in great public libraries

the private collections of rich men.

cohesive permanence

would

to this edition as a whole, it

would thus be given

come

and in

to be identified with Aristotle, while the outlying

scattered copies of the dialogues

inscribed with his name,

would be

and

and other smaller works


left

exposed to diverse and

uncertain fate, without sufficient prestige and guarantee to

keep them in existence.

Even

if

the hypothesis be admitted as probable that

copies of the great treatises of Aristotle, found in the library


of Apellicon, formed the basis of the edition of Andronicus,
still it

does not follow that Andronicus was confined to the

use of the

MSS. which had belonged

which had been


this
'

for

might lead

so long shut

to the inference

up

to Theophrastus

at Scepsis.

and

To admit

that nothing appears in

our edition' of Aristotle, which was not written within

thirty-five years at

most

after the date of Aristotle's death.

Internal considerations are, however, too

such a view.

And

it

much opposed

to

must be remembered that among the

contents of the library of Apellicon the

'

book-collector

were not only the Theophrastean MSS., but

there

'

also, doubtless,

a mass of other Peripatetic and miscellaneous writings, got

together from various sources.


torical, or

to have

Such of these as were rhe-

not in strictly expository form, Andronicus seems

rejected.

But there

is

reason to believe that he

admitted and incorporated with the genuine works others


which, though composed long after the death of Aristotle,

were yet written in close approximation to his philosophical


style

and manner.

We have,

of course, no

means of knowing

whether Andronicus, by including in his edition such works


as that

On

the Universe

and the Great

them, under the guarantee of his

Ethics,

own

meant

to

stamp

critical authority, as

THE EDITION OF ANDEONICUS.


genuine writings of Aristotle,

19

or whether he admitted these

and many other books and portionsof books merely


taining Aristotelian thought and as
of a system

If

which in

its

we take up the former

suitable

exposition had been

complements

left

incomplete.

we have then

supposition,

as con-

to

make

allowance for a considerable element of conjectural criticism


in the procedure of Andronicus, and

authority on such questions

is

we must admit

not decisive.

that his

But the

latter

We

know

seems the most credible of the two alternatives.

from Porphyry that Andronicus dealt somewhat freely with


the Aristotelian writings, rearranging them

and bringing

together under their proper heads discussions which before


existed

In several of the important

separately.

treatises

But

probably no such treatment as this was required.

we must be prepared

to find traces of the editorial

For instance,

almost everywhere.

it

is

a question

still

hand

how

far

the references from one part of the works to another which

appear ever and anon, are to be attributed to the editorship of


Andronicus, and to his desire to give solidarity to the system
as a whole.

And

at all events, such

works as the Prohlems

seem to exhibit decisively signs of having been put together


out of partly Aristotelian and partly un-Aristo-

editorially

telian materials.

In short,

it

appears most probable that

Andronicus in his edition aimed at giving the system of


Aristotle set forth in a clear recension of the genuine syste-

matic writings of Aristotle himself, slightly rearranged and


perhaps interpolated with references, but also complemented

with some of the more valuable remains of the earlier Peripatetic School.

From

these

the ethical
'

Works

machean

more general considerations we now turn

treatises

of Aristotle.'
JSthics,

the

to

which are found placed among the


These are four in number

Eudemian

the Nico-

Ethics, the Great Ethics,


2

and

ESSAY

20

the treatise

On

and

Virtues

most convenient to

state at

I.

may

It

Vices.

perhaps be

once the literary conclusions

have been arrived at with regard to these

which

several

works, and afterwards to show the grounds for them.


conclusions then are,
as a whole, the
self,

The

that the Nicomachean Ethics are,

first,

genuine and original work of Aristotle him-

though some special parts of them are open to doubt.

Second, that the

Hudemian Ethics

are the

work

of

Eudemus,

the pupil of Aristotle, written either during his master's


shortly

lifetime

or

entirely

on the Nicomachean

after

his

death

that they are based

Ethics, being a re-writing of

the system contained in the former treatise with some modi-

and

fications

additions.

Great Ethics

Third, that the

the compilation of some considerably later Peripatetic,

are

who

had before him the Ethics both of Aristotle and of Eudemus,


and who gives a

sort of abstract of the results of both,

but

on the whole follows Eudemus more closely than Aristotle.


Fourth, that the

men
went
the

little tract

On

and

Virtues

of those lighter Peripatetic productions,


to

make up

name

of the

Vices is a speci-

which probably

the bulk of that collection which went under


'

Writings of Aristotle

'

in the Alexandrian

Library.

The

first

point to be established

is

one on which general

external consent entirely coincides with internal probability

namely, that

the Nicomachean treatise

is

to

be preferred

above the Eudeynian, as well as above that called the Great


Ethics.

Neither by the Greek scholiasts, nor by Thomas

Aquinas, nor by any of the succeeding host of Latin com-

mentators has either of the two latter treatises been deemed

worthy of
been

illustration, while the

incessantly

commented

Nicomachean Ethics have

on.

This

tacit

distinction

between the three works was the only one drawn


days of Schleiermacher,

who mooted

till

the

the question of their

THE ETHICAL WORKS ASCKIBED TO ARISTOTLE.

He

relation to each other.

could not

all

21

pronounced that they

at once

belong to Aristotle, jbut by the irregularities

which were plain enough in the Nicomacheans and ISudemians he was unfortunately led to consider the Great Ethics

work and the source of the other

to have been the original

This conclusion, however, was set aside by the deeper

two.

by arguments drawn from

criticism of Spengel," who,

in-

ternal comparison of the three treatises, vindicated for the

Nicomachean

the place of honour, as having been

Utliics

the direct production of Aristotle, while the other two works

he showed to be respectively a copy, and a copy of a copy, of


the Ethics of Aristotle.
difference of style

The question

not one of a mere

is

indeed, the Peripatetic School had been

so thoroughly

imbued with the peculiar mannerisms

master

it

that

would

be hazardous

of their

pronounce upon

to

grounds of style alone whether any particular paragraph or


section of all that appears in our edition of Aristotle

But

from his pen or not.

came

in comparing the three Ethical

treatises with each other, we consider the organic structure

of each

work

as a whole

we

see

the

radical difference

between them in structure and aims, and then there comes


to light a

number

and reasonably
ceive

of

minor characteristics attaching to each,

to be connected with

must have been the

what we

are led to con-

original character of each, of the

three works in question.

The

Nicomachean

take

their

place

beside the great philosophical treatises of Aristotle.

This

work

at its outset

shape of a proem.

Ethics

naturally

shows the true Aristotelian note in the


in composing

The Peripatetic writers

their monographs, or their compilations from Aristotle with

Ueber die tinier

dem Namcn

des

Klasse

der

K.

Bay. Akad.

AristoteUs erhaltenen ethischen Schrif-

Spengel's theory

ien (in den Abhandl. der philos. philol.

accepted in Germany.

is

now

1841).

universally

ESSAY

22

I.

a foregone conclusion, were accustomed to plunge at once in

and without any general

res, witliout preface,

medias

ment of what

it

But with

without any gradual leading up to their subject.


Aristotle

it

was

different

or less carried out in

we

see in

all

him a tendency, more

undoubted writings,

his

mence each exposition of a


the

state-

was which they were about to discuss, and

com-

to

fresh branch of philosophy with

announcement of some pregnant universal

principle,

appropriate to the speculations which are to follow, and containing the

germ

many

of

them within

of

instance, the first sentence of the Metaphysics,


stinctively desire
'

knowledge

way

in-

of inference proceed from

pregnant opening of the Nicomachean Hthics


science, each action

men

All

The same manner appears

pre-existent knowledge.'

and

or of the Later Analytics,

'

All teaching and learning by

See, for

itself.

and purpose, seems

'

in the

'Every art

have some

to

good as

its object.'

step

an elaborate argument which resolves everything

in

practical into

This universal proposition

means or ends and

identifies the

or Happiness, with the end, or final cause, of

important conception of the

posed

and

consideration,

for

final

is

that

must be treated of by a

end

it

it ?

'

for the individual

and

is

first

Chief Good,
This

life.

all-

then pro-

life is

the question

The answer

science

to treat of

cause of

the

is

arises

What

given tentatively

sort of Politics

'

since the

for the State are identical.

This

answer belongs to the Platonic point of view, and shows that


ethics

had

separate

as yet not acquired

from

The

politics.

introduced by the words

'

in the act of working his

separate science of ethics.


tion

and the science which

to discuss to

an independent position as
however, here

qualification,

a sort of

politics,'

shows Aristotle

way towards the conception


Having posited
is

to treat of

some extent the method

it,

his

he

of a

main ques-

now

proceeds

to be employed, the

THE NICOMACflEAN ETHICS.


amount

of exactness to be expected, the kind of evidence

adduced

be

to

in

the logic of quasi-political, or

short,

And

ethical, science.

in so doing he follows the course else-

where practised by him, in commencing


remarks on the logic of the

different sciences

commencement

All then in the

Animals.

systematic, original,

is

By

character.

shall

come back

the meantime

the Parts of

of the Nicomachean

and methodical development the

regular

How

I.

by

as, for instance,

and thoroughly Aristotelian in

ground plan of the whole of the


pared in Book

his treatises
;

work On

see especially the introduction to his

Ethics

23

rest of the treatise is pre-

that plan was actually

to consider

we turn from

more particularly

up we

filled

hereafter.

the Nicomachean JSthics to examine in comparison with


characteristics of the other

In

the great Aristotelian prelude of

two Peripatetic systems of

it

the

ethical

philosophy.

The Uudemian'

Ethics commence, without any scientific

form of a literary essay, with the

preface, but rather in the

sentence
to

show

'
:

his

In the temple of the God of Delos, some one,

own

and the sweet,


subject,

opinion respecting the good, the beautiful,

that

these are not predicates of the same

has inscribed the following

of the shrine of Latona

'

to be just

'

Beautiful

'

Yes, but the sweetest for

'tis

verses on the vestibule

and

man

But we cannot agree with

best of all things to he healthy


is

to obtain his desires.

this person

for

Happiness

is

not

only the most beautiful and the best, but also the sweetest of
all
'

things.'

Some

The
This

to say,

questions are practical, others are merely speculative.

latter
is

The Eudemian writer then goes on


must be reserved

for their

own proper

the essential principle of our method.

question for us at present

is,

occasion.

The great

In what Good Living

consists,

ESSAY

24

and liow
or chance

to be obtained, whether

is

it

Very evidently

'

I.

by nature, learning,

exordium there

in this

is

the

beginning, not of any original philosophical investigation,

but of the exposition of foregone conclusions derived from

The idea of Happiness,

the Ethics of Aristotle.

good

man, and

for

its identification

attached to
results,

rately

it,

as the chief

as the leading topic for ethical inquiry,

with Good Living, and the predicates to be

are

here simply taken over, as established

from Aristotle who had worked them

We

by argument.

all

out sepa-

recognise the quotation which

is

here put so pompously in the forefront, as having occurred


in Eth. Nic.
tion

'

is

There, however, 'the Delian inscrip-

14.

I. viii.

only mentioned in passing as one of the

common

say-

ings with which Aristotle compares his definition of the chief

But here the

good.

writer, using the couplet with

more

circumstance, seems pleased to be able to add particulars

about the place where

it

was

This kind of ampli-

inscribed.

fication is very characteristic of the

Eudemian

Ethics,

which

often play a aseful part in furnishing learned references and

more

explicit quotations for the Nicomacheans.

For instance,

they give in amplified form the saying of Anaxagoras on

Happiness, and of Heraclitus on Anger;

and a corrected

statement of the doctrine of Socrates on Courage.'"

was of

little

moment

What

to Aristotle, carelessly introducing a

quotation to illustrate some argument, became of importance


to a writer

who was reproducing

ment the contents


For

of

in slightly altered arrange-

an Aristotelian

treatise.

this is in effect the nature of the

they are essentially a re-writing of the

Eudemian Ethics

Nicomachean work, so

that
'

ix.

On Anaxagoras

of.

12 with Eth. Eud.

Heraclitnis

Eth. Eud.

cf.
II.

Eth. Nic. x.
i.

Eth. Nic. n.

vii. 9.

On

ir.
iii.

4.

On

10 with

Socrates

cf.

Eth. Nic.
III.

i.

ll.cc.

13

III. viii. 6 with Eth. Eud.


and see notes on Eth. Nic.

infra.

THE EUDEMIAN ETHICS.


Books

Book

I.

and

II.

Mh.

correspond with

III. corresponds

with Eth.

Books IV. V. VI. are word

Nic.

1.

ffic. III. vi.

word

for

25

III.

v.

IV.

identical with Eth.

Nic. V. VI. VII. (a circumstance to be considered hereafter).

Book VII.

contains in a compressed form Eth. Nic. VIII.

and IX.

Book VIII.

is

a mere fragment, of which both the be-

ginning and the end are apparently lost.

new

It contains entirely

matter, namely some difficult questions (aTropiai) on the

possibility of misusing virtue,

fortune

and

as to the nature of

and a discussion upon the highest

excellence,

which

is

good

human

state of

here styled KoXo/cayaOia, or the union of

internal and external well-being.

Books I.-VTI. of the Eudemian

treatise generally co-

inciding with Books I.-IX. of the Nicomachean (or as


say, the Aristotelian) treatise,

and only the

last

Eudemian book showing a decided divergence from


type,

it

proto-

its

remains to be seen (leaving aside for the moment the

three books
diiferences

the

we may

fragmentary

common

what internal variations and

to both)

between the two treatises can be pointed out.

first place,

mian writer

is

then, the point of view

not so

much an

is different

investigator

and

In

the Eudediscoverer,

proceeding analytically, as an expositor, synthetically stating


conclusions previously arrived

at.

His subject

by means of materials

is

Happiness,

from

and he discusses

this

Aristotle's Ethics,

but in so doing he deserts the Aristotelian,

or scientific point of view


as a

mere word

he does not regard

to be explained

life

'

Happiness

by arriving at a conception of

the TsXstoTarov teXos or ultimate final cause of

by which alone

collected

human

life,

can be explained, just as every other

existence must be explained by

its final

cause.

Nor

does he

remain true to the Aristotelian conception of ivspyeia, by

which Happiness or the chief good

is

to be explained as the

ESSAY

26

I.

development into actuality of what

is

2-9), borrowing

them from

i.

viii.

He

man.

potential in

indeed uses these formulas (Mh. Eud.

I7-I9) U-

i-

do

Aristotle, but the conceptions

not influence his work throughout, as they do that of Ari-

Hence he

stotle.

is

not led, like Aristotle, to identify theo-

thought with the highest good for man.

retic

In the second place, the Eudemian writer having separated


subject from the metaphysical and logical grounds on

his

which

had been based by

it

that wider view under which


to politics, or the science

but as by nature the

Aristotle, separates
it

which

member

it

had been placed, as belonging


treats of

of a

man

not as isolated,

community.

Thus, in

borrowing from Aristotle the saying that the chief good

under

politics'

adding
'

'

he modifies this (Eth. Eud.

and economics and


of mind,'

states

i.

viii.

falls

'

17)

by

practical thought,' calling these

and thus showing that he had a quite

different conception

from that entertained by Aristotle

politics as the master-science for things practical.

with this writer

from

also

iroXiTiicrj

In

of

fact,

appears rather as the art of govern-

ment, than as a science in the proper sense of the term.

With

all

the borrowed plumes of philosophy which he so

often displays, this

writer

evidently treats

not in a strictly philosophical or


pirical,

spirit.

He

scientific,

represents in fact the

of

Happiness,

but in an em-

first

step of that

course of decadence which led the Peripatetic School ulti-

mately, as Strabo says, to mere moral essay-making devoid of


all

philosophy.

This writer has indeed taken merely the

step,

he

he

not able to keep up to the level of Aristotle.

is

is

himself far from being devoid of philosophy, only

very keen and penetrating man, and the author, as


see, of

first

many

He
we

curious investigations, so that he carries

is

shall

many

matters in ethical inquiry farther than they had been carried

by Aristotle; yet

still

he represents the commencement of

THE EUDEMIAN ETHICS.


The next thing

decline.
is

to be remarked about him,

in accordance with the preced^g,

all

he

philosophical,

is

i.

the

political

for their

own

religious in tone

where in discussing

v. lo,

men

(after Aristotle) the different lives that


'

which

that while less

instance of the manifestation of that

may be found Mh. Eud.

tone

is,

more moral and more

An

than Aristotle.

27

man, truly

lead,

he says

so called, aims at noble actions

This moral connotation given to the

sake.'

term iroXiriKos does not seem to be based on anything Ari-

But the most

stotelian.

striking feature of the

system occurs in Eth. Eud.

ii.

compared with the

v. i as

conclusion of the fragmentary Book VIII.


dissatisfied

mean

'

we

And

The writer appears

with the vagueness of Aristotle's formula for the

according to the right law and as the thoughtful

man would
'

Eudemian

define.'

He

says,

'

this is not explicit enough,'

require something definitory (ppov) to which to look.'

he announces this in the

preserved of his work,

'

last sentences

which have been

Whatever choice and possession of

the natural goods, whether bodily goods, or riches, or friends,


or whatever else, best promotes the contemplation of God,
this

is

But

if

best

and by no nobler standard can goods be judged.

any choice or possession, either through deficiency or

excess, hinders us from serving

bad.

The same

and contemplating God,


and

rule holds for the soul,

standard for the soul, that she should as

little as

cognisant of her animal half, in its animality.


for

it is

this is the best

possible be

So

far

then

the standard of perfection, and the object of this world's

goods.'

This elevated passage, which brings religion into con-

tact with

Upon a

human

life,

and

identifies it

subject not discussed

The words

'

by

with morality, enters

Aristotle.

serving God' (OspairevBiv rov 6sov) imply a

different conception of the Deity from what

tomed

to find in Aristotle,

we

are accus-

and the connection here made

ESSAY

28

I.

between moral virtue and theological contemplation is opposed to the broad distinction set up hj Aristotle between
speculation and practical

Eud. vn.

and

more

is

God more unreservedly than


where

X. 23,

like Platonism.

entertains the conception of the per-

The writer elsewhere


sonality of

life,

said that

it is

'

Aristotle.

God

See Eth.

content

is

if

he

receives sacrifices according to our means.'

may have been

It

Aristotle

to bring

one object in re-writing the Ethics of

them rather more

popular religious views

into

harmony with

but another object certainly was

that the writer might graft on to

them

additions and im-

In several points these additions

provements of his own.


are very evident and

we

theory of Aristotle.

The most conspicuous instance

kind

is

which
writer,

see a distinct advance

is

of this

to be found in all that relates to the moral will,

is

evidently a favourite subject with the

Eudemian

and the questions relating to which he had worked

out further than the point arrived at in at


earlier

beyond the

books of the Nicomachean Ethics.

psychological observation, which

is

all

events the

This writer's forte


quite in accordance

with the known tendencies of the Peripatetic School.

The

study of the phenomena of incontinence, or the wavering of


the will, has great attractions for him.

Even leaving

in

abeyance the question of the authorship of what stands as


Eth. Nic. Book

VII.,

we

find

the subject of incontinence

constantly brought in throughout the Eiidemian Ethics in

connection with other matters, from which

by

Aristotle.

In Eth. Eud.

11.

xi.

it is

kept separate

1-6 we find characteristic

remarks on the distinction to be made between virtue and


continence, and, on the province of the former to give or

preserve a conception of the end to be aimed at in action, of

the latter, to give or preserve a conception of the means

towards that end.

In

III.

i.

there

is

an excellent

re-

THE EUDEMIAN ETHICS.

29

statement of the doctrine of Courage, with, some interesting


after thoughts, e.g.

ger there

man

If the brave

'

4oes not feel the dan-

nothing very grand in his enduring

is

it.'

ill. ii.

improves the discussion on Temperance (i) by indicating

two separate meanings of the word aKoXacrros, uncorrected

'

'

and

'

incorrigible

(2)

'

by connecting the subject with the

discussion which appears in EtJi. Nic.

vii.,

and thus not

leaving the aKoXaaTOs of the table of the virtues quite cut


off

from the aKokaaros of the moral

that

among

will

(3)

by the remark

may

the pleasures not leading to intemperance

be reckoned Platonic love

o-^sms

(rrjv Sta rrjs

KaXcav dvsv eiridvfilas a^poBiaieov).

Great-

V. describes

III.

rSiv

rjhov-qv

souledness (fj,sya\o-f-vxM) as a correct judgment about the

great and small in


or

what

matters, whether of danger, or expense,

all

not, so that it implies all the virtues.

This

that independence of character includes

effect

goodness

all

is

view similar to that contained in Emerson's

essay on Self-reliance.

Besides Great-souledness and

extremes a fourth character

man, who, not having


overrates the merit

is

much

which he

here added,

that of the plain

has.

introduces a re-

vii. v. 5

Here

said that in friendship the opposite qualities to one's

sometimes loved for the sake of the mean.


love the opposite per accidens, the

Book VIII.
which

it

gives

two

its

merit, neither underrates nor

finement on Aristotle's doctrine of Friendship.

men

to the

kinds of

is

it

own

are

In which case

mean

essentially.

some interesting remarks on Good-luck,

divides into

two kinds

In the one case the man

is

unconsciously inspired by God, and thus acts on a right intuition

in the other case he blunders into success and suc-

ceeds against reason.

and
it

is

all

Finally, however, chance

choice of the right in us

asked, can

we

is

is

eliminated,

attributed to God.

How,

begin to think or resolve ? thought or

resolution cannot furnish the beginning to

itself,

this

must

ESSAY

30

come from God. The whole

We have

seen above

how

book

of this last

very religious.

is

the writer describes his culminating

quality of KaXotcarfiiOia, or
internal

I.

human

and external well-being,

perfection, as the

all

sum

of

tending to the service

and contemplation of God.


These are some specimens of the sort of variations from

and additions

to the Ethics of Aristotle,

which were intro-

duced by the Eudemian writer. With regard to his


manner, we notice in the

And

this is easily explain-

a strongly mannered style like that of Aristotle, in

which there was no attempt

was

and

place a very close approxima-

first

tion to the writing of Aristotle.


able

style

full of his

own

at elegance of form,

and which

peculiar terminology, was certain to take

hold of the minds of his school, and was

much more

likely

to-

be exactly reproduced by them than a style of lucid beauty,

would have been.

like that of Plato,

we imagine

tration, if

For the sake of

illus-

a set of thinkers and writers to have

been trained to think and express themselves after the manner of Mr. Carlyle,

it is

very easy to believe that the writings

of such a school would only have been distinguishable from

those of their master by a difference in the intrinsic force and

And

value of the thoughts expressed by them.

The Eudemian writer

with the Peripatetic School.

was

so it
is

more

distinguishable from Aristotle by the contents and character


of his thoughts, than

by

his

mode

of expressing them.

shows indeed a proclivity to indulge in abundance of


quotations,
Aristotle

and he quotes more

and he

fully

and

literary

explicitly than

remarkable, throughout his work, for the

is

constant introduction of logical formulas.

The term opos

denote definition, differentia, or standard of reference


peculiar favourite

with him.

iTrayayris to denote
aXTjOes

jjisv

He

The terms

BtjXov

Bia

to

is

rrjs

an appeal to observation, and the phrase

ovQev Se <Ta<^ES

('

this

may

be true, but

it is

not

THE EUDEMIAN ETHICS.


explicit') are of frequent recurrence.

The writing

marks.

Aristotle; in

many

But these are small

certainly less

is

31

than that of

clear

places the compression

is

excessive and

And

goes beyond the compression of Aristotle.

looking at

each book, or section of the subject, as a whole,

we miss any-

thing like clear plan and lucid arrangement.

Aristotle

remarkable

cular topic, working

out

each head, such as Virtue, the

Voluntary, Friendship, Pleasure, and Happiness, by


almost without reference

was

treatment he gave to each parti-

for the separate

the

to

rest.

But

itself,

follower

his

very naturally brings together results that Aristotle had


This would have been a considerable merit

left separate.

had the writer possessed the power of creating a


pression.

But

wonder that

clear

im-

he had not, and therefore we cannot

this

this second-hand

and touched-up system of

Aristotelian ethics should never have

shown any tendency

to

supersede the original work.

We have hitherto
for

seen the sort of grounds which there are

believing that the

Eudemian

Etides

were at

all

not written by Aristotle himself, who, indeed, with

events
all

that

he had upon his hands, was very unlikely to have rewritten


his

own

treatise in this

way.

We shall

now

see that there is

a certain amount of external authority, as well as of general

work was,

probability, in favour of the hypothesis that this


as its

name would

imply, actually written by

Eudemus

of

Rhodes, the chief disciple of Aristotle after Theophrastus.

Of the

particulars of the

life

of

Eudemus

little is

known, but

Simplicius" has preserved an important notice of him in the

shape of a passage from the work of Andronicus Rhodius


(the great editor) on Aristotle and his writings, which contains a fragment of a letter from Theophrastus to

Brandis, Scholia in Aristot., p. 404, b.

9.

Eudemus,

ESSAY

32

I.

MS.

in answer to a request for an accurate copy of a

5th

Budemus

quired by

same

in course of

records that

Asclepius'^

subject.

had committed

Metaphysics

his

Budemus, who was


which

MS. was probably


writing his own book on
This

of Aristotle's Physics.

Book

dissatisfied

Aristotle

re-

the

himself

in an incomplete state to

with the form of the work, by

publication was delayed, and

its

of the

was ultimately

it

completed out of the other works of Aristotle by his sur-

Ammonius"

vivors.

says that 'the disciples of Aristotle,

Budemus and Phanias and Theophrastas,


Simplicius

Analytics.'

On

wrote Categories, and

their master,

'''

rivalry with

in

Interpretation,

on the Physics says that

almost paraphrasing the words of Aristotle, lays

Of the writings
ancient Greek

Geometry,

Analytics,

On

Eudemus

of

authorities

On

We

Natural History.^^

and

Eudemus,

down, &c.'

it

the following are mentioned by

On

the

Angle,

History of Arithmetic,
Diction,

'

History

of

History of Astrology,

and perhaps a work On

Physios,

have abundant traces, then,

of

Budem^us working both as an editor of Aristotle and as a


partly paraphrasing

author,

quasi-original

Aristotle,

partly writing in contravention of Aristotle's views.

and

As

to

the authorship of the Eudemian JEthics the testimony of the


ancients
this

is

Some

divided.

Platonicus

^^

it

simply as

Brandis, Scholia in

lb. p. 28, note.

Aristot.,

'"

lb.

431,

Analytics, often

The

Thus Atticus

p.

a.

Aristot.

are given bj Eritsche in his edition


1851), Frol.

p. XV.

On

hand, Simplicius, on the

differing

Aristotle's.'

his edition

of Eth. Eud. (Eatisbon,

"

p.

'

(who lived in the 2nd century), adversus

519. b. 39-

'=

perhaps misled by

work having been placed by Andronicus in

of Aristotle, speak of

'2

authorities,

quotes

the

other

Posterior

Eudemus

as

from Aristotle.
authorities for these works

'=

fol.

Simplicius (on

the

Categories,

b.) in just

the

same way

43,

refers to

Eudemian

what

'

Aristotle says in the

Ethics.'

EUDEMUS OF RHODES.
apud Eusebium Prcepar.

JEvang. xv. 4, says,

of Aristotle on these subjects

and those

cheans,

petty, a mean,

33
'

The

treatises

the l^udemians and NicomaMhics


contain a

entitled the Great

all

and a vulgar conception of

Por-

virtue.'

phyry, in his Prolegomena, enumerates the ethical writings


of Aristotle as

'

those addressed to

Eudemus his disciple,

addressed to Nicomachus his father (the

and those addressed

cheans),
Little

(or

Nicomacheans).'

EvS'^fiia)

meant

Arab.

Hist,

(the

Eudemus, has been

thus

306,

p.

Eudemo

quaestiones minores

his son

This view, that 'Hdixa EuS^ytieta

ethics addressed to

sometimes followed in later times


Bibliotheca

Great Nicoma-

Nicomachus

to

those

inscriptse

mentions
;
'

in

Casirius,
'

his

ethicorum

and Samuel Petit

thought that this Eudemus was probably not the disciple


of Aristotle, but one of the Archons of Athens.

explanation of the

name

'

Great Ethics

Porphyry's

as

'

addressed to Nicomachus the greater,' that

the Ethics

'

to the father

is,

of Aristotle, as opposed to the ethics inscribed to

Nicoma-

chus the son, was probably a mere conjecture, based on the

assumption that

Eudemus and
'

instance to

And

it

'

Budemian and Nicomachean meant

'

'

'

There

to Nicomachus.'

justify this

'

all

is

adjectives.

nothing in the books

bears out the idea of their having

Such dedication was

been so addressed or inscribed.

hardly have inscribed to his son a

subject of which he says (Eth. Nie.


is

not a

On

fit

iii.

book upon a

5) that a

the other hand, Aspasius (On Eth. Nic.

Both Eudemus and Theophrastus


equal, friendships

well as

VOL.

I.

young man

student.
fol.

speaks of Eudemus as an original writer on ethics.


'

alien

And

from the mode of writing which we find in Aristotle.

he would

to

however, no good

interpretation of such

need hardly be said that there

themselves which at

is,

'

are

tell

141, a.)

He

says,

us that unequal, as

contracted for

the sake of

ESSAY

34

I.

The

either pleasure, utility, or virtue.'

Eudemus

concerned,

is

is,

reference, so far as

Mh. End.

to

And

vn. x. 9.

notable Scholium discovered by Brandis in the Vatican (see

on Eth. vn.

infra, note

conjecturally attributes the

2)

iii.

discussion on Pleasure which follows that on Incontinence to


as differing essentially from the doctrine of Ari-

Eudemus,

These

stotle.

are, it

must be confessed, meagre testimonies

in favour of assigning to

name.

But, after

all,

Eudemus

there

the JEthics which bear his

no one

is

can with any probability be assigned.

whom

else to

To have any

they

external

authority whatever in favour of an hypothesis so strongly

supported, as this
since

it

is

is,

by internal evidence,

is

a great matter,

clear that the world in general, during the first

centuries of our era, accepted whatever they found in the


edition of Andronicus as being the

We

now

will

glance

MsyaKa Magna Moralia,

the treatise

the writer says

ethics (vTTsp TfGiKwv),

moral character

sible to act

'

Since

we must

we purpose

first

as,

matters

consider of

For

for instance, goodness.

to act in political matters, to be

Therefore the scientific consideration of


irspl TO,

T^d-r}

7rpajiJ,aTia)

be called the etymological

up the etymology
and

of the

Now

word

on

what the
it

seems

not pos-

And

goodness

one ought,

good in character.

human

would seem to be a

fact the beginning, of politics.'

may

it is

to

without exhibiting some

consists in possessing the different virtues.


is

is

to speak

In a word, then,

(fiOos) is a part.

in political

moral quality,

one

The exordium

or Great Ethics.

to be a part of naught else but politics.

if

'HBiko,

entitled

work does not give a high expectation of what

of this
follow

at

work of Aristotle.

character
part,

(77

and in

This passage exhibits what


fallacy, for

^^t/ca,

the writer, taking

goes on to misapply

to speak as if first the moral character,

it,

and secondly

the scientific consideration of character, were identical with

THE
ettics.'^

'

GEEAT ETHICS.

35

Passing this over, we see that the intention

is,

though feebly executed, to reproduce the Aristotelian idea


of the hierarchy of the practical sciences, which

had endeavoured

and confused

But the statement here

no

modify by giving to ethics a more inde-

to

pendent position.

both shallow

is

adduced to prove that ethics

real reason is

a subordinate branch of politics

is

Eudemus

and we do not find any

further carrying out of this idea in subsequent parts of the

work.
This writer frequently employs formulse which wou.ld

imply a claim to independence of thinking, such as SoksI Ss


fioi,

At

&c.

other times he speaks as if representing the

Peripatetic School, as, for instance,


o)s

f)fji,els

a<f>opi^o/jLsv.

uniformly the appearance


sions

xxxv. 26, aXKa fiiXriov

But on examination

work presents

his

of a resuTne of foregone conclu-

drawn from both the Nicomachean and the Eudemian

Ethics.

The

have had not only

writer, however, appears to

these two treatises before him, but also some of the ethical

At

writings of Theophrastus.''

least it

seems reasonable to

suppose that there was some such source for the not unfre-

quent novelties which occur ever and anon throughout the


work, and which we shall

now

specify, together

with a few

other points which strike one as characteristic in reading

through the Great Ethics.

summary
I.

i.

10,

the

of
ii.

7-1

In

previous

1,

history

its

" His argument seems also to conpolitical matters (tci iroAiTi/tci)

with the science of politics

" Referred

to

(iroAiTiK^).

by Aspasius, see

above p. 32, and also by Cicero, Be


Finibus, v.

5.

Why

i.

we

4-1

of

moral

find a jejune

science

in

an expanded statement of the import of

the word ra^aQov, which in

found

i.

these writings,

arid logical clearness forms a

if,

as seems probable, they survived

to the

time of Andronicns, were not

included by him in his edition of the


Aristotelian works,

of knowing.

we have no means

ESSAY

36

upon

sort of scholium

moral meaning

is

burn

if

In

Aristotle.

that a

fire

supplied with fuel, but has no power of taking

no ivspysia, and the same

the case with the nutritive part

is

a restricted

as if implying

It is said,

(op/Mif).

fuel for itself; therefore it has

same

9-1

iv.

i.

put upon the term ivepysia,

self-determination and will


will

I.

view

restrictive point of

From

of the soul.

it is said,

v. 3,

i.

is

the

that no one

praised for being wise or philosophic, in short, that the

intellectual

Mh.

Nie.

(which

not virtues

are

qualities

opposition to

i.

20).

xiii.

i.

ix.

will to

be best, you can always will to be

better than you otherwise would have been.

Eudemus,

following

lays

direct

and argues that

free will against the doctrine of Socrates,

though you cannot

in

is

8-xi. 5 asserts

it

down

that a

rageous unless he fears while enduring,

xxi.

i.

man

12,

not cou-

is

xxxv. 26 gives a

i.

formula slightly different from that found in the two former


treatises,

aX\a ^sXriov

slvai TTjv

opfjLTjv TTjOos

patetic School

denoting
find this

'

'

this

the G-reat Uthies.

11.

time adopted the word

inclination,'

and

in constant
iii.

to fisra Xoyov

This shows that the Peri-

TO KoKov.

had by

impulse,'

word

d)s rjiisls a(f>opi^ofisv,

'

act of the will,'

characteristic use throughout

3-20 moots some new

difficulties

(airoplai)

on the nature of Justice and Virtue, namely

the just

man award

hrev^ei)
unjust

man

This

is

due to every one in

injures others knowingly,

is not.

If

arbitrating between the

much

the

he must know

the

(<j)p6vifM)s),

authority, since he is not

we cannot be
which should we select ?

them ?

virtue ?

just

and brave

Answer, virtue

opfiai.

which he

in depriving

fit

to possess

at the

same time,

Answer, ^povqais

<}>va-t,Kal

(tj}

If

Can we be unjust towards a bad man,

of rule and

Does

society

rather the part of the flatterer.

and therefore must be thoughtful

good,

him

his

opfxij

and we

will tell

Can we have

is fisa-oTTjs,

you,
too

we cannot have

THE
too
is

much

GEEAT ETHICS.

'

The account

moderation.

87

of pleasure in

vii.

ii.

taken from the treatise in Book VII. of Eth. Nie. but

improved from the

nature

pleasure

therefore their pleasure

<j)vais

and therefore bad.

word

(f>aijXos,

Some

of the argu-

worms and

verbal, e.g.

(lower creatures)

(j)av\a

Book X.

treatise in

ments on pleasure are

is

beetles are

a return to

must be a return

one's

to (j)av\r]

The argument here turns on the


To say that pleasure

used equivocally.

is

return or restoration (jcaTaa-Tacns) was Aristotle's earlier and


less scientific view.

Those who do not


all

things

ii. vii.

know

so also those

2 1 contains a novel illustration

who have only known

23 says that

sure,

n.

vii.

thing

all

to oneself, therefore

pleasure on account of
of good-luck in n.

objective from

its

viii. is

theological than his

nectar think wine the sweetest of


sensual plea-

jealousy to wish to keep a

it is

we must not argue

being shared by

all.

against

The account

taken from Eudemus, but

view.

is less

The author here distinguishes

subjective good-luck;

making the

unexpected turn in external things, the

first

latter a blind

an

op/xr)

within the soul to take the course which will turn out best.

Arguing against what Eudemus had

said,

he excludes the

idea of Providential interference from good-luck as

beneath the notice of the Deity.

summing up

In

11.

ix.

he borrows the

of the virtues in KoXoKaryadca from

Eudemus,

adding the definition that the koXos koi ap/aOos

whom

being

he to

is

the goods of the world (ra aifK&s a<^ada) are really

goods and

whom

they do not corrupt.

takes (against Eudemus) a

In

11.

xv.

3-5 he

positive view of theology, dis-

God

con-

and in the Great Ethics generally we

see,

missing as beyond solution the question whether


templates Himself.

In

all this

with some exceptions, a nearer

Eudemus than to

affinity to the point of

that of Aristotle.

In

view of

detail, that is to

say

ESSAY

38

I.

manner of treating the

in the order and

different subjects,

the writer follows the lead of Budemus, from

most of

his conclusions,

whom

he draws

appearing to use Aristotle rather

as an authority of appeal and a source from which to correct

At

Budemus.

Book

the beginning of

I.

indeed he seems

about to follow Aristotle, but afterwards he changes and

He

adheres closely to Eudemus.

judgment throughout in

selecting between these two,

in drawing from that other third source which

He

probable that he had before him.


less religious

own

certainly exercises his

is,

as

and also
appears

it

we have

than Eudemus, but, like Eudemus, he

seen,

more

is

practically moral and less philosophical than Aristotle.

striking instance of this

is

in

i.

i.

4-8, where he wishes to

confine the term svspysta to functions implying moral con-

He

sciousness and an act of the wUl.

uses

new psychological

terms to express the phenomena of volition, and asserts free


will

more dogmatically than Eudemus had done.

These

characteristics reflect the position of the Peripatetic School


at the

time when the work was written.

The evidences

decline in philosophy are manifold, but in this respect

it

of

must

be remembered that the Peripatetic School of this period


shared in a general change which was passing over the mind
of Greece

(see

mfra, Essay VI.).

The

transition to the

modern point of view, in which the moral

made the

central consideration,

ego

was now taking

was to be

place.

Zeno

arrived at Athens not long after the death of Aristotle, and


is

not impossible that by the time

written, even the Peripatetics

influence of his spirit.

the Great Ethics,

unknown

11.

In

xi. 7,

to Aristotle

and

the Great Mhics were

had to some extent

fact,

we

when

felt

the

Spengel points out that in

find a distinction

first

it

which was

introduced by the Stoics,

namely, that between (piXrjTov and ^iXrjrsov, ^ovXtjtov and

THE

39

ETHICS.'

This leads to the consideration of the time

^ovXtjtSov, &c.'^

when

GREAT

'

the work was written, but for even an

answer to

manner of the whole shows that the work

structure and

later

v-irsp

rjOiKwv instead of irspX ydiKa,

but, so far as the writing goes,

is

than the time of Aristotle, to which small

points of usage, such as

bear witness

The general

no data.

this question there are

compendium

approximate

been much later than Theophrastus.

it

need not have

Spengel, however,

thinks that the Ch'eat Ethics stand on the same level of data

and manner

as the treatise

On

One

probably a comparatively late composition.

must be made about the

final

namely, that

Ch'eat Ethics,

were written more than thirty-five years


Aristotle, that

which was

Universe,

the

remark

after the carrying off of the library of

is,

they

if

after the death of

Theo-

phrastus to Asia Minor, copies both of the Nicomachean and


the Eudemian treatise must have been

still

available to the

Peripatetics, else this dry compilation, based on the two,

could never have been written.^"


Besides the three treatises on Ethics,

the

Works

'

Whether

"

of Aristotle

Stoics) Th aiperhv
fjLep

yap

Kal

ftyal

(i.e.

the

rh alpereov

ayaBhv rh

alpereov Se w<p4\i^ov Trav

irav,

Siioias Se

Hal T^ fiev ctyaQa TrdvTa ^ffT\v uTro/ieceri


Kal

ififieyera

tA

Se u^f\tfia iravra

virofifveTa Kal ififieviT^a.


is

The above

given on the authority of Spengel,

but

does not seem certain that


may not have been aware of

it

Aristotle
this

Eth.

unimportant

alpni,
otr

10.

III. i.
.

voia

we

On

little tract

distinction.

vvv Se Kal
S' av-rl

^i^iOf airoBovyai.

Echff. Eth. n. 7,

Sia^epeiv 5e Keyovffi

alpeThf

ai/rl

See
TwvSe

iro'mv atpereov,

It

place

find also

Virtues

was included by Andronicus in

this

Stobseus,

Cf.

p. 140.

'

V. 4) the

and

Great Ethics quoted

virep$oK^

"Oti Se ^ cvSeia

^deipei,

K ruv ij6tKwy.

(TTiP

Vices.

used to be fancied that in one

(i.

7J

among

his edition,

the NicoTTiacheans.
Kal

and

tout' iSeTv

Spengel, how-

ever, acutely conjectures that the true

reading must be k tuv

which
says,

is

altrd-ija'eavy

confirmed by Stobseus,

who

with regard to the Peripatetic

ethics, irphs Se ri/v IvSeifiv

K TUP

ala'8'fjtj'eap

tovtuv tois

ftaprvpiois XP^^"^^^'

This writer then in the above passage


is

only paraphrasing, not quoting, Eth.

Nic.

II. ii.

6.

ESSAY

40

why ? we

if so,

un-Aristotelian
virtues
II.

and

but decidedly

It is a pleasing

tell.

In

production.

it

the names of the chief

vices are borrowed from Aristotle's list (Eth. Nia.

but they are not explained as mean

vii.),

excesses

cannot

I.

there

nothing said about their formation

is

and

are regarded externally,

an inductive or observant

their chief

spirit.

marks

The whole

and

states

they

are noted in

tract is in its

aims and manner a good deal similar to the Characters of


Theophrastus, and shows the same tendency of the Peripatetic

School to desert philosophy for physiognomical observation.


Plato's division of the soul into reason, spirit,

being accepted,
virtue of the

it is

first

here said that Thought

Temperance and Continence of the

the

of the second

Other virtues are

third.

then enumerated without reference to this


is

desire

(jppovrja-is) is

MUdness and Courage

and

It

classification.

said that of various kinds of Justice the

first is

towards

the gods, the next towards demons, the next towards father-

land and parents, the next towards the dead.

man

is

The Liberal

described as clean in his garments and his house,

given to collect curiosities and to keep animals which have

something peculiar or remarkable about them.


ness

(fiiKpo-^lrvx^ia)

is

well characterised as

as well as easily depressed

and

dent,

abject.

in

harmony with

which

itself,

is

feels quiet

and

is

elated,

said to create a

good

and orderly emotions,

the type of a weU-ordered

Such are the most noticeable

State.

easily

as petty, complaining, despon-

Virtue in general

disposition of the soul,


is

SmaU-souled-

features of this little

essay, which gives a specimen of the aftermath of Aristotelian


ethics, not necessarily later

From
back
is

to

than the time of Theophrastus.

these inferior Peripatetic works

we may now turn

examine the structure of that great

treatise,

which

our immediate concern, and which comes to us entitled

Nicomachean Ethics, or Ethics of Nicomachus.

Of Nicomachus

NICOMACHUS.
himself scarcely anything
XV. 2) quotes

is

inown.

41

Eusebius

the following notice

^rom

(Proe'p. lEvang.

the

Aristocles^'

Peripatetic: 'After the death of Pythias, the daughter of

whom

Hermeias, Aristotle married Herpyllis of Stageira, by

was born to him a son


left

Nicomachus.

This son

when

is said,

an orphan, to have been brought up by Theophrastus, and

The

a youth to have died in war.'

while

still

ever,

of the early death of Nicomachus, 'in war,'

of him

tradition,

by Suidas

hownot

is

consistent with the

notice

(suh

voce),

which speaks of him

as a philosopher, the scholar of

Theo-

phrastus,

and the author of

a commentary
'

on his

books of Ethics

six

'

six books of Ethics,

and of

father's physical philosophy.

These

may

in all probability be a confused

reference to our Nicomachean treatise.

work seems

also the title of this

with regard to the authorship.


'

In Diogenes Laertius

to have caused a confusion

See Biog. Laert.

viii. viii. 2.

Nicomachus, the son of Aristotle, says that he (Eudoxus)

considered Pleasure to be the chief good,' where the reference


the mention of Eudoxus, Eth. Nic. x.

is to

Let us hold

Nicomachus, whose

scientific treatise

to have been the

work

ii.

on morals

is

illi

at the beginning of the third cen-

esse Alius.' This

Among

other works he

appears to have written a History of


Philosophy.

But

hia

facts about Aristotle

authority for

and his son must

be considered very slight.


''^
Quare teneamus Aristotelem
'

ejus filium

and

his son

said indeed

why

father.''^

the

This

very valuable, not for the opinion of Cicero, which

'"
This Aristooles is reputed to
have been the teacher of Alexander
Aphrodisias, in which case he lived

tury A.D.

is

of Aristotle, but I do not see

son should not have been a match for the


passage

Cicero (Be

i.

fast to Aristotle

Finibus, v. 5) says,

'

Nicomachum

et

cujus ac-

euratesoripti de moribus libri dicuntur

quidem

esse Aristotelis

sed non

video cur non potuerit patri similis

is

judgment of

Cicero's

not based on critical examination,

for he here is referring to the Nicomachean Ethics for a doctrine not to

be found in them, so that it is probable he only knew the character of


the work by hearsay.

ESSAY

43
is

I.

worthless, but for the evidence which

had heard the Ethics

of Nicomachus

'

and

less

talked of by name, and

which was apparently started at a

JEtliics

we may

age, and

were

safely

far later

may

title

definitely

it

of the

work indicated that

marked with

it

was

by

really

by

the works of Aristotle

all

all

it

was

Aristotle.

belief of a particular period of

so thoroughly borne out

is

None among

evidence.

belief entertained in the

say in the circle, of Tyrannion and

safely adopt this

antiquity, because

In this

addressed to Nicomachus.'

go back to the

we may even

Andronicus, that the

'

written by Nicomachus, but that

We

'

well-informed period (see above, page 33) that the

Nicomacliean

matter

that during

This one fact seems sufficient to

also attributed to Aristotle.

dispel the notion

it affords

by Andronicus, Cicero

or just after the process of recension

internal
is

more

the signs of genuineness than the

We

greater part of this treatise.

have here

the qualities

all

of an original work, the merits and faults of a fresh inquiry

manner, the philosophy, the relation to Plato,

style,

all

bespeak for this book the actual composition of Aristotle


himself, except in certain disputed portions.

why

The question

was entitled Ethics of Niccrmaclms, to


which only a conjectural answer can be offered. The simplest
then

arises,

explanation

is

that this was originally a mere

The

distinction.

it

Ethics of

name

Eudemus were probably

of contraso called

because they were actually written by Eudemus, either during


the lifetime of Aristotle, or soon after his death.

may have been


author,^ who fancied

Ethics

which united

all

that he had achieved a combination

the merits of the other two treatises.

genuine work of Aristotle

^'

In the

enumerated

list
'

The Great

so entitled from the vanity of their

of Diogenes

we

may have been

find

Great Posterior Analy-

tics

'

{avaKvriKwv iiarTepuy

a', e'.).

The

placed by Theo-

fi^ydKav

THE NAME

'

NICOMACHEAN.'

43

ptrastus in the hands of Nicomachus for such amount of


editing and arrangement

a probably not

it

from the Eudemian

this time already written, the

required for

and complete

altogether finished

and then to distinguish

by

may ha^e been

as

name

treatise

Ethics, perhaps

who

of the son

edited

may have been used to designate it, while the name


who had written it, was superseded. In short,

the book

of the father,
it

may

not improbably have been the exigencies of the Peri-

patetic school-library,

some external mark

and the necessity of distinguishing by

first

the same subject, and not


the particular
ever, is

naming

two and afterwards three

much

We

editorial

on

differing in size, that led to

of the three

mere conjecture.

what traces of an

rolls

shall

how-

This,

treatises.

now endeavour

hand the Nicomacliean

to see

treatise

exhibits.

Eeading straight on with


at the

we

this object in view,

arrive

end of Book IV. without having our suspicions aroused

or our attention arrested by any breaks in the eomposition.

All might, speaking generally, be considered to have been

But in the

written consecutively by the same hand.

chapter of

Book IV. we come

to a

check.

ought to have treated of the two virtuous

and Indignation.

But the

discussion on the former

an ingenious

is

serves here to

What

unfinished.

two

wind up Book IV. and

Books V. and VII.

Neither

We

is

And

is

apparently

lines

and a half

to connect

it

with

it is

here added

at present let us

speak

then Book V. opens with the sentence

'But about Justice and Injustice


what

and the

Continence a virtue, but a sort of mixed quality.

shall treat of it subsequently

of Justice.'

Modesty

After the statement that Modesty can-

not be considered, strictly speaking, a virtue,


'

This chapter

feelings.

latter of these is left out,

editorial interpolation of

last

we must

sort of actions they are concerned,

consider with

and what

sort of a

ESSAY

44

mean
is

state is Justice,

I.

and between what extremes the Just

a mean.'

The three books, V., VI., VII., which

follow are

and the Sudemian

to both the Nicomacliean

common
and

treatise,

their authorship is a question to be discussed presently

but

looking at the composition of the three books externally


there

nothing f^-imd facie to prevent us believing that

is

they were written consecutively, though

it is

true that a piece

either of mal-arrangement or of unskUful editorship shows

the last chapter of Book V., which appears to be

itself in

superfluous.

Book VII. ends with a

piece of editorial joining

'

We

have treated of Continence and Incontinence, Pleasure and

Pain

'

Next

in order after the foregoing would

investigation of Friendship.'

are consecutively written

which looks as

book,
editor

'

On

And

down

if it

come the

then Books VIII. and IX.

to the last line of the latter

had been interpolated by the

Friendship, then,

we have

consecutive and complete in

itself,

ending and commences with the words

said our say

the

For Book X., which

next point to discuss will be Pleasure.'


is

Book VIII.

remains for us to speak of Friendship.'

it

begins

ignores the previous


:

'

Perhaps

it

follows

next to treat of Pleasure.'

These

collisions, or repetitions,

of one book

is

where the

ignored or repeated by the

last sentence

first

sentence of

the succeeding book, are not only in themselves highly inartistic,

^'

No

but they are not in the manner of

instance of this sort of thing

occurs all through the Organon, the


Physics, the treatise

that

On

On

the Soul, that

the Heavens,

On

the Genera-

positions.

In the Metaphysics, which

plete, there is a repetition in the beginning of Book VI. of the -words at

(also

the more finished of Aristotle's com-

Book

In

are knoTrn to have been left incom-

of Animals, or the History of


Animals, that is to say, all through
tion

Aristotle.^''

the end of

Book V.

unfinished)
II. repeats

In the

the
to

Politics

beginning

of

some extent the

TEACES OF AN EDITORIAL HAND.


the Hudemian Hthics

tween Books

I.

and

But

and VII.

tlie

II.,

same

Books

45

sort of collision occurs be-

an^ IV., and Books VI.

III.

awkwardness

in none of these cases is the

quite so glaring as in the transition between Books VII.

VIII., IX; X. of the Nicomacheans.

allowable to conjecture that

mode

of this

Eudemus

example

set the

of writing, according to which each book or

of a treatise takes, as

section

however,

seems,

It
first

it

were, a fresh start, and

recapitulates in its opening sentence the point in the dis-

cussion which had been arrived

This looks very like a

at.

Supposing a book to coincide

reminiscence of oral lectures.

in matter and in length with an oral lecture on the same


subject, it is easy to

suppose the lecturer concluding his

address for the day by saying

views on
Pleasure

'
:

now given you my

I have

Friendship, the next subject in our course will be

and then the

'

following

day he would quite

naturally open his lecture with the words,


in our course

is

Pleasure.'

And

it

is

'

The next subject

comprehensible that

the disciples of Aristotle, accustomed to oral endings and

beginnings of this kind, should have inappropriately applied

them

to the divisions

Eudemus

composition.

of literary

having exhibited this practice, Nicomachus (or the unknown


editor,

whoever he was) appears to have adopted

view of giving unity to the different parts of the

it

with the

treatise

put

Book

IV.,

together by him, or arranged, or revised.


If these joinings at the ends respectively of

Book VII., and Book IX. be considered to be


polations, they

end of Book

I.

would appear

And

in the Rhetoric,

the third book of which seems incomplete, the

opening of that third book

repeats a long sentence from the end


of

Book

II.

We

cannot say

tha.t in

either of these cases the writing

had

editorial inter-

to indicate that the

received the last

He

Niaoma-

hand of

Aristotle.

probably, in each case, began the

latter

book

end
and never revised

in forgetfulness of the

of the former one,

the writing as a whole.

ESSAY

46

I.

chean Ethics are made up of four separate portions, written


at

different

common

times from each other, and yet having

scope and a reference to a

all

common ground

plan

previously sketched out for a system of morals in which each

portion was (more or less roughly) adapted to find

At one

time, indeed, there

was a theory

but

its place.

this has been'

now abandoned

that

isolated tracts,

whose names appear in the Catalogue

the work was resolvable into small


of

Diogenes, and which had been amalgamated by an editor


into the treatise as

we now

possess

following suggested this hypothesis


irepX -^Bovrjs

'

Taja6ov

Trspl

irspl rjBovrjs a' (repeated),


TTspl SiKalaiv

<y'.

Such names

it.
:

irspl

^iXias

"jrspl sicovcriov

Some

as the

TLspl SiKaioa-vvrjs S.

a'.

rjBiKOiV s.

dsasis (piXiKoi

colour was given to the notion

that these separate works, or opuscula, were the materials

out of which the Nicomachean Ethics were afterwards put


together,

by the peculiar separate treatment which Aristotle

gave to the Voluntary,

Friendship,

and Pleasure, when

But

dealing with these subjects in the course of his system.

the impression of organic unity which the work leaves upon

the mind, dispels the idea that the parts can have been, in
the

way

We

suggested, prior to the whole.

see that the

plan of the whole was present to the author's mind at


starting,

and was carried out to the end, and that

all

the

parts were worked out in subordination to this general plan.

Of the works mentioned

in the Catalogue

we know nothing

certain, but we have endeavoured (above, page

probable conception of their nature.

And

it

5) to

form a

seems, on the

whole, doubtful whether any of them exactly correspond with

any part of the writings which have come down


the

name

to us under

of Aristotle.

We give up,

then, the attempt to resolve the Nicomachean

Ethics into a congeries of minor works.

But, at the same

THE COMPOSITION OF THE NICOMACHEAN ETHICS.

we may

time,

allow that there are internal reasons for be-

lieving that the work,

executed
traces of

though concei'^^d as a whole, was not

We

together at one time.

have already seen

an editor putting together four separate portions

now examine these.

us

let

all

The

What

starts the question,

is

first

the End-in-itself or Practical

then, as its definition brings in a term

indicating deliberate action of the Will, this

followed up, and a


various forms

little

treatise

(probably written

occupies) is introduced,
of balance,

is

is

analytically

on the Voluntary in

its

which

it

for

the

place

and then the law of Virtue,

exemplified in application to

we

MS.

see Aristotle to have written

at this point

if

as a

the

all

separate virtues, recognised as such by the Greeks.


far

then

analytical process is led on to a theory of the function

and nature of Virtue

state

portion (Books I.-IV.)

chief good ? gets an answer involving the term Virtue

by the

47

Thus

he wrote further, his

was mutilated, and something was

lost.

Or, he may, from some cause, have put aside his writing at
this point, while, in the

meantime, he took up the working

out of his ethical system from another starting place.


first

portion (Books I.-IV.) remained, at

tically consecutive,

exception that in four places


future inquiry

the philosophic

happiness;

I.

namely,

life

vii.

all

and almost complete in

i.

it

v.

This

events, analy-

itself

with

the

postponed certain matters for


7 defers the consideration of

in respect of

its

capacity for producing

7 promises a renewed discussion on the

question within what limits a man's independent happiness


is

affected

by

social relationships;

separate disquisition
into

two

Law

as given

species

n.

by the

II.

vii.

16 indicates that a

on Justice, divided

is

to be expected

ii.

2 promises an account of the Right

Intellect (opdbs Xoyoi)

and

its relation

to the different virtues.

The unfinished

last

few lines of Book IV. are eked out by

ESSAY

48

an

and then follow Books V., VI., and

allusion,

editorial

we may say

VII., of which

I.

at once that they

were either

written at a later period, and in a different vein, by Aristotle

work of Eudemus,

or else they were the

in whose Ethics,

verbatim, they reappear.

Leaving

moment, in abeyance, we

this question, for the

proceed to the third portion of the Nicomachean Ethics,

namely, the treatise on Friendship contained in Books VIII.

The only evidence

and IX.

quite separately

that

having been composed

for this

Book

that

is to say,

X.,

commencing

with the treatise on Pleasure, was not a consecutive part of

the same composition

Book

finishes

is

found in that

IX., and which

which

makes the beginning of Book

X. read so awkwardly (see above,

would not be

line

little

p.

sufficient to establish

But

44).

this

by

itself

such an hypothesis, for

the editor might have introduced this, out of mere false taste,
into a perfectly consecutive writing of Aristotle's, through

unwillingness to see a

Book concluded

poetical quotation, thus


"

And

it

Good you

'
:

Whence

will learn

VIII.

with a fragment of

the saying,

from the good."

'

seems not unlikely that the same editor introduced

similarly unnecessary tag to

^'

4 and

xiv.

There

note).

wind up Book VIII.

is,

(see

however, an appearance of

separateness about the treatise on Friendship, for in three


places (vni. ix.
iv apxfi,
of

Book

'

i,

Vin.

mind

clusion

of

i) it

uses the phrase

Book XI.

to the beginning of the present

Again, when he commences by describing

That Aristotle was not averse to


endirgs we see from the con-

physics,

iii.

VIII., which shows that Aristotle in these passages

piece of writing.
^^

i, rx.

at the outset,' in reference to the earlier chapters

only carried back his

such

xiii.

of the

TO 5e 6vTa ov

j8oi5Atoi

jro\iTeveiT8at

KaKWS.

ovK ayadhv iroXvKoipavlrf eh Kolpavos

THE COMPOSITION OF THE NICOMACHEAN


rriendship as

'

ignores altogether that more superficial

had mentioned in
under the name
stotle

after writing his first ethical book,

at

some

3)

interval

little

mind very much concen-

solve the problems

effort to

ii. vii.

and indeed, whUe writing

these pages, seems to have had his

upon an

he

This would suggest that Ari-

had taken up the present subject

trated

he

quality which

his list of the virtues (Eth. Nic.

Friendship.

49

or implying virtue,'

of virtue,

sort

ETHICS.

which occur in

the Lysis of Plato, and to the solutions of which he brought

own

his

analytic

method and philosophical forms.

same time, while writing

The very

system.

he

says,

'

first

After this,

for it is a

it

to form part of his ethical

words of Book YIII. show

would follow to

it

some extent in a

this treatise to

separate way, he evidently wrote

At the

this, for

treat of Friendship,

And

sort of virtue, or implies virtue.'

besides

general expressions of the author's purpose to confine himself


to

an

two

ethical point of view (see viii.

i.

7, ix.

ii.

2),

we

find

direct references to the earlier books of the Ethics (com-

pare

IX. ix. 5

with Eth. Nic.

i.

viii.

13,

and

with

ix. iv. 3

iii.

iv. 5).

A reference

forward to Book X., which occurs in

ix. ix. 8,

cannot be with absolute certainty pronounced to be an interpolation.

And

these books.

there

and in the same tone


likely that the

is

Book IX.
as

a reference back from x.


is

written in Aristotle's best

Book X.

So, on the whole,

ix.

to

manner
it

seems

awkward joining between Books IX. and X.

does not indicate a break in the MS., but

is

merely the

result of editorial ofiiciousness in dealing with a continuous


piece.

If so, the Nicomachean Ethics are resolved not into four,

but into three portions

namely, the

earlier books, the dis-

puted middle books, and the three concluding books taken as


a whole.
VOL.

I.

Book X. rounds

off

the treatise

it

answers in the
E

ESSAY

60

I.

most decisive way the question started


of

Book

I.,

and Aristotle then says

commencement

i), that,

(x. ix.

of Happiness,

in outline

sufficiently treated

at the

'

having

the Virtues,

Friendship, and Pleasure, his design might be considered


to have been completed,' but that for the realisation of all

which he has indicated

social institutions,

both private and

public, will be required

and he thus ends

his

Mhics with a

transition to the Politics.

That Aristotle, in summing up what he thought might


be considered a complete ethical system, should have specified
the leading topics of Books
treatise,

I. -IV.

and VIII.-X. of

Books V.-VII., seems a strong argument

dealt with in

prove that, at

all

when he was writing Book

events

had not written the disputed middle books.

ment

his

and should have omitted any mention of the subjects

in the

same direction

is,

to

X., he

Another argu-

that while the three concluding

books of the Ethics refer abundantly to Books I.-IV., they


never

make a

there

was much opportunity

stance,

it

Justice in

single reference

to

for their

seems peculiar that in

Book

discussions of

Books V.-VII., though

all

doing

which

so.
is

For

said

in-

about

VIII., there should be no allusion to the

Book

V.,

and that contemplation {Oswpia)

should be treated of in Book X., without any recapitulation


of

what was

(cro^ta) in

Book VI.

have been written as


if Aristotle

is

That the
it

Philosophic

treatise

for

Wisdom

on Pleasure could

stands at the beginning of

had previously written that other

same subject
work,

nature of

said of the

Book

treatise

X.,

on the

what was to form Book VII. of the same

utterly impossible.

These observations are the

first

which strike us with

reference to that middle portion of the Nicomachean Ethics

which we have hitherto


not written

it,

at the

left

unconsidered.

Aristotle

had

time when he wrote what were to be

AUTHORSHIP OF BOOKS

V.

61

VII.

VI.

Yet while he

the concluding paragraphs of his treatise.

wrote these, he cannot have considered his work, from a

have been finished.

literary point of view, to

given promises in the earlier part of


unfulfilled.

We

it,

which were as yet

have seen how (Eth. n.

promised a separate discussion

'

For he had

vii.

had

i6) he

on the two kinds of Justice,

and in what sense each of these might be considered to be


a

mean

Now we

state.'

occurred to have been this

might conjecture what actually


Aristotle

went on writing about

the different virtues until he came to the place where

would have been natural


nature of Justice.
to

to fulfil his promise

it

and discuss the

But here the thought entered

his

mind

what an extent Justice was externally determined, that

to say,

He

was dependent on

perhaps

felt,

all

he resolved to defer the

events,

it is

was to

easy to understand that

special consideration of Justice,

he could give his mind to

is

political conceptions.

like Plato, that to treat of Justice

At

treat of Society.

and

social

till

in connection with the

more

purely political part of the investigations before him.

For

it

he does not separate ethics from

from the outset

'

a sort of politics.'

but

politics,

Laying

discussion of the Virtues before he had completed


discussion on Justice, he

went on with

a point where he could see his


to analyse Friendship,

preme Good,

way

by a

his ethical system at

and afterwards Pleasure, and the Su-

matters were worked out, he


ethical investigation of Justice,

probably

still

and went

terval, to the composition of his Politics.

out, in

it

beforehand, and proceeded

as identified with Contemplation.

he had thrown

ethics

calls

aside, then, his

When

these

deferred the

on, after

an

in-

In the meantime

Book VIII., many thoughts and sug-

gestions on Justice and Political Constitutions, which were

afterwards matured in the

The

Politics.

Politics of Aristotle

have come down to us as quite

ESSAY

52

an

and the question then

unfinislied work,

go back to

I.

finish his Ethics

Did he ever

arises,

by supplying the middle part

We may fairly conjecture that he had not only settled in his


own mind pretty much what this middle part should consist
of,

but had also orally imparted this to his school, to

he

may even have


up by

fill

his

entrusted to some extent the working out

But the question

of his views.

own

is,

are

is

vi.

v.

left in

settled at once

vii.

by

be found in

to

The passages

Metaphysics of Aristotle.

(i) Pol.

ras

II. ii.

4. Aioirsp to

icrov

to avTiTreirovOos aco^si

wporspov.

TToXscs, (oairep ip rols rjOiKols s'ipijrai

(2) Pol.

III.

ecpTjTai,

ricriv,

strl ts tS)v irpay/MaTfov

Kal

koI Sirjprjrai
ols,

fJ'SXP''

SoKsi Se Tracriv icrov ti to Blkuiov slvai

y^ TLVos ofioXoyovat rols Kara ^iKocro^Cav Xoyois,

iv ols BtiopicTTat TTspl tS)V rjOiKwv Ti

Kal Ssiv Tois

'iaois 'icrov

{^Metaphys.
Bia^opa

TS'x^UTjs

I. i.

Kal

yap Kal rial to SiKatov

slval (pacriv.

17. WipTjrat p,sv

iiriarT'qfirjs

Kai

ovv iu tois rjOiKols ris

rcitv

dWtov

TOiv 6/j,oyv5>v

svsKa vvv TToiovfisOa top Xoyov, tovt eariv.

S'

At

KaOdirsp

irporspov sv tois tjOlkoIs.

(3) Pol. in. xii.

Kal

axTT sirsX to SiKaiov

is. 3.

TOP avTov rpoirov

ov

Aristotle himself ever

that this point

apparent references to Eth. Nic.


the Politics and

Did

writing the lacuna which he had

Some think

his Ethics ?

whom

first

sight these four passages

'

k.t.X.

might seem to furnish

powerful evidence in favour of the disputed books having

been written by Aristotle himself, but a closer examination


of

them greatly diminishes the

No.

(i) is

not even agree with


'

force

supposed to refer to Eth. Nic.


it.

For while

of their testimony.
v. v. 6,

Pol. n.

ii.

equal retaliation preserves the State,' Eth. Nic.

that

'

Eetaliation

is

but

does

says that

v. v.

a bond of union provided that

it

it

6 says
be on

AUTHOESHIP OF BOOKS

V.

VI.

principles not of equality, but of proportion.'

remarks on Eetaliation in the Ethics *iave

63

VII.

all

In

fact tke

the appearance

of being a development and improvement of those in the


Politics.

And

the same impression

paring No. (2) with

The

quote.

EfJi. Nic. v.

iii.

4,

produced by com-

is

which

latter passage discusses the

it is

supposed to

law of Distribution

in States (though a purely political question) with additional

refinements beyond what

we

But

find in the Politics.

ternal evidence of this kind leads us to think that


(as it stands} of the Ethics

was written

later

if in-

Book V.

than the

Politics

and was partly based on them, what becomes of these supposed references in the Politics to that Book

In a question

of the kind, internal evidence resting on the character of the

thought in one treatise as compared with that in another


treatise

must always

prevail over evidence consisting in a few

isolated words,

which might most naturally have been inter-

And

against this as a canon of Aristotelian criticism

polated.
it is

of no use to point to a consensus of

MSS.

For

it

must

be remembered that the works of Aristotle not only shared


with other ancient writings

all

the risks of corruption from

the vagaries of successive copyists, from the Christian era


the invention of printing,

but

also

viously gone through two distinct processes of editing,

by the

disciples of Aristotle, soon after his

by Andronicus of Rhodes about 50


therefore, unless
B.C.,

we could

get

MSS.

can never, in such a question, be

'

first

death, and secondly

B.C.

Appeal to MSS.

of the fourth century


final.

considerations to the passages before us,

pronounce a belief that the words

till

had in many cases pre-

Applying these

we do not

hesitate to

as has before been said in

the Ethics^ in Nos. (i) and (2) are, in each case, the interpolated addition of either an editor or a copyist.
to passage No. (3)

we

find that

it

Looking

contains no reference to any

ESSAY

64

I.

particular part of the Ethics, but only an assertion that, with

regard to justice, people in general

^^

agree to a certain extent

with those theories which have been formed by philosophers

upon

ethical subjects.

Passage No. (4) undoubtedly refers either to

supposing that book

Book

VI., or else

by Eudemus

some

to

lost

jEth. Nie.

to have been written

book which bore the same

rela-

tion to that book which the Nicomachean Ethics generally

The passage

bear to the Eudemian.

refers to a

comparison

between Wisdom, Art, and Science, as having been made

we now have

it.

The words might equally

the original section of the Ethics,

now

We

VI. was a sort of paraphrase.

lost,

in

Book VI.

the Ethics,' but this does not necessarily identify


as

'

well apply to

of which

Book

are left to internal evi-

dence in deciding which of the two cases seems the more


probable.

The passage

itself

even

written by Aristotle

if

would only prove that something answering to Book VI. had


been composed by him
hypothesis possible

But there

for his Ethics.

is

another

we

with regard to this passage, which

cannot forbear suggesting, even though we should be charged

with temerity

for so doing.

(page 32) that a tradition


effect

that

Budemus had

It is this
is

the

We

have seen above

recorded by Asclepius to the

MS.

of the Metaphysics en-

trusted to him, and that he was dissatisfied with the form of

the work, and kept

it

back, and finally edited

death of Aristotle, completing parts of

it

extracts from other of Aristotle's writings.

it,

after the

by introducing
ITiis

tradition

suggests the idea of considerable liberty of editorship


if this

'

was the

'

i.

iv. z,

refined thinkers

where

it is

said

and the many

are both agreed in giving the

and

seems not impossible that Eudemus

This passage might be compared

with Eth. Nic.


that

case, it

name

of Happiness to the highest of prac-

tical goods.'

'Ov6iiaTi fiiv odv ax^^ov

itrb Tu>v TrKeiiTTiay

6fio\oyiTat

'

t^v

yilp

cvSatfioviav Ka^oltroWolKalot ^a/jfei'TCS


Xeyovtriv,

AUTHOESHIP OF BOOKS

may have
fisv

ovv

V.

VI.

VII.

6.5

introduced the whole of this passage from Wiprjrai

down to iroirjTiKotv fiaXKov, iexpress

own account

reference to his

of aocjiia (written originally for his

own

Htliics,

but afterwards incorporated also with the Ethics of Aristotle),

and with the

object of reconciling the differences between

that account and the description of a-ocpia to be given in the

and of indicating that the point of view in

Metaphysics,

the two accounts was different, since in the Metaphysics the

term ao^ia was to be taken in a restricted sense, merely as

The passage contains the words,

the science of causes.^'


'

the reason for our at present treating of the subject

and these are naturally thought


speaking in his own person.

to be the

&c.,'

is,

words of Aristotle,

But they may, quite

possibly,

have been the words of Eudemus, speaking in the person of

The work of that school seems

the Peripatetic School.

have been a good deal co-operative, and the results of

to
to

it

have been treated as common property.


(5)

which

There
is

is

yet another passage in the Politics

(iv. xi. 3)

thought by some to guarantee the Aristotelian ge-

nuineness of the most disputed part in the Disputed Books,


the treatise on Pleasure at the end of Eth. Nic.

runs thus

Et yap koXSs sv rots

svSaifjiOva ^iov slvai tov

kut dpsTr/v

Se TTjv dpsTrjV, tov fisffov

This place
Vii. xii. 3,

is

itself

rjOiKois s'iprjTai to

It

tov

dvsfnroSLCTTOv, fisaoTTiTa

dvayKotov ^iov sivai ^iXTiaTov.

triumphantly claimed as referring to Eth. Nic.

and

vii. xiii. 2,

since in no other part of the Nico-

machean Ethics does the word

word

Book VII.

indeed does not occur

avs/iiroSLaTos

yet

still

occur.

a further examina-

tion of the passage above quoted will show that


necessarily refer to Eth. Nic.

The

it

does not

Book VII. and does not

relieve

us from the task of trying the whole case by internal evi-

^'

See note on Eth. vi.

vii.

ESSAY

56

The premiss

dence.
in a

summary

of conclusions

By

of Eth. Nic.

of the

I.

argument in the

Politics consists

drawn from Books

and X.

I., II.,

a comparison of the way in which Aristotle

elsewhere in the Politics uses the results arrived at in his


Ethics,

we

what a large

learn with what a free hand, and in

manner he

deals with them, often

summing up

word

in a

or

two, and stating in a better way, conclusions which he had

The same has been done

before laboriously attained.

and by the word dvsfnroSiaTos he sums up

here,

that he had

all

said about Happiness being tsXeios,

and

discussions about the yStos reXetos,

and the necessity

all

the subsidiary

favourable circumstances, because the want of these


I

X. 12)

viii.

that

'

efj,iroSi^et

virtue.'

Happy

He

(See also Eth. Nic.

In one word he here expresses

15.)

the

iroWals evspysiats.

is

Life

an unimpeded

is

not referring at

all

to

life

Book

VII., but

hand, the writer of the Disputed Books,


influenced

new word,

by the

avs/jb-TroBiaTos,

and says

all this,

in accordance with

with a new formula the conclusions of Book

much

On

I.

who

is

is

it

stating

the other

throughout

Politics of Aristotle, seizes

and uses

for

(JEth. Nic.

on

this

in the places mentioned,

giving ivepysui dve/jLTrSSiaTos as his definition of Pleasure.


This seems a far more probable account of the relation

between Pol.

iv. xi.

and Eth. Nic. vn.

xii. 3, xiii.

2 than

would be to suppose that the former passage was written

it

in

reference to the latter ones, which were only concerned with

Pleasure, and not with

'

It appears, then, so far


sufficient external

Happy Life at
as we have seen,

the

'

all.

that there

is

not

evidence in the shape of undoubted refe-

rences to Books v., VI., VII. of Eth. Nic.

made by

Aristotle

himself in other parts of his writings, to establish their


genuineness.

Let us endeavour to see what can be gathered

as to this point from an examination of the books themselves.

They

are found in both the Nicomachean

and the Eudemian

AUTHOESHIP OF BOOKS
The question

treatise.

is,

And the first

belonged.

thing that strikes us

Disputed Books be read as


there

On

of the

iv., v., VI.

work

the books appear as

the other hand,

if

Ethics, that treatise

if

Eudemian

these

Ethics,

in their natural place.

if

of the Nioomachean

read as

v., vi., vii.

at once

marred by many

is

irregularities

by the appearance of two separate discussions on Plea-

first,

sure, quite irrespective of each other

made

to say (vii. xiv. 9),

may now

'

Pleasure

is

and a few pages

'

it

later (ix. xii.

follows for us to treat of

by a strange ignoring in Books VIII.-X.

thirdly,

'

that Aristotle

is,

Having treated of Pleasure, we

treat of Friendship

Having treated of Friendship,

'

by a system

secondly,

of forced joinings of which the result

4),

that

is,

nothing in them which interferes with the continuity

is

of that

treatise they originally

which

to

67

V. VI. VII.

it

would

note the references backwards

made

of matters discussed in Books V. and VI., to which

have seemed natural to

refer.

We next proceed to
in these three books,

and an examination of these shows that

they correspond more closely with places in the earlier books


of the

Eudemian

Ethics, than to similar places in the earlier

books of the Nioomachean treatise (compare Eth. Nic.^^

m.

with Eth. End.

Eud.
Eud.

10,

II. viii.

II.

Eth. Nic.

V.

and

VI. viii.

vii.

with Eth. Eud.


I.

V.

1 1

The words

11.

ill.

Eth. Nic.

VII. xiv.

vi.

i.

xi.
ii.

4
6

vii. xi.

are used,

viii.

Eth. Nic.

vi.

viii.

i.

Eth. Nic.
Eth. Nic.

i.

v.

i.

in the

i.

with Eth.

with Eth,
11.

iv.

Eth. Nic.

vii. xi.

and

vii. iv.
i

2 with Eth. Eud.

with Eth. Eud.

Eth. Nic.

v.

4 with Eth. Eud.

with Eth. Eud.

10 with Eth. Eud.

Eth. Nic.

ix.

11.

Eth. Nic.

xii.

Eud.

1-3; Eth. Nic.

v.

v.

vi.
vii.

with Eth.

11.

iv.

2-4

1).

Nioomachean

treatise,

not as

here and subsequently, merely for tbe


sake of convenience, to indicate those

giving an opinion that they originally

books which now stand as

conclusion

v., vi., vii.,

BO stood

for,
is

of course, the contrary

being pointed

at.

ESSAY

68

We

I.

have seen above (page 47) ttat Aristotle promised

(Eth. Nic.

and in what sense each of these


to treat

'

two kinds of

16) to treat 'of the

II. vii.

of the Right

is

Law, and

mean

state,'

its relation

and

particular promises are to be found in the


x.

where

19,

after

acts,

hiKalatv

Again, in Eth. Eud.


irpos

varspov

riva

17,

viii.

-4

v.

11.

it

viii.

opOos

is said, rt's S' o

which minutely and verbally

siriaKe-TTTdov,
vi.

i.

Again, Eth. Eud.

1-3.

18 gives a very precise anticipation of Eth. Nic.


;

the words are, "fI<TTS roOr' av

(ppovrjais.

Avttj

AiaipEpovtTt

TOiavrai

slvaf

S' s<ttI

B'

Eth. Eud.

va-Tspov XsKTeov.

avrb to dyaffov

S' scttI

to vtto ttjv

ai e^sts irpos ras

aXXyXas

m.

vii.

si

10,

ri

dXXas

hia^spovaiv,

by the words

yap, &(Tirsp Xs'x6r]a'STai viTTSpov, EKaoTrj irms apsTrj


Avcrsi Kal

aXXcos /iera

I.

vi.

itoXitik^ kol olKovofiiKr) koX

yap avrai

irpos

sirj

Tovto

TO teXos t(ov avOpwirtp TrpaxTcov.

KVpiav iraaSiv-

6-

opov aTro^iXsirovTas Xsyeiv to

Ssi

corresponds with Eth. Nic.


viii.

Ethics.

ETricrKS'yjrsi,

this promise is exactly carried out in Eth. Nic. V.

Xoyos, KOI

TOO

Hudemian

the writer says, aK\a

t&v

irspl fiev TOVTCov spovfisv sv rfj Trspl

fisaov,

2)

speaking of the legal distinction

between voluntary and deliberate

12.

ii.

Much more

to a certain extent fulfilled in Books V. and VI.

and

(n.

to the different

These, however, are general promises, and are only

virtues.'

See n.

Justice,

cjjpovija-sas,

ha-ri
ical

anticipates that doctrine

about the raw material of virtue being completed by conjunction with Thought, which

is

given in Eth. Nic.

VI. xiii.,

but of which no trace appears in the earlier Nicomachean


books.

In n.

xi.

question whether

it

the Eudemian writer after starting the


is

the province of Virtue to keep the

Will straight, or the Reason straight, says that the


is

the province of Continence.

STspov.

SoKSi

Aektsov
Tov Xoyov

S'

varspov

"Eo-Tt

opOov irapEy^Etv

S'

apsrij Kal iy/cpdreta

avr&v,

-rrepl
r/

latter

apsTri,

ettsI

oaois ys

rovro atriov-

AUTHORSHIP OF BOOKS

He

says

that

69

VII.

Continence

confound

people

VI.

V.

with

Virtue,

The

and that he must show the distinction between them.


discussion

taken up again in Eth. Nic.

is

Vli.

That

4.

i.

Virtue keeps straight the Will and the conception of the


to be aimed

at, is

Eudemian

a characteristic

reappears in Eth. Nic.

vi. xii. 8,

but this

End

which

doctrine,

a refinement in

is

psychology not to be met with in Aristotle's undoubted

There

ethical books.

is

no promise of a discussion upon

Continence or Incontinence in Eth. Nic.


polated words

(rv. ix. 8)

aWd Tis fiiKTrj'

Ovk

sctti S' ovB'

hsi')(6rj(TSTai

velopments.

r)

The

iv.

inter-

iyKparsia dpsrij,

hs Trspl avTrjs iv rots vaTSpov

weld together Ari-

are apparently an editorial attempt to


stotle's original

i.

conclusions with subsequent Peripatetic de-

On

the other hand,

Mh. End.

ill.

3 gives

ii.

valuable indication of the ambiguity of the term aKoXacria

(which has a different meaning in the table of the Virtues

and in Eth. Nic.

and then

vii.),

in.

ii.

1 5

promises a more

exact discussion on the class of pleasures with which Intem-

perance

is

concerned

'AKpi^earspov Se

-Trspl

r)hovS)v scrrai, hiaipsriov iv rots XsyofisvoLS

This

Kparsias koI aKpaaias.

is fulfilled

Finally, there is in Eth. Eud. i.v.

rov ysvovs twv

varspov

Trspl ij^

in Eth. Nic.

VII. iv.

a passage which refers us

1 1

forward to the treatise on Pleasure at the end of Eth. Nic.


VII.,

and

at the

same time sketches out the intermediate

subjects to be treated

of.

(political, philosophical,

Tovrmv

S'

97

fjisv

rrspl

ra

After discussing the Three Lives

and voluptuary), the writer


crcofiara Kai,

ras

says,

drro'kaxxTsis r)hovrj,

KoX res Koi TToia rts yivsrav Kal Bid rivwv, ovk dhrjkov, &ar'

ov rivss

sla-l

Ss2 ^rjrsiv

avrds

(i.e.

avvTsLvovai rt irpos svhaifioviav

bodily pleasures) aXX'

r) fiij,

xal

rrSis

si

crvvrsivovai,

Kol TTorspov, si Set rrpoa-arrrsiv rip ^fjv KoX-ds rjBovds rivas,


irpoadrrrsiv,

f)

avd/VKT] KoivcovEiv, srepat,

8'

ravras

Ssi

rovrav

fisv

dXkov rivd rporrov

slalv rjBoval Si as svXoycos oiovrai

ESSAY

60

Tov svSaifiova

rjhsais

^fjv

koI

I.

AWa

oKuttcos.

fj,6vov

fjur)

irepl ixsv TOVTcov vtrrspov siroa-KS'TrTEOV, irspi S' apsTrjs

The question here

^povrjosais m-p&Tov dampricraifiev.


is

Kai

started

one not touched upon in the undoubted Aristotelian books,

namely

Assuming that there

pleasure of the highest kind

the chief good,

are higher pleasures,

is

identical with

there no place

is

the lower, or bodily, pleasures,

left

and that

Happiness and

in a moral system for

are not these to be admitted

as contributories to Happiness, or are they to be stigmatised

This question

as absolutely evil ?

extent answered, in Bth. Nic.

taken up, and to some

is

vii. xiv.

The Disputed Books are not afterwards alluded


Nicomachean

but their contents

TSihics,

recognition in subsequent books of the

For instance, see Uth. Uvd.


Friendship

is

illustrated

Hvdemian

treatise.

where proportion in

by the joining of the diagonal of a

This illustration was worked out with some detail in

square.

Eth. Nic. V. V. 8

TovvavTiov

it is

standing of what

aiv-

vii. x. lo,

to in the

not without

are

meant being assumed

is

crTps(j)Si

And

here cursorily mentioned, the under:

'O Se

vTrspsy^p/jievos

to dvaXoyov, Koi Kara Btdfisrpov (rv^svyvv-

the same chapter,

ryscopyo) (TKVTOTOfioi, sl

fiT)

26, asks,

Hws

<yap KOivtovrjcrei,

TO dvakojov iaacrdrjcrsTai ra spja;

which takes us back to the discussions on value and price in


Eth. Nic.

V.

Mh. Eud. vm.

V.

S' EiprjTai, TTolov Tt

Kal irms dyaQov,

Kal KoXd, Kal rd ts dirXms


to Eth. Nic.
fir)

elvai

VII. xii.,

dyaObv

The system

dyaOa

says,

kolI

oti

rjBsa.

beginning"OTt

/atjSe

iii.

S'

Kal

Trspl ySovrjs

rd re dirX&s

This

is

rjhsa

a reference

ov avfi^alvst, Sia ravra

to apiaTOV, sk t&vBs BrjXov.

of references backward and forward, above

quoted, seems to show a very close connection between the

Disputed Books and the other books of the Eudemian Ethics.


But, beside

this,

between the

style

there

is

also

a remarkable

coincidence

and manner of these Books, and that which

AUTHORSHIP OF BOOKS

we

find

We have

peculiarity
V.

ix.

As Euripides
Agathon

fore rightly
vii.

2,

strangely wrote

VI.

'

As Homer

'

vii. x.

'

As Evenus

3,

'

iv.

vii.
;

Priam saying of Hector


;

Diomede

to

vn.

'

'

vi.

; '

ciple of

name
this

literary
ii.

and

VII. vii. 6,

7,

ix.

vi.

'

vi.

3,

As Homer

'

jested

says of

vn. x. 4,

'

a proverb,'

v.

15; one

i.

v. v.

is

name

one alone

called

one

Even where

explicitness

sometimes exhibits

'

The

Philoctetes of Theodectes

is

given without

is

Vii. xiii. 5.

there

the prin-

'

is

no quotation
in

as

itself,

Neoptolemus in the Philoctetes of Sophocles

VII.

'

Throughout these Books there are

Khadamanthus,'

or note,

As

Where-

'

'As Homer has described

only three verses given without their author's


'

6,

ii.

'

7,

Agathon says

also

As Anaxaudrides

also says.'

mentioned as

ix.

V.

the Margites

i,

i.

As

'

5,

says in

'Wherefore Euripides;'

Aphrodite

(See Eth. Nic.

found in the Disputed Books.

is
'

and this

of introducing literary quotations,

Homer says that Glaucus gave


VI.

writer.

already (above, page 24) remarked on his peculiarly

mode

explicit

61

VII.

VI.

by the Eudemian

employed

consistently

V.

when

bitten

On

the snake, or Gercyon in the Alope of Carcinus.'

by
the

other hand, in the seven undoubted ethical books of Aristotle


there are altogether sixteen places where verses are quoted,
of these twelve are without

source

in

any indication of authorship or

two places the name of Homer

one the name of Hesiod, and one couplet


Delian inscription.')

Taken by

itself

is

mentioned
given as

is

this

'

in

the

would be not

worth mentioning, but when taken with a number of other


things which

all

testify in the

allowed consideration

But

far

same

direction, it

among the mass of cumulative

more important than

this is the

may

be

evidence.

agreement of

philosophical phraseology between the Disputed Books and

the

Eudemian

Ethics, of

found in the use of the

which a striking instance

word

opos, to express a

'

is

to be

standard,'

ESSAY

62
'

definition,' or

I.

This formula does not

differentiating mark.'

'

once occur in the undoubted ethical books of

Aristotle, but

apparently some time after he had written these he began


to write his Politics,
its

so,

and in the meantime he had found out

convenience for the discussions which he had in hand


accordingly, in the Politics opos, in this logical sense,

very frequently occurs.^^

The Eudemian

Ethics Were clearly written subsequently

and the writer of them takes up

to the Politics of Aristotle,

the formula as being by this time in vogue in the Peripatetic

We

have seen how in Eth. Eud.

he

starts

the question irpos riva Ssi opov airo^sirovTas Xaysiv to

fisa-ov,

School.

'

to

what ultimate standard we ought

And we

mean.'

have seen,

too,

paragraph of the work (Eth. Eud.


Koi ovros 6 opos koXXlcttos

how

word

opos, then, in the sense of

'

v. 8

to look in fixing the

in the last remaining

viii. xii.)

Tt's fisv

KoX Tis 6 CTKOiros T&v aTrXcos ayaOtov,

ii.

the phrase occurs

ovv opos KoKoKayaOias,

ultimate standard

'

an important place in the Eudemian philosophy.


Disputed Books
opos tSv

it is also

rovTov Tis opos.

noticeable.

VI.

fji(T0TrjTO)v.

\.

(See

vi.

i.

yap

had taken

But
i

3, Tis t' saTiv 6 opOos

VII. xiii. 4, Trpos

The

Etrro) elprjfjisvov.

in the

rls so-tIv

Xoyos Kal
opos

rrjv svhaifjLoviav 6

avTrjs.)

The doctrine

of the Practical Syllogism (see Essay IV.)

does not appear in Eth. Nie.

l.-iv., viu.-x.,

but in Aristotle's

treatise

On

form

is

used to express the process gone through by the

mind

in forming a practical resolution (see

the Soul, written probably later, the syllogistic

This application of the syllogism was

See
Sposrh

16:

Pol.

II.

vi.

trieippSi'us Kal

tiTias

ody

'AA\& pfXriav

i\ev6pus,

&pnTTOS

AviriTE^ery ToTs itpeiTTocri.

'6pos

ii.

vii.

rh

ju^

it. viii. 7

Be An.

xi. 4).

worked out a good

apia-TOKparlas

fiev

yap

6\iyapxitts Sh ttKovtos,
Bepla.

iii.

And

so on

similar places.

in

Hpos

aperii,

S-fifiov S"

4\(v-

about sixteen

AUTHORSHIP OF BOOKS

among the

deal

On

treatise

the Motio7i of

inferred from tlie

may be

Peripatetics, as

63

YII.

VI.

V.

Animals, placed among Aristotle's

The Etidemian writer

works, but probably not genuine.

had evidently become familiarised with the application of


the syllogism to the theory of moral action, and had perhaps

At

himself helped to develop the doctrine.

makes considerable use of


So'TTSp

yap rats

iroctfTiKals TO

Mh.

See

it.

all

events, he

JEtid.

xi.

ii.

OecoprjTiKais al v-rroOsasos apj(ai, ovtco K.ai rats

tsKos

ap-yrj

koL

vTToOsffis.

'EttsiStj Set

roSs

vyialvscv, dvdyKrj roSl virdp^ab, si hcTTai SKsivo, coairsp sksi,


s(TTi

The

TO Tpiywvov 8J0 6p0at, dvdyKr) toZI slvai.

si,

Practical

Syllogism appears in the Disputed Books, and, indeed,

it is

used as the great analytical instrument for resolving the

phenomena

Book VII.

of Incontinence in

how

of notice

strikingly similar

But

it is

worthy

some of the phrases used in

these Books are to the passage above quoted from the

demian

Ethics.

See Eth. Nic. \U.

6sv evOa fisv <f>dvai ttjv

ilrv^ijv, iv SI

SV0VS (where irotriTiKals


above)

VII. viii.

p-sv <f>dsipsi,,

rj

iii.

is

toIs ttoit^tlkoIs irpdTi siv

used in the same peculiar way as

yap dpsTT] Kal

rj

Eu-

avdyxr] to (rvfiTrspav-

Ss aco^si, ev Ss Tals

rj

fj,o^67]pia ttjv dp-^-qv

wpd^gai to ov svsKa

t)

dp-^-q,

wcr-nsp sv toIs p.aOrip.aTiKOis al inroOsasis.

There

another minor formula in the use of which the

is

Disputed Books show an agreement


Ethics, but not with the

Nicomachean

namely, the formula

with the Eudemian

Ethics, in

not appear

occurs, as

before quoted, in the winding

to,

Nic. V.

i.

9,

ha-Tco

where the

'

elprj/Mevof.

It is

added that

'

men pray

for

This

up of the
(tkottos

are specified,

'

are always good absolutely, but not always so


'"

does

last

twv

It is introduced in Eth.

goods of fortune

these and seek after them, hut they

it

dirXtos dya6d.

remaining part of the Eudemian work, rts o


dirXoos dyadSjv,

which

should not

'"

'

which

to the indi-

they should pray that the

absolute goods

may

be goods to

them

ESSAY

64

In

vidual.'

In

aiiTw.

oh

/iET(TTi

l8 to uTrXms mcjjsXtfiov

V. V.

VEf^si

17 Justice

ix.

V.

ov

ruler,

6 the just

V. vi.

I.

Eth. Eud.

(cf.

we

10, VII. xiii. I,

find a

mentioned.

irKiov tov dirXais


said to exist

is

In vn.

Twv airXws ayaOwv.

are mentioned

is

viii. iii. i,

vi. I,

In

ayadov

among

those

ra dtrXws ^Bea

above quoted), and in

mention of to dirXws

KaKo,.

It

V.

i.

is

observable that even in the Politics of Aristotle this formula

does not appear to exist.

That the Disputed Books contain a

later

development of

and psychological philosophy than

several points in ethical

can be found in other parts of the Nicomachean Ethics, and


that in this respect they perfectly agree with the

shown in

Ethics will be

And

themselves.

common with

will

it

detail in the notes to

Eudemian
the Books

be shown also that they exhibit in

the latter a certain indistinctness of exposition

and certain departures from the Aristotelian point of view.


Perhaps enough has been said
conclusion to which

we come

for the present to justify the

that Books V., VI., VII. of the

Nicomachean Ethics were written by the author of the Eude-

mian

as

treatise

an integral part of that work, from which

they were taken and transferred verhatim into the Ethics of


Aristotle,^' either to

up a gap caused by the

fill

sponding Aristotelian books, or


plete

work which

Which

Aristotle himself

of the two alternatives

is

loss of corre-

supplement or com-

else to

more

had never

finished.

credible, there are

hardly grounds suflBcient to enable us to pronounce.


either case

we must assume

teaching, led the

way

This
End.

is

and that they should


good for themselves.'
the same style with Eth.

in

VII.

j^etrdat

is

xii.

noWoiis

what men

'

17

rb

fpl\ovs.

that Aristotle had, in his oral

to almost all the conclusions contained

individually,

choose what

In

(jirelv koI fS-

But

ought to pray for

to say
'

is

not

after the

"

manner of

We

Aristotle.

do not undertake

to

say

whether this transference was made


by Nicomachus, or some other early
editor, or

dronicus.

long afterwards

by An-

AUTHORSHIP OF BOOKS

65

VII.

VI.

V.

The appearance which we

in the books in question.

find in

Books V. and VI. of direct borrowing from other works of


Aristotle's,

such as the Politics and the Organon, would rather

favour the supposition that the compiler of these books had

not before him any written exposition of this part of Aristotle's ethical

system.

With regard
Disputed Books,

to previous opinions

may

it

upon the subject of the

be mentioned that Casaubon threw

out the suggestion that the treatise on Pleasure in

was written by Eudemus.

This suggestion means that

the rest of the Nicomachean Uthios


this treatise

This

place.

is

by

Aristotle,

on Pleasure has been imported into


is,

Book VII.
all

but that

its

present

in short, an attempt to save the credit of the

Nicomachean work by removing from it an obvious excrescence.

But the hypothesis


stand

Book VII.

is

untenable, for though

as a whole being for

we can under-

some reason or other

imported from the JEvdemian MMcs, and bringing with


superfluous disquisition,'^

it is

it

impossible to believe that any

of Aristotle's editors would have brought into his ethical

work

this superfluous disquisition out of the writings of a

disciple

by

itself,

Some have
Pleasure

to confuse

and

spoil the rest.

entertained the view that this treatise

may have been an

earlier essay

by

on

Aristotle himself,

found among his MSS., and introduced, in order to preserve


into

it,

treatise'

its

But

present place.

shows that

it is

not

earlier,

close

but

examination of the

later,

than the treatise

on the same subject in Book X., on which


in the same

'^

It

is,

way

bowerer, surprising that

Book VII. should not have

stopped short at the end of the discussion

on Incontinence.

By

going

mechanically to work and transferring

VOL.

I.

is

based

as other parts of the JEudemian Ethics are

the editor, wlioever he -was, in transferring

it

Book bodily, he marred the symmetry of the Nicomachean work, but


at the same time furnished an imthe

portant

piece

of

evidence

towards

deciding the authorship of the Dis-

puted Books.

ESSAY

66

It chiefly follows

based on Aristotle's writing.


also

Book

X., but

improve upon the

slight extent it tries to

some

to

I.

conclusions of Aristotle.
Pritzsche, the learned editor of the

Evdemian Ethics, while

conceding that VI. and VII. of the Disputed Books were the

work of Eudemus, maintains that Book V.

is

the writing

of Aristotle, with the exception of the last chapter, which

he considers to be a fragment from a corresponding book

on

Justice

by Eudemus, now

This theory would

lost.

imply a system of mutual accommodation,


that the Uudemian Ethics had

lost

would imply

it

a book on Justice, which

was supplied out of the Nicamacheans, and that the


treatise

had

lost,

latter

or wanted, a book on the Intellect in rela-

tion to morals, and a book on Continence

both which books were supplied

and Incontinence,

out of the Hudemians.

This seems a rather too elaborate hypothesis, but we cannot


altogether deny
of Eth. Nic. V.

The genuineness,

its possibility.

must be considered on the reasons which can

be urged either for or against


a

In the

little far-fetched.

Ethics,

very

which are allowed

closely,

and looking

and

iii.

arguments are

Eudemian

treatise

3-30) which we have already

Whence can these

difficulties

concludes that they must have

originally been started in the


lost.

Fritzsche's

place he goes to the Great

to follow the

mentioned (page 36), he asks


have been derived

it.

first

at the string of dijBBcult questions

on Justice (Mag. Mor. n.

now

or otherwise,

Eudemian Book on

Justice,

This reasoning, however, seems very unsatisfactory

for the difficulties referred to are not exclusively connected

with Justice, some of them are general questions of casuistry


again, the writer of the

Gf>-eai

Ethics does not introduce

them

while discussing the subject of Justice, but after his discussion

upon the

Intellectual Virtues

and furthermore we

have above seen reason to believe that this writer had a

AUTHOKSHIP OF BOOKS

V.

third source besides the Nicomachean and

67

VII.

TI.

Uudemiwn Mhics

from which he drew his matter (see page 35), and from

which he may, very


This

question.

first

have drawn the special matter in

likely,

argument then may surely be discarded.

Fritzsche in the second place points to the last

chapter of Eth. Eud. (vm.

iii.

i),

'that culmination of the Virtues'

KoyaOiav.
this,

and

No prior place

where mention
fjv

is

lost

book on Justice.

no obvious connection between KoXoKayaOM and

on the other hand there are doubtless several lacunce

Eudemian Ethics ^^ even the beginning of Book VIII.

may

wanting, and the passage referred to

is

existed there.

If

Book VIII. was

very well have

originally of the

length as the other Eudemian books, a considerable


of chapters at
it

of

so he at once concludes that the passage referred to

But there

in the

made

eKaXovjjbev ^Srj kuXo-

Eudemian treatise answers to

in the

must have existed in the (supposed)

Justice

is

existing

its

commencement must have dropped

same

number
out,

and

seems extremely probable that some of these were devoted

to the consideration of a Virtue

which was the result of aU

the other Virtues, and which the writer called KokoKcuyadia.


Fritzsche's third
(ii.

argument

is

derived from

Book V.

itself

11) where there occurs a promise of a subsequent discus-

on the question whether the moral education of the

sion

individual belongs to Politics or not (jrepl Se Trjs Kaff SKacrrov


TraiBsias, Kaff fjv
TiKTJs ia-Tlvrj

dvSpi

t'

xviii.,

'^

iroTspov Trjs woKi-

slvai,

xal

ttoXitj',

iravri).

This, says Fritzsche,

in Eth. Nic. x. ix. 9 sqq. and Pol. in.

iv.

and

ni.

which proves that the above passage was written by

Aristotle

and not by Eudemus.

As, for instance, Eth. End.

refers

ia-Ti,

ETspas,vaTspov hiopiaTsov ov yap iVtos ravTov

dya6w

is fulfilled

dTrKws avrjp dyados

iii.
3
back to something lost from the

preliminary catalogue of the Virtues

When, however, we examine


Sitypaxf/afj.ii'

Sh

irpSrepov

aKoXatriay 6yoiJ.d^ovTs

ttus

ttiv

fx.tTa<p4poijLev.

r 2

ESSAY

68

I.

we do not

the places referred to

answer to the

find that they

promise given, and so far from establishing that the passage

by

in question was written

In Eth. Nio. x.

conclusion.

down

Aristotle, they induce a contrary


ix.

sqq. Aristotle

as strongly as possible that all education

tated by the State

lays

must be

it

dic-

he admits that there must be a special

treatment of individuals, in education as in medicine, but in

each case he considers that the special treatment

is

only the

skilful application of general laws belonging to the general

science,

whether of Medicine or of

There

Politics.

not a

is

word about the moral education of the individual standing


apart from Politics and belonging to some separate science.

we have

This in fact was the Etidemian view, which, as

seen

(page 26), tried to separate Ethics from the more general


Aristotle afterwards, Pol.

science of Politics.
cisively

pronounces that education should

all

State control, and reduced to one standard.


of the Politics to which Fritzsche refers

a fulfilment of the

In

Aristotle.

Pol.

iii.

3,

de-

be public, under

In the passages

we

us

find

not

to attempt a refine-

iv., in. xviii.

is

started whether the virtue of the

is

identical.

It is

i.

above promise, but rather the source

which suggested to the PJiidemian writer

ment upon

"Viii.

Man and

the question

of the Citizen

answered that States vary, but in the

Best City the same education and habits produce the good

man and the citizen with constitutional qualities. The writer


of Mh. Nio. Book V. gets a suggestion from this discussion
and promises

to investigate, as a part of his ethical treatise,

whether the moral education of the individual does not belong


to a sphere

separate from

Politics.

were mutilated or unfinished

the part

latter half of Eth. Nia. x. is lost, or

we cannot
Eudemian

tell

The Eudemian

answering to the

was never written

whether this promise was ever

treatise,

it

certainly

Ethics

fulfilled in

so

the

never was in the Nico-

AUTHORSHIP OF BOOKS
machean.
last

Fritzsche

Book V.

chapter in

it%i proper place,

out of

is

but there

written by a diiferent hand from

it is

Nor have we thus

the rest of the book.

69

VII.

doubtless right in saying that the

is

nothing to show that

is

VI.

V.

far seen

anything

Books must

to invalidate the opinion that the three Disputed

go together and that they originally formed part of the


Eudew,ian Uthics.

who hold

Those, therefore,

by

that these books were written

must be prepared

Aristotle,

also to

maintain that Aristotle

wrote the whole of the Eudemian treatise

when he had

that at a time

on his hands, such as certainly the

and the

physics,

Poetic

that

is

to say,

several great works, unfinished,

and

Meta-

the

Politics,

was engaged

in

carrying

on the most multifarious researches in natural history and


other sciences of observation

Physiology

the

far as

belongs

Physical

to

been executed, he

One

paraphrase.

Philosophy,

had never

which

own work

materials again in a sort

old

his

so

peculiarity

of

this

would

be

that

he did this thing, made the statement of his

Aristotle, if

ethical system

was

and had promised works'* On

himself to re-write his

set

on Morals, serving up
of

and On Disease and Health

Plants,

'of

so

much

In the

originally.

worse, instead of better, than

Politics

Nicomachean Ethics

clusions arrived at in the

it

he frequently re-states con-

whenever

he does so we are struck by the breadth, the freedom, and


the firmness of his handling.
the

opposite

treatise,

qualities

are

But in the Eudemian


discernible

even when stating Aristotle's conclusions without

variation, seems to cloud

them

over, so that

we

go back to Aristotle to get a clear impression.


''

An.

See
1. ii.

treatise

the writer of this

De Smsu,
1.

In Mist. An.

iv.

De Long.
t.

i.

4,

De Gm.

14.

Vit.

fiiTTrep

i.

4, ti. 8.

?/)7jToi

iv

Tp

Beatpta Trj irepl

tuv

require to

And when
tpuTuv,

bably a mis-reading for

is

pro-

ip<)(rETai.

ESSAY

70

he

treats, as in the

I.

Disputed Books, of subjects otherwise

unexpounded, we do not

feel

that

we know exactly what

views of Aristotle on these subjects really were.

ment against the Eudemdan

This argu-

Ethics having been written

is

not answered, as some appear to think, by point-

ing to the Laivs of Plato, which are

now accepted

as a genuine

re-writing of the Republic, though far inferior to that

dramatic force, and in philosophic power.


parallel

by

based on their obvious inferiority in point of

Aristotle,

execution,

the

Laws

for the

production, written

The

work

in

cases are not

are considered to have been a senile

when

Plato was between eighty and ninety

years of age, whereas Aristotle did not live to be more than


sixty-three

years

old,

and the works on

apparently engaged at the very end of his


vigorous

and best manner.

them not only

power and

for

believing that

Ethics, but also

We

Book XI.
Aristotle

much

clearness,

are un-

and they

in style, but also in matter, for the

theology of the Eudemian Ethics


that of Metaphysics,

are in his most

The Eudemian Ethics

equal to these later writings in


are unlike

which he was

life

is

clearly different

But there

is

from

not only ground

did not write the Eudemian

reason to believe that

Eudemus

did.

have positive testimony (above, page 32) that Eudemus

wrote paraphrases of the works of Aristotle

was the custom of the Peripatetic School to do

we

see that

this,

it

and that

a second paraphrase called the Great Ethics was constructed

on the top of the Eudemians

even those who defend the

genuineness of the Disputed Books will hardly go the length


of saying that this third treatise was also written by Aristotle.

And

furthermore,

all

the variations and divergences from

Aristotle's views as before expressed

by him, which occur

in

the Eudemian Ethics, in theology, in psychology, in a ten-

dency to physical explanations of moral phenomena, and

at

the same time in a tendency towards a peculiarly practical

AUTHORSHIP OF BOOKS

VI.

V.

71

YII.

morality, are such as are in accordance with the direction

known

to have

been followed by the Peripatetic School, and

would have been natural

therefore

for

Eudemus

to exhibit.

These are the considerations which have to be met by those

who

think that Books V., VI., and VII. of the Nicoma-

still

chean Ethics are the genuine work of Aristotle.


It

would be tedious to sum up or repeat the conclusions

As we

arrived at in the foregoing pages.

said at

first,

many

questions must be left undeterminate or with a merely con-

We

jectural answer.

have before us in Eth. Nic. I.IV.,

VIII.X., an unfinished, or mutilated,


as

we

What

possess
is

it

came

wanting in

treatise,

straight from the

which so

hand of

this treatise is supplied

far

Aristotle.

from other works

on the same subject written by members of the Peripatetic


School.

These works claim, with slight variations, to express

the ideas of Aristotle himself, and for this reason probably

they were included among the writings of Aristotle.

With-

out considering these works to be entitled, on the ground of


genuineness, to the position which they thus hold,

glad that they have been preserved.

On

we may be

the one hand they

furnish a general conception of Aristotle's views on several


particular

points

on the other hand they

testify

to

system of co-operation among the Peripatetic scholars, which


Aristotle probably encouraged during his lifetime,

and which

the school continued to practise after his death.^

'^

In justification of some of the

opinions and conjectures put forward


in the foregoing Essay,

we will

subjoin

liable

in some cases they are almost

certainly interpolated), but


in

here a few particulars as to the order

ferent books

and sequence of some of

of maturity exhibited

Aristotle's

extant writings, so far as can be deter-

mined from internal evidence.


internal

evidence does

This

not consist

merely in references from one book to


another (for these are not always re-

still

more

comparison of the thought in dif-

and the various degrees

by the same con-

ception occurring in different books.

For

instance, in the first chapter of

the Prior Analytics, the Topics are


referred to

therefore, either the 7b-

p.cs were written

first,

or else this

ESSAY
reference is spurious.

But the doc-:


worked out

I.

Topics unwritten

he had finished

till

how he went on

trine of the syllogism is

the Analytics;

with far more precision in the Analy-

compose his Ehetoric before writing


Sophistical Sefutations, which
the

than in the Topics, therefore the

tics

to

how

former hypothesis must be accepted.

properly belong to the Topics

A similar

he deferred writing the third book of

combination of verbal and

real internal evidence is used

by Mr.

Poste (in Aristotle on Fallacies, or the


Sophistici Elenchi, with

a Translation

and went on

his Ehetoric (on Style),

how from

to his Ethics;

he proceeded to the

them

the Ethics

Politics,

but broke

in the middle of his

and Notes, London, 1866, p. 204 sq.)


to show that the Topics, with the ex-

off writing

ception of the eighth book, were first

write a treatise on Poetry, which

written of all the extant works of

a cognate subject;

how

Aristotle; next the Analytics (Prior

on Poetry was

a mere fragment,

and Posterior) next the eighth book of

while Aristotle went back to write his

the Topics; next the Ehetoric, Books

and then the Sophistical

book on Style for the completion of


his Ehetoric. All this shows a certain

After this Aristotle ap-

mode

I.

and

II.;

Beftitaiions.

pears to have gone on to write his


Ethics (which later obtained the

of Nicomachean)

name

and then the Poli-

treatise

is

on Education, in order to

left

tics

or the Art of Poetry

this sequence, if it be accepted, great-

and Health

ly strengthens the hypothesis which

sical Philosophy)

was submitted above (p. 51), that


Aristotle when he came in the course

him, but, so far as

of his Ethics to the consideration of


Justice, deferred this

venient season.

We

till

a more con-

can now see how

he did what was similar on other


occasions

how, for

some reason or

other, he left the eighth book of the

was ever

In the meantime Ari-

completed.
stotle

There

of procedure in writing.

no reason to believe that the Poli-

and next the treatise On Poetry


from which he went back to add on
the third book to his Ehetoric. Now,
tics

was

the treatise

went on to the

Physiology of Plants and

executed.

so

of his

series

Physical works, two of which

On

On the

Disease

far as belongs to Phywere promised by

we know,

never

Other works, such as the

Meteorologies, do not appear to have

received the last hand.


list of Aristotle's

tions

we

are

And

to

the

unfinished produc-

inclined

Nicomachean Ethics.

to

add the

ESSAY
On

History of Moral Philosophy

the

previous

TN the Ethics
-^

II.

Greece

in

Aristotle.

to

of Aristotle there are but few direct allusions


Plato's theory

to moral theories of other philosophers.

of the idea of good, viewed in its relation to Ethics


Socrates' definition of

Courage

of Pleasure (x.

and Solon's paradox

i)

ii.

the only ones which are by

(ill. viii.

6)

(i.

vi.)

Eudoxus' theory

(i.

name commented

x.),

are perhaps

on.'

There are

constant impersonal allusions to various opinions (the X76/xsva

on the subject in hand)

butes to

'

the few,' that

is,

some of these Aristotle

the philosophers

of as stamped with the consent of

times

(i.

'

viii.

7).

But there

'

many and

the

for this is partly to

Aristotle appears to have

habit

(if

we may

so

attri-

others he speaks
of ancient

no connected history of

is

ethical opinions or ethical systems to be

The reason

found in this work.

be found in the fact that

only grown gradually into the

call it)

of prefacing each science or

branch of philosophy with a history of what had been


accomplished previously towards the solution of

Thus

blems.
logic,

'

in the Organon there

is

its

pro-

no history of previous

only a brief remark in conclusion that nothing had

In the Eudemian books we find

references (vi.
definition

xiii.

3)

of Virtue;

his

opinion on

to Socrates'

(v. V. i) to

to

of Justice.

(tii. ii. i)

Incontinence;

and

the Pythagorean definition

ESSAY

74

II.

syllogistic pro-

been done before Aristotle to explain the


cess.

In the Rhetoric,

it

is

merely said generally tbat

previous writers had too exclusively devoted themselves to

After these works the

treating of appeals to the passions.

Then came the

Mhics were probably written.

Politics,

which contain an important review of some previous leading


systems of political philosophy, but not exactly a history of
these.

The Physical

and

Discourse

treatise

On

Soul

the

each commence with a collective statement of the opinions


of previous philosophers; and

Book

of the Metaphysics

I.

(probably Aristotle's latest work) consists of a history of

metaphysical philosophy from Thales to Plato, in which

it is

endeavoured to be shown how each system was occasioned by


its

predecessor.

When

Aristotle

commenced

his Ethics he

had apparently

not accustomed himself to taking that sweeping historical


point of view, which more and more became characteristic
of him.

Else a sketch of the development of moral ideas

in Greece, analogous to his sketch of the development of

metaphysics, might have been essayed by him, and would

have been of the highest

But there was another

interest.

cause to prevent this, namely, the fact that morals had never
yet been clearly separated from politics.
calls his ethical

system

by writing

own

his

'

Aristotle himself

a sort of politics,' and

Ethics

that

he,

it

was only

tentatively

and yet

surely, established the limits separating the

the other.

With

this tentative attitude,

one science from

he was not likely

to attempt following out the thread of previous moral theory,


as separate from the concrete of politics, duty to the State,

and the

like.

But the
distinct

And,

at all events,

he did not do

so.

Peripatetic School gradually laid hold of the

nature of

ethics,

and the

author of

the

Great

Ethics prefixes to his book the following brief outline of the

THE HISTORY OF ETHICS.


previous progress of the science.
subject

made

The

'

75

first

to attempt this

His method was

was Pythagoras.

who

effected

a great

he

To him

suc-

advance, but

who

virtue a number, justice a cube, &c.

ceeded Socrates,

faulty, for

erred in calling virtue a science, and in thus ignoring the


distinction

between the moral nature (jrdOos koI ^6os) and


Afterwards came Plato,

the intellect.

psychological distinctions, but

who made

the right

who mixed up and confused

ethical discussions with ontological inquiries as to the nature

In a shadowy way this passage repre-

of the chief good.'


sents

the truth

true

is

it

that in the pre-Socratic

of which the Pythagorean

philosophy,
as

for

a type,

had no

ideas

ethical

system

may

distinctness,

they were

Also the

confused with physical or mathematical notions.

systems of Socrates and Plato are here

faults in the ethical

rightly stated.

But

it is

a confusion to speak of Pythagoras

same sense that Socrates and

as a moral philosopher, in the

Plato were

so, or to

in the same

way

stand

speak of Socrates succeeding Pythagoras

that Plato succeeded Socrates.

And

even

were the account more accurate, every one will acknowledge


that

it is

too barren to be in itself very useful.

In the following pages, then, we


considerations of this kind a
to

shall

endeavour to carry

little further,

and to indicate,

some extent, the steps by which pre-Aristotelian moral

theory developed

itself

Greece.

in

To do

this is indeed

necessary, since the views of Aristotle himself, as of any

other philosopher, can only be rightly understood in relation


to their antecedents.

Moral philosophy
national

life.

is

comparatively late product of

It presupposes the long, gradual, sUent forma-

tion of Morals, which are the concrete of the nation's practical

habits and ideas of

anonymous in

life.

their origin

Morals, like language, are

(ouSets

olSev

if orov

'(fxivT))

ESSAY

76

II.

except in the case of one or two legislators,

may

laws

to

some extent have moulded the

by the

new and organising

no

philosophy

into existence out of reflection

In

morality.

its

first

critical,

change morality

and

finally it

and
itself

upon the

form

it

is

the

Afterwards,

ordinary morality codified and formulated.

becomes more

individual

only explains,

it

Moral

moral ideas.

generally accepted

who

with the building-up of morality.

Moral philosophy does not create


criticises,

action,

of

principles

names are connected

dawns gradually

of the

life

intuitions may have expounded some

force of their

perhaps

their

founders of religions,

or in the case of the

nation,

who by

may

react

it

upon and

itself.

Eenouncing any attempt to trace a succession of systems


of moral philosophy (which indeed did not exist), until

come
and

we

to the limited period of development between Socrates

Aristotle, let us take a broader

divide morality into three eras

unconscious morals
sophistic era

first,

second, the

view of the subject, and


the era of popular or

transitional, sceptical, or

third, the conscious or philosophic era.

These

different stages appear to succeed each other in the national

and equally in the individual mind.


trust of childhood

is

simplicity

wisdom of matured

believe because others do so

personal convictions,

we

life.

First,

then, in order to obtain

pass through

a stage of doubt

then we believe the more deeply but in a somewhat


ferent

way from what we


said.

The

dif-

these three

thought about moral subjects,


first

thing to remark

they are not only successive to each other

mind

On

did at the outset.

distinct periods or aspects of

much might be

and

succeeded by the unsettled and undi-

rected force of youth, and the

we

The

if

is,

that

you regard the

of the most cultivated and advanced thinkers of suc-

cessive epochs,

but also they are contemporaneous and in

THREE EKAS OF MOEALITY.


juxtaposition to each other,

you regard the

if

grees of cultivation and advancement

by

of view represented

The

question,

What

is

different

it

an answer to

and of his son Polemarchus, who

words of Simonides,

to be, in the

culties are started,

To

'

paying to every

this definition captious diffi-

difficulties

which the popular morality,

to its unphilosophical tenure of all conceptions, is

quite unable
sophistical

that

persons in the dialogue.

justice ? being started,

one what you owe them.'

owing

persons of the

given from the point of view of popular morality

in the persons of Cephalus


define

among

different de-

In Plato's Repuhlic we find the three points

same epoch.

it is first

77

justice

'

having

Then comes an answer from the

to meet.

point of view, in the person of Thrasymachus,


is

advantage

the

overthrown, partly

been

the

of

stronger.'

by an able

This

sophistical

skirmish, partly by the assertion of a deeper moral conviction,

to

the

field

mainder

of

left

is

And

the question.

open
this

for

Repuhlic,

Plato's

answer being represented by

a philosophical

answer

accordingly occupies the re-

the different

sides

difierent personages

of

the

Glaucon

and Adeimantus personifying the practical understanding


which
sophy,

is

only gradually brought into harmony with philo-

Socrates the higher

reason and the most purely

Almost

philosophical conception.

all

the dialogues of Plato,

which touch on moral questions, may be said

to illustrate

the collision between the above-mentioned different periods


or

points of view,

though none so

fully as

the Rejpuhlie.

Some

dialogues, which are merely tentative, as the Euthy-

phro,

Lysis,

Gharmides,

Laches,

&c.,

content

themselves

with showing the unsatisfactoriness of the popular conceptions

common

of the subject

definitions

overthrown

exposed; a deeper method

is

but the question

are

is left

at last without

the

difficulty

is

suggested;

an answer.

In others,

ESSAY

78

II.

Gorgias,

as in tlie Hippias Major, Protagoras,

demus, various aspects of

sophistical point of view are

tlie

exposed (on whicli we shall find


in

all

of true philosophy

is

sion hereafter)

Philebus,

is

and Euthy-

much

material for discus-

the dialogues a glimpse, at

all events,

suggested; in a few only, as in the

there anything like a proportion of constructive

to the destructive dialectic.


Plato's wonderful dramatic pictures hold

the different

we turn

so that

up a mirror

to

phases of error and truth in the human mind,


to his dialogues as to real

life.

But

all

reasonings on morality must exhibit the distinction existing

between the popular, the

sophistic,

and the philosophical

This distinction wiU be found marked in the

points of view.

Uthics of Aristotle, only Aristotle

is less hostile

than Plato to

the popular conceptions, and rather considers them as the

exponents of a true instinct with which his


be brought into harmony.

Also, being

own

theories

must

more concerned with

the attainment and enunciation of truth than with recording


its genesis,

he does not dwell on the relation of the sophistical

He

spirit to morality.

touches on certain sceptical and arbi-

trary opinions concerning morals which

may

be considered as

But among these we must not

the remnants of sophistry.

reckon philosophical opinions with which he disagrees, since


philosophy

may

be mistaken and yet be philosophy,

be pure.

spirit

Without laying too much

may

at all events regard

And

heads.

let

us

It has

I.

stress

them

first

been said that

on our three

divisions,

to

make some remarks on

period of Grecian Ethics.


'

before Socrates there

morality in Greece, but only propriety of conduct.'


'

Hegel, Geschicke der P/dhsophie,

Die Atliener Tor Socrates

43

'

we

as convenient chronological

now proceed

the characteristics of the

ii.

if its

was no
^

This

warensittliche.nichtmoraliseheMenschen.'

THE FIRST EKA OF MORALITY.


sentence conveys

same meaning

tlie

Plato's Flvxdo (p. 6?> D), that

no morality,

for the

'

79

the argument in

as

without philosophy there

popular courage

is

a sort of

the popular temperance a sort of intemperance.'

fear,

is

and

It rightly

asserts that the highest kind of goodness is inseparable from

wisdom, from a distinct consciousness of the meaning of acts


from a sense of the absoluteness of right in
according to this view only exists
say,

am

'

itself.

when the

'

Morality

individual can

a law to myself, the edicts of the State and of

society are valid to

me

because they are

my

edicts

because

they are pronounced by the voice of reason and of right that


is

in me.'

however, puts perhaps too great a restriction

It,

upon the term

'

goodness were

'

terise as

mere

'

morality,' as if nothing but the highest moral

morality

'

at

It seems absurd to charac-

all.

propriety of conduct

patriotism, endurance,

'

the acts of generosity,

and devotion, which were done, and

the blameless lives that were led, long before there was any

philosophy of right and wrong.


that seems more attractive
ness,

Indeed there

is

something

about instinctive acts of noble-

than about a reasoned goodness.

To some the innocent

obedience of the child appears more lovely than the virtue

man.

of the
less

than the

childhood,
it

Still instinct is inferior to reason,

is

man

and

the child

God makes us what we

if

we must re-make

ourselves in maturer age

the law of our nature that what was at

potential in us,

become

realised

very word

'

and only dimly

conscience,'

other

is

himself.

is

this,

'

and
only

instinct, should

consciousness,'

that

moved, as Aristotle would

moved

an

The

on which right so much depends,

from a machine in

itself,

as

first

by us and present to our consciousness.

only another term to express


differs

felt

fisra \6yov,

is

are in

and a

is

man

the one has a law in


say,

Kara \6yov; the

has the law both in and for

ESSAY

80

II.

Without entering into speculations on the origin

we may

of society,

safely assert that, as far as historical evidence goes,

the broad distinctions between crime and virtue seem always

National temperament, organisation,

to have been marked.

and a certain

climate,

developed

gradually
general

human

duce whatever

latent

these

national idea that has to be

is special

mould the

to

and wrong, and these pro-

in the national

code of laws (for occasion


of laws grows up)

some way

go

instincts of right

life

and customs and

calls forth legislation,

and thus men

live

and

and do well

so a code

or

obtain praise or blame, are punished and rewarded.


yet there

is

no rationale of

rather than of reflection


this succeeds a

all this.

It is

ill,

But

first

as

an age of action

To

of poetry rather than analysis.

time when the

and

generalisations about

life,

in the shape of proverbs and maxims, begin to spring up.

They

These are wise, but they do not constitute philosophy.


seldom

rise

above the level of prudential considerations, or

empirical remarks on
of those for

whom

and proverbs cease

life,

but they serve the requirements

they are made.


to satisfy the

thoroughly awakened intellect

now

Later, however, poetry

minds of thinkers
calls in

the

question the old

saws and maxims, the authority of the poets, and even the
validity of the institutions of society itself.

After this has

come to pass, the age of unconscious morality, for cultivated

men

at least, has ceased for ever.

mind

In the quickly ripening

of Greece, the different stages of the progress

we have

described succeed each other in distinct and rapid succession.

In Christendom, from a variety of causes,


that the

it

was impossible

phenomenon should be re-enacted with the same

simplicity.

To give an adequate account

of morality

in

Greece,

before the birth of moral philosophy, would be nothing less

than giving as far as possible an entire picture of Hellenic

THE FIEST ARE OF MORALITY.

Customs, institutions, and laws, whether local or uni-

life.

versal

recorded actions of States ot individuals

song or oratory
art,

81

would

sentiments of writers

and the works of

have to be put in evidence.

all

remains of

One would

have,

in short, to do for the Grecian States from the beginning

what Mr. Lecky ^ has done

of history
pire.

But

to do this

of Aristotle, and

it

not our present purpose,

Aristotle

talces

and that

morality,

if possible

do

it

we have

Still,

granted

for

the

this is always in the

We have

that he says.

which

philosophy in Greece took

out of the general morality.


that

Eoman Em-

not necessary for a comprehension

is

is

how moral

only to show

for the

to

is

its rise

remember

general

Hellenic

background of

therefore to take account of

it,

all

and

justice.

It has been well said

that

'

to suppose that the Greeks

were not a highly moralised race

perhaps the strangest

is

misconception to which religious prejudice has ever given


rise.

was

If their morality

was none the

less

aesthetic

and not

theocratic, it

on that account humane and

real.'

necessary condition of artistic freedom, the soul of

God

Greece was implicit with


called

Mankind,

an animal unity.

any other race that

or nature in what

lives

and

dies

as sinless

upon the

part of the natural order of the world.


like the intellectual

and harmless.

man
may

in

be

and simple as

globe, formed a

The sensual impulses,

and moral, were then held void of crime

Health and good taste controlled the phy-

sical appetites of

regulated by

'As a

man, just

an unerring

as the appetites of animals are


instinct.

In the same way a

standard of moderation determined moral virtue and intellectual excellence.

'

But beyond

History of European Morals from

Augustus

H. Lecky.

VOL.

Charlemagne, by

to

(London, i868.)
I.

W.

E.

this

merely protective check

* Studies
of the Greek Poets, by
John Addington Symonds (London,

1873), pp. 417-419-

ESSAY

82

II.

upon the

paasions, a noble sense of the beautiful, as that

which

balanced and restrained within limits, prevented

is

the Greeks of the best period from diverging into Asiatic

extravagance of pleasure.

Licence was reckoned barbarous,

and the barbarians were

slaves

by nature, ^vasi BovXoi:

Hellenes, born to be free men, took pride in temperance.

Their cra^poa-vvr], co-extensive as a protective virtue with the

whole of their to koXov, was essentially Greek

whom was

beloved by Phoebus, in

To

these remarks

Temperance

we may add

the

quality

no dark place or any

flaw.'

that the Greeks did not leave

to stand alone as the guide of

life,

but to Tem-

perance they added Courage, and to Courage Justice, and


to Justice

of

Under Courage was summed up much

Wisdom.

what we

call

'

duty,'

pervaded Hellenic

i.e.

life.

duty to the State, a feeling which

The death

of the heroes of Ther-

mopylae was a typical instance of duty under the name of


Courage.

Justice again was the Greek

summary

to one's neighbour,' afterwards supplemented


tion of Equity, in

which a

herent (see note on

ISth. v. x. i).

fine

of

'

duty

by the concep-

and tender charity was

And Wisdom,

in-

even accord-

ing to popular notions, implied calmness and elevation of


soul (see Eih.

i.

iv.

3).

It is obvious that

among an

this could only arise

such a code as

essentially moral

and noble

people.

But a popular morality


whatever be
that

it

its

arising

substantial merits,

can give no account of

such an account,

it

out of noble

must

itself,

tends to base

still

and

instincts,

have the defect

that, if asked for

itself

on inadequate

grounds.

This displeases the philosophers, and hence in the

dialogues

of Plato

we

find

popular morality of Greece.

disparaging picture of the

The following are the

characteristics attributed to it:

(i)

It

chief

is'showntobe based

upon the authority of texts and maxims, and these maxims

THE FIRST BRA OF MORALITY.


appear to be merely prudential.

(2)

to connect itself with a superstitious

was

religion, such as

It is

83

shown

to be apt

and unworthy idea of


and which

set forth in the mysteries,

constituted the trade of juggling hierophants.

With regard

to the former point, nothing is

more marked

than the unbounded reverence of the Greeks


national
poets,

Homer,

literature.

constituted the

educational

the saws of the Seven


of the

same

calibre,

and

Hesiod,

Gnomic

Add

course.

Wise Men and

the old

for

the

these

to

a set of aphorisms

which sprang up in the sixth century,

and we have before us one of the main sources of Greek


views of

It

life.

was perhaps in the age of the Pisistratid^

that the formation and promulgation of this system of texts

took place most actively.

In the

little

parchus, attributed to Plato, but

we

find

an episode (from which the dialogue

recounting a
true.

dialogue called Hip-

of uncertain authorship,

fact, if

not

literally, at all

is

named)

events symbolically

It relates that Hipparchus, the wisest of the sons of

Pisistratus, wishing to educate the citizens, introduced the

poems of Homer, and made Rhapsodes


Panathensea.

recite

them

at the

Also, that he kept Simonides near him,

sent to fetch Anacreon of Teos.

Also, that he set

up

and

obelisks

along the streets and the roads, carved with sentences of

wisdom, selected from various sources, or invented by himself,

some of which even

rivalled the

Know

thyself,'

and other

famous inscriptions at Delphi.


It

is

specified

obvious

how much

the

various

worked on the Athenian mind.

people were

full of

these maxims, and

for the definition of

influences

here

The mouths of the

when

Socrates asked

any moral term, he was answered by a

quotation from Simonides, Hesiod, or Homer.

The same

tendency was not confined to Athens, but was doubtless, with


modifications, prevalent

throughout Greece.

With regard
Q 2

ESSAY

84

worth of the authorities above

to the

may
is

II.

be

said,

taking each separately.

expresses the conception of a heroic


It is

Homer

in

It is concrete, not abstract

what you would expect.

sophical theory.

a few words

specified,

The morality

it

rather than a philo-

life

mixed up with a religion which really

consists in a celebration of the beauty of the world,

and

in

a deification .of the strong, bright, and brUliant qualities of

human

a future

by a regard

to

enjoyment and love

to

It is a morality uninfluenced

nature.

It clings with intense

life.

the present world, and the state after death looms in the

And

distance as a cold and repugnant shadow.

The

death preferable to disgrace.

often hold

between a noble and an ignoble nature

yet

happiness and the chief good


great indistinctness about

strongly marked in

is

sation,

seem

particular

sensuous conception of

often apparent,

and there

is

psychological terms and consoul,

thought and sen-

blended or confused together.

Plato's opinion

Life

ceptions.

is

all

would

distinction

Homer, and yet the sense of right and wrong about


actions seems very fluctuating.

it

Homer was
we must take

and mind, breath and

a reaction against the popular enthusiasm, and

of

Plato's expressions not as

an absolute

verdict,

but as relative to the unthinking reverence of his countrymen.

He

speaks as

if irritated at

book in which there was so


If

we

consider

Homer

the wide influence exercised by a


little

philosophy.

in his true light, as the product and

exponent, rather than as the producer of the national modes


of thought, Plato's criticisms will then appear merely as

directed against the earliest and most instinctive conceptions


of morality,

treating
age.

as a protest

them

as if they

against perpetuating these and

were adequate

Socrates says (Bepub. p.

praisers of

Homer maintaining

606

E),

for a
'

more advanced

You

will find the

that this poet has educated

all

Greece, and that with a view to the direction and cultivation

THE MOEALITY OF HOMER.


of

human

by heart

nature he

is

worthy to be taken up and learnt

that in short one should frame one's whole

To

according to this poet.


Socrates,

'

you should pay

Homer was

that

85

all

these

continues

and concede

respect,

a great poet and

to

them

of the tragic writers

first

rmv rpwycaSoTTOi&v)

(TTOirjTiKcoTaTOV slvai Kal irpaiTOv

you should hold

gentlemen,'

life

but

to the conviction that poetry is only to be

admitted into a State in the shape of hymns to the gods and

encomia on the good.'


said

is

The point

of view from which this

is

evidently that, in comparison with the vast importance

of a philosophic morality, everything else is to be considered

of

little

finds

value and to be set aside.

Homer

with

The

Plato

faults that

recommends

in detail are, that he

justice

by the inducements of temporal rewards (Repub. pp. 363 A,


612 B), thus turning morality into prudence

God

that he

the source of evil as well as of good (Beptib. p. 379 C)

that he makes

God changeable

(p.

381 D)

he gives a gloomy picture of the soul

that

describing the future world in a


to depress the

387)

cessive

way

mind and

fill

it

that he represents

the gods as capable of being bribed with offerings

(p.

makes

way which

(p.

364 D)

after
is

death,

calculated

with unmanly forebodings

that he represents his heroes as yielding to ex-

and ungoverned emotion, and that even

to immoderate laughter (pp. 388-9)

his gods give

and that instances

of intemperance, both in language, and in the indulgence of

the appetites, often form a part of his narrative

(p.

39)

In the Ethics of Aristotle the poems of Homer are frequently


referred to for the sake of illustration as being a perfectly

well-known
as

it

literature.

Thus the warning of Calypso

should have been, Circe

charms of Helen

Kings (m.

iii.

(n. ix. 6)

18)

(JEth. n. ix. 3)

or,

the dangerous

and the procedure of the Homeric

are used as figures to illustrate moral

or psychological truths.

Again, instances of any particular

ESSAY

86

phenomenon

are hence cited

Hector are cited as an

II.

Diomede * and

as for example,

instance of political

courage

In other places Aristotle" appeals to the words of

viii. 2).

Homer,

in the same

way

that he does to the popular lan-

guage, namely, as containing a latent philosophy in

and

as

calling

and

xi. i),

(viii.

itself,

hearing witness to the conclusions of philosophy.

Thus Homer's

viii.

(in.

his

Agamemnon shepherd

of the people'

'

physical descriptions of courage (m.

appealed to as containing, or testifying

10), are

to,

philosophical truths.

Turning from Homer to Hesiod, we discover


certain change or difference in spirit,

are taken of

human

life.

beatified heroes,' dwelling in the


;

and in the views

that

In the Works and Bays those that

fought at Troy are represented as

or sorrow

at once a

'

'

a race of demi-gods and

happy

isles

'

free

from care

whereas with Homer, these personages are merely

same passions and

illustrious mortals, subject to the

suffer-

ings as their descendants, and condemned at their death to

the same dismal after

life

of Hades, so gloomily depicted in

Not only does

the Odyssey.''

this difference point to a de-

velopment in the Grecian mythology, indicating the matured

growth of the popular hero-worship

it

also

shows a

feeling

which characterises other parts of Hesiod, a sense that a


bright period

is

lost,

and

'

there had passed away a

that

glory from the earth.'

The poet

is

no longer carried out of himself in thinking

He

of the deeds of Achilles and Hector.

laments that he

has fallen on evil days, that he lives in the last and worst of
the Five Ages of the World.*

So m ihe Eudemian hook

(v. ix.

7)

Glaueus and Diomede are referred

He
'

finds

Cf.

also

Ti. vii. 2, Tii.

the
i. X,

Eudemian books,
and tii. vi. 3.

things

full of

Mure's Literature of Greece, Vol

II. p. 402.

'V. 172

to.

all

'

fiTiKer'

sqq.

eTretT*

&<pet\ov 4y&t

"ir^fiTrroiffi

THE MORALITY OF HESIOD.

He

labour.'

this

conscious of a Fall of

is

by two inconsistent

87

Man, and accounts

episodes, tba one

representing

for

man-

kind, througb the fatal gift of Pandora, blighted at the very


outset

the other

'"

describing a gradual decadence from the

Once the gods dwelt upon

primeval Golden Age.

now even Honour

that does no wrong, and Retribution that

no wrong {AlScos koI

suffers

earth, but

Neyu,o-ts),

Mixed up with

mortals, have gone and left us."

and gloomy view of the

the last of the

state of the world,

cations of a religious belief

this sad

find indi-

in

some respects more

Homer.

Hesiod represents

which

elevated than the theology of

we

Im-

is

the messengers of Zeus, thirty thousand daemons, as always

pervading the earth, and watching on deeds of justice and

injustice.'^

here

the moral government of

belief in

indicated,

though

manner, and there

is

expressed in a polytheistic

a want of confidence and trust in the

is

divine benevolence.

is

it

God

The gods are only

Hesiod's book of the Works and Days

just,
is

and not benign.

apparently a cento,

containing the elements of at least two separate poems, the

one an address to the poet's brother Perses, with an appeal


against his injustice

containing

maxims

operations

at

the other perhaps by a different hand,

of agriculture,

different

sententious rules

Into this part different

seasons.

of conduct

and an account of the

are

interwoven,

which may

be rather national and Boeotian than belonging to any one

4AA'

TiK,
eireiTO.

fl

irp6iy8e

Baveiv,

fl

yeyetrOai

vvv yap 5^ yevos

^(TtI

aidi]peov oitSe

Tpls

yap

fj-ipioi eifflv

eirl

^^ovl trovAv-

^orelpjj

TTOT ^fjtap

iraia-ovrai Kafidrov Kal 6i(^os, oiiSe

" Vt. 19S-199.


^^ V. 250 sq.

addparoi Xijvhs, fpv\aKes

Bv-JirSiv hvdpd)-

viiKTup.

<pdetp6fiV0f ;toA67rcis S^ 8eo\ SciffovfTt


^iplfj.vas.
'

Vv. 48-105.

'

Vv. 108-171.

oi ^a {pvAtlffffovtriv re SIkus Ka\ (TverXia

%pya
ijcpa etrffdfieyoij

alay.

trdvTTj

^oiruvres

^ir'

ESSAY

88

The morality of Hesiod, whatever

author.

particular

justice, energy, and, above

by Plato

much

with Hesiod that his

fault

than the saying" quoted

Laws,

690 E),

p.

how
!

there in mallows and asphodelus

is

It enjoins

life.

the half greater than the whole!

is

blessing

finer

Repub. p. 466

(cf.

its

temperance and simplicity

all,

Nothing can be

of living.

view of

practical

a fine

origin, contains

II.

'

How

great a

Plato finds

'

a merely prudential Ethics, or

is

eudsemonism, that he recommends justice by the promise


of temporal advantage

maxims

are

Many

363 A).

indeed not

above

the level of

in

advice

about

consisting

morality,

{Repub. p.

of his

a yeoman's

treatment

the

of

neighbours, servants, &c.

One

to (Eth.

the recommendation that, even

ix.

between

Of

alludes

Aristotle

wages should be stipulated and the bar-

friends,

gain kept.

It is

6).

i.

of these

a different stamp, however,

that passage

is

of Hesiod, which has been so repeatedly quoted.'''

same

tains the

figure to represent virtue

was afterwards consecrated

may

road to Vice

iu the

easily be travelled

by

steep

is

that only by

rendered

toil

still

and

difficult,

by the

And

this truth

addition, that

on his own convictions, while he

'

He

acts

acts in obedience to the counsel of others.'

than, in

" V. 40
vi)Vioi,

all

sq.

/tey Sveiap.

iv.

7),

probability, its author

oiiSi tffaaiv iirtf itK4ov ^/it(Tu

The

But the path

who

i.

'

crowds, for it is

who

cites this latter saying {Eth.

of

and the gods have ordained

can She be reached.'

deeper,

which

vice,

mouth of Christ

smooth, and She dwells close at hand.


Virtue

and

It con-

Aristotle

which contains more

was conscious of

11. i.

364 G.Laws,
iagoras, p. 340 D, &c.
p.

best

second-best

is

" Xen. Memorah.


Hepub.

is

is

p.

20.

He

Plato,

718 E. Pro-

THE SEVEN WISE MEN.

which

competition,

of

makes

remark, '^

acute

upon a

to the effect that society, is constructed

is

basis

most

Hesiod another

from

quotes

also

89

that

a principle

'potter foe to potter' (Eth. vni.

honourable

enterprises.

of

may

It

i.

6),

be

truly

which

strife

produces

all

that

if

said

Hesiod was no moral philosopher, he was a very great


moralist.

now

Passing on

the sixth century

cannot

to the

B.C.,

how wide

tell

Seven Wise Men,' the heroes of

'

who

are separated from Hesiod

we do not

a chronological interval,

any great advance made beyond him

find

by we

in their moral

point of view, but rather a following out of the same direc-

We

tion.

find

joinbed, but

still

often

the various parts of

by Dicsearchus

a prudential Ethics dealing in a dis-

and pregnant manner, with

a forcible

Of the

life.

(ap. Diog.

'

Laert.

Seven,'
i.

it

was well said

40) that

'

they were

neither speculators nor philosophers (ovte a-o(povs ovts

N.B.

a6(j)ovs,

stotelian
legislation

used in a restricted and Ari-

aotpoiis is here

sense),

but

men

(awsrovs Se

<f>i\o-

of

with

insight,

nvas koL

turn

vofioOsTiKovs).'

for

They

belonged to an era of political change, which was calculated to teach experience

and to

call forth

worldly wisdom,

the era of the overthrow of hereditary monarchs in Greece.


All

the sages

were either tyrants, or

The number seven

advisers of those in power.


date,
is

and probably a mere attempt

no agreement as to the

rally

"^

specified

V.

ovK &pa
iirl

are

Thales,

aas.

r}]V [i^v Kev iirouvf]<reie

Periander,

B* iwifiafiTiTit,

aW'

yaTay

elirl Si5w.

at completeness.

Solon,

ri

eptSuv y^vos,

is

or

the

of later

There

but the names most gene-

list,

II sqq.
fjiovvoy e7]V

legislators,

Cleobulus,

k.t.A.

aya6^

8*

epis

nfiSe

0po-

roLffi
vo-fi-

Kol KepafjL^i/s Kepa^^T Kor^ei, Kul reKTOVi

t4ktq}v.

90

ESSAY

Chilon, Bias, Pittacus.

Of

empted from the

11.

these Thales ought to

be ex-

though many

criticism of Dicaearchus, for

adages are attributed to him, he was no mere politician,

but a deep thinker, and the

What was most

Greece.

speculative philosopher of

first

distinctive in Thales

we

belong to the level of thought which

Of the

sidering.

menes

hand

rest of the

Diog.

(ap.

Laert.

This

at poetry.'

Sages

was

it

that they

I.e.),

does not

now

are

con-

said

by Anaxi-

all

tried their

'

characteristic of a period ante-

is

cedent to the formation of anything like a prose

Of

style.

the poems of Solon, considerable passages are preserved to


us

they consist of elegies, in which the political circum-

stances

woven

general reflections

to entitle

views of

life,

him

on human

nature are inter-

be called a Gnomic poet.

to

as far as they appear in his poetry, are cha-

Lydian effeminacy of Mimnermus, to one of whose

Mimnermus having

Solon made answer.

sentiments

pressed a wish for a painless


of sixty, Solon answers

and a death

me no

Bear

'

life

sing, "

year."
life

May

the fate of death reach

me

alter the

in

my

words

eightieth

In one passage of his works Solon divides human

'

into periods of seven years,

proper physical and

mental

another the multifarious

and

ex-

at the age

will for having

ill

thought on this subject better than you

and

Solon's

by a manliness which contrasts them with the

racterised
soft

and into which

of Solon's lifetime are recorded,

sufficient

their inability to

good and

ill

destiny allotted to

pursuits of

command

to mortals,

and assigns

occupations

are

its

14)

in

described,

success, because fate brings

him by the gods

these

which

always connected with the

two

men

each

and man cannot escape from the

compare
is

to

(Frag.

last

(Fr.

sentiments

which was thought worthy of a

5).

with

name

careful

Let us now
that

saying

of Solon, and

examination by

THE SBVEIf WISE MEN.


Aristotle (Eth.

i.

'

No

given by Herodotus,

One must look

b called happy

one can

in

is

probability

all

If has the

foundation.

historical

'

while he

story of Solon's conversation with Croesus, as

The

lives.'

the saying, that

x. xi.),

to tlie end,' or that

91

aspect

totally

without

a rhetorical

of

dressed up by some Sophist to illustrate the gnome

i-rriSsi^is

However, the beauty of the story as related by

of Solon.

Herodotus, no one can deny.

form has this merit, that

it

The gnome

perhaps the

is

It denies

to regard life as a whole.

itself in its

the

ness to the pleasure or prosperity of a

first

name

present

attempt

of happi-

moment.

But

its

as Aristotle points out, that

it

makes happiness

purely to consist in external fortune,

it

implies too

fault

is,

and too

faith

in,

ness,

which

happiness.

Moreover, there

fested in this view,


It represents the

This view
ii.

I.

13);

political

regard

little

for,

is
it

is

the internal conscious-

most

after all is far the

little

essential

element of

a sort of superstition mani-

and in the above-quoted verses of Solon.


Deity as 'eavious' of

human

happiness.

elsewhere reprobated by Aristotle (Metaphys.

was a view, perhaps, natural in a period of

change and personal vicissitude, previous to the

development of any philosophy which could read the per-

manent behind the changeable.'^

The remainder
detail.

of the

'

Seven

The sayings attributed

'

to

hardly need a mention in

them

are too little con-

nected to merit a criticism from a scientific point of view.


'

The uncertainty

'"

Mr Symonds

Greek origin

He

of

human

attributes an un-

to this

and other

ideas.

things, the brevity of

belief in a jealous

life,

the

God, and the doc-

trine of hereditary guilt in Theognis,

says (^Studies of the Greek Poets,

Herodotus, and Solon, are fragments

'The blood-justice of the

of primitive or Asiatic superstition

Eumenides, the asceticism of Pytha-

unharmonised with the serene element

p.

417):

goras, the purificatory rites of

Empe-

doeles and Epimenidee, the fetichistic

of the Hellenic spirit.'

ESSAY

92

II.

unhappiness of the poor, the blessing of friendship, the


sanctity of an

oath, the

force of necessity, the

power of

time, such are the most ordinary subjects of their gnomes,

when they do not reduce themselves

However, some of the utterances of

'^

prudence.'

to the simple rules of

of proverbial

philosophy stand conspicuous among

this era

the

rest,

containing a depth of meaning of which their authors could

This meaning was drawn

have been only half conscious.

The MtjSsv ayav

out and developed by later philosophers.

Msrpov apiarov

of Solon and the


into something

new

of Cleobulus passed almost

in the fisTpioTrjs of Plato

and the Tvmdi

creavrov (of uncertain authorship), which was inscribed on

the front of the temple at Delphi, became in the hands of

In the Ethics of

Socrates the foundation of philosophy.

proverbs of this epoch,

Aristotle,
Sr)

^Oiias airpoarjyopia SisKvasv

aTrXcos, k.t.X. (n. vi.


(i.

viii.

14),

as,

(vill.

for instance, iroSXas


v. l), itrOXol fisv

KaXXiarov to hiKaioTarov,

any

occasionally quoted, without

14), are

yhp

k.t.X.

author's

name."

Two more

poets

may

be mentioned

who

will

serve to

complete our specimens of the sixth century thought on

These are Theognis and Simonides.

moral subjects.

both were great authorities, as

is

They

evinced by their being

They

so frequently cited in the writings of the ancients.

both have this in


reflectiveness

on

extent different.

Simonides.
unfortunate
ides,

"
I.

p.

who

common
human

27'

But the tone

to

some

Theognis draws a darker picture

than

life.

is

Theognis exhibits traces of a harassed


life,

and the pressure of circumstances.

Aiic.

" Eudemus

(v.

i.

and

Simon-

lived through the Persian wars, writes in a

Renouvier, Manuel de Phil.


1

that their verse betrays a constant

more

16) attributes the

saying, 'Office shows the man,' to Bias.

THEOGNIS OF MEGAEA.
manly

strain, as if inspired

93

by the times and the glorious

deeds of his countrymen, which he celebrated in his poetry.

Theognis appears to have lived during the latter half of the


sixth

and

century.

His writings are

by the

consist of reflections caused

and

his life

political events of

He

Megara.

of his native city

autobiographical,

chiefly

seems to have

belonged to the aristocratic party and to have suffered exUe,


losing

property and barely escaping with his

his

all

life.

His feelings of indignation are constantly expressed in his

poems
in
his

in

which perhaps the greatest peculiarity

them the terms

own

KUKot.

that

is,

arjaQoi and sa-QXoi are used to designate

party, the nobles, while the

and SeiXoL

It

commons

are

called

must not be supposed that

these

terms had hitherto no ethical meaning, though of course


scientific ethical definitions

But the words

icrd\6s

had

as yet never

as distinctive a sense, as the terms

man,' are used in general now.


partisanship

been attempted.

and xaKos occur in Hesiod in quite


'

good man,' and

It is the

extreme of

'

bad

political

expressing itself in a naive and unconscious

manner which causes Theognis

identify goodness with

to

the aristocratic classes, and badness with the commonalty


of his

We

city.

find in his writings a strange

and

ture and confusion of political

intermix-

In

ethical thoughts.

the celebrated passage which dwells on the influence of associates,

he begins by saying,

with those

who have

'

great power

the good you will learn what

is

You
'

should eat and drink

(i.e.

the nobles),

which indeed impairs


'

TOiS

Tore

OTffflo 56 8ti

&\Xow
fihv

oi

fjiipov

is

made

its force.

aol re Kal

TOLS iroKniKots rovro SoKeT

ehai

SiSoKTiii',

totc

S'

oH,

for

from

good, but by mixing with

the bad you will lose what reason you have.'

undeniable moral axiom

'

Here an

to assume a political aspect,


Plato, in the Meno,^^ quotes

aWit

Kal 4oyviv rhy notTjTiiv

TttLirb
fftf

TttOra \4yii

2.

'E|/

M. *Ev

oXirff

St*

trotots eire-

To7s i\eyeloiSj oZ \eyei

ESSAY

94
this passage

and stows that

II.

it

contradicted by another

is

passage of Theognis, which declares education to be of no

Theognis appears to have

effect.

different

at

felt

times

with equal force the two points of view about education.

At one time education appears

to be everything, at another

time, nothing.

All the expressions of Theognis, as indeed of the other

Gnomic

poets,

seem characterised by perfect naturalness,

such a word might be used.


reduce

to a theory

life

they flow from the heart of the

They ex-

individual according as he feels joy or sorrow.

no striving to be above circumstances,

hibit

fuU, unrestrained wail of one

they are

full

live

'if

one

rather

bitterly feels the

to be logical

is

poor

the

might
on the

In one place

of inconsistencies.

Theognis says (173-182),

than

who

They do not seek

of circumstances.
contrary,

if

They contain no attempt to

it is

better to die

one should cast oneself from some high

cliff

into

sea.'

In another place (315-318), 'Many of the bad

are rich,

and the good poor, yet one would not exchange

the

one's virtue for riches.'

saw before

In the views of Theognis, as we

in those of Solon, there

may be

traced a super-

stitious feeling of the resistless power, and at the same time

Kal Trapet Toiffiv TrTve Kal ecfite KaX ^erct

iroWoi/s hv

Tolmv

filffSovs

Kal

fjieydXovs

(f>epoj/

'/^e /cai aj/Sai/e

toIs S)v /a67oXtj ^vva-

ot hvvdjievoL

oH

TOVTO

trOT^ tip e^

TToteTv Kal

ayaGov trarphs tyevTO

KaK6s,
5e KaKOLffiv
avfXfxl(ry7]Sf

TtiiSiiifvos livBoKTi (raSippoffiv,

anoKcTs Kai rhv iSvra

v'ov.
oJ<r6' Srt
oijfTTis

ye.

^ds,

oij

iv rouTots

fJikv

T^s aperrjs K^yei

2.

'Ej'

&WoiS

ws SiSaKToO

M. ^aiverat

St ye oXiyov fiera-

et S'^i/TTOtrjTiJi/, (p7](ri,

'atripl v6T\fia

\4yei

Trtus

tin

Kal evOerov

aWa Si-

SdffKuv
7roT6

rhv KOJchy

iroi^o-eis

&.vhp^

ayad6v.

ivyous Sri

aiiThs auTtp irii\iy vepl

Tap

95 C sqq.
Both of these passages of Theognis
aifr&y rayavria Keyei

are

alluded to by Aristotle in the

Ethics (ix.

ix. 7, X. ix. 3).

SIMONIDES OF CEOS.

As

the arbitrary will of the gods.

05

to the standard of

have been very wavering in him who could write (363


'

duty

such a conception must needs be held to

in his poems,

sq.),

Flatter your enemy, and when you have got him into

your power, wreak your vengeance, and do not spare him.'


It is

obvious that the elegiac form adopted by Theognis

gave an air of universality to maxims which were only


suitable to his

own

troubled times, and his

own angry

spirit.

To accept the cynicism and the complaints of Byron as


of universal

applicability,

what actually took place

would be almost a
in

when the

Greece,

verses

Theognis were quoted as an authority in morals.


this could ever

have been the

case,

if

parallel to

of

That

shows how great was

the want of a more fixed standard, and almost justifies the

sweeping attacks made by Plato upon the poets.

In the verses of Simonides of Ceos there

more healthy

said, a

prosperous,

His

spirit.

and was spent in

life

different

as

is,

we have

556-467) was

(b.c.

courts,

especially

those of Hipparchus at Athens, of the Aleuads and Scopads


in Thessaly, of Hiero at Syracuse.

If Theognis be com-

pared to Byron among the moderns,

some

respects,

exhibits

no

be compared

parallel to his

to

Simonides may, in

Goethe,

spirited

demeanour of Simonides,

and

his

remind one a

efforts
little

But the courtly

which he seems to have some-

sacrificed his independence, his

moderation of views, his


life,

to

worldly wisdom, his

with regard to

realistic tendencies

for a

Goethe

and even impassioned

songs on the heroic incidents of the war.

what

though

calm and unruffled enjoyment,

of the great

German.

Beyond heroism

in war, Simonides does not appear to have held

notions of the possibilities of virtue.

There

is

any exalted
a very inte-

resting discussion in the Protagoras of Plato (pp. 339-346),

on the meaning of some strophes in one of the Epinician

ESSAY

96

odes of Simonides.

II.

This discussion has the

effect of

ex-

hibiting the critical ability of Socrates as superior to that


of Protagoras.
to be, that,

'

The import

of the passage criticised appears

while absolute perfection (rsTpdjcovov avsv

yfroyov ysvsadat) is well-nigh impossible, yet

not accept the saying of Pittacus, "

for misfortune

good
if

man

will

hard to be good,"

it is

makes a man bad and prosperity good;

mixed with

is

Simonides

evil,

be not utterly

and Simonides

evil

and useless

be

will

he

advance of reflective morality

We

Pittacus,
;

all

who

These expressions

actions.'

are very characteristic of Simonides.

them (i) the criticism upon

up

will give

vain and impracticable hopes, and praise and love

do not voluntarily commit base

satisfied

may remark

in

which shows the

(2) the point of view taken,

Simonides complains

namely, a sort of worldly moderation.

that Pittacus has set up too high an ideal of virtue, and

then proclaimed the

difficulty of attaining

proposes to substitute a

more

Simonides

it.

practical standard.

In thus discussing one of the gnomes of the Seven Sages,


Simonides approaches in some degree to the mode of thought
of the Sophists, but in later times he

was taken

as the re-

presentative of the old school, in contradistinction to

Athens,' with its sophistical ideas.

calls for

Scolia of Simonides, while his son treats

sort of sententious

aimed at by

(p.

a beginning.

show

one of the

them with con-

wisdom appears

to have been
is

given in

331 E), where justice

is

defined,

according to Simonides, to consist in


It is easy to

of

a specimen of this

this courtly poet

the Republic of Plato

young

Thus in the Clouds

Aristophanes (1355-1362), Strepsiades

tempt.

'

'

paying one's

this definition inadequate,

The quickly developing mind

and yet

debts.'
it

was

of Greece could

not long remain in that stage to which Simonides had attained;

it

was imperatively necessary that

it

should break

MOEALITT OF PINDAE.

57

away, and by force of questioning, obtain a more

We might say

view.

of the aphoristip morality of the poets

and sages of the sixth century

what Aristotle says of

B.C.

the early philosophers, namely, that

I. iv.

'

without being skilled

they sometimes give a good blow

boxers,

scientific

(Metaphysics,

'

4).

During the

fifth

century

poetry in Greece continued

B.C.

to represent, or contribute to, the popular beliefs in morals,

while as yet moral philosophy was not.


figures of this time

The great

poetical

were of course Pindar (522-443

and the Attic Tragedians, who succeeded each other


intervals, since

Sophocles his

^schylus gained

first

in

468

B.C.,

his first

Euripides his

Of Pindar, Mr. Symonds well says


is

impregnated with a

prize in

'
:

first

The whole

B.C.),

at brief

484

B.C.,

in 441 B.C.

of his poetry

lively sense of the divine in the world.

Accepting the religious traditions of his ancestors with


simple faith, he adds more of
mystical morality than

we

myths

like

Xenophanes and

He

Yet he

Homer.

in

find

superstitious or credulous.

and of

severity

spiritual

can afibrd to

is

not

criticise

the

Plato, refusing to believe that a

In Pindar indeed we see

blessed god could be a glutton.^"

the fine flower of Hellenic religion, free from subservience


to

creeds

and ceremonies, capable of extracting sublime


mythical

morality from

legends,

and adding

to

the

old

joyousness of the Homeric faith a deeper and more awful


perception

superhuman

of

mysteries.

The

philosophical

scepticism which in Greece, after the age of Pericles, cor-

roded both the fabric of mythology and the indistinct doctrines of theological monotheism,

had not yet begun to

Pindar held indeed to the Hellenic

and elevated

it

I.

but he vivified

by the introduction of an element drawn

The reference
VOL.

religion,

act.'

here

is to

Olymp.

i.

ESSAY

98

II.

His pictures of the

from Orphic or Pytliagorean sources.

rewards and punishments beyond the grave form a great

advance upon the creed of both

Hades
isles

of

The

Hesiod.

a gloomy negation, and the 'happy

Homer was

But

of Troy.

by the heroes

of Hesiod were peopled

'

Homer and

Pindar connects the torments or blessings of the soul in a


future state with

moral actions upon earth

its

and

(intro-

ducing the Oriental conception of Metempsychosis) he opens


Paradise to those souls which during three successive lives

have kept themselves pure from crime.

doubted that the


doctrine, did

strains of Pindar,

lyric

much

can hardly be

It

embodying

to influence the thought of Plato

and to

conceptions (set forth in Phcedo, Gorgias,

produce his sublime

and Repuhlic) of a future

of the soul dependent on the

life

moral purity and the philosophic wisdom attained by

And

this world.

if so,

sobriety.

life

The foUowirg

is

Mr. Symonds'

prose translation of Pindar Olymp.

Among

the dead, sinful

ii.

souls at

once pay penalty, and the crimes done


in

this

His views

While celebrating the wealth, the strenuous

of the games, he does not

'

in Europe.

^'

Zeus are judged

realm of

of

are distinguished by a certain God-fearing

and the good fortune (oX^os,

'^

it in

Pindar has played an important part

in the history of Eschatology

the present

this

who

gives

sentence under dire necessity.

But

beneath the earth by one

effort,

apsTrj, svTvx^ia) of the Victors

faU

admonish them of the

to

woe on which no eye can bedr to


look. Those who have thrice endured
on either side the grave to keep their
spirits

wholly free from crime journey

on the road of Zeus to the tower of

the good, enjoying perpetual sunlight

Cronos
where round the islands
blow breezes ocean-borne and flowers
of gold burn some on the land from

equally by night and day, receive a

radiant trees, and others the wave

life

more free from woe than

ours

this of

they trouble not the earth with

feeds

with necklaces whereof they

twine their heads and brows, in the

strength of hand, nor the water of the

just decrees of

sea for scanty sustenance

father

the honoured of the gods,

all

but,

they

with

who

delighted in the keeping of their oath

pass a tearless age

the others suffer

Rhadamanthus, whose

Cronos has for a perpetual

colleague, he

who

throned above

is

spouse of Ehea

all gods.'

MORALITY OF THE DRAMATISTS.


character

fleeting

moderation and

He

ayav).

of

continence

his

is

(evKoa-fda,

kings (Pyth.

conception of

man

is

(Pyth. X. 22)
skilled,

lot of

That

'

and to preach

prosperity,

/xijSev

arcotfjpocrvvr},

chooses for himself a middle

and deprecates the


ing

and

life

99

status in society

The

xi. 50).

follow-

summum honum upon

earth

happy and song-worthy by the

who, victorious by might of hand or vigour of

foot,

achieves the greatest prizes with daring and with strength

and who in

lifetime sees his son, while yet a boy,

happily with Pythian wreaths.


true, is inaccessible to

him

crowned

The brazen heaven,

it is

but whatsoever joys we race of

mortals touch, he reaches to the farthest voyage.'

The Attic Dramatists

are the exponents of the spirit of

the Athenian people quickened by the sense of their trium-

phant delivery from the great national


invasions.

They represent

peril of the Persian

successively the rapidly succeed-

ing phases of the Athenian mind.

Their great theme, the

fundamental idea of their tragedies, as indeed of the Greek


legends on which they were based, was Nemesis

Retribution

either for crime committed, or for insolent prosperity

pride of

life.

Mr. Symonds (Studies of


has well

Greek Poets, pp. 190-205)

the

analysed the different forms

of this

Retribution (hpdcravTL iraOelv Tpijspav fj,v6os)

an offended Deity

of a moral law

in Sophocles

our attention

racter of the guilty

is

it is

is

'

rather the exhibition

drawn

to the

In Euripides

human

it

more sentimental

inspiring fear

with regard to

all

and

pity.'

moral questions

cha-

terrible

degenerates into

something more akin to a sense of vicissitudes;


less a religious or

it

the revelation

man, and we see how he brings

consequences on himself.

phenomenon

idea as

In ^schylus

appears in ^schylus, Sophocles, and Euripides.

of

and

it

becomes

moral principle than a

A
may

similar

progress

be traced in the
H

ESSAY

100

dramatists

gion

^schylus morality

in

in Sophocles

wrong;

reasoning upon

all

identified

is

is

it

Euripides does

moral questions.

not

the influence of

and sophists upon the Athenian

rhetoricians,

too rapidly disintegrating to admit of this.

mind has been


Even

reli-

a casuistical and sophisticated

belong to the unconscious period of morals


law-courts,

with

a noble intuitive sense of right and

it is

Euripides

in

II.

in Sophocles

we

see the beginnings of casuistry in the

brought out in the Antigone between a decree of

collision

the State and the eternal sense of right and wrong (ov yap
vvv Ts Kaxdss

But

this

aXX

asl ttots

collision is not

^jj

human mind.

Tavra) in the

worked out by Sophocles,

as

it

would have been by Euripides, in a sophistical spirit, so aa


to produce scepticism in the validity of both the conflicting
authorities.

The impression which

most tragical position of


parties are justifiable

all

and are in the

the Antigone of Sophocles was


a contribution

to,

is left is

rather that that

has been produced, where both


But, doubtless,

right.

partly a result of,

and partly

these discussions of the opposition between

Law and Nature which

played so conspicuous a part in the

sophistical period of Hellenic thought.

Besides adherence to proverbs and saws from the poets,


there was another element specified by Plato in his picture
of the popular morality of Greece, which
left

we have

hitherto

unnoticed, namely, the tendency to accept unworthy

conceptions of religion, such as would essentially interfere

with the purity and absoluteness of any ideas of right and


wrong.

Not only was

there prevalent a belief in the envious-

ness and Nemesis of the Deity, such as forms the constant

theme of the

reflections of

Herodotus

superstitious hankering after signs


to disturb the

there a

manly calmness

and

of the

not only was there a


oracles,

which tended

mind

not only was

mean and anthropomorphic conception

of God, which

ORPHIC MYSTERIES.

the!

reduced religion to liero-worship,


beside,

and

distinct from, all morality^

tampering with morality

direct

and

religious hierophants.

itself

101

really

stood quite

but also there was a

on tbe part of certain

These were the professors of mysteries,

whom Adeimantus is made to say in the Republic


The most astonishing theories of
(p. 364 B sq.),

respecting
of Plato
all

'

are those which you shall hear about the gods and about

virtue

that

the gods themselves have

many good men

misfortunes and an evil

a directly opposite

come

actually allotted

On the other

lot.

to the doors of the rich,

and

life,

to

bad

to the

hand, seers and jugglers

and persuade them that they

have a power given them by the gods of expiating by offerings

and charms

all

or his ancestors,

a feast

they

and

will, for

if

offences,

and

whether committed by a man's

this quite pleasantly

any one wants

merely by holding

to be revenged

a trifling cost, do the fellow a

whether he be a good

man

or a bad

gods with their incantations and

on an enemy,

harm (they

is

easy,

say)

by forcing the

man

spells to serve

prove that

and that of virtue rugged and

They prove from Homer that the gods

They

them.

cite the poets as authorities for their assertions, to

the path of vice

self

difficult.

are not inexorable,

but

may

And

they adduce a whole swarm of the books of Musseus and

be turned by the prayers and offerings of men.

Orpheus, the kinsmen

(as

they say) of Selene and of the

Muses, according to which they perform their

rites,

and per-

suade not only individuals, but whole States, that actually by

means

of feastings

and pleasure, expiations and

may

releases

be provided both for the living and also for the dead, which
will free

men from

all

the penalties of the future

life

but

that for any one not using their rites a most horrible fate
remains.'

Of

the Orphic mysteries here alluded

mysteries in general,

it will

to,

and of the other

not be necessary for our present

ESSAY

102

11.

They appear

purpose to say mucli.

to have originally pos-

sessed an Oriental character, and to have been in themselves

not without a deep meaning.

They were a
They seem

Grecian anthropomorphism.

protest against

to have

contained

the assertion of two deep ideas, the immortality of the soul,

and the impurity of

sin,

That

which required expiation.

they had become debased before becoming popular, we learn

A perverted religion that

from this account of Plato.

offered

masses for the soul,' and a preference to the rich over the

'

poor

joined with

tial

morality that was

feeling that
'

the traditional, unreflecting, and prudenrife

in Greece

made Plato say

The only hope

is,

produced

in the person of

a state of

Adeimantus

either if a person have a sort of inspira-

tion of natural goodness, or obtain a scientific apprehension

of the absolute difference between right and wrong.'


Tis dsio, ^vc7i BvcT'^spaivoav to ahiicslv
aTTE'X^STai

The

rj

Repuh. p. 366 C.)

avrov.

morality was, as

we have

said, rather

the popular

different

Aristotle considers the opinion of the

from that

many worth

consideration, as well as that of the philosophers.


stantly appeals to

common language

He

con-

in support of his theories,

and common tenets he thinks worthy

of either refutation or

There are certain points of view with regard

establishment.
to morals,

'Ka^mv

EiriaTrjfirjv

relation of the UtJiics of Aristotle to

of Plato.

(ttXtjv si

which are not exactly philosophical in

Plato's sense

of the word, but which have a sort of philosophical character,


while, at the

these are
lists

same time, they were common property

made use

of

by

Aristotle.

Such are

and

especially the

and divisions of good, which seem to have been much

discussed in Greece

as, for instance,

the threefold division

into goods of the mind, the body, and external (Mli.

again, the division into the admirable (rifiia)

worthy (Eth.

I.

xii. i).

One

list

i.

viii.

and the

2)

praise-

of goods, not mentioned by

MOEALITY OF THE EARLY PHILOSOPHERS.


Aristotle, pretended to give

thus,

wisdom,

them in

103

their order of excellence,

The conception

health, beauty, wealtli.

of a

chief good seems to have been vaguely present before people's

minds, and this no doubt determined primarily the form of


the question of Aristotle's Mhics.

This was the natural ques-

tion for a Greek system of Ethics


tell

how wavering and

us

common minds were able to give


way it was presented

to

unsystematic

Mhics,

both Plato and Aristotle

inconsistent were the answers that


it,

when

in an utterly

them (Repub.

to

p.

505

iv. 2).

I.

Before taking leave of this period of unphUosophic morals,

we must ask
of

the

How fared the philosophers in

Magna

Pythagoras certain mathematical formulas

other sources, but at

difficult to say,^^

expressing

for

That the Pythagoreans adopted these

ethical conceptions.

we know from

The author

it ?

as we have seen, attributed to

Moralia,

perhaps

Of the other philosophers

it

how

late a date it

not before the time of Philolaus.

may be

said generally that ethical

subjects did not form part of their philosophy, they

attempt

human

to sj'stematise the
action.

And

seems

phenomena

human

of

made no

society

yet they had deep thoughts on

life

and
and

stood apart from other men.

This standing apart was indeed

their characteristic attitude.

Philosophic isolation was the

^^

A quantity of

spurious Pythago-

rean fragments have come


Patricius,

in

down to us.

his Biscussiones

patetics (Vol. II.

Book

Peri-

VII.), quotes

these to prove that Aristotle plagiarised from the Pythagoreans.

If the

work of Patricius

is, it

labours under

the disadvantages of his era, criticism

having as yet hardly an existence.

As

a specimen of his

calls it

'

lie

to attribute

'

judgment

he

on the part of Aristotle

the authorship of the

fragments were genuine, they would

Ideas to Plato, since this doctrine had

plagiarism.

been known before Plato, to the Py-

But they are plainly mere translations


of Aristotle into Doric Greek. The

thagoreans, Orpheus, the Chaldeans,

attributed to Archytas.

are such works as lamhlichus, Psel-

indeed prove wholesale

following

is

ovSty erepdv iffriv evSaifiovia oA\'


Xpnffts aperas iv evrvxifi^-

fi

Able as the

and the Egyptians


lus,

&c.

His authorities

ESSAY

104

chief result of their reflections

thing, as

M. Renouvier

says, expresses itself in the symbolic

doctrine of despair and of contempt.

pervades the utterances of Heraclitus, but


the insignificance of man.

Zeus as an ape

life

He was

the sunbeam.

will as

'

is

to

to

as the motes in

called o^XoXoi'Bopos, from his philo-

He

though

a pre-Socratic

and was influenced by the thought

seems to have considered the human

something apart in the world, and thus whUe subject-

ing the atoms to the power of necessity, he

have

says,

which he pictured

of worlds,

must have seemed

philosopher, yet lived into

of the Sophistic era.

a feeling of

is

In the ceaseless eddy of the

Democritus,

exclusiveness.

it

deep feeling

The wisest man,' he

to man.'

is

himself, individual

sophic

'

and destruction

creation

The same

upon the world.

and the symbolic laughter of Democritus

tears of Heraclitus

II.

said,

'

Man

is

reported to

is

The

only a half-slave of necessity.'

chief

good he considered to be 'Arapa^ta or an unrufiled serenity


of mind.

In a similar

spirit

Anaxagoras affirmed that

he

what most

considered happiness something different from

men

'

supposed, and that they would be astonished to hear his

conception of

it

'

(cf.

Eth. x.

viii. 1 1),

meaning that it consisted

not in material advantages, but in wisdom and philosophy.

The moral

doctrines of these early philosophers

come

before

us in general in the form of aphorisms, they seem to belong


ratlier to the personal character of the

men than

to the result

of their systems.
II.

The unconscious period

of morality in Greece was

succeeded by an interval of sceptical thought upon moral


subjects.

This was the era (commencing about 450

connection with which the word


it

'

sophistical

was, in short, the era of the famous

and fourth

centuries.

Who

'

'

was

Sophists

'

B.C.) in

first

used

of the

fifth

and what were these Sophists


'

(whose name became a byword, and was converted into an

grote's defence of the sophists.


adjective with so invidious a connotation)

much

interest in itself;

105

a question of

is

and the intarest has been increased

since Grote, thirty-four years ago, in the 67 th chapter of his

History of Greece, undertook to vindicate the Sophists from

the aspersions which had up to that date rested upon them,

and
is

to

show that the word

'

sophistical

in its

'

modern sense

a fossilised injustice, being merely the expression of Plato's

prejudice

against a respectable

men.

set of

Grote's bold

paradox naturally excited opposition in various quarters, and


the

edition of the present Essay (1857) contained a sort

first

of protest against

Time and

it.

reflection

who have taken

of various scholars

and the remarks

part in the controversy,

would seem to necessitate the modification of that


not to the extent of acknowledging that
of Grote's conclusions

'

is

of the kind can possibly

'

as clear

be,'

but

'

protest,

the main substance

and certain ^^

as anything

to the extent of

acknow-

ledging that Grote has done valuable service in mooting his


views, supported as they are by his usual rich learning and

manly

his strong

clusions

'

sense.

The main substance


'

would surely be

attributing

'

sophistry

'

this

to the

that Plato

Greek Sophists.

of Grote's con-

was unjust in
This plea, as

urged in favour of the Sophists and against Plato, we are


unable to accept.

Grote's other and, as

secondary conclusions,

but a profession

were included

that

we

should

them,

that the Sophists were not a sect

e.g.

among

their ranks honourable

that, as the educators of youth,

to promote the civilisation of Greece

of certain arts and sciences

call

still

they did

men
much

and the development

and that many of the German

commentators and historians of philosophy have been too


hasty and sweeping in their condemnation of them,
willingly accept as capable of absolute demonstration.

This

is

the opinion of Mr. H. Sidgwick, expressed in the

Fhilology, vol. ir. p. 288.

we
But

Jownal of

ESSAY

106

the question

II.

whether Grote,

is

has not gone too

exposing and

after justly

refuting certain ill-considered statements of

modern

writers,

in his zeal of advocacy, in attempt-

far,

ing to completely turn the tables on some of the greatest of


If there was no sophistry (in the

the ancients.

now

accepted

sense of the word) properly chargeable on the Sophists, then

one of the chief lessons which Plato thought that he had to

a lesson which,

teach the world

if it

be a true one,

appli-

is

cable not only to the popular teachers of the fifth century in

Greece, but also to the analogous teachers of


fall

see

to the

What we

ground as unmeaning.

all

ages

would

have to do

what Plato and Aristotle and others of the ancients

said,

and

to endeavour to interpret and

is

to

really

criticise their sayings

rightly.

The question begins with the

At

history of a word.

first

the word a-o^iaTr]s was used in an intermediate sense to

denote any one

'

who

some kind of wisdom


philosopher,

artist,

by profession practised or exhibited

or cleverness

; '

thus

it

was applicable

musician, and even poet.'^

makes Hermes apply the term with sarcasm

to

to

.^Eschylus

Prometheus

(P.V. 944), but the sneer consists in addressing Prometheus


as

a-e

tov

a-o<f)iaTijv

helpless a situation.

'you

the

craftsman'

In the same play,

when

v. 62, it

in

so

occurs with-

out any such irony


iva
fiddr] <T0i^i(7Tr]s a)v

'

duller in his art than Zeus.'

.<3iiSchylus cro^KTTrjs is

cian,' or

'

"
oiJ

(i.

applied to Orpheus, denoting

'

musi-

29) mentions that Solon aXkoi ts ol iravres

Cf. Diogenes Laertiiis,

fidvoy,

In one of the fragments of

master.'

Herodotus

Sh ffotpol Kal

Aios vaiOea-Tepos,

trotptffral

aAAi Kal oi

1.

12: Of

eKa\ovvTo.

Kal

iroiTjTal troipta'Tal.

Kadh. Kal KparTvos 4v ^Apxt^^yv tous


'rrep\"OfjiT}pov Kal

Ka\e7.

'HaioSoy itraiv&y o^ras

HISTOEY OF THE WOED


i Tjjs

'EWaSos

sovres^,

visited Sardis

were noted

all

'

when
'

all

SOPHIST.'

tovtov tov

<ro^to"Tat, oi

This probably means

'

STvy^civov

')(p6vov

at the "Zenith of its prosperity.

who

others

at that time in Greece

any kind of

for or professed

107

intellectual ability,'

Philosophers, artists, poets, and

the wits of Greece.'

statesmen, might equally be included.

In

49, he speaks

ii.

o{ ol sirvysvofisvot tovto) (Melampus) ao^icrrai, and inrv. 95,

he

calls

Pythagoras '^Wtjvwv ov rm d(T0ev(TTdT(p

in both passages the term merely means

In the Clouds of Aristophanes (acted 423


appears for the

(ro(f>icrTrjs

and the invidiousness

(TO(^L<Trfj,

philosopher.'

'

B.C.),

the word

time in an invidious sense,

first

consists in

an association attached to

it

partly of over-subtle, vapourish, speculation, partly of charlatanry.

Thus

tainers of

331) the clouds are said to be 'the main-

(v.

many such professors ^^

soothsayers from Thurium,

quacksalvers, idle fellows with, long hair and rings to their


finger-tips,'

now

where

clear that the

it is

term Sophist,' though


'

bearing a shade of contempt, has not yet reached the

limited Platonic sense of

In

philosophy.'
as the chief

V.

'

paid instructor in rhetoric and

361, Socrates and Prodicus are spoken of

amongst the crew of


In V.

(twv vvv fisTsajpoao^taT&v).'

'

transcendental Sophists
1 1 1 1

sq.

we see expressed

a popular opinion of the Sophist, as a pale and attenuated stu-

dent
sq.

(cro<f>iaTr]v

the term

is

<b%/3oi'

koX

inv. 1306

applied to Strepsiades, in the sense of trickster,'


'

in allusion to his cheating of his creditors.

then, the

And

KaKohaifJiova).

word Sophist
'

'

is still

In Aristophanes,

indeterminate

it

has become

uncomplimentary, but only as conveying the popular feeling


about the profession of out-of-the-way accomplishments, just

25

ou

yhpfih^V

ol(r6'6Tti]Tv\ei(rTOus

aZrai ^dfTKovfft
Boupto/idvTeis,

larporixvas,

yiSowxo^pyoKOfjLijTas.

These splendid impostors must have


been the Cagliostros of Greece.

ffoftJiarTtis,

<r(ppa-

ESSAY

108

term

as the

way

sneering

professor

'

in

modern

sometimes used in a slightly

is

'

II.

Aristophanes has evidently

times.

no consciousness of any particular

class of

He

were the philosophical antagonists of Socrates.


Socrates and Prodicus together as

He

tive sophists' of the day.

among the most

couples
specula-

'

speaks quite ab extra, knowing

nothing of the interior of philosophical

professors,' not troubling himself to

circles,

and only

all

philosophers or

make

distinctions be-

represents a general popular suspicion of


'

who

Sophists

tween them.
Thucydides writing at the end of the fifth century
the word

uses

B.C.

in a sense nearer to that of Plato than

a-o<J3i(TTal

Aristophanes had done, to denote those professional orators

who made
audience.

ByXenophon
in

its

of

displays

rhetoric

(born about 431 B.C.) the word

indeterminate and in

hilia, IV.

ii.

i,

its

the same sense in which (lb.


d-rjaavpovs TOiv iraXai

racter.

ao(f>6l)V

Cyrus

with

associating ?

here put
find

is

him

Bell.

('
I.

the most famous sages


vi.

'),

in

14) he speaks of tovs

avhpmv, ovs SKSivoi KaTsKiirov sv


'

sophist'

Armenia, what had become of

whom
He is

no more,' said Tigranes,

to death.'

he, that

Pelop.

III.

38

'
;

'

the

'

and

'

for

my

father

What crime,' asked Cyrus, did he


He said that he corrupted me,'
'

'

yet, Cyrus, so noble

when he was going


:

'

on former occasions he had seen him

'

him committing

man was
"

used both

represented in the fiction as asking Tigranes,

answered Tigranes
a

is

he attributes the most elevated and noble cha-

son of the chief of


sophist,'

set

In Memora-

limited sense.

In Cyropcedia he speaks of a

'ypdy^avTes.

whom

to

he speaks of ypafifiara jroXXa ttoitjt&v ts koI

twv EvSoKififOTaTav

(TocfiierTaiv

^i^iois

before

{sTriBsi^sts)

^^

avKas re

and excellent

to die, he sent for

emTois loiKires

/caflrj/ifvois

me

fnaWov

ij

WORD

HISTORY OF THE
and told me not
ting

him

my

to bear

to death, because

'SOPHIST.

109

father the least ill-will for put-

he was not doing

it

out of malice,

but out of ignorance, and whatever faults

men commit

through

ought to be considered

ignorance

Whether

sophist

'

here

'

to be taken in the limited sense

is

more general sense of

of paid instructor, or merely in the


'

philosopher,'

involuntary.'

remarkable passage shows that at the

this

time when Xenophon wrote his Gyropceclia, he knew nothing


of an absolute antagonism and contrast between Socrates and
'

the Sophists,' else he would not have drawn a picture of

'

a sophist

'

same

suffering the

fate as Socrates,

martyr of the

same ignorant prejudice, and expressing sentiments worthy


most noble mood of Socrates.

of the

Xenophon speaks

dides,

he

of

Kvri^&vra tov

Antiphon

tain whether

of

It is uncer-

(ro(f)t,aT'^v.

is

the person alluded

the

same in winter

summer

as in

spare diet and on the general wretchedness of his


'

life.

If Philosophy,' he proceeded,

up with from

money

his master.

recipient,

your instructions had no value,


nothing ?

which to
wisdom.

sell
'

is

men

male demi-monde
to another
T^i'

whom

ffotpiav

Ttf

else

on

his

mode

of

would put

will

not take

and enables him

why

You

to

act as

should you give

Socrates replies that there are two things,

'

prostitution

Those who

that will bay,

apyvpiov

slave

you

more pleasant and gentlemanlike way.

live in a

^'

to,

be your mistress, you

It is all because

money that cheers the

for

'

Her a worse maintenance than any

get from

them

i,

described as taunting Socrates on his bare feet and

is

scant clothing

if

vi.

i.

Rhamnus, the master of Thucy-

Whoever

here meant.

is

In Mem.

^'
;

namely,

sell their

personal beauty and

wisdom

call " Sophists,"

for

or, as it

money

to

any

were, a sort of

whereas whoso, by imparting knowledge

he sees well qualified to learn, binds that

wffavTots

PovXofieiftp

roiis

fJ.y

TewKovfras,

(ro</)i(rTCts
fftv^

litnrfp

K.r.K., 13-

irSpvovs

airotcaXov-

ESSAY

110

II.

other to himself as a friend, does what

Here the name

and a gentleman.'

citizen

is befitting
'

sophist' is used

who

in its distinctly limited sense to denote a teacher

pay, and

name
with

is

it

on

also implied that,

is

good

to a

takes

this very account, the

considered to convey a certain amount of reproach

it.

At the end
c. xiii.),

of Xenophon's treatise on

Hunting

(Gynegeticus,

there appears a moral peroration, in which the writer

preaches a sermon on the excellence of the practice of hunting


as preparing a

man

Then he goes on

to serve his country.

and though Vir-

to the worth of toilsome pursuits in general,

tue

She

mankind would not shun the pur-

toilsome, says that

is

Her

suit of

they could only see in bodily form

if

This train of thought reminds him of the so-called

is.

He

but their teaching

virtue,

is

says,

He

Sophist.
Sophists,

says,

Many

'

'They pretend

a mere pretence.'

never seen any one made a good

the

beautiful

'

Sophists' of his time.

how

man by
me

teach

to

He

^^

has

the teaching of

beside

find

with

fault

and not with the philosophers, because the

former are subtle in words and not in thoughts.'

^^

They

seek only reputation and gain, and do not, like the philosophers, teach with a disinterested spirit.'

This passage,

'8

@avfid^Q> Be

if

tcDi/ ffotpiffTui/

fifputu OTi (paffl fifV itr

otjT

*6vTLv' ol

5' iirl

yhp &vdpa vov

vvv (To^kttolX OTyaBuv

fiaralcov

we rots
5'

ovK
29

vvv

noWh

KaXov-

d\A.ciL

iv To7s

Ot

ol

rovvav-

vo-fffxaffiv.

aotpiffral 5*

^irl

\4yov(ri Kol ypd<f>ovtnv

t^ f^aKOT^v
r^ eaurav

iirl

^tapaKafiev

Kepbei Kot ovdeva ovSev w<t>\ov(riv ot/Se

iirolrifrav^

7^^ (TOiphs avT&v iytfTO oitdels ou5'


^ffTiv^aWa Kal apK^I kK^fntp <rofpiffr^v

oijTe ypafifiara irope^ovTat i^

ayaOovs ylyvetrSaij

could be accepted as independent

apGT^v &y^tv

iroWol Tobs yeovs, &yov<ri

riov

it

^^

wv

)(p^

irepl fiev rojv

avTo7s yeypaTrrai

ct^'

v4ois at fxkv rj^oval K^vai, aper^

eyt.

'

KXridrivaij 3 effTiv Sveibos -jrapd

eS ^povovffi.

7rapayye\fjLaTa
Tct

Se

fuv

yyeyovfft 56 Koi

&Woi

iroWo] robs

arifid^eiv.

(To<ptffT^s Kal oxt

Tovs

(pt\o(r6(povSf

(tIovs Kal

^71 iv Tois 6v6(xafft ao(l>l^ovTai koX ovk

TO

p.kv

ye tois

ohv twv ffo^ttTTav

vapatvai 0uA.aTTe (T^at,

<pt\o(r6(l>uv 4v$vfj.i]/jiaTa
ot fj.ky

yhp

fi^

ffoipiffToi ttAou-

v4ovs BripaVTaif ot Se <piK6'

<TO(poi Trafft

Koivol Kal

ff>i\oi.

HISTOKY OF THE WORD 'SOPHIST.'

Ill

testimony, would go far to prove that tke strongest terms


ever used by either {"lato or Aristotle,

of censure

only a reflection of the general opinion of enlightened


in Greece,

when

But the passage

were

men

contrasting 'Sophists' with 'philosophers.'

harmony with that quoted above

out of

is

from the Cyropcedia

and again

an afterthought

like

it is

unnecessarily appended to the treatise

We

On Hunting.

know that Xenophon, who was not born much before Plato,
lived to a great age
that, at

in

and

some time or other

which the sophist

young men

he

it

seems reasonable to conjecture

after reading Plato's Sophistes,

defined as one

is

added on

who hunts

this frigid peroration to his lively

and technical discourse on hunting.


coarse echo of Plato, just as the

If so,

it is

said, in that case, is that

Xenophon, who

a discriminating or trustworthy

merely a

Symposium of Xenophon

looks like a poor copy of Plato's Symposium.

be

after rich

is

All that can

not in the least

authority on philosophical

matters, endorses the charge, by whomsoever made, against

the Sophists (as a recognised class of teachers)


ethical teaching
spirit

was hollow and

mercenary and

And

their

and their whole

rhetorical,

self-seeking.

that

he appears also

to indicate that enlightened public opinion

was in the same

direction.

The next testimony we have

who was born 436


Plato.

He

B.C.,

to cite is that of Isocrates,

and was thus seven years older than

seems to have been to some extent the pupU of

Socrates, but he maintained himself afterwards

school of rhetoric, which

guished pupils.

by keeping a

was attended by the most

His direction was entirely

distin-

practical, as is

evinced by frequent passages of his works, in which he ex-

On

presses contempt or dislike of the speculative spirit.

one hand he uses the term


of professional teacher,

'

Sophist' in

its

received

and on the other hand he

the

meaning
is

in the

ESSAY

112

habit of employing

it

II.

and vaguely to apply to

loosely

Isocrates

or philosophers in general.

of appreciating the philosophic

of view, which regarded

was

practical

totally incapable

and from

spirit,

literati

his

point

success as alone worth

having, he ignored altogether any distinction between the

His aversion to speculation

philosopher and the Sophist.

vents itself in a confused and indiscriminate carping at the


literary profession

T&v
'

'Zo(jiicrTa)v,

those

who undertake

of their promises,

His oration kuto,

and the philosophers.

which

is

fragmentary, contains an attack on

He ridicules

to teach.'

the magnitude

their imposture in offering to impart to

youths virtue and the art of attaining happiness

and the

absurdity of their demanding, in return for those inestimable

advantages, the

paltry

class of teachers

he

hiaTpi^ovTEs)
offer to

of three or

four min.

This

the disputants (ol nspl tcls spihas

from them he passes on to censure those that

impart political discourses, being

selves incompetent,

no

sum

calls

and speaking

all

the while them-

as if such discourses

had

relation to particular occasions, but could, like the art of

writing, be acquired once for

The reproaches he makes

all.

use of are some of them identical with those to be found in

the dialogues of Plato,

as,

for

to

teach justice.

He

mere verbal

mean

distinctions, has

unscientific, as despising such a

What

whom

they are undertaking

laughs at their affecting to despise

wealth, and says that their


to

condition,

made many

and adherence

prefer to remain

kind of exercise.

Isocrates upholds, however, in contrast to this

not a deeper philosophy, but a

more polished

he names mental qualifications for

it,

iirinsksias osiffOai, Kal

'ifrv^^rjs

rhetoric,

which are

such as Plato thought most undesirable.

slvai.

the Sophists

instance, that

cannot trust those very pupils to

Tavra

is

and

precisely

hs iroXkfjs

dvBpoKrjs, koI So^aa-riKrjs, spyov

In another passage (Philipjms,

12),

Isocrates uses

HISTORY OF THE

WORD

Sophist with what

the term

'SOPHIST.'

seems to be an undeniable

aUusion to Plato's Republic and I^aws.

Speaking of the

he says,

futility of abstract political speculations,

Kol rals irdXiTsoais rals viro twv ao^LarSyv

In his oration, De Fermutatione

'

came

honoured and censured by you,' and in

3 1 3,

the

with that of Plato, who

at variance

is

to have been the first

who accepted

was the

first

the

The discrepancy depends on the am-

Sophist.'

may

Solon

Athenian who was called Sophist, in

first

of the

sense

old

dis-

he affirms that

biguity and change of meaning in the term.

have been the

called one

to be

of the Athenians to be called a Sophist."

first

This last statement

appellation

'^e'^paixfjisvais.

and took the appellation now

of the Seven Sophists,

makes Protagoras

tois vofiois

235), he says that Solon,

through his attention to rhetoric,

'

dXA,' ofjioLtos

Xoywv aKvpoi Tvy^dvovaiv ovtss

oi TOiovToi tS)v

Solon was the

113

word,

who adopted

the

Protagoras

philosopher.^^

i.e.

name

in its later sense,

i.e.

professional teacher of philosophy.

We

see, then,

that the word

'

Sophist,' having first

a merely general signification, denoting


of letters,'

'

artist,' &c.,

middle of the

fifth

the Sophists,'

century, as

referring

its significations,

both

^^

iiri

ye twv

Kal

Toits

26\ava

ffvv6vTa.s

/j-ev

But the word retained

to this class.

ovrws

I.

avrols

yap, rhv n-puTov


liruvv^Llav

irpoirrdTZii' ii^iaffav Trjs

VOL.

to talk of

'

jrpoy6vo)V

ttoXitSiv \afi6vTa -r^v

rairn"

men began

even in the pages of the same author.

v6\(as

Sophist,'

and on the other hand.

elvai.
'^

a\ha robs Ka\ovfiet/ovs ^o^tffTas

iQr\\ovv.

man

the designation of a par-

then

a most exalted character

06kovv

e6aviJ.a(ov

Tail'

And

Thus Xenophon describes a

or in a sneering, way.

eT^ei',

had

in its earlier sense might be applied in a neutral,

The word

who was

philosopher,'

'

acquired a special meaning after the

ticular class of teachers.


'

'

The allusion here may be merely

to that passage of

Herodotus

quoted above, -where


'

Solon and

the day

'

all

came

it

was

(i.

29)

said that

the other sophists of


to Sardie.
I

ESSAY

114
Isocrates sneers at

'

II.

name

Sophists,' thus applying the

in a general but

But

plimentary sense to Plato himself.


said that for 150 years after

word

Sophist

'

Aristophanes

name

Laws composed by

the Republics and

450

B.C.

may

it

is

it

uncom-

safely be

rare to find the

used without some shade of disparagement.

'

satirises

generally under

philosophers

this

Thucydides opposes Sophists, as deliverers of rhetori-

cal discourses, to

statesmen in earnest about some question

Xenophon perhaps

copies Plato, but also as a soldier and a

gentleman he expresses his contempt for a


teachers,

who had nothing but

class of paid

verbiage to impart

Isocrates

speaks of the class with the bitterness of a rival teacher.


If the

Sophists

'

'

of the fifth century made

money out

of their

contemporaries, they seem, on the other hand, to have been

hardly used by them (whether deservedly or not) in respect


of reputation.

We

from their external

side, as

much

additional information from

externa] side of the Grecian Sophists

learn from

him

which he

calls

It has

name

of

'

the Sophists

him

first

be able to

as to this same

afterwards

we

shall

to appreciate the inner essence of that spirit


7]

o-o^iaTiKij,

and which may undoubtedly

be looked upon as an actual phase of

means confined

'

they appeared to contemporary

Passing on now to Plato, we shall

writers.

gain

have hitherto looked at

human

thought, by no

to the age of Socrates.

been a

common mistake

to understand, under the

the Sophists,' certain particular individuals, Prota-

goras, Gorgias, Prodicus, Hippias, Polus, Thrasymachus, and

one or two others, who figure in the Dialogues of Plato.

Enough has been

name

is

said to

show that in

earlier writers the

never used to indicate a sect in philosophy, and

equally true that in Plato


of a sect

nor

is

it

it is

the

name

ever restricted by

it is

of a profession, not

him

to the above-

mentioned individuals, who are merely eminent members of

HISTOKT OF THE WORD 'SOPHIST.


what was indeed a very wide-spread
91 B, Socrates

p.

is

made

by any means even the


TlpfOTayopas,

aWa

115

In the Meno,

profession.

to speak as, if Protagoras

was not

of the Sophists, koI ov

first

koI oKKob TrdfnroXKoi,

lyeyovoTSS sKSivov, ol he Koi vvv sri ovres.

/jlovov

irporspov

01 fisv

And by a still more

remarkable mode of speaking, in the Ethics of Aristotle


IX.

way con-

5-7, Protagoras appears to be in a sort of

i.

trasted with the Sophists.^'

It is true that Plato represents

Protagoras to have been the


of Sophist

to

first

assume openly the name

Protag. p. 317), but he also gives a

(of.

same dialogue,

picture in the

humorous

314 D, of the crowds of

p.

Sophists flocking to the house of Gallias, so that the porter,

mistaking Socrates and Hippocrates for members of the pro-

would scarcely open the door to them.^*

fession,

the house they find a conclave of persons,


foreigners

whom

him from

after

'

Within

most of them

drawn

Protagoras, like another Orpheus, had


their

own

cities

'amongst

others,

'

Anti-

moerus the Mendsean, the most famous of the pupils of Protagoras,

who was

to be a Sophist

'

learning with professional objects, meaning

(ivrt TS'Xvrj

fiavOdvsi,

ws

aocfuarrjs atjofisvos).

Protagoras takes great merit to himself for openly declaring


his

art,

he confesses

for

attaches to

it

that,

'

amount of envy

that a certain

going about drawing away youths from

their kindred

and connections under the promise of making

them

if

better

they associated with him

be assailed with hostility

to

^^

'O yap

fKeivtjj.

jroieTv Stc
urjffai

Trpo'i^fievos iotK^ eiriTpeiretv

"Oirep

<^a(r2

Koi TlpaTay6pap

y^p StSd^mv aS^iroTe,

rhf fiaBivra eK4\evv Ztrov

Ti-

So/ceT

&^ia iirlffraffQai, KaX e\dfi.0ajfe TOffovToy.

Oi 5e

irpo\a06vTiS rh apy^ptoy,

ejra fiTjdey troLOvvres S)V ^ipaffav, Zih rhs

virp0o\ks

ruv

^irayyeKiwy,

old

as

he

he
is,

was

likely

however, no

eV iyKX'fifiatri yivoyTai-

oil

Kovffiy & Q}fio\6y7iffav.

Tovto

TTOLflv oi (TotptffTal

yap eViTfS' Xffias

avayKil^oVTat Sia rh

fiTjOeya tty Sovvai ^pyiptoy wv CTiffrayTai.


^*

\^

Ea, e^Tj, tro(pnTTai riyes


ouTiy.

Trapi

'AXV &

KaWiay

'yoSt,

^Ko^iiy

ov tTxO'

e</)7j>/,

oSre

aotpnTrai

oijre

et/ctfrwi

ESSAY

116

harm has

come

ever

II.

him on account of

to

candour'

his

(pp. 316, 317)It

interesting to

is

trace

In spite of their great

general opinion about the Sophists.

them

success he represents

by persons

suspicion

no pretensions

been held in

to have

of honour,

the indications of

Plato

in

who

at the

same time made

This feeling

to philosophy.

instinctively

is

expressed by the young Hippocrates (Protag.

being asked whether he

and

dislike

p. 3

who

2 A),

going to Protagoras in order

is

himself to become a Sophist, confesses that he should con-

By

sider this a great disgrace.'*

19 E), a sweeping contempt

(p. 5

profess to teach virtue

them

;
'

is

Callicles, in the Gorgias

expressed for

Socrates asks,

course

it is

but

why

Socrates

we send Meno

Sophists

^^

2u

S'

iy^, Trphs Seuy, ovk

Trapexwu;

2ti/cpaTs, e^Trep ye

\eyeiv.

Ntj

rhv

Am, S

& Siavoovfiai xph


is too strong

This expression

to be explained away, as Grote proposes,

by

saying

that

if

it

is

only

be

idea, since

'"P. 91 B.

'

a-K6wei

TovTOvs Tous

wapa rims
Tre/j.woiiJ.ev.

napa

'6ri

utrKrxi^oufjLeyous

tiv

operas

bi5afTK(i\ovs elvai Ka\ aTro(p^vavTas a6-

Tohs KOivovs r&v 'EWtJ^wv


fieycp fmv66.veiv, fiiffdhv

when grown

Ol(r8a

was going to be a

to the

to this,

Kara rhv &pTt \6yov,

rffos \4yeis tovtovs,

up, he

To whom

these corrupt

nefiiroPTes aifrhir 6p6&?


5i)

there

so,
'

Socrates, in reply

SrjKof

Because

Whether

analogous to an English boy's being


unwilling to have it thought that,
schoolmaster.

'

Rhetorician

it

to learn virtue from ?

alffx^vaio els rovs "EK\7ivas avrhv

iTOipiaTijv

argues that

them.'^^

'Of

men

the question being. Is

J/en.o

Anytus repudiates the

'

^y

5e,

Socrates answers,

and inquires of Anytus,

it,

who come near

all

ttv

'

In the

identically the same.'

must be teachers of

they

Callicles replies,

Sophist and the

I find the procedure of the

shall

whom

should you speak about a set of

are absolutely worthless ?

virtue teachable?

who

those

Is it not absurd in

to find fault with the conduct of those

have undertaken to make virtuous?'

who

'

'

vovs Te KoX TrpaTTOfievovs

oCovs

S-fjTTov

01

Kal

irv

S>

t^J fiov\o-

tovtov To^afie;

AN.

^(^Kpares
'6ti

&v0pu'trot KaKovfft

outoI

Kol
;

2il.

eltriv

<TO(ptffTfis.

PLATO
urges,

How

'

117

possible this sliould be true of the Sophists

is it

who

cobbler

VIEWS OF THE SOPHISTS.

mend

professed to

but made them

%|ioes

worse, would be found out in less than thirty days,

how then

could Protagoras have remained undetected and maintained

and made

so great a reputation

so great a fortune, deceiving

the whole of Greece for more than forty years


events,

must we not concede that

if

Anytus answers,

men

and

to the Sophists,
to

practise

their

that they are insane

'

still

more

so the States

Socrates

art.'

At

all

they do harm to others,

they do so unconsciously, and are like


this

says,

insane

who

give

who

allow

Some one

'

'

To

money
them

of the

Sophists must have wronged you, Anytus, or you would not

be so

Anytus

bitter.'

with them.'
they are

says,

'

Socrates asks,

like ?

Anytus

'

No, I never had anything to do

How

'

says,

'

then can you

Oh, I

know

well

know what

enough what

they are like without having had anything to do with


Socrates implies that Anytus

them.'

He

knowledge but prejudice.


adding,

'

After

say' (kuI

io-cos

all,

there

tv Xsysis,

In this discussion
Sophists

is

Socrates),

in Athens.

dialogue {Meno,

90 A)

p.

Evidently

by

92 D).

of

Anytus (the accuser of

at as the representative of con-

Full justice

is

done in the

to the eminence of his position,

political influence.

tically, his arbitrary, narrow,

out.

subject

observable that the abuse of the

servative feeling

and

p.

mouth

who may be looked

his wealth,

dismisses the

perhaps something in what you

is

Meno,

it is

put into the

speaking not from

is

we cannot

But afterwards, drama-

and unfair turn of mind comes


say

that in

the

Meno Plato

calumniates the Sophists, or vUifies them as opponents and

AN. 'HpiKheis,

euf'^/iei,

5 tdxpaTES.

TQvs i\66vTa \w^7id7ivat,


(pavepd effTi

AeijjSr;

a-vyyivofievwv.

Toiairr} fxavia hd$ot,

Siare irapa rov-

eirei

ovroi ye

T6 Kol 5(a(^0opct rwv

ESSAY

118

Eather

rivals of Socrates.

lie

II.

makes

it

appear that there

is

something hasty and inconsidered in the popular feeling

them (which

against

is

a true, but blundering instinct), and

that the philosopher must consider their claims, their ten-

and the phenomena of their success from a deeper

dencies,

point of view.

To a

similar purport Socrates

is

made

to speak in the

Republic (p. 492 A), where he says to Adeimantus,

Perhaps

"'

you think with the multitude that youths are corrupted by


Sophists,

and do not perceive that Society

est Sophist, educating

is itself

and moulding young and

the great-

What

old.

Sophist or private instructor could withstand the powerful


voice of the world ?

Don't you see that the so-called Sophists

do nothing else but follow public opinion


nothing

keepers of a wild beast, who,

moods and learned

tem and a

philosophy.'

them away from the


I

am

when they have

teach

like the

studied his

to understand his noises, caU this a sys-

The common accusation had been

that the Sophists unsettled

'

They are

but the popular dogmas.

else

They

young men's

opinions,

established beliefs.

willing to exonerate

them from

and turned

Socrates implies,

this.

Rather I have

to complain that the Sophists are too unsophisticated, that

they are too

much merely

that they have

monde

'^

phis

of the

que personne

popular voice;

V esprit

que

tout

le

a."

Viewed

externally the Sophists presented the appearance

of a set of teachers, such as

the middle of the

about

echoes

B.C.

fifth

first

century

appeared in Greece towards


B.C.

(Protagoras was

bom

480, and began to practise his art in his thirtieth

were others before him).

They were

for the

most part itinerant teachers, going from

city to city.

They

year, but there

would make displays of their rhetoric


invite

(iiriBei^sis),

and then

the youths of their audience to come and receive

THE GAINS OF THE SOPHISTS.

men

instruction with a view to becoming able

hommes,

hahiles

(Sstvot,

various, rhetoric

and

Their

&c.).

119

Some, such as Hippias, professed a

science.

knowledge

were

and physical

music,

dialectic, ethics,

in the State

instructions

jaantological

others, as Gorgias, confined themselves to rhe-

Their profits no doubt varied with their success

toric.

some must have been

paid and wretched, as

ill-

however,

point,

made

Isocrates

represented

The leading members

by Aristophanes and Isocrates.


profession seem to have

is

large

sums

at

direct

is

with

issue

Socrates says in the Meno, p. 91 D, that 'he

of the

On

of money.

knew

this

Plato.

of Pro-

tagoras gaining greater wealth by his profession than Phidias

and ten other sculptors put

sums

man
1

^'

Hippias

he made

is

made

And

together.'

Major (pp. 282, 283) Prodicus

is

said to have

to boast that

'

in the Hip2^ias

made immense

when

quite a

in Sicily, in a short space of time,

50 minse (pool.), and that in one

made more than 20 minse

'

(80I.).

little village,

He

young

more than
Inycus, he

adds, however, 'that

he supposes he has made more than any two Sophists put

In contradiction to

together.'

much more

He

Sophists.

says (De Permutatione,

of the so-called Sophists will

money.

Some

of

rate circumstances.

on record.

this picture, Isocrates gives

limited account of the pecuniary success of the

He

them

155, 156),

'Not one

be found to have amassed much

lived in small, others in very

Gorgias of Leontium

lived in Thessaly,

rich; attained a great age;

mode-

made the most

where people were very

was long given up

had no settled habitation in any State

to his business

paid no taxes nor con-

tribution; had no wife nor children, and so was free from


this the

most continual tax of

tages beyond
"

all

and

with these advan-

others for acquiring a fortune,

Tois veois avviiv xp'6m''' ^Xa;8e Bav/nacrTa

'6aa.

Cf.

he only

Xon. Symp.

i.

left

5, IT.

62.

ESSAY

120

behind him at the

last

II.

This oration

i,000 staters' (i25Z.?).

was written in the eighty-second year of Isocrates'


probably
Plato

much

later

life,

and

than the above-mentioned Dialogues of

the fame of the achievements of the Sophists was

Isocrates, being himself a paid teacher,

therefore less fresh.

was complaining of the

making enough, he was

difficulty of

therefore not likely to take a sanguine view of success in this

department

that the Sophists did, as

also, it is credible

is

usually the case with persons whose gains are irregular, not

much

save

or leave

much behind them.

Hence we need not

find a great difficulty in the discrepancy of the

two

state-

Plato represents popular rumours and external sur-

ments.

new

prise at the success of a

profession

Isocrates, taking

the other side, goes into details and shows that in the long

run there was nothing

With regard

money

at

argument has been

may

was something

all

raised, that this

proach, as the practice of so

the moderns

all.

to the reproach against the Sophists, that

their teaching for

an

so very wonderful effected after

many

serve to testify.

discreditable
really

is

respectable

no

re-

men among

But we should endeavour

to put ourselves into the position of the ancients, and the

following

considerations

practice of the Sophists

men's feelings.

As soon

mind seemed more

when wisdom,

as the Sophists

boasts of his gains,

if

all,

The

said to have

beautiful in the old

imparted, was given as a

gift.

and

free

began their

career, the fine

seemed gone.

When

Socrates ironically replies,

how much wiser men of the


You seem to be just
time.
is

(i)

so.

was an innovation, and jarred on

spirit of the old philosopher

he

help us to do

There was something that to the natural

prejudices of the

simple times,

may

'

Hippias

Dear me,

present day are than those of old

the reverse of Anaxagoras.

had a fortune

left

him and

For

to have lost

it

such a poor Sophist was he (ovras avrov dvorjra ao^i-

THE GAINS OF THE SOPHISTS.


and other such

ffo-^at),

(Hipp. Major, p. 283 A.)

(2)
first

But

a necessity.
tration

of

appears at

it is

systematic
first

are told of the ancients.'

stories

education began for the

121

With1;he Sophists systematic


Undoubtedly

time.

this

was

equally true that about the adminis-

education there

sight slavish

something

is

that

The Greeks

and mechanical.

had not yet learned those principles according

to

which a

They

sense of duty will dignify the meanest tasks.

tested

things too exclusively in reference to the standard of the


fine

and the noble

(jcaXov).

(3)

But

We do not find that the teachers

Sophist.

for boys

were looked down upon,

The

identified with the Sophists.

of gymnastics or of

true,^*

it is

latter

but were not

taught not boys, but

again, they taught not the necessary rudiments, but

something more pretentious


virtue,

skill,

disliked in the

Those who kept schools

harp-playing were held in disrepute.

youths

was not simply the

it

that was

paid schoolmaster

of the

office

wisdom,

and the conduct of

philosophy, political

To make

life.

market of

the highest subjects and of divine philosophy seemed to


like Socrates, Plato,

simony.^'

and

Aristotle, little less

There was a charlatanism in the

these things to

all

than a sort of
teach

offer to

comers, which was from different causes

equally offensive to ordinary


like

men

men and to the philosophers. Men

Anytus and Aristophanes complained that the Sophists

corrupted youth by teaching them subtleties and unsettling


their opinions.
truth.

"

Of.

In this complaint there was a part of the

The philosophers added the other

Demosthenes de Corond,

p.

into a

sort

Socrates, his

313-

^ The

him

side,

severity of this principle

by complain-

of

revolt against

master, taught

Sophist (Diog. Laert.

ii.

62),

as

and ap-

appears not to have been long main-

pears to have lived upon his gains.

tained in the post-Socratic, or at

Zeno,

all

Cleanthes,

events the post-Aristotelian schools.

according

Aristippus, whose worldly spirit puts

acceptaverunt.

to

and Chrysippus,

Quintilian,

mercedes

ESSAY

122

It.

ing that the Sophists were shallow and rhetorical, that they
instead

popular prejudices

flattered

of

displacing them.

The Sophists were vilipended by the philosophers not merely


as paid teachers, but as paid charlatans.^"

The most

and prominent creation

characteristic

early Sophistic era was, in one word, rhetoric.


toricians, the Sophists

But

of the
as rhe-

were themselves the creatures of their

Circumstances were ripe in the Greek States for the

times.

development of this new direction of the human mind, and


came.

it

lost

Cicero

Aristotle's

when

after the expulsion of the tyrants

Thrasybulus,

(i.e.

from

12) quoting

TS'xycov, teUs us that Rhetoric took

its rise in Sicily,

the

to

(^Brutus, c.

work, the 'twaycoyrj


'

B.C.

many

467),

claims of citizens

now

lawsuits arose with regard

returning from banishment

and who had been dispossessed of

their property.

The

in-

cessant litigation which this led to, caused Corax and Tisias
to

draw up systems of the

art of speaking

time there had been careful


speeches, but

(for before this

speaking and even written

no fixed method or

rationale).

Hence

also

Protagoras came to write his commonplaces of oratory and

Gorgias his encomia.'

Everywhere in Greece circumstances

were analogous to those in


rise to

Sicily.

Personal freedom gave

the contests of the law courts.

Nothing was more

necessary than that a citizen should be able to defend his

own

The demand

cause.

the development of

for instruction in rhetoric,

all

its arts,

met everywhere by the

Sophists.

and

for

means, and appliances, was

Hence the impression they produced on the


speech and thought was almost unspeakably great.

national

To

trace

the technical changes and advances in the various systems

from Corax to Isocrates belongs to the history of rhetoric.


'

Kali

cro<j>i(!-TiisxpVf-'^''''<''Ti)sa.TTh <j>aivofi.4vr)5

Soph. Mench.

ii.

6.

aotplas,

a\\'

ou/c oilaiis. Aristotle,

THE EHETOEIC OP THE SOPHISTS.


It will suffice for tlie present purpose to

on

tlie

make

Sophistical rhetoric in its illation to

Two

of thought.

On

a few remarks

and modes

life

separate tendencies seem to have mani-

fested themselves from the very outset

composition.

123

among the masters

of

the one hand, the Sicilian school, repre-

sented by Gorgias of Leontium, Polus of Agrigentum, and


their follower, Aleidamas of Elasa, in Asia Minor,
evsTTsia,

'

fine

school, led

On

speaking.'

the

aimed at

Greek

other hand, the

by Protagoras, Prodicus, and Hippias, devoted

themselves more especially to opdoEireia,

'

correct speaking.'

.From these opposite but concurrent tendencies arose that

which may be called

'

style ' in Greece,

and which did not

exist before the middle of the fifth century.

The achievements of Protagoras and the


ricians

seem to have amounted to no

less

'

Greek

'

rheto-

than the foundation

of grammar, etymology, philology, the distinction of terms,

prosody, and literary criticism.

In judging of the so-called

verbal quibbles of the Sophists,

we have

selves to a time anterior to the

commonest abstractions of

to transport our-

grammar and

logic.

that thinking

upon words which was one manifestation of

Protagoras was the

the subjective tendencies of the day.


'OpdosTTSta (which

is

first

to introduce

His work, entitled

mentioned by Plato, Phcedrus,

p.

267 C),

most probably contained a variety of speculations, as well


philological as grammatical.

from Plato's Cratylus


etymological

we

(p.

of nouns, calling

minations

-IS

and

was the

i,

-7)^

we

solecism.

first

v.,

to classify the genders

BrfKea,

and

crKSwr).

From

learn that he considered the ter-

ought to be appropriated to the mas-

culine gender, so that to say

In the

Aristotle's Rhetoric, in.

them dppsva,

8<yph. MeTicIi. xiv.

even his ^AXr]6sia appears

C) to have touched upon

391

From

questions.

learn that Protagoras

And

Clouds

of

ixrjviv

ovXo/j.evrjv

Aristophanes

(v.

would be a
668-692),

124

Socrates

is

II.

ludicrously introduced

as

grammatical performances of Protagoras was the


tion of the Xoyos or

Laert. ix.

which seems to have had some

The

verbs.

classifica-

form of speech,' into question, answer,

'

command, and prayer (Diogenes


moods of

and

Another of the

the feminine gender.

aXsKToveov to suit

out these

following

alter the termination of Kaphoiros

and wishing to

ideas

ESSAY

5 3),

a classification

with that of the

affinity

allusions in the Clouds to the art of

metres, versification, and rhythms, seem to imply the practice of similar studies in the school of Protagoras.

seem to have

speculations in etymology and language

his

Lastly,

been made in support of his philosophical doctrine of know'

ing and being,'

nrdvTwv iikrpov avOpanros

(cf.

Plato's Graty-

lus, i.c.y

Prodicus,
(cf.

is

said to have been the master of Socrates

Protagoras, p. 341 A, Hippias Major, p.

famous
cation
said

who

'

that a right use of words

(jrpwTov jap, &s


Set,

<j)T}cri

Euthydem.

P- 337} ^ speech is

verbal refinement, and


furnish out

must be

some

the beginning of knowledge'

TipoBiKos, Trspl ovofidrcov 6p66r7jTos

277 E).

p.

In Plato's Protagoras,

his style.
is

Every sentence contains a

thrown back on

itself,

in order to

antithetical distinction in language.

'

We

impartial, but not indifferent listeners {tcoivoiis fisv

laovs Se

wrangle

is

signifi-

reported to have

is

put into his mouth, which exhibits an

amusing caricature of

slvat,

He

was

C),

between words of cognate

for his distinctions

and apparently synonymous.

fiaOsiv

282

yu.??).

The

(d/jL<j>icr^7}rscv fikv,

speakers

ipi^siv Be

firj).

our esteem, rather than our applause


evaivoicrds),
(fjpaivoifisda,

and we

ou^

In themselves,

should

dispute,

So they

(^evSoki/jloIts

shall feel rather joy

not

will gain

koI ovk

than pleasure

{sv-

riBolfieda^.'

many

dicus were probably of

of the distinctions

little

value

drawn by Pro-

many were overstrained,

THE EHETORIC OF THE SOPHISTS.


and even

false;

given which

between

is

is

Gliarmides, p. 163,

cf.

said to

be after

tlje

and irpa^us

irooijais

125

where a distinction

manner

irpa^is

of Prodicus

is
it

defined to be

is

But we must acknowledge the merit of

iroirjcri.sT&v a/yaSaiv.

attempt at separating the different shades of lan-

this first

guage, and fixing a nomenclature.

The powerful

of this example (not always a healthy one)


in the style of Thucydides.

And

its full

influence

may be

traced

development was

attained in the accurate terminology of Aristotle.

The

short speech assigned to Hippias in the Protagoras

of Plato

and that in Hipp. Maj.

(p. 337),

obvious caricatures, give us

He

282, being

p.

a conception of his manner.

still

appears to have united some of the splendour of the Sici-

lian school to the self-conscious

the Greek rhetoricians.


attributed to

and introverted writing of

This combination gives the sentences

him a shadowy resemblance

cydides, as, for instance, the following


TTjv

rifids

ovv

Thu-

alcr'^^pov

divaiv tS)v Trpayfidrcov sloivai, aocpcoTo-Tovs Be ovras

fjisv

Toiv '^jKKrjvaiv koI

'EXXaSos
ttoXecos

to the style of

ts

kut avro tovto vvv avvsXrfkvdoTas

avTO to TrpvTaveiov

w tov

/MsyLO-Tov Koi

Trjs

ttjs re

do^ias koI avrfjs

oX^iwrarov oIkov tovSs,

Trjs

firjBsv

TOVTOV tov d^iwfj^aros d^iov d-iro^rivaaOai (Protag. 337 D).

Of course here the pomp

of the words

covers vapidity of

thought, but one can see the outward husk and hollow shell
of style.

The

influence

of Gorgias

upon the writers

probably exceeded that of any other Sophist.


first

essays in

speculation, he appears

philosophy, and to

He was

rhetoric.

to

come

ot

chosen by his countrymen, the Leontines,

aid against Syracuse.


all

After his

to have renounced

have proclaimed himself a teacher

as ambassador to

reserve on

of Greece

Athens in the year 427

Thucydides

(ill.

B.C.,

asking

86), with his usual

matters the least extraneous,

makes no men-

ESSAY

126

Diodorus

tion of his name.

(xii.

has the following

53)

'At the head of the envoys was

remarks on this event:

rhetorician, a

Gorgias the

II.

man who

contemporaries in oratorical

skill

surpassed

far

he also was the

He amazed

inventor of the art of rhetoric.

all

his
first

the Athenians,

quick-witted and fond of oratory as they were (pvras sv<^vsis


Kol (piKoXoryovsi), by the strangeness (tm ^svl^ovti) of his

language, by his extraordinary avrWera, and laoKaXa, and

and ofioioreXsvra, and other

irdpiaa,

same

figures of the

kind, which at that time from the novelty of their style

were deemed worthy of adoption, but are now looked upon

and ridiculous when used in such nauseous super-

as affected

The speeches

abundance.'

of Gorgias were thus most ela-

borately constructed, and, in addition to their almost metrical


character, bordered

upon poetry

also in their use of

phors and of compound words.

Aristotle

the fault of writing prose as


severely says that this

covering by

it

comments upon

were poetry, and he

was done by the

how

because they observed

if

meta-

first

prose writers

great was the success of poets in

their diction the emptiness of their thoughts.'"

Aristotle in another

place quotes

from Gorgias and from

Alcidamas, his follower, several instances of what he


'

frigidity

(yjrvxporrjs, Rhet.

'

m.

iii.

i),

He

pous or poetical words and compounds.

two of the

rhetorical

tricks

calls

produced by pom-

of Gorgias.

also mentions

One was

that

Gorgias boasted he could never be at a loss in speaking,


'

for if

will
III.

he
^*

he

go

is

off

xvii. 2).

said,

Bhct.

\4yovTiS

'

speaking of Achilles, he praises Peleus,'

from his subject into something

The other device was one

You

III. i. 9.

eiri}67]

Sta

full

i.e.

he

collateral {Rliet.

of shrewdness

should silence your adversary's earnestness

'Eirei 5' ol iroiTjTal


r-fiv

\4^iv iSSKOvy

vopl<ra<T9ai Ti)c8e rjjy S6^av, iih

tovto

Topyiov.

with

127

Among

the imitators

and his

jest,

of Gorgias

Agathon

THE EPIETOKIC OF THE SOPHISTS.


with earnest.'

jest

were Agathon and

Symposium

in the

extreme of the flowery

^^

The speech

Isqprates.

of Plato

is

an example of the

Socrates remarks at

style.

of

its

con-

clusion, that

he has been almost petrified by the speaking

Gorgias

Gorgon's) head which Agathon has presented

(i.e.

The

to him.

influence of Gorgias

may

be extensively

also

detected in the antitheses (often forced), the balance of

and the occasionally poetical diction of Thucy-

sentences,
dides.

as a thinking

Rhetoric, viewed historically, considered

about words and the

possibilities of language,

was by no

means, as we have seen, coeval with the origin of States and

human

of

thought.

But

civilisation.

it

It

was a somewhat

late

product of

was a path which there was an inherent

necessity for opening and

exploring.

From

this point of

view, thanks are due to the more eminent Sophists for their

contributions towards the formation of Grecian prose style,


for

developing the idea of the period, and bringing under

the domain of art that which before was

own

If in their

left

uncultivated.

writing ornament was overdone, they

may be

considered in this, as in other things, to occupy a transition


place,

and

to have served as pioneers to others.

But there

is

yet another aspect in which rhetoric must

be regarded, and that

is,

not merely as an

affair

of words

and sentences, but as a direction and phase of thought


It consists in attention to form,

in striving
for the true

decking out

outer garment of words

*^

Rhct.

III.

Topyias rrjv

xviii. 7-

uiv

and the

for the brilliant

in

in

^^^ ^^^^ ^^V

ffnovSi}!'

SiacpBiipeiy

itself.

producing neglect of matter

stale

plausible, instead of

thoughts with a fresh

enforcing a conclusion without

tojc eyavriuv

(rirovSij.

7eAwT(, rhv Se ytKiora

ESSAT

123

having tested the premisses.

covers

This takes up the arts of the

philosopher's

lawyer into the

the teacher's

or

ignorance with a cloak of verbosity

its

there

confess

II.

anything

is

it

chair;

does not know.

it

will never

it

This most

truly keeps the key of knowledge, and will neither enter


in

nor

itself

which

it

men come

other

let

does not feel

nature

its

its

things

come from the

utterances

its

and not from the heart

It speaks

in.

fancy,

pictures are not taken from

metaphors are unnecessary

pathos

its

is

hollow.

If language be looked on as not separate from thought, but


identical with

it,

There

to true.

then

no doubt, various degrees and stages of

are,

The

rhetorical falsehood.
sists in

some

rhetoric false thought, as opposed

is

lightest

kind

slight exaggeration in a

is

word

that which conor

an expression.

This often takes place in cases where a speaker or writer fully

and sincerely
asserting

believes

the general import of what he

himself to quit the stern simplicity of what he actually

Again, when a foregone conclusion has


rhetoric

is

is

but in setting forth the separate parts he allows

called in in the

flagrant rhetorical falsity

lost

hope of enlivening
would, of course,

feels.

its freshness,
it.

The most

consist in the

advocacy of propositions which the speaker not only did not


believe (in the sense of not feeling or realising them), but

absolutely disbelieved.

tremely rare.

As men

are not fiends, this

is

ex-

Rhetoric usually juggles the mind of the

speaker as well as of his audience.

It takes off the atten-

tion of both from examining the truth.


part, well-meaning,

and

is

much

It

is,

for the

most

rather a defender than an

impugner of the common orthodox opinions.

Hence

it

was

that Plato defined rhetoric to be a trick of flattering the


populace.

Hence,

also,

he said that the Sophists studied

the humours of society, as one might study the temper of a

wild beast.

In the practice of the Sophists, Plato saw Rhe-

THE RHETORIC OF THE


and Sophistry'"

toric

SOPHISTS.

129

Sophistry consisted in sub-

identical.

stituting rhetoric for philosophy, wofds for thoughts


ovofxacrt cro<j)L^ovTaL Koi

With

ovk sv rots

vo^fiacri,

which reason and imagination both found

was an harangue

it

subject, with figures


stotle,

rots

Xen. Cyneget.

I.e.).

was a higher kind of poetry, in

Plato, philosophy

the Sophists,

(Jz;

(iiriBsi^ts)

and periods

With

their scope.

upon any given

to catch applause.

Ari-

indeed, was enabled afterwards to look at rhetoric in

a mere abstract way, as the art of composition, and so to


separate the Rhetorician from the Sophist, since

it

was not

necessary that Rhetoric should be used in a Sophistical

But Plato always regards Rhetoric

human thought
and never

And

as a

mere instrument
is

'

bloom of

it

be

in

spirit.

impulse in

the concrete,

used and abused.

a reality, attaching itself

decay,' luxuriantly overgrowing

this the experience of all ages

can

to

false

the highest subjects, to philosophy and religion,

all to

and, like the

he always considers

that the rhetorical spirit

above

as a

them,

and of every thinking man

testify.

But hollow

rhetoric is not the only feature of Sophistry,

either according to modern acceptation, or in the pictures

drawn by

nected with

meaning
'

An

Plato.
it

even more prominent association con-

isfallacious

of the

word

sophism naturally stands


'

and Sophistry becomes

derived from etymology.

accuse the Greek

'

for a trick in

this is

^^

own

purposes.

Cf. Gorgias, p.

VOL.

I.

devise

the original
cleverly,'

language or thought,

not merely an association

Plato and Aristotle both directly

Sophists,' or professional teachers, of the

practice of consciously using


their

'to

identical with paralogism used for a

But

dishonest purpose.

Prom

reasoning.

a-o^i^sa-6ai,

520 A.

fallacious

It has of late

ravTdv,

S>

arguments to

suit

been ingeniously dis-

fxandpt^ iffrX ffotpi(TTi]S Kai frfirap.

ESSAY

130

II.

pointed ouf* that at a particular point a

covered and

chano-e comes over the spirit of Plato's treatment of Sophists,

that the dialogues in which the Sophists are mentioned


fall

into

two groups,

'

and that in each of these the being

called Sophist exhiljits a strongly

ferent from that of his

homonym

marked

character, so dif-

in the other group, that if

they had not been called by the same name, no reader would

have dreamt of identifying them.

The
Gorgias,

and Republic, in which the great

attributed
as

group of dialogues consists of Protagoras,

earlier

to

the leading Sophists,

who

characteristics

are

introduced

dramatis personce (Protagoras, Polus, Hippias, Gorgias,

Thrasymachus), are

their wordiness, their habit of declaim-

ing and making long speeches, their ignorance of the art of


argumentation, their inability to discuss a subject by means
of short questions and answers.
differing in

many

These personages, widely

important points, both of doctrine and

attitude, are represented as having

one thing in common,

which may be represented positively


declamatory tendency, and negatively

as
as

rhetorical

and

an incapacity

for

In Meno, in which the Sophists are men-

close reasoning.

tioned and half-defended against Anytus, Socrates alludes to

the Eristics

(p.

75 D) as

and by no means
to the second

if

a distinct class from the Sophists

identical with them.

But when we come

group of dialogues, consisting of Eiithydemus,

SopMstes, and Thecetetus, a great change


the Sophists are

now

is

observable, for

represented as the practitioners of

perverse, dialectic, as putting captious

questions to people

and inveigling them into contradictions by means of verbal


quibbles, as professors of the art of iptariKi].

two Sophists are represented

*'

By Mr. H. Sidgwick

in the

In Uuthydemus

as practising this art

Journal of Philology,

vol. iv. p.

294

on an

sqq.

CHANGE IN PLATO S TREATMENT OF


ingenuous youth, who

SOPHISTS.

131

rescued from their clutches by

is

Socrates. In Sophistes the Sophist, with his short questions

and answers,

is

expressly contrasted with both the statesman

and the Rhetorician.


<To^i(TTiKSis^^ is

In Thecetetus

(p.

54 E) the adverb

used smnmarily to designate the method of

captious Eristic, which has no regard to truth, but only to


victory, as opposed to honest Dialectic,

whose object

the

is

discovery of truth.

There appears, then, to have been a strongly marked

The

change of front in Plato's attack on the Sophists.


only difficulty in explaining this

from the

arises

whether Euthydemus was not one of the


of Plato (as indeed

it

earlier

doubt

dialogues

generally supposed to have been).

is

Mr. Sidgwick, however, thinks that from the nature of


contents

may

it

its

be placed in chronological juxtaposition

with Sophistes.

However

this

may

be, the

Protagoras, Gorgias, and

Euthydemus and
point to an

change that occurred in the character-

the Greek Sophists.

istics of

between

on the one hand, and

on the other hand, seems to

Sophistes,

historical

difference in view

Republic,

While the

early

and greater

Sophists were mainly rhetoricians and declaimers, the later


Sophists, those of the fourth century B.C., were mainly eristics,

Mr. Sidgwick

or perverse dialecticians.

is

of opinion that

this arose from the example of the Socratic

putation

that

by showing

Socrates,

or refutation of opinions

dered unsound,
fallacies,

is

his

mode

of dis-

triumphant elenchus,

and conclusions which he consi-

responsible for the sopMstici elenchi, or

those unfair arguments which

Aristotle

were used with the view of astounding the

tells

us

listener, in order

that out of this triumph reputation, and out of reputation


*^

^vve\06t/Tes

tTo<pt(rTiKus

eis

fJ-dxVJ^ toioiJttji',

a\\-fi\a>v

rovs \6yovs toIs

h6yoLS eKpovofiev.

ESSAY

133

might accrue

gain,

of Eristic in

all its

*^

II.

was the father

in short, that Socrates

This

forms.

is

an interesting suggestion,

and a certain amount of acceptance must be accorded to

it.

Doubtless in the half-century which succeeded the death of


Socrates a very great impulse was given in Athens to the
practice of Dialectic, and thence of Eristic.

in the post-Socratic philosophical schools

arguments invented by the Megarians

This appears
in the captious

the

in

Platonic

Dialogues themselves, which are composed throughout


a dialectical, often on an

tendency must

this

society,

as

we

game

them

on

more

Athenian

from the Topics of Aristotle, which

in order to give rules for the intellectual

of Dialectic, as practised at Athens. ^^

the lively and

stiU

in

itself

have given the start to this sort of thing

of

But

basis.

have manifested

learn

work was written

eristical,

intellectual Athenians,

may

Socrates

but

it

just suited

and we may conceive

at this period as a society possessed

by an

insatiate

appetite for discussion and controversy, whether with a view


to truth or to

mere victory over an opponent.

The Sophists

were always rather the creatures than the creators of their


age

and

as in the fifth century they followed the impulse of

the times, and became rhetoricians, and in some cases made


contributions to Rhetoric and

its

subsidiary arts, so in the

fourth century they appear merrily

swimming with the

of Dialectic, and drawing profit to themselves out of

working out the

own

possibilities of Eristic,

fallacious refutations to

and inventing

match the elenchus of

tide
it,

their

Socrates.

Their procedure was caricatured by Plato in the Euthydemus, but Aristotle gravely assures us as a matter of fact

"
v'lKTJS

Soph. El.
ai/TTJS

xi. 5.

X^P*''

Oi

/iiv

oZv

-rris

rOLOVTOl ipttTTLKol

^-uOpwirot Kal (piKepiies SoKOVfriv

ejifaij

ffO<plffTLKoi.

"
386.

See Grote's Aristotle, vol.

i.

p.

ERISTIC OF THE SOPHISTS.


tliat

the kind of fallacies therein represented were habitually

employed by the Sophists/'

by

133

As,

may

honour of having well-nigh exhausted the


error in

human

Aristotle

Modern

reasoning.

been able to add any new


says

that

Sophistry in making

it

'

of

list.

no bad

Plato gave

all

definition of

has no absolute existence)

(i.e.

as, for instance,

whether Coriscus, the musician,

may be

the Sophists

said to be concerned with the accidental

cus

possibilities

to be concerned with the non-exist-

For the arguments of almost

ent.

claim the

logicians have hardly

the

fallacies to

and analysed

collected

Aristotle, these Sophistical Refutations

that which

their question

the same as plain Coris-

is

whether, by becoming musical, one absolutely comes

into being,' &c. (Metapliys. v.

254 A), that

phist, p.

'

ii.

4).

Plato had said (So-

while the philosopher

is

ever de-

voted to the idea of the absolutely existent, and thus lives


in a region which

is

dark from excess of

light, the Sophist,

on the other hand, takes refuge in the murky region of the


This

non-existent.'

plained

it,

non-existent

was, as

contrasted with absolute being.

was a

it

Aristotle

ex-

'

to argue that to speak falsely

would be no

less

Elsewhere we

trick of the Sophists to avail themselves

of a traditional piece of dialectic

and

'

the sphere of the accidental, the conditional, the

relative, as

find that

'

older than Protagoras,'

was impossible,

for that

than uttering the non-existent, whereas the

non-existent has no existence in any sense whatever, and


therefore to conceive or utter

it

is

impossible (Euthydem.

Plato maintains against this argument, and

pp. 284-286).

against the doctrines of the Eleatics, that in some


'

not-being

*8

'

Soph. Elench.

effTi Tt

We see then

has an existence.

TOioxJTov

i.

8.

\6yuv

"Ort

fihv

ovv

yivos, Kol

on

sense

that to set the

roiairyis ecpUj^rai Swdfiews ots koAoS-

fiey (rotjuffriiSf S^Aoy.

ESSAY

134

II.

meaning of a word against

relative

its

absolute significa-

tion to play off the accidental against the essential, formed

a main part of the

'

Eristic

The view here taken,


Eristic
it

was only

'

art.

then,

is

fully developed

was not derived by them

that

whUe

it

true that

is

by the post-Socratic Sophists,

at first

hand from Socrates him-

self,

but came to them through the active dialectic tenden-

cies

now

spread throughout society, which tendencies they,

as professors of the art of disputation, restless in intellect

and without earnestness about consequences, appear


to have perverted.

The

birth

doubt gave birth to a sounder

certainly

and prevalence of fancy no

logic,

which was necessary

as

a counteraction to the Sophists, and which their clever manipulation of language suggested.
vicious practice

was advantageous, though

reckoned to them as a merit.


distinction

Thus, historically, their


this can hardly be

Independently of the valuable

drawn by Mr. Sidgwick between the

character-

and second generation of Sophists, we may

istics of

the

stiU ask

whether a certain bias towards fallacy did not ex-

first

hibit itself even in the first


this profession.

and most eminent members of

Mr. Sidgwick argues justly that Protagoras

can hardly have been, as Diogenes Laertius suggests, the


inventor of Eristic, else Plato would never have represented

him

as a perfect child in anything like close dialectic argu-

ment.

But on the other hand, when we read

Protagoras (to Ilpa>ray6pov sirdyysXfia) that

of the boast of
'

he could make

the worse cause the better,' which Aristotle says that

were indignant

at,

men

and when we read of the devices

Grorgias (mentioned above, p. 126),

we can hardly

the rhetoric even of these worthies from being too

the direction of not unconscious

of

exonerate
facile in

fallacy.

Grote repeatedly, and rightly, argues that the Sophists

were not a philosophical

sect,

and had no common phUo-

THE PHILOSOPHY OF PliOTAGOBAS.


sophical doctrines.

who

first

name

Yet

185

two most eminent among those

tlie

consented to espouse the profession and to accept the

of Sophists, had been beforehand not inconsiderable

philosophers,

and

had each their respective connec-

as such

Thus Sophistry

tion with previous schools of philosophy.

may be said to have had


As represented in the
Sophists,

it

it

may be

said to have derived its origin

or less immediately from two

previous

thinkers.

own.

more

directly opposite schools of

Protagoras of Abdera starts from the

of Heraclitus that

principle

its

persons of the two most eminent

sprang almost simultaneously from the north and


Also

the south.

a philosophical pedigree of

all

becoming

is

Gorgias of

Leontium took up the Bleatic principle of absolute unity.

Both Protagoras and Gorgias may be considered


character as philosophers

their

in

to have held

some measure

distinct

from their professional character as rhetoricians and teachers,

and yet the

results of their philosophising coloured their

The philosophy

teaching.

of the two can never be said to

have amalgamated, and yet

exhibits a

it

common

element.

An

accurate statement of the doctrine of Protagoras appears

in

the

it,

but which at the same time

Thecetetus

all respect.

We

which

of Plato,

see at once that

and of the greatest importance


Heraclitus had said that

all

passive, in other

Nothing

'

moment

'

in philosophy.

motion, or becoming,

tagoras analyses this becoming into

and the

author with

its

was a profound doctrine,

it

as a

is

intended to refute

is

treats

two

its

sides,

is,

things attain

exists absolutely,

a subject.

Thus

the active

words the objective and subjective.


an existence by

coming in contact with and acting on an organ of


that

Pro-

all

existence

is

merely

sensation,

relative,

and

depends in each case on a relation to the individual percipient

and therefore man


'

is

the measure of

all

things, of the

existent that they exist, and of things non-existent that they

ESSAY

136

do not

This proposition on the one hand contains

exist.'

the germ of

all

philosophy, on the other hand

sophy impossible by reducing


to

mere

by

asserting that

as far as

an

II.

knowledge and existence

germ of

It contains the

sensation.

we can

all

all

renders philo-

it

conceive

philosophy

all

knowledge, and therefore

all

existence,

consists in the relation

it,

between

object and a subject, that every object implies a subject

and every subject an

This cannot be gainsaid, and

object.

it is

in short one of the

men

out of their

main purposes of philosophy

common

much

existence of external objects into so

But the

to

lift

unreflecting belief in the absolute

idealism as this.

principle of Protagoras falls short in its misconcep-

tion and too great limiting of the subjective side of exist-

ence.

Objects exist only in relation to a subject, but not

necessarily in relation to individual perceptions.

dual perception
will

the measure of

is

things, the

all

If indivi-

same object

be capable of contradictory qualities at the same moment

according as

it

appears different to difierent individuals

a thing can then be and not be at the same time


tinction between true

denial

(avriKsysiv)

these results

must

said,

'

false will

cease.

What

I cannot call

true to him.

make

he

and

Man

is

him

Protagoras acknowledged

it false,

i.e.

all

things, not the in-

with his changeable and erring perceptions,


itself

and who attain most nearly to the

principle of Protagoras,

by

critical

'

who

more

or

are pure

truth.

The

calling attention to the subjec-

tive side of knowledge, led the


'

such as are

to entertain.'

less distinctly in the deepest intuitions of those

wise,

is

I can only endeavour to

but the universal reason of man, manifesting

and

even

appears true to a person

indeed the measure of

man

dividual

for

the dis-

be done away;

his perceptions, not truer but better,

more expedient

way

to

what has been

called

philosophy, to a critic of cognition itself; and this

THE PHILOSOPHY OF PEOTAGOBAS.

137

was a great advance upon former systems, which regarded


knowledge and existence too much a^if absolutely objective.

But Protagoras himself rested

in sensationalism,

and becom-

ing from his own system sceptical about truth altogether, he

seems to have returned

(as

above mentioned) to mere prin-

His sensational theory and his scep-

ciples of expediency.

ticism about knowledge are not to be regarded as Sophistical,

But with

in the Platonic sense of the word.

foundation to

to

all theories,

this sceptical

commence teaching

virtue

have thus reduced virtue to a matter of expediency


life

to have combined such acute


earnestness

moral or

penetration with so

was

many

to exhibit

of the essential features of

that Sophistry against which Plato directed

We see traces of

the same spirit

gravest subjects

on the gods

strength.

and active

intel-

and unreality upon the

in the well-known

sentence of Protagoras

Respecting the gods, I neither

they exist or do not exist


this

of acute

all his

trifling

combined with a certain

'

little

back upon popular and prudential Ethics

to have fallen

lect

to

after exploding philosophy

scientific

this indeed

for daily

for there is

know whether

much

that hinders

knowledge, namely, the obscurity of the subject, and the

shortness of

human

life.' ^'

This scepticism, as far as

not consist in denying the

conjecture its tendency, does

Grecian Polytheism in order to substitute in


deeper conception.
parallel

It

cannot,

to the philosophical

and proclaims

its

be

therefore,

place some

considered

contempt of Xenophanes and

others for the fables of Paganism.

theology,

we can

Protagoras despairs of a

his despair,

and

falls

back upon

practical success.

The

celebrated thesis of Gorgias, which formed the sub-

"

Diog. Laert.

ix.

51, Sext.

Emp.

ado. Math.

ix. 56.

ESSAY

138

book

ject of his

which a sketch

is

'

On

II.

Nature, or the Non-existent,' and of

preserved in the Peripatetic treatise, called

De Xenophane, Zencme,

Aristotle's,

Sextus Empiricus (ad Math.

Gorgid, and also in

et

65), is one of the most

utterances of antiquity.

It consists of three pro-

startling

VI.

positions,

Nothing

(i)

be known.

(3) If it

exists.

(2) If

can be known,

it

cannot

cannot be communi-

it

The extravagant character of

cated.^"

does exist,

it

was de-

this position

nounced by Isocrates in the opening of

He

his Helen.

is

speaking of the inveterate habit of defending paradoxes

which had

hand

and he

so long prevailed,

know

not to

(o-y^ifiaOrji) as

asks,

'

Who is so

behind-

that Protagoras and the

Sophists of that time left us compositions of the kind I have

named, and even more vexatious

name

of Gorgias, those of

how

could anyone

who dared

exists ?

nothing of existing things

for

surpass the audacity of Gorgias,

say that

to

Isocrates adds to the

'

Zeno and Melissus

he had before

specified as ridiculous paradoxes the theses that

possible to speak falsehood

that

'

virtue

all

is

where (Be Permutat.

one

the old Sophists,' that

Alcm^on, two

that

that

268),

the

'

ing to Empedocles, four


to

'

'

'

'

it

is

virtue

a science.'

im-

'

Else-

theories of

according

according to Parmenides and Melissus,

one; according to Gorgias, absolutely none.'

common

is

of existences was, accord-

according to Ion, three

that the point of view which Isocrates takes


called

it

impossible to deny'
is

he mentions as the

number

'

sense and practical

life

enter upon philosophical questions at

that
all.

We
is

see then

that of so-

he declines to

He

regards the

absolute Nihilism of Gorgias as belonging to the same sphere


of thought, only a more flagrant development of
doctrine,

^^

'

all

OiiK elvai

iyvuiTToy elyai

virtue

tpriffiv
'

et

ovSev

is

a science.'

el S' fffTiv,

yyu-

5e Kal effTi Kal

it,

as the

It is always easy to set

(ttSv, ctAA'

ov h7t\oyrhy aWois.

De Xctio^hane^ &c,

c. v.

Arist.

THE PHILOSOPHY OF GORGIAS.

139

common
But if we

aside philosophical views as repugnant to

sense, as

mere

enter on

The

and useless paradoxes.

subtleties

philosophy at

we

all,

diffiaulties into

must accept the dialectic of the reason.

which

it

may lead
and

as subtleties, but acknowledged,

with the views of

common

us must not be rejected


possible reconciled

if

sense.

Philosophy, before Gorgias, had been occupied with an


abstract conception of Being, whether as
dialectic of the Eleatics
all

One

had been directed to

The

Many.

or

establish, against

testimony of the senses, that the only existence possible

On

one immutable Being.

is

the other hand, the Ionics main-

tained the plurality of existences

and Heraclitus especially

held the exact contrary to the Eleatic view, that there was

no permanence or unity, but

The

all

was

plurality

and becoming.

coming in here explodes

dialectic of Gorgias

sophy by a demonstration that

'

nothing

all

philo-

This part

exists.'

of his position he appears to have maintained by bringing


Eleatic arguments against the Ionic hypothesis, and Ionic

arguments against the Eleatic hypothesis.^'


existence (si

B' sctti), it

must be

If there

is

either Not-being or Being.

cannot be Not-being, else Being will be identical with

It

Not-being.

One
for

or

It cannot

Many,

One

Many,

be Being, for then

for the

Many

is

not be created, for

must

would have existed already.

**

Kal 3t

fiejf

ovK

effrlf

Sffoi

irepl

plurality.

so essentially One.

existent or the non-existent.

erepois ip7]fieva,

must be either

It

ffvvBels

Again,

it

it is

can-

either be created out of

the

be the former,

else

It cannot

It cannot be the latter, for

T^

tuv ovtuv

\eyovTs, rStpavria, ws SoKovirtv,

be

cannot

based upon the unit of which


is

it

i.e.

it

It cannot be One,

either created or uncreated.

implies divisibility,

only the repetition, and

it

'

&'iro-

Koi ol fiev (in ayevTiTa ol Se &s yevSfieva iiriSetKvvvr s,TavTa

(rvWoyi^eTut

kut' a/iipoTepwv. Arifst.De

Xc. &c.

I.e.

ESSAY.

140

notliing can

II.

Nor can

come from the non-existent.

Uncreate, for that implies

its

it

be

being Infinite, and the Infinite

These arguments are not

can have no existence in space.'

be looked at as a mere wanton sporting with words.

to

Rather they contain a very penetrating insight into some of


the

difiiculties

sophers

difiiculties

by other

felt

exist-

philo-

One

set forth to considering existence either as

And Kant

Many.

have been

in the Parmenides of Plato, great obstacles

thus,

have been
as

which beset the most abstract view of

The same

ence.

represents

or

one of the antinomies

as

it

of the reason, that the world can neither be conceived of as

No

without a beginning, nor as having had a beginning.

blame can possibly attach to Gorgias

for these speculations,

nor for the conclusions to which they

led.

the Parmenides

Plato himself, in

135 D), urges and exhorts the young

(p.

philosopher to follow out this sort of dialectic.


yourself

exercise
Socrates,

'

while yet

in that which the world

You

waste of time

calls

SoKOV(T7]S a,'^prj<7T0V slvai Kot KoXoVfJ-eVTjS VTTO rSiv

What,

dSoXscT'^ias), else truth will escape you.'

method

and the many, the

rest, creation,

destruction

like

then,

and the

to

(ttjs

TToWuv
is

It consists in the following out of contrary

theses, the one

motion,

should

Parmenides

says

young,'

'

this

hypo-

unlike,

not only supposing the

existence of each of these separate ideas, but afterwards also


their non-existence

follow out

the consequences in each

case, and see what comes of the antinomy.


is

All praise, then,

due to Gorgias, from Plato's point of view,

gent

dialectic.

To

the popular mind, such reasonings appear

absurd or repugnant.
lated by

them

But the philosopher

to seek for a higher

We

is

ground of

these seeming contradictions and difficulties

be reconciled.

for his strin-

can only regret that

the entire work of Gorgias, in order to

only stimu-

vision,

may be

whence
seen to

we do not possess

know more

accurately

THE PHILOSOPHY OF QOSGIAS.


exact purpose

its

have a universal

seem

whether his arguments were meant to

whether they were only relative

validity, or

The

and Eleatic philosophies.

to the Ionic

would

latter

whatever was meant by the

to be actually the case,

author himself;

141

arguments of Gorgias,

for the destructive

while they are of force against previous philosophy, do not

touch the universe of Plato, in which there was a synthesis

and the many, of being and not-being.

of the one

The two remaining

theses of Gorgias

ent could not be known, and

municated

contain

that being

known

if

if exist-

could not be com-

the strongest form of that

They

idealism afterwards repeated by Kant.

subjective

place an im-

passable gulf between things in themselves and the

We

mind.

know
less

know

can never

things in themselves

our thought, and the thought

is

we communicate them

could

organs could

we communicate

of Protagoras.

we

to

it

attributes

The

to a disbelief

scepticism,

how-

was not peculiar to

It

a characteristic universally of the close

is

era of

to several great

Aristotle

philosophy.

very strongly, but he does not


it

How

trace an affinity to the doctrines

not constitute Sophistry.

of the Pre-Socratic

against

Still

In this part of

visible ?

in the possibility of attaining truth.


ever, does

we

all

by what

others, for

They each exhibit a tendency

the Sophists, but

not the thing.

things in themselves

by speech could we convey even the


the dialectic of Gorgias

is

human

speaks

call it Sophistry,

names (Metaphys.

iii.

c.

he

iv.-v.).

After arguing against the saying of Protagoras, he mentions


that Democritus said
finding

there

is

no truth, or

that Bmpedocles said

men change

;
'

'

said

beyond our
rj

rjfuv

thought changes accord-

that Parmenides said in the same way,

thought depends on our physical state


'

it is

(A?;/toptTos ys (pTjaiv iJTOi ovOsv slvai akridss

uStiXov)

ing as
'

'

'

things are according as

men

'

that Anaxagoras

conceive them.'

Aristotle

ESSAY

142

remarks,

'

It

an

surely

is

II.

case,

evil

attained truth most, as loving

best,

it

ardently, hold these opinions.

and seeking

it

makes the search

The cause

truth a mere wild-goose chase.


is

It

who have
most

enough to make one

It is

despair of attempting philosophy.

those

if

after

of these opinions

that men, while speculating on existence, have considered

the sensible world to be the only real existence.


latter is full of
(MetapJiiis.

what

Sophistry then

is

by any theories of cognition or existence.

not constituted

It

consists in a

in a particular purpose with which philosophy,

certain spirit,

or the pretence of philosophy,


dialectic,'

this

uncertain and merely conditional'

is

V. 15, 16).

III.

And

says

Aristotle,

'

followed.

is

Sophistry and

'

conversant with the same

are

matter as philosophy, but philosophy differs from both the


others

from the one in the manner of

other in the purpose which guides


tative about those subjects

and Sophistry

No

procedure, the

Dialectic

its life.

on which philosophy

a pretence, and not a

members

other

we know,

is

its

is

of the Sophistic profession, so far as

rhetoricians, grammarians, teachers

known

ten-

reality.' '^

They were

dealt with metaphysical questions.

what was then

is

conclusive,

of mathematics and of

of physical science, teachers of music,

teachers of virtue and of politics, and of the art of success in

logic.

But

it

them

against

was one of
that,

and experimenters in

disputants,

citizen-life, dialecticians,

Plato's chief grounds of complaint

while they were

by

procedure brought into contact with so


subjects,

Ilepl

<j>i\o<ro(pitf,

many

of the higher

they were not philosophers.

We now
'2

their professional

come

to that

Hfv yhp rh avrh yeyos

oAAA SM(ppei

which

(TTpe-

TTJs litv

r^

is,

for our present purpose,

vpoaipiad.

"ZffTi Se

pacTTtK^i

irepX

ffTiK^,

Se

8' oS.

T)

wv

7]

ri

SiaXe/CTiic}; tei-

fpiXoffotpla yvtopi'

ffotpiffTticij (j>aij/ofi4vTj^

Metafhys.

iii. ii.

20.

o^ffa

SOPHISTRY CONTRASTED WITH PHILOSOPHY.

143

the most important question with, regard to the Sophists,

What was
first

upon etMcal thought

their influence

must have

then, they obviously

place,

is

commonly spoken

of as the

and in the pages of Xenophon we

But

coursing on moral topics.


gress of the

which
'

the

is

first

find

moral philosopher,

him constantly

is

done per saltum

great and conspicuous in any line

first,'

its

out those precursors

This was in

all

moral

dis-

as in nature, so in the pro-

human mind, nothing

while

In the

much about them.

ideas in Greece simply by talking very

Socrates

affected

precursors are

left

that

often called

is

out of sightj but with-

would not have come into existence.

it

the case with regard

probability

ethical philosophy of Socrates

some extent may be considered

the

to

was suggested by, and to

it

to have arisen out of, the

We

manifold lecturings and disputations of the Sophists.

do not gather from Xenophon that there was any marked

antagonism or polemic between the real Socrates and the

whole profession of the Sophists of his day.


dramatic Socrates of Plato's fancy that
of Plato's

own

is

It is only the

used as the vehicle

disapprobation of certain tendencies which he

considered to have been manifested by the profession.


the historical Socrates

is

represented by

and using a discourse of Prodicus


differences

Xenophon

and great

as

But

as adopting

may be

the

which to the philosophic eye reveal themselves

between the

essential

spirit

of Socrates and

Sophists, to the uncritical eyes of

most of

that of the

his contemporaries

Socrates doubtless appeared undistinguishable from the other


professional talkers on virtue, except

that he did not accept fees.

Thus

it

by the one circumstance

was only natural that

Aristophanes should, uncritically, include Socrates in what

was with him a very wide

class of persons,

Socrates and Prodicus together as chief

and should couple


'

in

wisdom and

gnomic thought, of the transcendental Sophists of the

day.'

ESSAY

144

The

historical Socrates

Sophists

he

had

II.

really

much

the leading figure in a

is

common with

in

new

the

era of conscious

morality which they had gradually inaugurated.

The very

first

that

characteristic

Sophists by Xenophon, Isocrates,


'

undertook to teach

Meno, in

was an exception.
'

To

virtue.'

used to ridicule those

men ought

thought that

to be

Socrates on this asks Meno,

and Plato

'

know not what

most men on
can teach

it,

that they

this rule, however, Gorgias

make any

'

who made
made

What,

to say,

pretence of the
it,

he

'

to

which Meno

Socrates, for I feel like

Sometimes I think that they

this question.

of

what

himself

don't you then really

and sometimes that they cannot.' (Men.

A nearer definition

him

clever in speaking.'

think that the Sophists can teach virtue


replies,

is,

Plato's dialogue, praises

because he was never heard to

kind, but

predicated of the

is

this

'

teaching virtue

'

95 C.)

p.

meant

is

put into the mouth of Protagoras, who boasts (Plato, Protag.


p.

318 B) that

'

he will not mock those who come to him by

teaching them mere specialities against their

will,

as

the

other Sophists do, such as dialectic, astronomy, geometry, and

They

music.

came

shall learn

and

His teaching

to be taught.

about a man's
also

own

from him nothing except what they

affairs,

about the

how

affairs of

good counsel, both

will be,

best to govern his

how most

the State,

administer and to speak about State matters.'


'

You

me to mean the art


make men good citizens.'

appear to

undertake to

family,

ably to

Socrates says,

of Politics, and to
'

To attempt

undertake,' says Protagoras.

own

This

is

just

what I

to discover in this

proposal anything insidious or subversive of morality would

be quite absurd. Protagoras

is

represented by Plato through-

out the dialogue as exhibiting an elevated standard of moral


feelings.

Thus he repudiates with contempt the doctrine

that injustice can ever be good sense (p. 333 C), and from

THE MORALITY OF THE SOPHISTS.


grounds of cautious morality
pleasant

declines to admit that the

lie

with the good (p.35

is identical

shrewd maxims on the conduct of

men

hortatory morality of the Sophist,


a judgment

of forming

It is preserved for us

Hercules.'

21-34),

II. i.

who

relations.

we have

commonly

represents

it

to those

and many

advice,

further

from the celebrated

(Zvyypa/j-jxa) of Prodicus,

is little

and on the

life

and private

in public

There

D).

much prudent

his instructions

dealing with

may have conveyed

reason to doubt that Protagoras

who sought

145

called

'

art of

Of the
means

composition

The Choice of

by Xenophon (Memorab.

as being quoted

by Socrates

with a view of enforcing the advantages of temperance and


It

virtue.

was the most popular of the declamations of

Prodicus (pirsp

koI irXslaTois iirh^SLKwrai), and has since

Brj

constantly found a place in books of elegant extracts and

moral lessons.

with this
trial

and

It

would be easy to

criticise

difficulty of life.

boyhood to youth

(sivsl

If,

sk

at the period of transition

-TraiScop sis rj^'qv

and there

meretricious in
dignified,

fault

see presented Vice

dress

and noble

sis rj(TV')(^iav Kadfj-

and Virtue, the one

and form, the other


and

if,

from

wpfiMTo), one might

go forth to a place of retirement (s^skOovTa


crOai),

and find

It does not adequately represent the real

fable.

beautiful,

and

when Vice had opened her

alluring ofiers, Virtue immediately exposed their hollowness,

substituting her

good

and

if,

own

higher and greater promises of

far

there and then, one might choose once for all

between the two, who

is

there that would hesitate a

to accept the guidance of Virtue ?

universally that

depended on a choice made once


all

men would

be virtuous.

a struggle in detail

It

may

youths aspire after what

all

and

for all at the

But man's moral

moment

be said almost
is

good.

If

opening of
life

I.

life,

consists in

this the figure of Prodicus fails to

represent.

VOL.

it

ESSAY

146

II.

Again, parables of this kind never adequately represent,


in

complexity, the moral truth which they are in-

its

all

would make

it

the allurements of vice were exterior to us, as

if

The

tended to convey.
appear

as if

Hercules

'

had merely

'

'

Choice of Hercules

'

to select, to the best of his judg-

ment, between two external objects offered to him.

svOijparov avrbv mentioned by Aristotle {Eth.


fact that temptation is in ourselves,

and

nature, which does not leave us free to

and

to act

upon them.

But

this

enemy within the camp, the

leaves out of consideration the

m.

i.

ii), the

own

consists in our

make

judgments

cool

All such psychological refinements

had, however to be developed later.


Several parts of the exhortation which Prodicus puts into

the mouth of Virtue are

full

of merit

a noble perseverance

and manliness of character are incidcated

and in the de-

nunciation of vice the following fine sentence occurs

never hear that which


approbation

never

see,

is

the sweetest sound of

and that which

the fairest of

is

a good deed done by yourself

'

all

You

'
:

self-

all,

sights

There

is

you

some-

thing rather rhetorical in the complexion of this discourse,

even as
cludes

it is

it

given by the Socrates of Xenophon, and he con-

by saying,

'

Prodicus dressed up his thoughts in far

more splendid language than

have used at present.'

against the moral orthodoxy of the piece not a


said,

and we may

safely assert, that

had

all

But

word can be

the discourses of

the Sophists been of this character, they would not have


fallen into such general

Plato

bad repute

never represents

morality to their disciples.

the

He

as teachers.

Sophists

does not

consist in the holding wicked opinions

represents

it

as

teaching

make

lax

sophistry to

on the contrary, he

as only too orthodox in general, but capable

occasionally of giving utterance to immoral paradoxes for the

sake of vanity.

Sophistry rather tampers and

trifles

with

THE MOEALITY OF THE SOPHISTS.

147

the moral convictions than directly attacks them.


easy to see

men

how

'

Qreece was

came about.

this

professing to

teach virtue.'

which

They

or dialectical.

was

it

on

The procerhetorical

either (i) tricked out the praises of

and virtue with

justice

subject,

trite

to say something new.

dure of the Sophists was twofold, either

of

ac-

things desirous of

all

Their talk was on a

was necessary

it

is

full

They were ingenious,

complished, rivals to each other, above


attracting attention.

now

It

citations

from the old poets, with

ornaments of language, and with allegories and personifica-

Of this

tions.

in the

'

kind of discourse we have a specimen

latter

Choice of Hercules,' and again

we have

the sketch or

skeleton of a moral declamation which Hippias, in Plato's

dialogue (Hipp. Major, p. 286), says he has delivered with


great success, and
is

is

simple enough.

about to deliver again.

The framework

Neoptolemus, after the

fall

of Troy,

is

supposed to have asked Nestor's advice for his future conduct.


Nestor replies by suggesting
fine piece,' says

many

noble maxims.

Hippias complacently,

cially in the matter of the language.'

'

'

'Tis a

well arranged, espe-

Such

like composi-

tions of the Sophists form a sort of parallel to the popular

preaching of the present day.

Or

they gave an

else (2)

own power and subtlety, by skirmishes of lanby opening up new points of view with regard to

idea of their

guage,

common

every-day duties,

appear strangely inverted.

and making the


All the while

old

notions

that they thus

argued, no doubt they professed to be maintaining a mere

logomachy.

But

to

an

intellectual people like the

Greeks

there would be something irresistibly fascinating in this

mental

exercitation.

tive abhorrence

which

new

Aristophanes represents the conservathis

new

spirit

awakened.

He

depicts

in a caricature a new kind of education in which everything


is

sophisticated, that

is,

tampered with by the

intellect.

L 2

ESSAY

148

II.

fostered throughout Greece

must have been

sort of casuistry

by various concurrent causes

by the drama, which repre-

sented, as for instance in the Antigotie, a conflict of opposing

duties

by the law

voured to
as

'

we have

make the worse


seen,

which

courts, in

side

it

was constantly endea-

seem the better

and

'

lastly,

by the Sophists, who, in discoursing on the

duties of the citizen, did not refrain from showing that there

was a point of view from which


convention, while

from

natural

right

the law

'

appeared a mere

might be distinguished

'

it.

To be
sight
feel

'

'

able to view a conception from opposite points of

the difficulties which attach to

are the

first

common

the unsatisfactoriness of

to see

notions

grave questions

all

to

these

stages preparatory to obtaining a wise, settled,

and philosophical conviction.

Thus

far the dialectic of the

Sophists and that of Socrates coincide.

But the Sophists went

no further than these

first

steps

the positive side of their

teaching consisted in returning to the


the sake of expediency.

That there

the dialectical process, in

its first

no one has

stages,

felt

is

common

views for

danger incurred by

negative and destructive

more strongly than

Plato.

He wishes,
may be

in his Republic, that dialectic, as a part of education,

deferred
to

it,'

'

it is

mischief attaches

infected with lawlessness.'

up

theirs, ceases his respect for

to his riotous

dogmas relating

companions

'

As

a suppo-

to

what

is

is.

them and gives him-

so it is with the

influence of dialectic.

young

There are certain

just and right, in which

been brought up from childhood

we

much

so

he thought to be his parents, when he finds out he

mind under the

them.

'

child having grown up to youth, reverencing those

no child of
self

after thirty, because

because

sititious

whom

till

obeying

we have

and reverencing

Other opinions recommending pleasure and licence

resist,

out of respect for the old hereditary maxims. Well,

THE MORALITY OF THE

the right

but

man

a question comes before a

tlien,

He gives some

And when

refuted.

He

this has

wrong; and in the same way


all

tries

so

pp.

37, 538).

is

it

is

again

is

he

often,

is

more right than

happens about the just and

On

this,

he abandons his allegiance to the old

and takes up with those that he before

and
5

again and

that he before held in reverence.

naturally enough,
principles

what

asked,

is

happened pretty

reduced to the opinion, that nothing

the good and

he

149

such answef as he has been taught,

straightway refuted.

is

SOPHISTS.

from a good citizen he becomes lawless

resisted,

(Bepub.

'

It is obvious that the process of dialectic here

described consists in nothing


culties, in other

more than

starting the

diffi-

Plato

words, stating the question of morals.

does not here attribute antinomian conclusions to the teachers


of dialectic

from a

he speaks of the disciple himself drawing these,

sort of impatience,

his old moral ideas,

having become dissatisfied with

and not waiting

to substitute deeper

ones.

Throughout

his dialogues Plato does not attribute lax or

paradoxical sentiments to the greater Sophists

he puts these

in the mouths of their pupils, such as Callicles, the pupil of


Gorgias, or of the inferior and less

ward conformity, with a scepticism


and

to break out

which
shall

far

it is

if

thing about

hence

it

from holding consistently as a system.


failed

tends

it is its
'

to

appreciate

We

the true nature of

perceiving that the most sophistical

we miss

most celebrated

at the core

result occasionally in paradoxical morality,

have quite

Sophistry,

dignified Sophists, as

Sophistry consists for the most part in out-

Thrasymachus.

chameleon-like character.

points of view

'

opposition between nature and convention.

of this opposition in a

way which

One

of the Sophists

represents

of the

was the

Aristotle speaks
it

to

have been

in use among them merely as a mode of arguing, not as a

ESSAY

150

II.

He

definite opinion about morals.


'

xii. 6),

The

most in vogue

topic

to admit paradoxes

says (Sophist. Eleneh.

reducing your adversary

that which Oallicles

is

making use

Oorgias as

of arguing with

for

the

described in the

is

and which was a universal mode

of,

ancients,

namely,

the opposition of

" nature " and " convention " for these are maintained to be
;

and thus justice

contraries,

right according to convention,

is

Hence they

but not according to nature.


is

say,

when

man

speaking with reference to nature, you should meet him

with conventional considerations


tionally,''

" convento

In both ways you make him utter paradoxes.

by " naturally

tionally "

when he means

you should twist round the point of view

" naturally."

Now

"

they meant the true, by " conven-

what seems true

author of this opposition

Who

to the many.'
is

Sophists to the philosophers,

first

Turning from the

uncertain.

we

was the

find the saying attributed to

Archelaus (Diog. Laert. n. i6), 'That the just and the base
exist not

was the

by nature, but by convention.'

last of

This Archelaus

*'

the Ionic philosophers, said to be the disciple

of Anaxagoras and the master of Socrates.

the Physical Philosopher,' says Diogenes,

'

He was

ended with him, Socrates having introduced Ethics.


too,

seems to have handled Ethics.

laws,

and on the right and the just

called

because Physics

'

But

he,

For he philosophised on
;

and Socrates succeeding

him, because he carried out these investigations, got the


of having

credit

Democritus

is

of society are
exist

by

sweet and

ov (pirn,

human

nature.'
bitter,

&K\^

started

v6iuf.

them.'

About the same period

recorded to have held that

'

the institutions

creations, while the void

and the atoms

He also said, that the perceptions of


warm and cold, were vofiw, that is, what we
'^

8T0|Ua no! Kev6v.

Diog. Laert. ix. 45.

THE OPPOSITION OF
should

dawn

call

'

These

subjective.'

new

sphere

eternal laws of being there


society,

with

its

these sees in

AND

'

NATURE.'

'

151

reflections indicate the first

They show that philosophy has now come

of Ethics.

to recognise a

LAW

'

and

ideas

beyond and

The

institutions.

them only the

distinct from the

human

the phenomenon of

is

glance at

first

variable as contrasted with the

permanent, mere convention as opposed to nature.

Ethics

at its outset by

no means commences with questions about

the individual.

It separates

distinction.

first

so

much merged

State

ing except as a

'

from

'

nature,' as its

man was

This was because in Greece the


into the citizen

prior to the individual

is

society

'

member

;
'

even Aristotle says

'

the

the individual has no mean-

of the State.

It is a

to separate the individual from society

subsequent step
sophistically,

first

sake of introducing an arbitrary theory of morals

for the

at last, philosophically, to

show that right

only valid

is

when

acknowledged by the individual consciousness, but at the

same time that the broad


are

and wrong

distinctions of right

more objective and permanent than anything

absolutely

to be believed

else,

in than even the logic

more

of

the

intellect.

Looking

at the Sophists rather as the promulgators than

as the inventors of this opposition

we

see

it

between

applied in the person

tf/vais

and

vofios,

of Callicles, their sup-

posed pupil (Gorgias, pp. 483, 484), to support crude, paramaintain that nature's

doxical,

and

right

might, while society's right (which

is

forced

upon

anti-social doctrines

to

us for the benefit of the

obedience to the laws.

same point of view,

piece of

'

Eristic'

to say, as

Thrasymachus

This position
It is

unnatural, and
is

justice

and

It is a carrying out of exactly the

the RepuUio of Plato (p. 338 0), that justice


of the stronger.'

is

weak)

is

is

is

'

made

to do in

the advantage

there treated as a mere

met by arguments that

are themselves

ESSAY

152

partly captious and

II.

These applications of the

sophistical.

principle are of course dramatic and imaginary in Plato's

pages, but

we may

fairly conceive

them analogous

was occasionally heard uttered in Athenian

society.

to

what

Another

which the Sophists would be sure to deal

ethical topic with

was the question, What

is

We

the chief good ?

have before

observed that this was a leading idea in the early stages of

In the discourses of the Sophists various

Grecian morals.

accounts would be given of the matter.

Sometimes, as in the

fable of Prodicus, happiness, or the chief good,

represented as inseparable from virtue

and unscrupulous Sophist,


(p.

would be

at other times a rash

like Polus in the Gorgias of Plato

471), would be found to assert that the most enviable lot

consists in arbitrary power, like that of a tyrant, to follow all

one's passions

freedom

and

This assertion of arbitrary

inclinations.

for the individual,

though, of course, not consistently

maintained by the Sophists, was yet one of the characteristics


of their era.

We

have already

incidentally

Aristotle's views of the Sophists

any more than Plato,

not,

belonging to the

Sophists,

philosophers with their

He

referred

speak
as

to

and Sophistry.

if

of

definite

several

He

of

does

doctrines

they were a school of

own metaphysical

or ethical creed.

speaks repeatedly of their practice, of their method, of

certain

tricks

in

argument commonly used by them

he

says (^Eth. x. ix. 20) that in their teaching they put Rhetoric

on a

level

differs

with Politics

(Bhet.

1.

from the Rhetorician in the purpose or aim

irpoaipia-si)

with

which he uses the

(Soph. El. xxxiii. 11) that Sophistry


Dialectic

simple

14) that the Sophist

i.

in

(ib.

xi.

is

S) that it differs

employing

fallacy

for

artifices of

(rrj

Rhetoric

the near neighbour of

from Eristic pure and


the

purposes

of gain.

These utterances, which in different forms are often repeated,

AEISTOTLES VIEW OF THE SOPHISTS.


have

of being based on or confirmed by inde-

tlie air

all

153

Aristotle inall that he says about

pendent observation.

the sophistical spirit no doubt accepts, analyses, and reduces


to

method much that


But

logues.

to be found in the Platonic Dia-

is

would be against

it

historical

evidence to

consider Aristotle's statements on this subject to have been

a mere blind repetition of certain calumnies or hostile caricatures.

On the whole, then, we must conclude


of the Sophists
tions of

is

that Grote's defence

good against the too sweeping denuncia-

them which have

modern

often been expressed in

times, and which exaggerate and misrepresent the subtle and

discriminating pictures drawn by Plato,

when we read

against Plato himself,

has

made

too

much

minate sense

it

sophists

and that

'

'

Grote

Sophist

'

had

more general and indeter-

who were

was so applied even

From

distinct class of

limited sense, or that

common

not good

ancients, with a

philosophers and not

in the limited sense of being professional teachers

it

stotle themselves.

was no

word

was often applied by the

shade of sneering, to those


'

its

is

words aright.

his

of the fact that the

a twofold meaning, and that in

but

characteristics

to Socrates, Plato,

and Ari-

this it does not follow that there

men who were

this

class

'

sophists

'

in the

did not exhibit certain

and a certain common

Again,

spirit.

because several of the profession were respectable and even


dignified

men, and more like popular preachers than teachers

of antinomianism,

it

does not follow that they did not sin

against philosophy, or that they were worthy of the same


respect as the philosophers, or that there

was nothing in the

tendencies of their thought against which Plato was right to

warn his countrymen.

The

spirit

which Plato was the

first

to detect in the professional teachers of Greece, reappears

under changed conditions in every cultivated age

it

re-

ESSAY

154

II.

Wherever men

appears in literature and in the pulpit.

set

themselves up as teachers of the highest subjects, and in lieu


of being devoted to truth for its

worldly self-interest, there

is

own

sake exhibit a tinge of

a reappearance of the

'

Sophistic

spirit.

In the relation of the Sophists to society in general, the


question has been raised. Did they impair the morality of

Greece

The answer must be a mixed

Owing

one.

to the

influence of the Sophists, and also to other causes, thought

was
it

less

simple in Greece at the end of the

had been

at the beginning.

and that of Alcibiades, the

Men had

been tasted.

fifth

century than

Between the age of

fruit of the tree of

Pisistratus

knowledge had

passed from an unconscious into a

All that double-sidedness with regard to

conscious era.
questions, which

is

found throughout the pages of Thucydides,

and which could not possibly have been written a hundred


years before,

is

a specimen of the results of the Sophistical era.

The age had now become probably both

better

and worse.

was capable of greater good and of greater evU.


like that of Socrates is far nobler than

stage of society

capable of producing.

is

It

character

any that a simple

The

political decline

of the Grecian States alone prevented the full development of

what must be regarded

The

as a higher civilisation.

era of

the Sophists, then, must be looked upon as a transition

period in thought

as a necessary,

though in

itself

unhappy,

human mind. The subjective side


knowledga and thought was now opened. Philosophy fell

step in the progress of the

of

into abeyance for a while, under the scepticism of Protagoras

and Gorgias, but only


Plato.

to find a

new method

in Socrates

Ethics had never yet existed as a science.

moralising and obedience to their laws, was

had attained
on

justice,

to.

But now

all

and

Popular

the Greeks

discussions on virtue, on the laws,

on happiness, were heard in every corner

at times

THE PERSONALITY OF SOCRATES.


rhetorical declamation

lectical

may

at times subtle difficulties or

If physical philosophy begins in wonder,

paradoxical theories.

Ethics

and

165

The

be said to have begun in scepticism.

dia-

overthrow of popular moral notions, begun by the

Sophists and characteristic of their times, merged into the

deeper philosophy and constructive method of Socrates.


III.

The personality

made

has perhaps

of Socrates (to

whom we now

we wish

that of any other of the ancients, and yet, as soon as


to inquire accurately about him,

indeterminate and

turn)

a stronger impression upon the world than

difficult to

we

find something that is

appreciate about his doctrines.

Socrates, having contributed the greatest impulse that has

ever been

known

to

philosophy, was himself immediately

absorbed in the spreading circles of the schools which he had


Cynic, Cyrenaic, and Platonic doctrines stand out

caused.

each more definitely in themselves than the philosophy of


Socrates.

The causes

of this are obvious, for the fact that he

wrote no philosophical treatises gave


results,

(i)

On

the one hand, his philosophy, being in the

form of conversations with

most part to a method


to

an insight into the

tion of
for in

also

what was

knowledge.

all

difficulties of a subject

attainable,
It

comers, restricted itself for the

to a way of dealing with questions

result.

free

from dogmatism, but

by Xenophon, we can

certain inconsistencies of view.

absence of any actual works of Socrates,


accounts of others.

a concep-

Taking even the conver-

sations of Socrates, as they are given

them

to

and what ought to be sought

was therefore

wanting in systematic

find in

rise to a twofold set of

(2)

we

From the

are left to the

And here we are met with the well-known

discrepancy between the pictures drawn of him by his different


followers, a discrepancy

exactly estimated.

Xenophon has

which can never be reconciled nor

We

told us too

can never
little,

know

exactly

and Plato too much.

how

far

ESSAY

156

II.

However, by a cautious and inductive mode of examination

we may succeed

in establishing a few points at

about Socrates, and in discerning where the doubt

There seems to be no reason

others.

all

events

lies

about

whatever against

receiving in their integrity the graphic personal traits which

The

Plato has recorded of his master.

which

is

description of him,

put into the mouth of Alcibiades at the end of the

Symposium, seems to have in view the

exhibition, in the

concrete, of those highest philosophic qualities which had

before been exhibited in the abstract.

Plato does not shrink

from portraying the living irony which there was in the


appearance of Socrates, his strange and grotesque exterior
covering, like the images of Silenus, a figure of pure gold

significance, being,

more

excite attention

been

to have

amounting to

still

service in the

all

more strange idiosyncrasy

liable to fall into

trances.

is

he seems

whUe on

recorded to have stood

and when the

sun rose to have roused himself and saluted

it,

and

so

been observed that the peculiar

nervous constitution which could give

and which seems to have an

siege of PotidaBa,

fixed in one attitude a whole night through,

It has

extremes,

of abstraction, almost

fits

During the

Athenian camp, he

returned to his tent.

deeper

by a robustness

versatility of constitution which could bear

but also by another

still

essentially connected with his mental

Not only did he

qualities.

and

man have

Other peculiarities of the

within.

rise to this tendency,

afiinity to the clairvoyance of

Swedenborg and others among the moderns, was probably


connected with that which Socrates
himself, that

which he

felt to

called to Saifiovtov,

'

be unusual in

the supernatural,'

an instinctive power of presentiment which warned and


deterred

him from

certain actions, apparently both

by con-

and the probable

issue of

siderations of personal well-being,

things,

and

also

by moral intuitions

as to right

and wrong.

THE PERSONALITY OP SOCRATES.


This

'

supernatural

element in Socrates (wMcli he seems to

'

have believed to have been shar^, in

by

instances,

167

others)

exceedingly rare

cannot be resolved into the voice of

conscience, nor reason, nor into the association of a strong


feeling

religious

with moral and rational intuitions,

again into anything merely physical and mesmeric, but

nor

it

was

probably a combination, in greater or less degrees, of

all.

There are other parts of the personal character of Socrates

which are

also parts of

his philosophical

method

for his

was no mere abstract system, that could be conveyed in a


book, but a living play of sense and reason

Of

could not be separated from the man.

But

gives us no idea.

we have

of Socrates

the philosopher

Xenophon

this

in Plato's representation of the- irony

surely not only a dramatic

and imagina-

tive creation, but rather a marvellous reproduction (perhaps


artistically

To

enhanced) of the actual truth.

bears witness, in stating as a simple fact that


consists in

and

Irony often
in

esteem,

this sort of thing Socrates used to do' (Eth. TV. vii. 14).

The irony
of a

'

are held

disclaiming qualities that

Aristotle

this

of Socrates, like any other

living

man, presents many aspects from which

It has (i) a relative significance, being

and

tacitly

to

presumption.

rebuke,
It

it

characteristic

may

be viewed.

used to encounter,

rash speaking, and every kind of

was thus

relative

to

Sophistical

and

Khetorical period, but has also a universal adaptability under


similar circumstances.

(2) It indicates a certain

moral

atti-

tude as being suitable to philosophy, showing that in weakness


there

is

strength.

deference holds

its

(3) It is a part of good-breeding,

own.

of avoiding dogmatism.

which by

(4) It is a point of style, a

(5) It is

an

means

artifice of controversy,

inducing an adversary to expose his weakness, maintaining


a negative and critical position.

and

this

humour

consists in

(6) It is full of

humour

an intellectual way of dealing

ESSAY

158

II.

with things, in a contrast between the conscious strength of


the wise

man and

the humility of his pretensions, in a teacher

coming to be taught, and the learner naively undertaking

Such are some of the most striking

teach.

mien and bearing of


also

to

features in the

Socrates, not only one of the wisest, but

one of the strangest beings that the world has ever seen

who moved about among men

knew him

that

alone, Plato,

knew him, and

of his

When now we come to

life.

not.

down

has handed

One man

to us the idea

his doctrines, Plato, as is

The sublime

acknowledged, ceases to be a trustworthy guide.

developments of philosophy made by the disciple are with a


sort of pious reverence put into the

mouth

We are driven then to criticism, in order to


as far as possible in their

The statements
for

naked form,

his

of the master.

assign to Socrates,

own

attainments.

of Aristotle would seem to furnish a basis

an estimate of the Socratic doctrine

but even these can-

not be received without a scrutiny, for Aristotle was so imbued

with the writings of Plato, that he seems at times to regard


the conversations depicted in them as something that actually

had taken

place.

an actual person.
his Politics

(ii. vi.

He

speaks of the Platonic Socrates as of

A remarkable
6),

instance of this occurs in

where, having criticised the Bepullic

of Plato, he proceeds to criticise the


'

Now,

all

originality,

and depth of research

perhaps, more
Socrates

'

Laws

also,

and

says,

the discourses of Socrates exhibit genius, grace,


;

but to be always right

than can be expected.'*^

'

The

discourses of

here stand for the dialogues of Plato, which

more peculiar in the present

is

the

case, since in the Latrs of Plato,

the dialogue under discussion, Socrates does not appear at


as

oi

an

interlocutor.

Tov iaiKptiTOVs

J\.6yoi

In other

Koi rh

is,

Ko/iij/iv

places, however,

KaXiis Si Trdvra

all

we may judge

has

xaAeirii;'.

ARISTOTLE

ACCOUNT OF SOCRATES.

from Aristotle's manner of speaking that

lie

159

refers to the

real Socrates (see note

on Eth.

and not to

tlie

Socrates of literature.

The most important passages of

this

vi. xiii. S),

kind are where he draws a distinction between Socrates and


Plato,
I.

and

states their relation to each other

vi. 2, XII. iv.

The second

3-5.

be quoted alone.

He

doctrine of Ideas.

cf.

Metwphys.

of these passages contains

a repetition and an expansion of the former


fore,

it

may, there-

Aristotle is relating the history of the


tells

us

how

it

sprang from a belief in

the Heraclitean principle of the flux of sensible things, and


the necessity of some other and permanent existences,

thought and knowledge were


proceeds, that Socrates
ethical virtues,

nition of

them

now

and was the

to

if

He

be considered possible.

entered on the discussion of the


iirst

to attempt a universal defi-

definition, except in the

immature essays of

Democritus and the Pythagoreans, having had no existence


previously.

'

Socrates was quite right in seeking a definite,

determinate conception of these virtues (si/Xoyms


iari), for his object

was

s^tjtsi

to tl

to obtain a demonstrative reasoning

(avWoyi^sadaC), and such reasonings must commence with a


determinate conception.
exist,

tion

The

force of dialectic did not yet

by means of which, even without a determinate concep-

('x^copls

Tov Tt

ia-Ti), it

is

possible to consider contraries,

and to inquire whether or not there be the same science of


things contrary to one another.

we may
(tovs

There are two things that

fairly attribute to Socrates, his inductive discourses

t swaKTiKoiis Xoyovs) and his universal definitions.

These universal s, however, Socrates did not make transcendental and self-existent (xatpia-To), no
tions.

then

But the

Platonists

more did he

made them

his defini-

transcendental, and

called such existences Ideas.'

This interesting passage assigns to Socrates,

first,

his

subjects of inquii-y, namely, the ethical virtues; second, his

ESSAY

160

philosophical method, which

II.

was to

fix

a determinate con-

ception or universal definition of these, by means of inductive

by an appeal

discourses,
definition

gone before, and yet


view.
gistic,

to experience

and analogy.

it fell

The reasoning

far short of the Platonic point of

was demonstrative

of Socrates

and therefore one-sided.

He knew

of that higher dialectic, which, setting aside the


fixed conception of a thing, from

that thing

is

or syllo-

His conceptions were

nitely fixed so as to exclude one another.

and

His

was an immense advance on anything which had

first

defi-

nothing
limited

which the contrary of

wholly excluded, asks. Is there not the same

science of things contrary to each other

inseparable from, and in a


Is not the one also

way

Is not a thing

identical with, its contrary ?

many, and the inany one

In another

point also the conceptions formed by Socrates differed from

the Ideas of Plato

had no world of
space.

We

Aristotle's

Plato.

that they had no absolute

their

see, then,

own

The

apart from the world of time and

the gulf which

between the

existence, they

is set

historic Socrates

historic Socrates

by

this account of

and the Socrates of

was quite excluded from that

sphere of contemplation on which the Platonic philosopher


enters (Bepub. p. 510), where

all

objects are left out of sight,

and the mind deals with pure

Ideas alone.

hypotheses and

all

sensible

According to Aristotle, Socrates had not attained

to the higher dialectic which Plato attributes to him.

No

doubt, however, Plato discerned in the method which Socrates

employed in

his conversations,

in

his effort to connect a variety of

phenomena with some gene-

ral law, in his habit of testing this

experience and phenomena,

sophy which could

rise

law by appeals to fresh

hints and indications of a philo-

above mere empirical generalisations.

The method was not so much


it

his inquiring spirit, in

to be

changed as carried further,

need only pass on in the same direction out of subordinate

into higher genera.

THE METHOD OF SOCEATES.

161

Aristotle always says about Socrates that he confined himself to

What

asking,

aiFairs,

noble

This entirely coincides with the

ethical inquiries.^^

saying of Xenophon, that

is

what the base

'

he never ceased discussing

piety

what

what

is

is

impiety

the just

constitutes the character of a citizen ?

is

madness

over man? what makes one able

In

all this

we

pp.

is

a State

what

to rule?' (Mevfior.

is

I.

i.

rule
1

6.)

see the foundation of moral philosophy as

a science, and hence Socrates

But we

philosopher.

the

what

what

is

what the unjust

is

what

what

what

temperance

human

is

always called the

first

moral

have already remarked (see above,

143 and 150) that the way was prepared for Socrates by

Archelaus, by the Sophists, and by the entire tendencies of


the age.
still

There

another saying about Socrates which

is

is

greater departure from the exact historical truth, namely,

that he divided science into Ethics, Physics, and Logic.


quite a chronological error to attribute to

He

view of the divisions of science.

method

him

In

of reasoning into a separate science.

Plato even, Logic has no separate existence


a dialectic which

is

there

is

only

And we may go

really metaphysics.

and say that in Aristotle Logic has no one name, and

does not form a division of philosophy.

bably never used the word Ethics


study.

this distinct

never separated his

of reasoning from his matter, nor could he ever have

made the method

further,

It is

If he

had used any

With regard

said Politics.

Again, Socrates pro-

to designate his favourite

distinctive term,

to Ethics also,

he would have

we may affirm

that

in Plato they are not as yet a separate science, and in Aristotle

only becoming

have denied

'

nepl

fi-iv

so.

As

to Physics, Socrates appears rather to

their possibility,

TK

^fliK^

than to have established their

vpaynaTevofiivov,

iripi

8e ttjs SAjjs (pifftas ovhiv.

Ti. 2.

VOL.

I.

Met.

ESSAY

10'.

IT.

The above-mentioned

existence as a branch of philosophy.


division

is

probably not older than the Stoics.

Pursuing our negative and eliminatory process with regard


to the position of Socrates in the history of thought,

we may

next ask what was his hold upon that tenet which in Plato's
Dialogues appears not only closely connected with his moral

and philosophical views in general, but

also is

made

to

assume

the most striking historical significance in connection with

his submission to the sentence of death

But on

immortality of the soul.

his belief in the

this point also

say that a different kind of impression

is left

we can

only

on our minds by

the records of the last conversations of Socrates, as severally

In Xenophon's Memo-

furnished by Plato and by Xenophon.


rabilia

and Apologia

Socratis^'' Socrates is

He

asked whether he

His whole

life

has been a preparation, for he has never acted unjustly.'

It

has prepared his defence.

is

possible that this answer

ing

on the one hand a

answers that

might have had a double mean-

meaning

literal

was the best answer to his accusers


gious meaning

that

'

that

his conduct

on the other hand a

reli-

had been a prmparatio mortis

his life

but Xenophon, or his imitator, appears only to have understood the saying in the former

and

literal

When

sense.

reminded that the judges have often condemned those that


were really innocent, Socrates replies that he has twice been
stopped by the supernatural sign when thinking of composing
a defence
best for

that God

him

to die

seems to intimate to him that

that

if

he

condemned he

is

was

it

will

meet

with an easy mode of death at a time when his faculties are


still

and

entire

whereas,

infirmities

and

" The genuineness

if

he were to

loss of his

of this

work

ias been doubted, ajid Zeller pronounces it to be certainly spurious.

live longer, only old

powers would await him


But

it

was

writer's

quantum.

at all events

view

of

age

that

some ancient
VaUat

Socrates.

DID SOCRATES BELIEVE IN A FDTUEE LIFE


he knows good

men and bad

terity after their deaths

163

are differently estimated by pos-

and that he leaves his own cause in

the hands of posterity, being confident they will give a right

him and

verdict between

his

The only sentence

judges.

recorded by Xenophon (besides the one above mentioned) that

admits the possibility of being referred to a future

where Socrates
Anytus,

know
for all

What

'

is

life,

is

mentioned to have said in reference to

a worthless fellow

who seems

this,

is

not to

that whichever of us has done best and most profitably

time

(sis

top asl '^povov), he

is

In this

the winner.'

immor-

saying, Plato might have discovered a reference to


tality, ^'

but Xenophon takes

to

it

mean merely

'

the long

bad way in which the son of Anytus

run,' applying it to the

afterwards turned out.

If

we

separate from the speeches

recorded by Xenophon the allusion which Socrates makes


to his

'

supernatural sign,' which shows a sort of belief in

a religious sanction to the course he was taking


resolves itself into a very enlightened calculation

of gain

in

against loss

submitting to

the

and balance

The

die.

rest

Phcedo

of Plato has elevated this feeling into something holy

it

puts out of sight those parts of the calcula'tion which consisted in a desire to escape
less death,

from the pains of age by a pain-

and in a regard to the opinion of posterity

makes prominent and all-absorbing the desire

it

'"'

Zeller points out that even in the

Apology of Plato
the

most

historical of

delineations

expresses

(-vrhich

of

is

himself -with

40

are fain to suppose that

Plato's

soul after death to be probable, al-

Socrates

doubt and

C).

we

he considered the existence of the

caution on the subject of the


tality of the soul (p.

so that

and

probahly

all

Socrates),

'

for that

immor-

At

the

though he did not pretend

to

any

certain knowledge on the point.' (See


Socrates

and

the

translated from the

by

Socratic

Schools,

German of Br. E.

0. J. Keichel, &e.

London,

same time Zeller calls attention to


the discourse on immortality put into
the mouth of the dying Cyrus in the

Zeller

Cpropisdia of Xenophon, as probably

above pages, written many years ago,

representing the mind of Socrates,

only aim at giving a suggestive outline.

1868.)
is

Zeller's

account of Socrates

admirable and exhaustive.

The

ESSAY

1G4

condition on which the soul

not for Plato,

is

II.

Were it

to enter after death.

we should have had an

entirely different im-

pression of the death of Socrates, an entirely different kind


of sublimity would have been attached to

it.

almost Christian enthusiasm and faith which

tomed

to associate with

Stoical resignation

it,

we should

and firmness

tive of

are accus-

known

could appreciate, but

of a

indeed which con-

of Stoicism.

The narra-

Xenophon no doubt misses something which

how both

Plato

events enables us to understand

it at all

the Cynic and Cyrenaic morality sprang from the

teaching and

life

of Socrates.

One more point

is

Apology of Socrates.
corrupting youth.

known

their parents

way he answers

the charge of

Having protested against the notion

those
'

worth notice in the Xenophontean

It is the

his teaching vice to any,

I have

we

only have

an act

germ

tains in itself historically the

Instead of the

when Meletus

whom you
know

of

Why,

have persuaded not to obey

Socrates replies,

this is a subject they

further urges,

'

'

Yes, about education, for

About

that I have studied.

health people obey the doctor and not their parents

in

State afiairs and war you choose as your leaders those that
are skilled in these matters
is free

is it

not absurd, then,

there

trade in other things, that in the most important

interest of

all,

education, I should not be allowed to have

the credit of being better skilled than other

to be chosen

'

Minister of Education

men

?
'

The

had Socrates claimed

fallacy of this reasoning is obvious, for

who

if

'

by the same persons

voted for the Archons and the Generals, or had he

succeeded in persuading the fathers that he was the best


possible teacher for their sons, nothing could have been said

against

it.

But the complaint against him was

constituted youths,
their

own

who were

that

he

unfit to judge, the judges of

education, and thus inverted

all

the natural ideas

SOCRATES AS A TEACHEE.
of family

One can

life.

165

well understand the invidiousness

which would be encountered by one* undertaking such a


position

and defending

this attitude

can

jlistify,

We

Aristophanes.

Viewing

words recorded.

merely from

the

see from this point of view

one

outside,

manner, the caricature of

in

in the

it

Socrates

of

drawn by

it

how

Socrates

was a Sophist, and must have exhibited a merely Sophistical


appearance

many

to

of his

But from

contemporaries.

another point of view, looking at the internal character and

motives of the man, his purity and nobility of mind, his love
of truth,

would

enthusiasm (Schwarmerei,

his

call

it),

his obedience to

and

impulse,

must

him the born antagonist and


There

Sophistry.

terms in

all

The

But

While they are the

the

'

all

best

men

of

and ardour of youth make the

flexibility

disciples

against

this goes

children

of a

new and

the

principle

Hence a

children should honour the parents.


sets

we

utter antipodes of

seem to many wicked, and the corrupters

young the most ready


doctrine.

ir-

an opposition and a contradiction of

is

great teachers.

their times, they

of youth.

his

Germans

the

genius akin to madness,

resistible
call

as

some mysterious and

against the fathers

;
'

elevated

that

the

great teacher

and the higher

morality which he expounds, being freer and more indepen-

dent of positive laws


itself,

being more based on what

is

right in

and on the individual consciousness and apprehen-

sion of that right

the form of licence.

new wine cannot


The

tends
This

also in

is

weaker natures to assume

one application of the truth, that

safely be put into old bottles.

positive results that are

known

to us of the ethical

philosophy of Socrates are of course but few.

Aristotle's

allusions restrict themselves virtually to one point

namely,

the theory that

mentioned in

its

'

Virtue

is

a science.'

most general form, Sth.

This doctrine
vi.

xiii.

3.

is

Its

ESSAY

166

application to courage

II.

mentioned, Eth.

is

And

Socrates said courage was a science.

the doctrine, that incontinence


possible to

author of

know what

Etli. VII.

is

III. viii.

best and not do

it

is

them

it

stated

im-

is

by the

These allusions agree equally with

ii. I.

the representations of Plato and of Xenophon,


fore treat

that

the corollary of

impossible, for

is

as historical.

we may

there-

remains to ask what was

It

the occasion,, the meaning, and the importance of this saying


that
far

'

'

Virtue

from being an abstract theory,

nected with

how

The thought of Socrates was

a science.'

is

and

life

reality, that

grew up

this proposition

age and circumstances,

it

we

was

so

so intimately con-

are enabled to conceive

in his mind, as a result of his

was connected with a sense

(i) It

This feeling was no doubt

of the importance of education.

caused in part by the procedure of the Sophists, which

had turned the attention of

all

be mooted, whether virtue


(cf.

Xen. Memor.

ix. i.)

iii.

e.g.

and

to general cultivation,

The question began now to

especially to ethical instruction.

courage, could be taught

Socrates appears on this question

to have taken entirely the side of the advocates of education.

The
the

difficulties

Meno

which are shown ta attach to the subject in

of Plato

we may

consider to be a later development

of thought, subsequent even in the

We may

Laches, &c.

as to the question.
'

Yes,' from

mind of Plato

specify three different stages of opinion

Can

virtue be taught ?

The Sophists

Yes,' giving a

make

said,

an over-confidence of pretensions, and from not

realising the question with sufficient depth.


'

to Protagoras,

new meaning

Socrates said

to the assertion

action into a kind of art, to

wishing to

make self-knowledge and

wisdom predominate over every part of life.

Plato said

'

No,'

from a feeling of the deep and spiritual character of the moral


impulses.

He said,

'

Virtue seems almost to be an inspiration

VIRTUE

'

A SCIENCE.

IS

167

from heaven sent to those who are destined to receive

human

Aristotle, taking again the

implying, however, that

and

allowing

also

'

^^

Yes,'

was an

for

some

(2)

This

the natural disposition of men.

in

differences

say,

formation of habits

the

part of teaching,

essential

would

side,

it.'

doctrine was connected with the inductive and generalising


of Socrates,

spirit

to bring the various

which Gorgias used to enumerate separately

virtues,

Meno,

Plato,

was an attempt

it

71, Aristot. Politics,

p.

Thus the four

law.

universal

xiii.

i.

cardinal

(3)

sides.

tained implicitly the theory of

'

time a sort of empiricism.

accustomed to danger,'

'

On

the other hand,

and a consciousness of a law

of

good and

evil

is

but was at the same

the expression of the

is

and

ix. 2,

Mh.

Aristot.

iii.

implied rather self-knowledge,

which

is

This

acquaintance with particulars.


Laches, where courage

to wisdom.

Courage consists in being

iii.

it

all

justice,

on the one hand con-

habits,'

(This

doctrine given, Xen. Memorah.


viii. 6.)

It

under one

virtues,

temperance, courage, and wisdom, he reduced

The doctrine had two

10),

(cf.

shown

quite above

is

mere

drawn out in the

to consist in the

and in the Republic

all

it is

knowledge

described as that

highest kind of presence of mind, which maintains a hold of


right principles even amidst danger.

Socrates wished to

make

(4)

We have said that

action into a kind of art.

to have been a favourite analogy with

him

to

It

seems

remark that

the various craftsmen studied systematically their

own

crafts

but that Politics (which would include the direction of individual

life)

was not

so learned.

Out of

doubt, sprang the further conclusion that


"
oTs

@ta
ttv

fioipif

vapayiyvo/ihri

irapayiyvTiTai.

Meno^

fiveu vov,

p.

99 E.

Afterwards (Repub. 518. E) he said

'

this

analogy, no

human

life

must

All the cardinal virtues can be ac-

quired,

which

except
is innate.'

Wisdom

{<pp6in\(Tis),

ESSAY

168

have

own

its

Virtue,

II.

proper function {epyov,

became the science of


easily takes a utilitarian

So expressed, the doctrine

living.

and somewhat selfish turn

does in the Protagoras, where virtue

it

of the good, but

'

the good

'

is

is

made

indeed,

as,

the science

Under

identified with pleasure.

an

this aspect the doctrine presents

and

353).

to the point of view of Socrates,

according

then,

Repub. p.

cf.

affinity to

also to the practical views of Goethe,

time enables us to understand how

Benthamism,

and

at the

was possible

it

same

for the

Cyrenaic philosophy to spring out of the school of Socrates.


(5) It lays the foundation for conscious morality,

grounds of right and wrong in the individual reason.

the
It
'

forms

the

contradiction

a science,' that

is,

the

to

justice is a convention' (yofim),

is

by placing

by asserting that

pointing

with

out

the

that

The

Peripatetics improved

mind

the

upon

this

of identifying virtue

instead

Socrates,

the

rational consciousness

that his formula ignored

and the

for

rational consciousness, should have said it

with

coincide

justice

'

something not depending on society

and external authority, but existing in and


of the individual.

saying,

Sophistical

distinction

all

must

in other words,

between the reason

will.

This defect in the definition of Socrates exhibits one of


the characteristics of early Ethics, namely, that they contain

extremely

little

psychology.

At

first

men

are content with

the rudest and most elementary mental distinctions

wards greater refinements are introduced.


division of the
"first

scientific

mind

into Desire, Anger,

attempt of the kind.

distinction between the moral

and the

nature was hardly established.

But even

in Plato, the

intellectual sides of our

Partly

it

after-

and Reason, was the

we

shall see that this

was a merit, and consciously admitted in order


action into philosophy ; partly,

Plato's threefold

to elevate

was a defect proceeding from

'

VIRTUE

tlie

want

of a

the

WUl

with the Reason.

we remember

more

Socrates identified

definite psychology.

We

169

can urMerstand this better,

if

that the practical question of his day always

What

was, not,

A SCIENCE.

IS

is

Right

What

but,

is

Good

Socrates

argued that every one would act in accordance with his

answer to this question

man

that no

Hence incontinence was im-

he conceived to be good.

The argument, however,

possible.

could help doing what

a fallacy because

is

leaves out of sight the ambiguity of the


is

means

either

end

that

All

or end.

always recommend

But good

life.

appear irksome or repulsive.

All wish for

particular

it is said,

steps

Eth.

vii.

^ distinction must be drawn with regard to this

S>

phrase,

know

Hence, as

good as an

means does not

as a

The necessary

itself.

it

Good

good.'

for the

good as a whole, as a universal.

is,

happiness and a good

iii.

word

men wish

'

'

it,

knowing the

In one sense a

good.'

Undoubtedly,

in another not.

intellectual conviction of the goodness

the necessity of the means,

is

if

man may

a perfectly clear

of the end,

and of

present to a man, he cannot

act otherwise than rightly.

There was another paradox connected with the primary


doctrine of Socrates.

It

was that

injustice, if voluntary, is

better than if involuntary. This startling proposition appears


to gainsay all the instincts of the understanding,

contradictory
is

stated

Memorab.

is

assumed in the Ethics

(vi.

v.

But

its
it

by Socrates, and supported by arguments (Xen.


IV.

ii.

20),

and

it is

again maintained dialectically,

though confessed to be a paradox, in


Hippias Minor.

The key

to the

Plato's dialogue called

paradox

is

in this, that the proposition asserts, that if


to act with injustice voluntarily, this

the same act were done involuntarily.


is

7).

and

impossible for a

man

really to

it

to

be found

were possible

would be better than

But by hypothesis

do wrong knowingly.

if
it

It

ESSAY

170

II.

would be a contradiction in terms, since wrong


Therefore the wise

than ignorance.

else

what

His acts are

seemingly wrong.

is

and are

The

really right.

man

is

nothing

can only do

justified to himself

effect of this proposition is to

enforce the principle that wisdom and knowledge are the


things,

and action the second.

Republic of

Plato

382

(p.

The same
B),

the purest and most unmixed

knows what

is

where
is

lie

is
it

erpressed in the
asserted that

is

not where the mind

true and the tongue says what

where the mind thinks what

first

is false,

Mutatis mutandis,

is false.

but

we

might compare these tendencies in the Socratic teaching to


the elevation of Faith over

The

Works

in theological controversy.

dialectical difficulties of morality characteristic of the

Sophistical era appear from Xenophon's account to have fre-

quently occupied the attention of Socrates.


is

Thus Aristippus

recorded to have assailed him with the question whether

he knew anything good.

Whatever he might

would

specify, it

have been easy to show that this was, from some points of
view, an

Socrates, being aware of the difficulty, evaded

evil.

the question by declining to answer


'

Do you

ask

ophthalmia

if I

know anything good

or for

any good, that


wish to know

it

is

it'

hunger

good

For

if

for

a fever

you ask

said,

? or for

me

if I

know

for nothing, I neither

(Xen. Memorab. m.

He

directly.

the

know
it,

nor

This answer

viii. 3).

The puzzle

implies the relative character of the term good.

of Aristippus was meant to consist in playing off the relative


against the

Socrates

is

absolute

import of

'

good.'

Other subtleties

mentioned to have urged himself, as

in the conversation with


intellectual pride

Euthydemus (Memorab.

for instance
iv. 2),

he wished to humble, he shows that

acts (such as deceiving, lying, &c.)

which are

first

whose
all

the

specified

as acts of injustice, can in particular cases appear to be just.

In

fact,

the unsatisfactoriness of the

common

conceptions of

THE SOCRATIC SCHOOLS.


justice is suggested here just as

Plato.

it

is

171

in the Republic of

It is probable tbat the histosic Socrates

would

really

have advanced in the argument on justice as far as the


conclusion of the

ment

book of

first

Rejouhlic.

indications which Plato understood

mind.

his

and

and buried

seized,

in

Thence by degrees they grew up into something

far different from^

The

For the develop-

of the later theory he perhaps furnished hints and

what Socrates had consciously attained

had an element in common with

dialectic of Socrates

that of the Sophists, namely,


ceptions on moral subjects.

and which constituted

its

it

It

disturbed the popular con-

had

this different

from them,

claim to be not merely a destructive,

but also a constructive method

it

always implied (i) that

there was a higher and truer conception to be discovered

thought and research

(2)

to.

it

seized

by

upon some permanent

and universal ideas amidst the mass of what was fluctuating


and

relative

(3)

moral view must after

The many-sided
known,

the impression that the most really

it left

all

life

be the true one.

of Socrates gave an impulse, as

to a variety of schools of philosophy.

is

well

It is usual to

divide these into the imperfect and the perfect Socraticists

the Megarians,
Socrates,

who

represented only the dialectic element in

and the Cynics and Cyrenaics, who represented each

a different phase of his ethical tradition, being considered as

the imperfect Socraticists

and Plato being esteemed the

representative and natural development of

master's thought.

Plato

world in himself, that we


in

its

is

all

so near to Aristotle,

may

full

sides of his

and

is

such a

well leave his ethical system

relation to Aristotle for separate consideration.

An

account of the Megarian school belongs rather to the history


of Metaphysics.

The Cynics and Cyrenaics then alone remain

to be treated of in the present part of our sketch of the pre-

Aristotelian morals.

ESSAY

172

II.

The Cynical and Cyrenaic philosophies were each, as has


been remarked, rather a mode of life than an abstract theory
But

or system.

as every system

may

be regarded as the

development into actuality of some hitherto latent possibility


of the intellect, so these

modes of

life

may

be regarded each

as the natural development of a peculiar direction of the


feelings.

Nor do they

attitude of

mind which was exhibited

fail

That

to reproduce themselves.
first

by Antisthenes and

Diogenes has since been over and over again exhibited, with
superficial differences,

And many

individuals.

mind been

his

and in various modifications by

a follower of Aristippus.

was an exaggeration of
If

we

abstract

all

Each of these schools

a peculiar aspect of the

life

of Socrates.

the Platonic picture of the urbanity, the

happy humour, and


Socrates,

man

different

has essentially in the bias of

at the

same time the sublime thought of

and think only of the barefooted old man,

indefatig-

ably disputing in the open streets, and setting himself against


society,
if

we

we think of him
who spoke

different,
life,

him the

recognise in

and seemed

whom

to

all

of the Cynics.

circumstances seemed in-

at times to identify pleasure with the good,

Aristippus, the follower of Socrates,

also founder of the Cyrenaic sect.

two opposite

schools

started from a

Again,

of virtue as the science of the conduct of

we can understand how


was

first

seem

common

to have

Several points these

had in common,

individual consciousness and will, as being above

all

convention and custom, free and self-responsible.

agreed in disregarding

(i)

They

principle, namely, the assertion of the

all

outward
(2)

They

the sciences, which was a mistaken

carrying out of the intentions of Socrates.

(3)

They stood

equally aloof from society, from the cares and duties of a


citizen.

(4)

They seemed both

to

have upheld the ideal of a

wise man, as being the exponent of universal reason, and the


only standard of right and wrong.

This ideal was no doubt

THE CYNICS.

173

We find

a stadow of the personality of Socrates.

by Aristotle in

adaptation of

it

he makes the

(j>p6vi,/j,os

his

Mhics

(ii. vi.

a sort of

where

5),

The

to be the criterion of all virtue.

same conception was afterwards taken up and earned out

Roman

exaggeration by the

to

Stoics.

Cynicism implies sneering and snarling at the ways and


institutions of society

it

implies discerning the unreality of

the shows of the world and angrily despising them


a sort of embittered wisdom, as

an insult to

We

may

How

ask,

The anecdotes

life

the open air

begged

'

'

of

it

implies

mankind were

Thus

procedure of the early

On

the whole, very much.

and Diogenes generally describe

Cynics,' in the

modern sense of the word.

was a protest against

society

they lived in

they slept in the porticos of temples

feelings of patriotism

nance

Diogenes was sold as a

follies

far did the

of Antisthenes

as being true

Their whole

the

itself.

Cynics justify this implication

them

if

war and

freed,' says

its

they

They despised the

slave.

glory they held in repug-

M. Renouvier,

'

from

all

the bonds

of ancient society, isolated, and masters of themselves, they


lived immovable,

and almost divinised in their own

Their hard and ascetic

life

set

them above

all

would rather be mad,' said Antisthenes, than enjoy


'

pride.'

wants.

'

pleasure.'

They broke through the distinction of ranks by associating


with

And

slaves.

yet under this self-abasement was greater

pride than that against which they protested.

reported to have said,

'

the holes in his mantle.'

And when

your own.'

pride,'

'

Yes,' said Plato,

The Cynics aimed

at

'

is

through

Diogenes exclaimed,

while soiling with his feet the carpet of Plato,

on Plato's

Socrates

I see the pride of Antisthenes

'

Thus

I tread

with greater pride of

a sort of impeccability

they were equally to be above error and above the force of


circumstances.

To the

infirmities of age,

and even

to death

ESSAY

174

themselves superior;

they thought

itself,

II.

over-doing the

example of Socrates, they resorted to a voluntary death when


they

weakness coming on, and such an act they regarded

felt

as the last

supreme

As

effort of virtue.

their political theory,

they appear to have maintained a doctrine of communism.


This seems to have been extended even to a community of
wives

point

of interest,

as

throwing light upon the

Such notions may

origin of Plato's ideal Republic.

really

have been to some extent entertained by Socrates himself.

At

we

events

all
life

mournful picture,
so

much

for

He

waste

of

and that individuals should be

so

The Cynic

and noticed

meaning.

be

to

that

by antagonism

unless

what he does has no

science.

claimed

the

his protest

by a few

disap-

In the Cynical philosophy there was


there

positive,

Ethical

individual

deplore the

can never hope to found an extended school,

spirits.

was

lives

eccentric,

though he may be joined in


pointed

in one branch of his school.

ancient Cynics presents to us a

we cannot but

force of will,

self-tormenting.

seen

them

find

of the

that

like

was

little

hardly any contribution to

But the whole Cynical tone which pro-

value

of

and the importance of the

action

Will was an indication of the practical

and

moral direction which thought had now taken, and prepared

way

the

for the

partial

Will in Aristotle,

among the

and

Stoics.

discussion of the problems of the


for

their

more

full

consideration

Crates, the disciple of Diogenes,

was

the master of Zeno.


Personally, the Cyrenaics were not nearly so interesting
as the Cynics.

Their position was not to protest against the

world, but rather to

sit

loose

upon the world.

Aristippus,

who

passed part of his time at the court of Dionysius, and

who

lived throughout a gay, serene,

and refined

life,

avowed

openly that he resided in a foreign land to avoid the irksome-

THE CYRENAICS.

175

But

ness of mixing in the politics of his native city Cyrene.

the Cyrenaic philosophy was imich more of a system than the

Like the Ethics of Aristotle, this system, started with

Cynic.

What

the question,
answer.

happiness

is

only

Aristotle probably alludes to

Aristippus amongst others, saying

gave a different

it

philosophy of

the

(JEth.

viii.

i.

But

think happiness to consist in pleasure.'

it

6),

'

Some

has been

observed that he chooses not Aristippus, but Eudoxus, as


the representative of the doctrine formally announced, that
'pleasure

the Chief Good' (Mh.

is

I.

xii. 5, X.

ii.

This

i).

points to the fact that Aristippus did not himself entirely

He

systematise his thoughts.

whom

by

Arete,

they were handed down to her son, the

younger Aristippus
his

imparted them to his daughter

(hence

called firjrpohlhaKTOs),

hands the doctrines appear

we

If then

to scientific form.

first

to have

Diogenes

Laertius,

Sextus

this

is

But though we cannot


himself had

been reduced

briefly specify the leading

characteristics of the Cyrenaic system, as

remembered that

and in

Empiricus,

is

it

&c.,

recorded by
it

must

be

the after growth of the system.

tell

to

what perfection Aristippus

brought his doctrines, there are

many

traces

of their influence in the Uthics of Aristotle.

Cyrenaic morals began with the principle, taken from


Socrates, that happiness

a question, which

is

must be man's aim.

Next they

start

never exactly started in Aristotle, and

which remains an unexplained point in his system, namely,


'

What

cessive

is

the relation of the parts to the whole, of each suc-

moment

decisively,

'

to our entire

We have

Here
'

the

"we trace

doctrine

Pleasure

is like

The Cyrenaics answered


Pleasure

an isolated moment, of this alone we

something similar

of

'

only to do with the present.

is /xovo'^povo^,^" /iBpiKTj,

to

life ?

Aristotle, that

a monad, or a point.

complete in

itself,

relation to time

'

perfect

(Eth. x.

without

iv. 4).

ESSAY

176

Happiness

have consciousness.

We

these moments.

II.

must exclude

desire

and

partake of the nature of pain,

which

sum

the

is

number

of a

and hope and

of

fear,

confine ourselves to

the pleasure of the present moment.'

In this theory

it

must be confessed that there

able affinity to Aristotle's doctrine of the reXos

is

consider-

and some

have thought that Aristotle alludes to Aristippus (Eth.


3-8), where he argues that

reXos

Politics,

(cf.

Aristotle

is

VIII.

x. vi.

amusement cannot be considered


v.

In

13).

only distinguished from the

short, the teXos of

fj.ovo'x^povos -^Sovrj

Aristippus by the moral earnestness which characterises

The Cyrenaics

further asking.

by making three

motion, or tempest, which

which

What

states of the

is the painless,

gentle, equable motion,

is

is

is

negative state, but a motion.

one, a violent

another, a dead calm,

or unconscious state

which

it.

Pleasure ? answered

soul possible

pain

of

the third, a

Pleasure was no

pleasure.

This doctrine seems to be

alluded to in the Philelus of Plato (p. 53 C),^' where Socrates,


in arguing against the claims

of pleasure to be the chief

good, returns thanks to a certain refined set of gentlemen for

supplying him with an argument, namely, their


tion of pleasure, that

it is

In the jEudemian book

there appears to be another allusion to this

(Eth.

VII.

same

definition, in a

it

excessively hard to understand.

xii. 3),

ing pleasure, says,


it is

'

way which, without some


Some argue

"

^Apa

iTfpl

riSoyrjs

rh

Trapdirav

T)Sovrjs ;

explanation,

Eudemus

in discuss-

that pleasure cannot be a

a state of becoming' (jsvsais).

wards denies that pleasure

ws ael yifeats iartv,

thought that

It is generally

the Cyrenaic school are here meant.

good, because

defini-

not a permanent state (ovaia), but

a state of progress {yevsaii).

is

own

is

ouk aKriKoa/ifv
fie

ovk Kcti

KO/l^fiol

yap Hi

ov<ria

He

after-

a jsvecris, except in certain

Tives ad Tovrov rhv


/iTIPveiv Vf-'iv,

oh

K6yoy

iirixfipoOffi

Set X"?'" ^X^"'.

THE CTRENAICS.

And

cases.

177

tten he proceeds to explain how

He

pleasure came to be called a jsvstrisT

says

*^

was that

it
'

it

was from

a confusion between the terms yevscris and svipysia

thought to be a

ysvscris,

was

it

because essentially a good, to express

At

which the term ivepyeia would have been appropriate.'


first

is

sight

appears a strange contradiction to say pleasure

it

thought not to be a good, because

thought to be a
tion

is,

because

ysvscris,

it

is

a ysvscns

good.

is

it

that the two clauses do not refer to the same

The former part

of opinions.

argued,

in

as

the

Philebus,

was not a permanent

motion,

Cyrenaic

aware of

pleasure,

will

it,

pleasure

made

the

bear

not

themselves indifferent,
as

Cyrenaics,

allowed

It

of

state

obvious

is

we

are

criterion of pleasure,

actions.

All actions, in

were good or bad according to their


tending

not

tending or

to

The

pleasure.

however, adapting themselves to circumstances,

that

their

man would

wise

decorum in obedience

outward

Aristippus appears

the only

senses

it

comparison, as a scientific

and pleasure, again, the measure of

results,

is

definition of pleasure, as far as

account, with the theory of Aristotle.


to have

because

the latter part refers to the


that

as it is here called, a ysvsa-is.

or,

that the

state

Cyrenaics,

the

of

definition

set

who

refers to the Platonists,

against

is

it

The explana-

to

always maintain an

established

and

law

custom.

The
our

selfishness of

For even

eyes.

according

to

excellent,

are

system at once condemns

this

acts

of generosity

and

'- Eth,. VII. xii. 3.

VOL.

I.

AoKEi 8c yivicis

Kvplas a.yae6v

it

to be

only on this account, because, by

a reflex power, they occasion pleasure to the doer.

Tis ehai, 3ti

in

affection,

such a system, though admitted by


excellent

it

tJji/

yap

What

hipytiav yivtaiv olovrai ehai, eart


erepav.

S'

ESSAY

178

in other systems

II.

only concomitant to good acts

is

here

is

made the primary motive, by which all morality is debased.


The maintainers of such a philosophy are, perhaps, halfconscious

themselves that

to

it

can be generally

never

Looked

applicable, that they are maintaining a paradox.

into

closely,

Those who

this

is

may

easUy,

is

who have no

Horace,

like

'

slip

The profound

doctrines of Aristippus.'

there

any noble

find a sphere for

peace in any round of duties,


objects,

be a philosophy of despair.

cannot put themselves into harmony with the

who cannot

world,

seen to

efforts,

back

the

into

which

joylessness

at the core of the Oyrenaic system

nor

and no

ties

showed

itself

openly in the doctrines of Hegesias, the principal successor


of Aristippus.

Hegesias, regarding happiness as impossible,

reduced the highest good for

man

to a sort of apathy

thus,

at the extremest point, coinciding again with the Cynics.


is

instru.ctive to see the various points of view that

sible to

take with regard to

life.

is

The Sophists had

trifled

them

out.

pos-

In the Oyrenaic system we

find a bold logical following out of a particular view.

respect the system

it is

It

remarkable, for

it is

the

first

In this

of its kind.

with such views, and not followed

In the prominence given to the subject of pleasure,

in the Ethical systems both of Plato and Aristotle,


trace the effects of the Oyrenaic impulse.

we may

ESSAY
On

the

Relation of Aristotle s Ethics

and
"TT7E have
'

'

'

Plato

to

the Platonists.

already traced in outline the characteristics of

moral philosophy in Greece down to the death of

Socrates,

of

III.

and have made

brief

mention of two of the schools

one-sided Socraticists,' as they have

Cynics and Cyrenaics.

It

been

remains to resume the thread of

the progress of ethical thought in Plato, compared with


all

antecedent and contemporary Greek speculation


its start

afresh.

whom

In him

previous philosophers sink into, insignificance.

up and takes

is

To explain the

of Aristotle's treatises to Plato


of all that

it

contains.

all

summed

Especially in relation to any

part of the system of Aristotle, a knowledge of Plato

the greatest importance.

the

called,

is

relation

is

of

of any one

almost a sufficient account

If one were asked

throw most light upon the Ethics of

must be undoubtedly, the Dialogues


'

what books

Aristotle, the

will

answer

of Plato.'

These Dialogues represent the successive phases, during


a long

life,

of a

mind pre-eminently above

in philosophic thought

and

suggestion.

long previously

made and

mature

others rich

In many respects

they are totally unlike the works of Aristotle.


of being written all together as the

all

For, instead

result of inquiries

of conclusions gradually obtained

and stored up, they were thrown out from time

to

V 2

time,

ESSAY

180

beginning with Plato's early


out to relieve the
also they

mind

III.

yoiitli,

just as

poems are thrown

And

in another respect

of the poet.

were like poems,

them form was always con-

for in

sidered of coequal importance with matter

not only in stylo

were they consummate masterpieces of writing, but also


they had this note of poetry

that

each part of them was

treated as an end in itself and yet was duly subordinated to

the whole, and they were thus perfect works of

Being

art.

written from time to time they reflected the gradual growth

and alteration of

Plato's

own mind,

as well as the different

influences of philosophy to which he was successively sub-

The

jected.

earlier dialogues,

such as Oharmides, Laches,

&c., exhibit a simple Socratic dialectic,

Lysis,

by which the

ordinary views of moral subjects are shown to be insufficient,

and more adequate

definitions are sought for, but not

Afterwards, as in Phcedrus and RepuUic, a Pytha^

ciated.

gorean influence manifests


of

enun-

a delight in the symbolism

itself;

numbers appears, and the doctrine

of souls plays

an important

part.

of the transmigration

Then

again, as in Par-

menides, Thecetetus, and SopMstes, a Megarian


influence

is

perceptible, and the

Being are discussed.

or

Eleatic

most abstract conceptions of

Thus the dialogues contain many

varieties of the point of view,

and even many inconsistencies.

These incongruities, however, such as they were, were veiled

and mitigated,

first

by the dramatic form into which every-

was thrown, and by which only the views of the

thing

speakers for the time being seemed to be guaranteed, and


secondly by the graceful absence of

dogmatism in the Platonic

Socrates, the chief personage in most of the dialogues.

common
whole

spirit,

however,

is

plainly discernible through the

and, for the rest, the Dialogues of Plato show us the

progress of a philosophic mind, of an inquiring spirit, of

'

great original genius struggling with unequal conditions of

THE DIALOGUES OF PLATO.


knowledge.''

If

we

ask,

At what

of authorship was Plato most

dialogues can

we put our

of his philosophy ?

Plato

where.

point of his

on the most

the answer must

is

be,

imbibe,

feel that to

Nowhere and every-

afibrd to be

of

more

But the reason why

comparatively indifferent to the

upon

conclusions of Plato

and in modern times

if possible, his spirit, is

value than to garner his conclusions.

we can now

essential features

to be regarded as a dynamical force, rather

than as the setter forth of a system

we may

years

fifty

In which of the

himself?

finger

181

particular points,

is,

that these

conclusions have become incorporated, so far as they were


in

valid,

the

And

thought of Europe.

they became so

incorporated through having been gathered up and stated

by

afresh

Aristotle,

who was

Plato's lineal successor in the

history of Philosophy, though not so in the leadership of the

Academic

Plato's rich

School.*

The Dialogues of Plato translated

'

and manifold contributions

Such reasons are quite insufficient.


with all known facts

and In-

It is consistent

Jowett, M.A.,
troductions, by B.
Master of Balliol College, &c. (Ox-

pupil, but that

into English, with Analyses

ford,

871),

Preface, p.

Jowett says of Plato

(ib.)

'

Prof.

the independence of his own mind,

are not

and declared a dissent from and a


polemic against some of the metaphysical views entertained by Plato's
school, and thus was passed over in

is

the

and nevertheless may have an

extraordinary valueandinterestforns.'

Valentine

Rose,

De

Aristotelis

Librorum Ordine

et Attctoritate

lin, 1854), p. 112,

impugns as a

(Ber-

fiction

the statement of Apollodorus {apud

Diog. Lsert. see above, page 2) that


Aristotle

was the pupil of Plato for


The grounds of this

twenty years.
scepticism

are

(i)

that

Plato's

ix.

residuum of truth which remains for


ourselves. His truth may not be our

was

he gradually asserted

We

concerned to determine what

truth,

to believe that Aristotle

Aristotle

the election of a Scholarch for the

Academy, on Plato's death.

This led

Athens
time, and afterwards setting up
to Aristotle's leaving

irepl-TraToi,

for a
in the

or covered walks, of the

Lyceum his own separate school, which


hence got the name of Peripatetic.
These
proved
certain,

perhaps

details
;

but we

that

cannot

know one

be

thing for

almost every page of

would have been more thoroughly


Platonised had the statement been

Aristotle'sLogical.Rhetorical, Ethical,

true; (2) that the roundness of the


number has a suspicious appearance.

bears traces of a relation to some part

Political,

and Metaphysical writings

or other of Plato's Dialogues.

ESSAY

182

III.

to logic, psychology, metaphysics, ethics, politics, and natural

many

religion (so

of which have

become part of the furniture

of our every-day thoughts), were too

down

in his works, too

prolixity, too

much

much

much

scattered

up and

by conversational

overlaid

coloured by poetry or wit, sometimes too

subtlely or slightly indicated, to be readily available for the

world in general, and they thus required a process of


Aristotle, with the greatest gifts

cation.

for the

codifi-

analytic

systematising of philosophy that have ever been seen, uncon-

He

sciously applied himself to the required task.

treated

the Platonic Dialogues as quarries out of which he got the


materials wherewith to build up in consolidated form

departments of thought and science so

He

conceived by an ancient Greek.


translated

him

time that
results
all

this

all

they could be

far as

thus codified Plato, and

into the prose of dogmatic theory, at the

many

he carried further and completed

and suggestions.

the

same

of his

It must be confessed that he did

somewhat ungraciously, seeming

to dwell

by

prefer-

ence on the difierences of view between Plato and himself;

and he did

it,

not perceiving
in

all

as

we have

how much

unconsciously apparently

said,

was the natural complement of


and

through Aristotle that

'

it

thought,

was derived from Plato and

his non-physical inquiries,

only re-stated and carried out by himself.

plement of Socrates

own

the substance of his

Aristotle, however,

was the com-

Plato, as Plato
is

to

considerable

the residuum of truth

'

extent

in Plato has

already become part of the thought of the world. The attitude

and aims of the two writers were, of course,

diiferent, for,

while Plato was a Dialectician and a Poet, Aristotle aimed


especially at being a

could be

man

known on each

precise terminology.

earnestness

Plato's

of Science,

subject,

at collecting all that

and stating

Each of the two had

it

his

in the

own

most

peculiar

was a moral earnestness, he seems never

AHISTOTLE AS THE SUCCESSOE TO PLATO.

the overwhelming importance of

to have left out of sight

human

everything by which the


deteriorated

a desire to

itself in

was a

Aristotle's

might be improved or

soul

showing

scientific earnestness,

and examine everything and

sift

the naked truth, as

183

to state

appeared to him, regardless of con-

it

sequences.'

Plato as the successor of Socrates appears to have carried

forward

By

the many-sided tendencies of his master.

all

imagining Socrates

on earth, and in perpetual conversa-

still

tion on the highest subjects, Plato developed the different

phases of his

own idealistic

But at present we are

philosophy.

only concerned with the ethical portion of this


is.

What

contribution did Plato

theory in Greece
results at

must conceive him starting with the

life it is

versal conceptions

it is

is

namely, that in the

absolutely necessary to obtain uni-

notions, are requisite

the general outcome of

that 'Virtue

that, to arrive at these a suitable dialectic,

and the refutation of inadequate


that

the question

to the growth of moral

which Socrates had arrived

human

of

affairs

We

make

to have followed was, to take

and

such inquiries to show

all

Now, the

a science.'

course which Plato seems

up these

principles

and see how

they were to be reconciled with the current ideas of Greek


morality.

If there be four cardinal virtues.

perance, Courage, and Justice,

the doctrine that


science,

'

and how

Plato's deep

'

Virtue

is

how

a science

Or, if virtue

feeling of the im-

is

Wisdom, Tem-

do these stand related to


'

Is each of

one,

how

them a

are these sepa-

aXiiQelas Kal Tci o'lKeta avaipeiv. Eth. X.

where he blames those who from

portance of morality cannot be pro-

i.

perly indicated by a few references,

moral good intentions have pronounced

3,

but see Prof. Jowett's Introductions

Pleasure to be

to his Translations of the Dialogues,

where he says of a particular question


exeiTivhs airoplas, r^ Se Trepl eKdiTTTjv

passim.

Aristotle's keenness for the

hard and precise truth


trated

by Eth.

^4Xtiov

I.

may

be

illus-

vi. I, 8ii|6ie S' i,v

ejvai Kal Se7p eiri trcoTTjpla

laus

ye ttjs

evil.

Politics,

ii. viii. I

fl48oSot/ <pi\offo<j>ovPTi KaljU^ fiSyovawo-

^Xi-novTi Trphs rb irpdrTetv oIk76v effTi

rh

fi.^

irapopav

fiTjSe t( KaraAeiTreij'.

ESSAY

184

names

rate

science, can

III.

Again,

be accounted for?

to

be taught

it

science, then does

it

if

Furthermore,

not follow that Vice

if

Virtue

Virtue

ignorance

is

is

is

From

which, as no one can be blamed for errors committed in ignorance,

it

would

result that

no man

is

These

willingly bad.

are the problems which, arising out of the Socratic principles,

Plato had to encounter, and he discusses them directly in Protagoras, Gorgias,

Meno, and Bepublic

dentally they are touched

less directly

and

inci-

upon in many of the other dialogues.

In order to find an answer to them Plato called in the aid of


Psychology, and he was thus the

first

to propose for ethics a psy-

chological foundation. In Republic, in answer to the question,


'

What

is

Justice

he sets himself to construct an elaborate

'

system of individual

by means of an analogy drawn

ethics,''

between the human soul and an


tion of this analogy

is

made

Anger

soul into Reason,

ideal city.

And

the founda-

to consist in a division of the

{dvjjLos),

and Desire, answering to

the three ranks of the rulers, the soldiers, and the working
classes.

This psychological division, rudimentary as

it

may

now

appear, was an important contribution towards the scien-

tific

theory of morals.

was

One immediate

to lead Plato to distinguish

cardinal virtues, and to put

it

result of the division

Wisdom from
by

into a class

itself.

the other

Wisdom,

Thought on moral subjects {(^povqais) evidently enters

or

a guiding principle into

can exist without

when looked

at

all

the other virtues

all

none of them

And, on the other hand,

it.

more

closely, is

this quality,

found to be identical with

one of the tripartite divisions of the soul

an

as

it is

Reason

itself,

intuitive faculty, not admitting of degrees, possessed

by

men, but yet capable of misdirection, obscuration, and


See Essays on the Platonic Ethics,

by Thomas

Maguire,

(Dublin, 1870), p. 36.

LL.D.,

&c.

Dr. Maguire

in these Essays has well discussed the

subject of the present pages.

185

THE ETHICS OP PLATO.


Hence comes one answer

eclipse.

The Virtue

teachable ?

where ^povrjais

is

not

is

stated in Bepublic

is

called 'the eye of the

is

aright.

'while the other qualities

said,''

Thought,

or

which only requires to be directed

soul,'
it

C E,

518

Wisdom,

This conclusion

the other Virtues are.^


VII. p.

of

to the question, Is Virtue

'And

hence,'

Tem-

Courage,

(i.e.

perance, and Justice) seem to be akin to the body, being

infused by habit and exercise and not originally innate, the


virtue of

wisdom

which

is

useful

and

and

is part of

everlasting,
profitable,

how

and by

and

is also

conversion

this

rendered

capable of becoming hurtful

keen eye of a clever rogue

clearly his paltry soul sees the

way

service of evil,

and he

is

how eager

to his

the reverse of blind, but his keen eyesight

ligence ?

is

Did you never observe the narrow intelligence

useless.

flashing from the


is,

a divine essence, and has a power

is

end

said.

But

what

he
is

taken into the

dangerous in proportion to his

Very true he

he

Intel -

there had been

if

a circumcision of such natures in the days of their youth

and they had been severed from the leaden weights,


call

as I

may

them, with which they are born into the world, which

hang on

to sensual pleasures, such as those of eating

drinking, and drag

them down and turn the

souls about the things that are below

if,

and

vision of their

I say, they

had

been released from them and turned round to the truth, the
very same faculty in these very same persons would have seen
the other as keenly as they
is fixed.'

least

In

now

see that on

which their eye

this passage is also indicated the relation of at

one other of the cardinal virtues, namely Temperance,

to the virtue of

Wisdom

gence,' says Plato,

'

or Thought.

been checked in

Had sensual indulmany a man when he

See Dr. Maguire's

'

Prof. Jowett's Trauslation, vol.

'

Essat/s, p. 14.
ii.

p. 352.

ESSAY

18C

was young,

III.

innate divine power of thought would have

liis

turned round to the idea of the Good, instead of fastening


itself
is

upon

evil.'

Thus Temperance conserves Wisdom, and

a necessary condition to

Plato,

But Courage, according

it.

to

steadiness not only in the face of danger, but also in

is

the face of pleasure and temptation (Laws, p. 633, D, E),


therefore

this

quality also

must play a

similar part with

Temperance in preventing the disturbance and misdirection


of Thought.

But these

means and conditions


derive
it

all

however, while they are

qualities,

to the proper functions of Thought,

their ethical value from

would be mere blind

Thought

itself,

and without

instincts towards the good, or

would

be the result of worldly and non-moral motives (Phcedo,

Thus the three cardinal

p. 68, d).

ance,

and Courage, instead

virtues.

Wisdom, Temper-

of standing

apart,

as

in the

popular Greek notion of morality, are found mutually to

imply one another, and to grow together into one whole.

And

this

may be

whole

of Plato's Republic,

it

called Virtue, or, to use the language

may be

figured

quality which in the individual soul

is

fectly wise 'division of labour' in a State

supreme

regularity,

good order, and

was

we can

see

preceded
it
'

it

all

in other

words

Such, in the barest

Plato's moral scheme, but, even as thus stated,

how much
in Greece

deeper

men

go forward in

it

was than anything which had

how, following the Socratic direction,

discarded as inadequate

giving

that

sanity, reigning over all

the functions of the individual soul.


outline,

Justice

as

analogous to a per-

such definitions

their due,' or of

battle

;
'

how

it

Courage as

of Justice as
'

willingness to

looked alone to the internal

motive of each quality, and in so doing discovered


sary relation to

all

its

neces-

the various parts of the soul, and thus

expanded the conception of Virtue as a science into that of


Virtue as a harmony of the appetitive and emotional im-

THE ETHICS OF PLATO.

187

pulses under the direction of Reason or Thought, which they

and supported.

at once obeyed

But

Virtue

yet, according to Plato,

with Knowledge

it

is

always coincident

implies the choice of the higher plea-

sures and of that course to which the balance of advantages


inclines.

To

act

otherwise than in accordance with the

balance of advantages,

And no

is

to act as Ignorance

one, except in error

evil in place of good.

'

would prompt.

and through Ignorance, chooses

Ignorance,' however, does not

the mere negative absence of knowledge

it

mean

means, as

explained by Plato in this context, rather something positive

'

the influence of any opinion or impression which

variance with the ultimate reality

is

at

any disturbing influence

'

which may tend to weaken the force of ulterior interests


'

all

sentiments, passions, and emotions which lead us to put

out of sight the consideration of our permanent interest.'

With

maintained that no wrong action

this proviso it is

done except through Ignorance


stated in Laws, p.

But

0,

men

it

is

emphatically

are always involun-

Unjust

view of

life.

not have been unjust, as

we have

already seen,

this is

no

if early

good habits had given

vision

of their

it is

and, as

All bad

fatalistic

tarily bad.'

men would

860

'

is

souls.

And

proper scope to the innate

its

in

succeeding pages of Laivs

shown that Legal Punishments must take

their course

with such men, as a reformatory and curative process for


themselves, and as a vindication of those
injured.

Plato's theory of

corrective theory

that

person punished.

But

punishment

'

See Dr. Maguire's Essays,


p.

358

sq.

influences

p. 31,

whom
is

they have

essentially

for the

is

in his pictures

drawn under Pythagorean

and Protagoran,

Punishment

the

good of the

of the future

life,

and no doubt partly

See Phcedo, pp. 113, 114, Gorgias

523-525, and Be^ziblie, 614-620.

ESSAY

188

III.

derived from Pindar (see above, page gS), Plato indicates


three

possibilities

for

blessedness for those

philosophy;

or,

the individual soul

who have been

either

by virtue and

purified

a state of purgatory, to be

followed by

metempsychosis and a fresh probation on earth


some,

He

final

eternal

for

or,

condemnation without further hope of redemption.

conceives that the sentence of eternal punishment would

be the fate of those great malefactors of mankind, such as


the worst tyrants and other utterly lawless

spirits,

who

should

have rendered themselves incurable and incapable of improvement.

This belief adds force to the consideration of the

great importance of habits in the soul, for

supposes that

it

the immortal soul by evil habits can become degraded past

the possibility of improvement.

then figured that

It is

eternal retributive punishment, as a warning to others, would

become

Though Plato does not make the

its lot.

details

wishes (like a modern divine) to order the whole of


still

of

and by no means

his Eschatology necessary matters of faith,

reference to them, yet

'

life

in

the belief in the immortality of

the soul was deeply rooted in his mind, and was variously

expressed in different parts of his writings.


it

He

connected

with the metaphysical priority of Reason to Matter, and

also

He

with the grave importance of Morals.

whole of

life

as

pictured the

an education, and sometimes spoke of educa-

tion as a process only

begun in

this life

and

to be carried

in a subsequent state of existence (see Republic, p.

All this gave greatness and depth, and a


for all times, to the ethical

See Phmdo

mean

(p.

114 E).

to affirm that

the description

soul

is

shown

unworthily

of sense hardly ought to say that.

lation, vol.

that,

human interest valid

inasmuch as the

to be immortal, he

may

venture to think, not improperly or

which I have given of the eoul and


her mansions is exactly true a man

But 1 do say

498 D, E).

scheme of Plato.

I do not

'

on

kind

is

that something of the

true.'
i.

Prof. Jowett's Transp.

465.

THE ETHICS OF PLATO.


The works
were probably

of Aristotle, that
all

to say those that

we

possess,

composed between fourteen and twenty-seven

come

If Plato could have

years after the death of Plato.


life

is

189

to

again and seen these works, he would have found philo-

sophy

all

mapped

out and divided into separate branches, and

great analytic clearness thus imparted to the whole

he would

have found a settled philosophical terminology employed


throughout

in many cases

words that he had himself been

now

in the habit of using in an ordinary way,

made

limited in their connotation and


logic or metaphysics

'"

in

restricted

technical terms of

new and somewhat

other cases

uncouth terms that had been introduced by Aristotle


sake of precision
gestions of his

so

out,

for the

'

" and he would have found manifold sug-

;
'

own on

taken up and in

and

all

many

the different subjects of philosophy

cases

made more

definite

that a concentrated essence of

many

and carried
of his

own

thoughts, stated in widely different form from his own, would

have been presented to his view.


ing this fancy,

If

we might go on indulg-

would be not unnatural to conceive that

it

Plato, with his great candour

and breadth of mind, would

have acknowledged with admiration the additions


ledge and thought which in
Aristotle,

many

respects

but that he also would have

felt

know-

to

had been made by


(even setting aside

the somewhat captious antagonism to himself which occasionally appeared) that something

had been

lost, as

gained, to Philosophy by the rigidly analytic

well as

method

of his

successor.

Taking now the unfinished


stotle,

'"

As

ence

for

instance,

Plato;
;

'

Mhics of Ari-

with their Peripatetic complement. Books V., VI., and

which merely meant


with

(or mutilated)

5 wo/iis

(r\iK\oyi(rfi.is,
'

computation

Trpoaipetris

'

=a

power,' &c.

'prefer-

"

Cf.

Eth.

II.

vii.

II,

-ireiparfov

ovofLaTOTroiely (ra^T]veias %vsKiv.

result

was

terras

forms like ri

t(

The

like ^'T\e;te(o, or

fy thai.

ESSAY

190

VII.,

we

shall find that

III.

they abundantly illustrate the con-

ception just given of the relation of Aristotle's works in

In order to see at a glance how much of

general to Plato.

the substance of this treatise

is

taken from, or suggested by,

the Platonic Dialogues, let us synoptically enumerate, and

then add a few remarks upon, the following heads


conception of moral science as a whole

which

Politics

is

the science of

that

human

(i)

a sort of

it is

happiness.

conception of the practical Chief Good

that

and ainapKSs and incapable of improvement or

The conception that man has an spjov

it

The

(2)
is

The

rsXeiov

addition.

(3)

or proper function,

that man's apsrr] perfects this, and that his well-being


inseparable from

it.

(4)

basis for Morals.

(5)

The conception

The doctrine

of

of Psychology as a
MecroTiys,

only a modification of the Met/sioti?* of Plato.


doctrine of ^povrjcyis, which

is

an adaptation, with

of the Socratico-Platonic view.


its

(8)

The theory

(7)

is

which
(6)

is

The

alterations,

of Pleasure,

various kinds, and the transcendency of mental pleasures.

The theory

of Friendship, which

started, but not answered, in the

is

suggested by questions

Iajsis of Plato.

Agnoiology, or theory of Ignorance, in Book VII.


plain

how men can

act against

what they know

(9)

The

to ex-

to be best

which appears to have been considerably suggested by Platonic


discussions.

Philosophy

The

(10)
is

practical conclusion of Ethics

that

the highest good and the greatest happiness,

being an approach to the nature of the Divine Being.


these separate heads
(i)

vidual

Not only
is

is

we may remark

the general point of view

inseparable from the State

On

that the

indi-

taken from the Republic

of Plato, but also the special description of Politics as the


science of

human

happiness appears unmistakably borrowed

from the Huihydemus.

It

conception of Politics, and

is

interesting

its relation

to

compare the

to the sciences,

which

ARISTOTLE S DEBT TO PLATO.


is

expressed in Eth.

{E'uthydem. p. 291
TE'Xvr)v

B)

with the following description

6,

Se

Jtti

^aaiXtKrj

Ts^^vr)

si avrrj sit)

eSo^s yap
ravTy t
Srj

rffuv

KoX al dXXai irapaBtBovai

rrjv svSai-

rj

reyytj

dp'x^stv toop

Trpdrrsiv

sv

lafj,/3siov jjiovrj

ry

sv

koi

fjv s^rjrovfisv,

spyav,

rj

Trpvfjbvrj

Kv^spvaxra Kai irdvTwv

KaOrjaOai

be

'

wavering way

a sort of Politics

'

where he had spoken as

if it

Ala")(yXov

')(^prj(Tifji,a

he says that

(ttoXitik'tj ris, JEth.

He

iroisiv-

Politics, Ari-

his science will

I. ii.

9)

as else-

were rather a stretch to

science of moral subjects Politics.''^

ovv

-jroXsas, -Travra

While, however, accepting this conception of


stotle does so in a

avral

alrla tov opOSis

Trjs

Travra

dp')(pv<Ta

S)v

(Ta(p5)s

koI o.ts'^v&s kuto, to

ttoXsi,

Trj

rj

ts arpa-

77

STjfitovpyoi slcTiV, (hs fiovy s7rit7Ta/j,svrj -^pfiaOai,.

sSoKSi rjjuv avTT] slvai,

koI

TroXtriKtj

r]

avrrj slvai

rj

bK66vts

frjv ^aa-iXiKrjv

Srj

Koi SiacTKOTrovfisvoi avrrjV,

fj,ovl,av airepya^ofjisvr]

TTjyiKT)

ii.

i.

191

the

call

Ethics in

treats

such a way as virtually to separate them from Politics, a


separation which was completed by the Peripatetic School and

by the
(2)

Stoics.

In Uth.

vii.

I.

3-6, Aristotle, in laying

conception of the chief good, which


Ethics, says that

it

is

down

to be the

own

his

ap%^

must be rsXsiov and avrapKss.

for

These

same qualities are attributed to the chief good in the Philehus


(p.

20 C), a dialogue to which Aristotle seems often to

refer,

probably taken.

The

and from which the present doctrine


words are as follows
rsXsov

jiTj

fj

TsXsov

%d)Kparss. Tt 8s
is

slvai,

is

rayadov fiolpav irorspov

rrjv
;

Tidvrwv

iKavov rdyaOov

Sjj

dvdy/crj

ttov rsXscorarov,

IIws yap ov

&
It

K.r.X.

to be observed, however, that Aristotle analyses the term

rsXsiov,

and gives

had done.
'^

Shet.

I. ii.

it

a more philosophical import than Plato

Plato probably meant nothing more than


7.

T^s Tepi

TO,

ijBri

Trpa-y/xariias

'

the

%v SUaiSv eVri npoffayopdiu/

ESSAY

192

III.

Aristotle analyses this into

perfect.'

a means,'

'

that which

is

in and

that which was never

'

the former,

of

corollary

Eth. X.

3, saying,

ii.

'

directly refers to the Philebus,

pleasure, with thought added to

whereas,

if

to

it

good, which

is

is

better than pleasure

is

for that

The

better

which

by the addition

reference

is

to

Aristotle implies the same thing, Eth.

When we

is

is

call

of

any other

Fhilebtis, pp.
vii. 8,

i.

else

'

(jjlt)

we

it

20-22.

by saying that,

happiness the most desirable of

other goods, and place

'

better,

the abso-

all

we

things,

can only do so on the proviso that we do not rank

them

for that

obvious that nothing else can be the chief

made

absolute good.'

'

good cannot be made more desirable by any addition

And

it.

it,

good

the compound of the two

pleasure cannot be the chief good


lute chief

is

Plato used just such an argument as

this to prove that pleasure is not the chief

separately

the

is

namely, that the chief good

He

incapable of addition.

He

for itself desirable.'

accepts also from the Philehis another doctrine, which

it

with

in the same scale of comparison with

crvvapiBfiovfiEvrji', see infra,

note on this passage)

should come to the absurdity of considering it capable

of improvement by the addition of other goods to it, which,


we consider it as the ideal good for man, is impossible.'

if

The whole argument by which, from the analogy

of

(3)

the different trades, of the different animals,

and of the sepa-

rate parts of the body, the existence of an epyov or proper

function for

man

is

proved (Eth.

verbatim from the Republic

(p.

i.

vii.

352-3)

1)

comes almost

as also does

the

account of the connection between the apsTrj of anything

with

its

proper function, which

object selected as an illustration

namely, the
"

is
is

given Eth.

i\._

vi. 2.

in each case the

The

same

eye.''

Of. Repub. p.

353 B. 'Ap' dv

TTOTC

(raiyro

fiii

ep^ocTB rijv

SfinaTa rh auTwy epyov Ka\ws airepyd-

apsriiv ; k.t.A.

ainHv oMelav

ARISTOTLE S DEBT TO PLATO.

The psychology

(4)

of Plato, but

it is

also a

of Aristotle's Ethics

development of

193

is

hased on that

and contains one

it,

essential difference, in the greater prominence, namely, that


is

given to the

expressed, but
tical virtues

'

This,

it lies

at the root of the separation of

is

from philosophy, and from

Plato divides the

reason.'

it is true,

mind

than

virtual rather

will.

'

'

prac-

excellences of the

into the following elements

TO XoyiariKov, to iTriOv/irjTiKov, to OvfiosiBss (Itepuh. p. 440).


Aristotle

gives

a more physical

account of

the

internal

mind

principle (see below. Essay V.), and divides the

into

that which possesses reason and that which partakes of reason.'*

This answers at
\6<yov

/jLSTE'^ov

first

sight to the division of Plato, since the

includes

both

and

Ovfws

But

iiriOvfjila.

Aristotle pushes the analysis farther, dividing the reason into


practical

and speculative (which

a great discrepancy from

and not attributing the same separate and important

Plato),

character to Ovfws as

made

is

it

has in the Republic, where

it

is

to stand for something like the instinct of honour, or

the spirited and manly

on the

will,

side of the reason in

which, as Plato says,

any mental

generally

In Aristotle's

conflict.

discussions upon ^ovXijcns, ^ovKsvcns, &c.,

is

we see an attempt

to found a psychology of the will, thus supplying

what was a

deficiency in Plato, but the theory does not appear to be

by

any means complete.


(5)

The

principle of Meo-ott;?, so prominent in Aristotle's

theory of moral virtue,

is

a modification of Plato's principle

of Mer/jwTTjs or l,v^(isTpia.

As, however, the history of the

doctrine of Msa-oTrjs will form part of the subject of the

following essay, no more need at present be said upon


(6) Aristotle's doctrine of

stand

it

in the

Eudemian

<f>p6vr](ris,

exposition,

as far as

I.

we can under-

which alone remains to

" A6yov ex"" ^"^ \6yov iHTix""-

VOL.

it.

^i^-

i.

*'"

ESSAY

194

III.

seems to be partly an adoption and partly a correction

us,

of a Socratico-Platonic

doctrine

simUar import.

of

doctrine, beginning with the form that

ledge

(E7rt<rTj;/ii;),

Thought

or

'

Virtue

and being

{(^povrjcris)'

wards developed by Plato into the form that


or implies, Philosophy,'

by

He denies

Aristotle.

the identification of

Virtue

Wisdom

((f>p6vr)<rts)

after-

Virtue

'

is,

accepted, with two corrections,

is

Virtue, saying instead

Thought

This

Know-

is

must

'

'

Thought with
'

be accompanied by

and he distinguishes and divides Thought or Moral


from Philosophy

The former

(cro^ia).

of these corrections was directed more against Socrates than

against Plato

we

the latter,

shall see, is

an important cor-

rection of the system of Plato, one that


differences as to the whole view of

quite decisively of the necessity of

176 A), he says,

the world
like to

God

Plato speaks

Ethics.

(fypovrjcns to

'

We

should strive to

fly

from theevU of

the flight consists in as far as possible being made

and

this " being

made

like " consists in

ing just and holy with thought accompanying'


Bi/caiov
(p.

make moral

In a celebrated passage of Thecetetus

action of any worth.


(p.

connected with

is

(o/ioicoais Bs

oaiov fisra ^povrjcrsais ysvscrOai).

leal

becom-

In Phcedo

69 B), he descants upon the worthlessness of moral

performed without

(j)p6vr)eris

it.'

he says,

'

reality a slavish quality,

shadow and in
true about

ippovrjcns

"

But a

little

Such virtue

is

acts if

a mere

with nothing sound or

further on (p. 79

D) he

to be the contemplation of the absolute..^^

defines

We

see

then that Plato requires that every act should be accompanied

"

Sh

Xtiipi(6iiei'a

ypiupia Tlj

T)

koX

(ppoviia-fms

b.\Xi]\av,

a.Wa.TT6fi.fva acrl

p.))

(TKia-

TOiouTT) aperii Ko!

ovTi avSpairoSaS-qs t ko!

t^

"Orav S4 ye

avT^v

tTKO-irf,

avTov

{ri

ex"""! ""'

ctei

^er'

^vx^l) Ko8'

<j>p6vri(ris Ke'KA.7)Toi.

otxerai

eis

rb

avTTJ

Kal

^s avyyiv^s

CKeivov

(iTapirep auri] Kaff


4^r]

ouri)

4KiliT

axrauTMs

oiiSey iytes

ouS' aXriSes 6xou(ro.


'6

KuBapdv re Kal del hv ko! aBavarov

/to!

o5<ro

t6 yiyysTatj

ai/T^v yivtiTai Kal

touto aurrjs rh

Tr&dniiia

ARISTOTLE

hj an

DEBT TO PLATO.

absolute consciousness

and

196

this absolute consciousness

he does not separate from that which fakes place in speculation

The

and philosophy.

the centre to

is

Peripatetic account

must accompany every

sciousness

all

the moral virtues (Eth.

kind of consciousness
reason,

The doctrine that Temperance


^povrjcriv, Hth. VI. v. 5)

habits
p.

may

518 D,

vi. xiii. 6),

but this

Thought

preserves

ttjv

(crco^ei

and that Thought without Virtuous


taken from Republic,

is

(quoted above, p. 185).

Of the two

(7)

wisdom which

and not with the absolute.

degenerate into cunning,

that a moral con-

quite distinct from the philosophic

is

deals with the contingent

it

is

a sort of

act,

Ethics of Aristotle,

treatises

on Pleasure contained in the

we may assume

the one which appears in

Book VII.

(see above, p. 65), that

is

the work of Eudemus.

It has then a totally different kind of interest from that in

Book X.

It illustrates,

Plato, as rather the

in

its

but
of

it

much

Aristotle's relation to

growth of the Peripatetic

also contains

some

peculiarities belonging to the views

Eudemus, of which the chief are a

views of
because

'

practical,

and

at the

It is antagonistic to the

materialistic tendency.

some who argued that no pleasure could be a good,


'

it is

a state of becoming (y^vsais).

refuted by

Aristotle

himself

in

Book

criticises

and overthrows other arguments

position,

not mentioned in

Book X.

ever, are to be found in Philebus, or in

They

It is

school.

main outline borrowed from the treatise in Book X.,

same time a

is

not so

This argument

Eudemus

X.
for

None

the

of these,

any dialogue

same
how-

of Plato.

are, in all probability, to be attributed to the Platonic

school.

There

is

a direct mention, in connection with one of

the arguments, of the

name

of Speusippus (JEth.

Turning now to Book X., we

vii. xiii.

i).

find the question as to the

nature of pleasure opened by the statement of two extreme

views on the subject

one, that of the Cynics

that pleasure
o 2

ESSAY

196

was 'entirely

evil'

III.

(fyavXov)

(^KO/jucBfj

-the

that of

other,

The

Eudoxus, that pleasure was the chief good.

Aristotle sets aside as having rather a moral

view

first

and

practical

than a speculative character; and as being, though wellintentioned, at

the chief good,

trary to pain,
to

any good,

it

(c)

(a)

It

is

Eudoxus

Mi

makes that good

to prove that pleasure

seek

crealEui-es

sought for

the__obJections (ivcrTacrsis)

made

_t>i

He

good.

and

except that brought

Hfi showa-ifeftm

fa.c^t^ ij]\^ii

.p] 9.0,^1-) j-e (^a.n

to other goods disproves, instead of proving,


cliief

(clJ~S33ed

then menti ons

to each of these four,


is valid,

against the last of the arguments.


(see above, p. 192), that

(h) It is"cDir--

it.

own sake.

its

better.

shows that none of the objections

considered the

He

events an over-statement of the truth.

four arguments of

specifies
is

all

'^

ArJP^"^^"

its

|*1aito

be added

claim, to be

mentions other

general arguments that have been brought against pleasure

namely,

that

(dopicrrov)

it

that

_it

is
is

not a quality

it in inddfiTiitiii

a motion, a becomingj-ei" aTejflBItish-

jnQnt Jjcivr]cris, jevsa-is, avaTrX^peocris)

many

thit

He

disgraceful pleasures.

again,_,thaLthere are

answers

all

these objections,

and having accepteS'the Platonic position that pleasure


all

is,

events, not the chief good, he pipceeSs to give his

theory of
cases,

its

at

own

j|btiHe^QB^idfiK.Sg,. it jto be, except in certain

a good, and analysing

than had hitherto been done.

its

character
In^^all this

more accurately

we cannot

trace

anything like a direct antagonism to the Philebus or to any


other part of Plato's works.

'

Pjff'^^Srp'as"^e' shall have

an opportunity of seeing more distinctly in the next Essay,


-Aristotle,

while

perfectly coinciding

with

and accepting

Plato's gene ral theory of pleasure, the division of

its different

kindSj the distinction between bodily pleasures

which are

preceded by

desire

and a sense of pain, and the mental

pleasuEfia.wiid^areXEgP. from this;" wHile accepting, that

is,

ARISTOTLE
whole theory in

tlie

a nd improves upon

197

moral and practical bearing, refinea,

its

it

DEBT TO PLATO.

as a speculati\ question, substituting

a more accurate and appropriate" definition of pleasure than


is to

be found in Plato.

(8)

We

doubt

cannot

that

was

attention

Aristotle's

turned to the consideration of the subject of friendship hj


the importance that Plato attributed to
resting part which he

makes

it

and the inte-

it,

play in his system.

Both

Lysis and Phcedrus are devoted to the discussion of friend-

In the former dialogue

ship.

starting the difficulties,

little

more

is

stated in the beginning of Aristotle's treatise (Eth.


'

Whether does
?

of opposites

'

viii.

i.

re-

6)

friendship arise from similarity, or from dis-

Does

similarity ?

done than

some of which are taken up and

it

consist in sympathy, or in the

harmony

In Phcedrus a passionate and enthusiastic

picture of friendship

is

given, which renders

guishable from love

its

connection with the highest kind of

imagination, and with the philosophic


length.

The

In Aristotle nothing of this kind

picture is colder,

human.

spirit, is
is

account of the true value of friendship


will

of this subject

dwelt upon at

to be discovered.

is

fine philosophic

to be found, on

be said in the succeeding Essay.


is

not distin-

but at the same time more natural and

In the ninth chapter of Book IX. a

which more

it

The whole

treated with depth and also with moral

earnestness, which renders

of Aristotle's HtMos.

We

it

one of the most attractive parts

see throughout that on every point

of the question the analysis has been pushed farther than

Plato carried
(9)

The

it.

position that

'

Virtue

only through ignorance that a

is

man

a science

'

and that

it is

could choose other than

the Good, naturally gave importance to the question as to the

nature of Ignorance

itself,

and the problem.

happen that knowledge of the Good

is

How

does

it

sometimes in abey-

ESSAY

198

ance

These questions whicli were suggested in Broku/oras

Peripatetic

with

and,

school,

worked

have been

appear to

sqq.)

358

(pp.

III.

help

the

the

in

at

of the

Practical

Syllogism (see Essay IV.), an answer was given to them in

the Eudemian Book VII.

cognate discussion, far

less

mature in character, on the voluntariness or involuntariness


of Vice, entirely suggested by Plato, appears in

Book

III. of

Aristotle's Ethics.

(10)

The burden of all the Platonic Dialogues

the excellence of philosophy, and

extreme

its

having, as

it

his analysis of the

were, satisfied the claims of


'

when

'

common

life

is

the highest happiness

by

own

when

he

Philosophy seems to afford wonderful pleasures both

in purity

and duration

listen to the saying, "

'

(Eth. x.

Men

vii.

and

3),

'

is

need not

immortal, and

things so as to live according to what

all

oneself (Eth. x.

We

should think humanly," rather as

one should aspire after what

far as possible

do

(Eth. x.

practical virtues,' he indulges in his

description of that which


says,

Most

felicity.

completely does Aristotle reproduce this feeling


vii.)

the same,

is

We

vii. 8).

is

highest in

are reminded generally of the

enthusiastic descriptions of philosophy in the Republic, the

Symposium

Phcedo, and the

One

of Plato.

of the last-named dialogue seems

probably

gested to Aristotle the saying (Eth. x.


philosopher

will

surely

particular passage
to

have sug-

viii. 13),

that 'The

be most under the protection of

heaven {dso<f>iXsaTaTos), because honouring and cherishing


that which

is

highest and most akin to

God

namely, the

reason.'

Such are the leading


which

ethical conceptions

and topics

for

Aristotle's treatise is manifestly indebted to the Dia-

logues of Plato, and they go far towards furnishing


skeleton.

But

tion of Plato's,

besides these there was

many

its entire

a minor sugges-

which has been taken up into

this work, as

ARISTOTLE S DISSENT FEOM PLATO.


the notes in subsequent pages will

199

The very meta-

testify.

phors used by Aristotle seem often to have been inherited.

That of the

{Eth.

'

for pleasure' {Eth.

'

comes from Philehus,

Charmides, p.

155 B.

oculist (Eili.

{Eth.

ix.

II.

The metaphor

34.

who have made

and mothers, who love


vii.

is

7),

of

'

xiii.

1.

7) is

11.

from

p.

fortune to poets

p.

330

This

0.

wood

The com-

325 D.

own

their

their offspring {Eth.

from Republic,

6) occurs in

ii.

straightening bent

from Protagoras,

is

5)

parison of those

xii. 5)

The comparison of mental extremes

to excesses in gymnastic training {Eth.


Erastce, p.

1.

The analogy between the

p. 22 B.

and an

political philosopher

occurs in Republic,

2)

ii.

I.

That of the Aristeia

519 C.

p.

bowmen

'

rv.

i.

20, ix.

of examples

list

might doubtless be increased.

We

have now seen the close connection of succession, in-

and development between the Ethics of Aristotle

heritance,

and the writings of

Plato.

remains to point out the

It

diversities of doctrine, as well as of tone

are also manifest between the

and manner, which

moral systems of the two

At the very outset of his treatise, having started

philosophers.

the question.

What

is

Good

the

man

for

himself with the logical consideration that


sary to inquire

and to

first

relation to the particulars


as

he adds,

'

it is

predicated,

which

fall

an inquiry of this kind

owing to those

who

doctrine of Ideas.'

*'

Eth.

'-

vi.

I.

Tovra ^iv odv

rh Si Ka06\ov $e\TUJV tcras

Kaiirep irpoffaVTOVs

under

is

Good

and what
it,'^

'

is

its

although,'

rendered disagreeable

Adopting, however, a saying which Plato

iirtaKftfiatrBai koX Siairop^irai irs

raty

will be neces-

are our friends having introduced their

had himself employed in reference

cupeMai

it

the nature of this universal term

what sense

state in

Aristotle stops

ttjs

^ijT-fiffeus yivofi4v'r]s

Spas eiffayayelv t^

" Kepub.

\4ye-

roiavrrjs

to judging of Horner,'^

ye

X. p.

he

5i^ rh (piXovs &v-

ctSyj.

595

c.

O.XX'

TTJs aKtideias Ti/tTjTeoy avijp.

ov vp6

ESSAY

200

decides that

'

III.

personal considerations must be sacriiiced to

the interests of truth

;'

and accordingly he proceeds to

detail

a set of arguments against the logical or metaphysical validity


of the Platonic

'

We may admit the

Idea of Good.'

general

necessity for the logic of ethics of this discussion as to the

nominalistic import to be attributed to the term

realistic or

Good, and we may admit

shall find

which

something unsatis-

and requiring explanation, in the arguments them-

factory,

selves

also the courteous terms in

But yet we

introduced.

is

it

which Aristotle proceeds

In form the con-

to adduce.

troversy appears rather to be with the Platonists, with the


rival school in the

Academia, than with Plato himself

much prominence

yet so

Plato's Bepublic, a

present to the
Ethics, that

we

given to the

is

'

but

Idea of Good in
'

work which was, beyond doubt, constantly

mind

when he was

of Aristotle

writing his

cannot but think that the present passage has

Academy

reference not only to the logic of the

also to the ethical applications of the

'

generally, but

Idea of Good

'

made

by Plato himself.
The doctrine

of

'

Ideas

in Plato's writings than

regard to
to have

We
is,

this, as to

many

had no system, but

'

is

may be

and constant

less settled

ordinarily supposed.

In

may be

said

other questions, Plato

to have been constantly inquiring.

find that the transcendental existence of the

existence

their

them

apart from the

Republic,

'

is

only

recollecting

and

Philebus,

that

in later

dialogues, as

they are treated in a more

sober

that in Thecetetus, Sophist, Politicus, and Laws, the

Ideas

of in

Ideas,' that

(dvd/ivrja-is), in mythical and imaginative passages of

Meno, Fhcedrus, and Phcedo

spirit

'

human mind,

together with the doctrine of our

asserted,

'

much

'

are mentioned

modern books

much

lastly,

as Universals

what

is

would be spoken

most remarkable of

all,

we find in Parmenides a criticism on the doctrine of Idea3,

AEISTOTLES DISSENT FEOM PLATO.


in wtich the

weak

attendant on

it

201

points of the doctrine and the diflSculties

are pointed out.

in the dialogue as a promising

who is

Senates,

young man, defends the sup-

posed orthodox view of the Ideas, but he

who

venerable Parmenides,

And

tice in dialectic.

lectures
is

it

represented

refuted by the

is

him on

want

his

of prac-

a curious fact that the argu-

ments here put by Plato into the mouth of Parmenides are


'

nearly

if

not quite

'''

those used by Aristotle in attacking

Plato, or at all events that

his

life,

which he enunciates as the Pla-

It appears then that Plato, at one period of

tonic system.

when deeply plunged

sophy, saw that his

own

in the study of Eleatic philo-

doctrine of Ideas required revision,

and in the dialogue of Parmenides he


he had arrived

put out what

at once

These considerations open to us a

at.

dif-

ferent view of Plato's relation to the doctrine of Ideas from

what we should have gathered from

Aristotle in the not un-

frequent places^ in which he criticises this doctrine.


since Plato did at
trine in strong

all

we

events sometimes put forward the doc-

and enthusiastic terms,

endeavour to trace

Yet,

its

it

may

general meaning, even

be as well to
in so doing

if

incur the same charge that Aristotle has incurred

of

turning poetry into prose and making dogmatic that which

was never meant

to be such.

Aristotle tells us^' that Plato's doctrine of Ideas rose from

a union between the universal definitions of Socrates and the


Heraclitean doctrine of the fleeting character of
of sense.
follows

To put

we

this a little

desire

more

'

See Prof. Jowett's Introduction


iii.

pp. 227 sqq.),

where the arguments are analysed.

" Metaphys.

1.

ti.,

objects
is

as

some permanent and certain knowledge.

Let us take some object and try to

to Parmenides (toI.

all

the position

clearly,

ti.

xiii.,

xii.

IT.

'"

know
T.

it,

e.g.

Post Analyt.

Metaphys.

1.

vi.

'

i.

this man.'

xi.

2,

and see above, page 159.

&e.

xii. iv. 2,

3,

ESSAY

202

Looking

we

closely into

we

it

III.

find at once that, in

made up

are in possession of a conception

ments, a universal and a particular.


'

this

It

Now

particular.

is

'

it

'

'

this

'

man ?

This

'

man

'

element in

'

this

are

It baffles

is

this time

the

'this,'

What

eanv

But time

like.

'

this

time, place,

'

The

particular

unknowable and unex-

equally

is

'

'

'

this man.'

Hence

raiv aladijr&v.

Let us

pressible with the particular element in

Heraclitus said, ovk

all

in themselves uni-

all

determined by

is

time

and the

size,

size

But, again, what

foitn, &c.

siricrTrju'r]

'

take the other side, and look at the universal element,

man.'

This

something permanent and stable

is

stitutes a unity in the

rest in contemplating.

the

universal,

infinitely various.

Particular time and place, particular

and

place, form, colour,

versals.

'

is

'

man/

of two ele-

The more we analyse

such as form, colour,

qualities,

now

Man

may be

'

this

escapes us, and comes to actually nothing.

constitutes

and

this

purely relative, entirely changeable.

is

attempts at knowledge.

more

'

'

name

midst of plurality

We

of form or idea

this con-

mind can

give to this universal element

name borrowed

ISsd), a

(slSo's,

probably from Democritus,

this the

who spoke

of the

'

forms

'

of

things being emanations from things themselves, and constituting our knowledge of the things.

has to be taken

we must throw

knowledge and existence.

out

And now
all

another step

distinction between

Since things exist for us solely

through our knowledge of them, and we cannot conceive

them

existing at

all,

except as either for our minds or for

some other minds, we must give up

entirely that dualism

which would suppose two terms standing opposite each other,


namely, the object and the mind, and we must speak now of

one term alone.

Nothing

Knowledge and existence


said (only in

an altered

exists

except what

we know.

are identical, since, as Protagoras

sense), the

mind

is

'

the measure of

PLATOS DOCTRINE OF IDEAS.


all

things

203

of existing things that they exist, of non-existent

things that they do not


identity of knowledge

T%king

exist.'

as established the

and existence, we may use one term

to express this identity, namely,

truth

'

(aXrjdeia),

'

which

equally implies reality of existence in things, and the right

apprehension of them in the mind.

What

we saw

universal element, or idea,

may

mock

existence

when we

mere shadows of

have only a sort of

common

who
men in

Hence

by a

said,

illu-

them we

Plato, follow-

forcible

metaphor,

fancy the particulars to be real

persons

existences are like

look closely into

reality.

ing out this train of thought,


that

The

idea.

hence be said to be the only

real existence, while the particulars

find they are

particu-

before, are (in so far as they are par-

unknowable, but the universal, the

ticulars)

sory, or

Not

that possesses truth, or reality ?

is it

which, as

lars,

a dimly lighted cave, taking the

shadows on the wall to be

By

realities.

an equally strong

metaphor, which Aristotle speaks of as mere poetry (Meta^


phys.

I.

Plato called the Ideas archetypes (jrapaBsiy-

ix. 12),

/j-ara) of sensible things.

are expressed,

(i)

rience than derived

In

from

all

our knowledge

is

'

we were

born.

(2)

always prior

to,

of,

we saw

and

Things in

calling up, the

in their pure state,

That the forms of the mind are

permanent, while the material world


is

the occasion,

reminiscence.'

the world are constantly reminding us

before

is

This Plato expressed by

is

reminiscence of the Ideas which

several points

rather prior to expe-

Experience

it.

and not the cause of knowledge.


saying that

metaphor

this

That knowledge

is fleeting.

and greater than, the

The mind

world.

This

points, as Plato argued in Phcedo, to the immortality of the


soul.

(3)

plurality,

The

Eleatics had denied the existence of motion,

change

Plato does not go

whole

in short, the

so far as this

though

sensible

creation.

infinitely less real

ESSAY

204

than the Ideas,

lie

allows that the external world has some

Metaphorically he says,

share of reality.

The Ideas

Ideas.'

III.

'

are archetypes of things

partakes of the

it

in other words,

in the midst of the unknowable, the fleeting, the chaotic, the

movable

there

law, unity, form,

is

order,

symmetry, the

permanent, and the absolute, existing not materially, but as

dimly seen by the mind, because

ideas,

it is

not pure enough

seen more distinctly, according to the purity and elevation of


the mind, and always more or less suggested.

We

are

now brought

where he spoke of the


pub, p. 509 B), that

'

'

to that part of Plato's doctrine

Of

Idea of good.'

As

this

he says (Re-

the sun affords to aU visible objects

not only the power of being seen, but also growth, increase,
\

and nourishment

so is there afforded to all objects of

know-

ledge by the good not only the being known, but also their

The good

very being and existence.


is

above and beyond existence

dignity and power.'


'

(eVt

In Philehus

is

not existence, but

snsKsiva

65 A),

(p.

rrjs

ovaias) in

is

said that

it

the good cannot be comprehended in one idea alone, but

may

be taken in three manifestations

We

truth.'

deal with.

see

beauty, symmetry, and

what a metaphysical world we have now

It is not the material

the world of pure cognitions

on the Good

it.

to

world immediately, but

{to, yivwa-KOfisva),

that depend

Every cognition must have

for their existence.

the Idea of good present in

it

We

existing except as being good.

cannot conceive anything

Evil, in the shape of disease,

crime, pain, &c., Plato, from this point of view, would call

the non-existent

existence in some
less,

it is

way

the negation of existence, the want of


or other

it is

the chaotic, the form-

that which has no universality or absoluteness,

which the mind cannot deal with.

The Idea

that

of good in the

world of thought Plato compared to the sun in the material


world

following out this metaphor, evil would be as the

PLATO

DOCTEINE OF IDEAS.

shadows which are the mere negation of


are necessary to relieve the light,

would be

may

visible

and

so too evil,

be said to be necessary to

Plato,

'

is

fcff

light,

were

205

and yet they

all light,

nothing

as the negation of good,

its existence.

'

Good,' says

the cause of existence and knowledge.'

This opens

a sublime conception, on the one hand, of a world in which


all

things are very good

on the other hand, of a philosophy

whose method of the deepest knowledge consists in no mere


abstract investigations, nor any

mere accumulation of expe-

apprehending with enthusiasm and joy the

rience, but in

pervading idea of Good, as

it

all-

manifests itself under the

three forms of beauty, symmetry, and truth.

The Idea of

Good, Plato would by no means confine to metaphysics, as


it

had no application

On

to the other sciences.

and

the contrary,

his great object

was

mere empiricism

into Philosophy properly so called.

he says that
kings

;
'

'

to raise Morals

States will never prosper

again, he says,

'

is

all

the Good

human

till

philosophers are

'

action,

The Idea

[Bepub. p. 505-6).
is

to be a principle in-

and necessarily forming a part of any

system of Politics or Morals worthy of being called

With

this position Aristotle joins issue.

the theory in the following words {Eth.

thought that besides


there

these of their being


bility of

saying,
is

i.

'

good

iv. 3),

so.

After stating
'

Some have

these manifold goods upon earth,

all

some other absolute good, which

is

Hence

vaguely seek and aspire after

of Good, then, according to Plato,

fluencing

Politics above all

The guardian of the State must know

with certainty that which

namely, what

if

;
'

is

he proceeds to

the cause to
criticise

all

the tena-

such a conception, and concludes his argument by

But we may dismiss the Idea

at present, for if there

any one good, universal and generic, or transcendental

(vayoiaTov) and absolute,

it

obviously can neither be realised

nor possessed by man, whereas something of this latter kind

ESSAY

20(3

what we are inquiring

is

III.

{Mh.

after'

those remarks by saying that

vip

(TrapaSeiyfia)

by which to judge of

he argues that

'

There

all

This criticism
Plato,

who had

is

useful

a pattern

as

Against

relative good.'
arts

making any

pursue their vocations without

respect to the Absolute Good, nor

could be advantaged

follows

the cobbler, the carpenter, the

physician, and the general,

He

vi. 13).

no trace of the

is

use of such a conception

i.

Perhaps some may think

may be

the knowledge of the idea

this

'

is it

by apprehending

how they

easy to see
it.'

a direct denial of Plato's point of view.

expressed himself utterly dissatisfied with the

empirical and prudential morality of his countrymen, and

who wished

to raise morality

and

Politics

(which with him

was but morality on an extended scale) into something wise,


philosophical,

and absolute

He demanded

this.

made

certain requisitions

that a fuU philosophic consciousness

He

should govern everything.

required that a knowledge of

the good-in-itself should be present to the mind.


ledges,

it

is

is

He acknow-

true, that the philosopher, after dealing with

sublime speculations,

he

for

may seem

dazzled and confused

when

suddenly confronted with the petty details of Kfe, the

quibbles of law courts, &c.

But on the other hand he seems

to have considered, not only that philosophy

was indispens-

able to morality, but also that the mind, by contemplating

the Idea of good, would be conformed to


then,

was not merely an object

was an object

also

an

ideal.

It

Aristotle, in a clearer

from Ethics.

He

all.

He

it

for

idea, but

and more analytic way,


all

relation to action

(ou TrpaKTOv), as a metaphysical conception simply,

could be entertained at

and an attraction

was not only an

regards the Idea as something out of

it

This Idea,

for the abstract reason

for the imagination also,

the highest kind of desires.

it.

if,

indeed,

then entirely separates

considers that the guiding principle

it

{ap')(rj)

ARISTOTLE
for Ethics

must be not

DISSENT FROM PLATO.

207

but

tBis absolute transcendental good,

a practical good, which he envisaged as Happiness, or the end


for

man.

These two views must stand

for ever apart,

and on

each side there seems to be some degree of merit, and some


degree of

Pine as

fault.

is

Plato's conception of science,

must be confessed that there

contemporaries, those of
'

They went

for

some degree of vagueness

is

We need not put ourselves

about it.

whom

him expecting

to

it

in the position of Plato's

the story

related

that

to hear about the chief

good

man, but they were disappointed,

for

is

he put them

off

with

a quantity of remarks about numbers and things they could


not understand.'

But even taking Plato

as

'

a philosopher

for philosophers,' there

seems to be something not quite ex-

plained in his system.

Infinitely rich as

he was in invention

and suggestion, we might almost say that he required an


Aristotle as his successor to give definiteness to his concep-

When

tions.

that

is

we turn

then

to Aristotle,

we

find the

We

gained by a division of the sciences.

power
no

find

longer an effort to attain to that highest point of union for


all

knowledge and

all existence,

which

is far

above the ordi-

nary ken, and which can hardly be viewed otherwise than by


occasional glimpses

but rather an

effort after clearness

completeness, after the arrangement of

all

experience under

appropriate and separate leading conceptions.


see

what an immense

field

at once laid

is

and

It is easy to

open.

Rapid

indeed and wonderful were the achievements of a mind like


that of Aristotle.

something has
different

also

subjects.

But when

all is

by

been

lost

One

desires

done, one feels also that

this separate treatment of

again

to

see

Ethics not

dissevered from Theology and Metaphysics.

Had

Aristotle in the present case contented himself with

denying the appropriateness of the

'

Idea of Good,'

other words, of the votjtov ayadov, as an

a/op^;^

for

or,

in

moral

ESSAY

208

III.

view must

Political science, the reasonableness of such a

and

But he goes

have been admitted.

farther,

and undertakes

to

disprove offhand the tenability, even as part of a metaphy-

system, of the

sical

'

Idea of Good,' in the sense in which

And

was held by Plato or by the Platonists.

it

for this pur-

pose he states his arguments, which are briefly as follows


(i)

The

Platonists themselves allow that where there

essential succession (to Trporepov koI ro varspov)

is

an

between any

two conceptions, these could not be brought under a common


Idea.

Good

But

this succession occurs in different kinds of good.

in relation, e.g. the useful,

is

good in substance, and therefore cannot


Idea.

(2)

good were one,

If all

under only one category, whereas


all.

science.
for

were one,

(3) If it

The Idea

(4)

with these

essential

it

is

fall

under the same

ought to be predicated

it
it

can be predicated under

would be treated of by only one

it

only a repetition of phenomena,

is

really identical.

(5)

Even the most

and undoubted goods seem incapable

reduced to one Idea.

Everyone has

ness of these arguments

separately.

felt

vi. 7),

being

the unsatisfactori-

(i)

at issue.

Let us examine them

seems to beg the question.

numbers

refers to the Platonic doctrine of the ideal

to Metaphys. xil.

of

they seem captious, verbal, unreal,

and not to touch the point

Argument

than

essentially later

It

(referred

which they held to stand in absolute

and immutable succession to each other, and to be incapable


of being brought themselves under one

common

Idea.

To

this Aristotle

compares the relation between relative and

absolute goods

he says the one stands in immutable succes-

sion to the other, therefore there can be no


of them.

assumption

A
;

Platonist might

reply,

that

common

this

is

idea

mere

that in the case of the ideal numbers. Unity and

Duality, for instance, stand in such essential contradistinction


to each other, that they are Ideas themselves, and therefore

AEISTOTLES DISSENT FEOM PLATO.


there cannot be Ideas of them.
goods,

all

that

is

relative in

209

But with regard

them

is'

to the

merely the particular,

the non-existent, which the philosophical reason cannot deal


with.

absurd to make the relativity of the relative

It is

good an immutable and permanent


to distinguish

argument

it

itself.

a mere repetition of the

is

which

quality,

from the good in

ever

is for

The second

(2)

Aristotle takes

first.

certain categories, namely, substance, quality, quantity, relation,

time and place, &c.

Now

categories.

(/cat

modes

there are different

srspa TOtavTo), and shows that

of the good under these different

these categories might

all

be reduced to

substance and relation, and then the argument

good in substance, and good in

different relations

be considered the same

The argument

is

'

(3)

a carrying out of the same objection.

that the sciences point to a

For good, in
tunity,
so

may

still

You have
can these

of the sciences

Aristotle argues

greater subdivision of good.

relation to time, for instance

that

is,

oppor-

be treated of by strategics, or by medicine

on with good under the other categories

more minutely subdivide


Plato

'

is,

and

the sciences

still

it.

might well complain of

subdivision of the

this

sciences being brought as an argument against him,

when he

534 B) that in

dialectic

had
all

so anxiously

urged

sciences united,

and

(Repiib. p.

dialectic

was the science of the Idea

of Good.

The fourth argument, which appears


menides of Plato,

is

also in the

one of which Aristotle seems fond

that the Idea (avTosKaa-rov)

is

mere repetition of pheno-

mena, exhibiting the same law as the

particulars,

tinguishable from them, and therefore perfectly


objection

that

'

is

VOL.

expressed in the Metaphysics

The Ideas are

few things,
I.

Pwr-

as

and thought

if
it

one

(i.

indis-

This

useless.

ix.

was unable

i)

by saying

to

count a

would be easier to count them


p

ESSAY

210

when they were

more.'

III.

would seem, however, to be a

It

misstatement of Plato's view, for


substantive and

absolute

assumes the

it

reality, the

existence of the particulars, and

then speaks of the Idea or the Universal being appended to


the end of the row, in order to explain them.

Whereas

Plato might surely say the particulars disappear out of sight

on looking into them

no existence, while

I find they have

the universal grows more and more in reality, and absorbs


all

the

attention

of

the mind.

phenomena,' Plato might say,


to unity.'

'

it

ticulars
it,

is

but

we do not

we saw

is

represents the universal

that the Idea

obtain

before

it

multiplying

was gained inductively from a

of particulars, and added to the end of

point of view rather

'

The Idea reduces phenomena

Aristotle's account

absolute existence as if

Instead of

it

them

is

we

are reminded of

born, or, in other words,

innate in the soul and only evoked by experience.

most captious

objection, almost

philosopher, Aristotle here adds

of Good may be

difference, the

Good

is

it

Another

unworthy of the gravity of a


:

that

it is

'

Perhaps the Idea

said to be distinguished from the

phenomenal goods by being

set

whereas Plato's

prior to all the par-

inductively,

we were

or

eternal.

But

number

in short this

not any more good for

this.

is

of

no

Length

of duration does not constitute a distinction between identical


qualities.

than

if it

white thing

is

not more white

only lasts for a day.'

only be stated for

its

if it lasts

long

Perhaps this argument need

weakness to be seen.

Plato would never

have consented to this confusion between length of duration


(jroKv')(^p6viov)

and eternity

popular thinking

we

(athiov).

It

is

true that in

picture to ourselves the eternal under

the form of duration of time, but the philosophical conception of the eternal

is

the necessary (causa

sui),

the absolute,

the unconditional, the uncreate and indestructible

(EtJi. in.

ARISTOTLE S DISSENT FROM PLATO.


iii.

3, vi.

iii.

Aristotle's

way

2),

that whicli

out of

is

211

relation to time.

all

argument, then, consist^ in setting the popular

of thinking against the philosophical. 'CiLe represents

made

the Idea to be a copy taken from the particular and


lasting.

know

Whereas Plato meant

that without which we cannot

the particular or conceive

it

to exist

that which

is

independent of this or that particular, though the particulars

depend on

it

that which

independent of yesterday, or to-

is

day, or a thousand years hence.

At

this point of the discussion Aristotle

become conscious

may complain

to himself (Eth.

i.

seems to have

that the Platonists

vi. 8)

of his attempting to disprove the unity of good

by always setting

relative goods in opposition to those that

He

are good in themselves.

proposes then to take certain

make

specimens of things good in themselves, and to


the test of the
'

The specimens he adduces

theory.

thought, sight, and some pleasures and honours

that
else

'

If these be not esteemed

'

but the pure Idea will remain to be called a good in

having no individuals ranked under

Do

are

he adds

good in themselves, nothing

thus the Idea as a universal or class will lose

is.

these

all its

itself;

meaning,

The question then

it.' ^^

these goods, which are sought for their

exhibit the same, or different laws of good

own

sake,

To answer

this

question would require a very deep and subtle investigation


this

Aristotle does not enter upon, but he merely gives a

summary

assertion

that

'

The laws exhibited by honour,

thought, and pleasure, viewed as goods, are distinct and different from one another.'

tism and

a trifling

that honour

'

is

This appears to be mere dogma-

with the question.

For we might urge

not properly speaking a good sought for

*HoyS' &K\o ovSev

7>\V ^^s

Ideas ;

Sxne

fidraioi' effTct

rh elSos.

p 2

its

ESSAY

212

own

sake

Mh.

(cf.

pleasure, are all

v.

i.

III.

and that thought,

5),

sight,

and

of them svepystai and therefore do according

to the Aristotelian views exhibit the same law of good.


Aristotle winds

that there
is

up

by assuming as concluded,

his polemic

no realistic unity in the good.^'

is

the account then of this one word good

He

asks,

'

What

It cannot surely

have risen from a mere chance coincidence in language.

must be

It

either that all goods proceed from one source or

tend to one end

He

another.'

or

rather that they are analogous to one

substitutes then arbitrarily, without proof or

discussion (for he says these belong to metaphysics), a nominalistic

that

men

the

universal

is

'

good,'

and by analogy, where

came to extend the same term


Plato's view was that

ticulars.

there

is

apparently,

inductively from a set of similar particulars formed

analogous,
'

His view

theory for the realism of Plato.

cases

were

to dissimilar par-

by experience of a particular

awakened in the mind the knowledge

of a universal,

which existed there prior to the particular, and Is the law of


the existence of that particular, and that by
T\-'

we

particulars

'

are reminded

that hence arises sameness of

'

many

different

of this same law or idea,

name

^*

and

by reason of a sameness

of law under different relative circumstances and modifica-

Realism makes the universal prior to and more

tions.
]

than the particular.


real

real

Nominalism makes the particulars more

than the universal. Aristotle

is

by no means consistently

a nominalist, though here he avows a sort of nominalism for


the time.

There

is

a tradition of the ancients that Aristotle, as a

young man, while


dialogue,

23

OvK

his vehicle for philosophising

commenced a

fffTiv

&pa rh ayaOhf Koiviv tl

Kara

,ue0eftv eJyai

avvaviiimv rois
pkys.

Karci fiiav lS4ai'.


'^*

was

still

the

pertinacious attack on the doctrine of

to voKKa riav

I.

vi. 3.

tXi^aiv.Ax.

Meta-

AEISTOTLES DISSENT FROM PLATO.


Proclus, quoted

Ideas.
as

'

by PMloponus

213

2) speaks of

(ii.

him ^*

proclaiming loudly in his dialogues that he was unable to

sympathise with this doctrine, even though his opposition to


should be attributed to a factious

it

some that the various

spirit.'

places of his extant

which attack the Platonists on

It is

thought by

and maturer works

this subject, contain rather a

r&sum& of arguments which had been before stated by Aristotle in his early writings,

metaphysical thought.

than the results of fresh logical or

This theory,

if

accepted, would ex-

plain to some extent the very crude and apparently superficial

character of the arguments themselves.

That such a pro-

cedure should have been adopted in a work like the Ethics

seems not unlikely, when we consider the way which

work was, apparently,

written.

It

this

was part of a great task

no

which Aristotle had assigned himself

less

than that of

constructing afresh the whole of philosophy (with physical


science to follow).

Setting himself to this task, Aristotle

constructed his Organon, and then went on in rapid succession to grapple with Ehetoric, Ethics, Politics, the Art of

Poetry, and Metaphysics.

were more or

All his works on these subjects

and

less incomplete,

all

must have been com-

In these circumstances

posed under a certain pressure.

it is

easy to fancy their author repeating his earlier arguments on


a particular question, in lieu of excogitating the matter

But

anew.

here used

is

it

must be observed that one of the arguments

expressed in Aristotle's maturer terminology, for

appeals to the

it

how, we

'

categories,' or

heads of predication.

misrepresent the Platonic doctrine of Ideas, so far as


it,

"

and do not contain

really valid

Kal V TOis ^laX&yots aoupeirraTa

KcKpayiis

f-ii

Any-

cannot escape the conclusion that these arguments

SivaaSai

t^

Sdyiiari Toi-

grounds

TCfi (rv/j.Tra8e7v,

we know

for its rejection.

k&v ris aiiThv

<piA.oyiiKlav avTthiyeiv.

ottirat 5*i

ESSAY

214

When we

III.

compare the moral system of Aristotle in

general scope with that of Plato,

remarkable difference.

Plato's

we

its

by a

are at once struck

was a unifying system; he

took the four cardinal virtues of Greece and reduced them to

one quality under different aspects

and harmony of

larity

the complete regu-

to

the faculties and impulses of the

all

individual soul, under the guidance of wise and philosophic

thought.

mony

'

'

Justice

with him was another word for this har-

'

Temperance

the reason.

'

'

was the subservience of the passions

to

Courage was remembering the general prin'

ciples of the reason in the

hour of danger or temptation. The

Reason or thought which was to permeate the moral nature

was

also,

The

with Plato, the contemplation of the absolute.

tendency of Aristotle
analytical division

is

in the opposite direction, that of

and separation. Philosophy and

its

organ,

the scientific reason, he put quite apart from morals. Justice,

we can

so far as

Eudemian book on the sub-

learn from the

he treated, not in a general sense as co-extensive with

ject,

Virtue, but as a special quality tending to the fulfilment of

Instead of unifying

legal obligations in respect of property.

the virtues he rather multiplied


(i.

xiii.

lo) he approves of the

method

rating the virtues in detail, saying that


selves

by general

In his

them.

Politics^''

of Gorgias, in
'

enume-

People deceive them-

good

definitions, as that virtue consists in a

condition of the soul, or again in uprightness'of action {6p0oirpaysiv), or

some such

{Eth.

i)

II. vii.

cation

'

that

'

And in the same spirit he

While general theories are of wider

{jcoivorepoi, see infra, the note

that go into detail have


tail,'

thing.'

more

on

this passage),

list

allusion

is

'

those

of virtues which

contain an exemplification of his principle of Meo-orijs.

The

appli

reality, since action consists in de-

&c. Accordingly he proceeds to give a

'"

says

to the

Meno

of Plato, p. 71.

This

AEISTOTLES DISSENT FROM PLATO.


list

215

does not appear to have been formed on any scientific

with any new psychological

basis, it does not start afresh


classification.

It

seems

accept, in a way, the list of

first to

cardinal virtues, placing courage and temperance in the front


of

its

ranks, reserving justice as being something peculiar,

and dividing wisdom into


adds to these, difierent
external,

qualities,

and speculative.

some of them

It

then

sufficiently

which were held in honour among the Greeks.

this procedure there

Aristotle has

pirical.

practical

In

something which must be called em-

is

two

one speculative and pro-

sides, the

foundly penetrating and philosophic

the other side tending

and of experience, regardless

to the accumulation of details

of a philosophic point of view, content with a shallow system

His

of classification.

list,

when formed,

He

have believed in as complete.

same in

his Rhetoric

(i.

Aristotle seems to

had beforehand given the

with the omission of three of

ix. 5)

the virtues here mentioned.

We

have seen already the separation made by Aristotle

The same

between Ethics and Metaphysics.

of course holds

good of Theology, this being with Aristotle but another name


Practical theology

for Metaphysics.

His great divergence

that Aristotle could have admitted.

from Plato on
Plato speaks of

this
'

head

may

was not a conception

be seen in the fact that while

being make like to God, through becoming

just and holy, with thought and consciousness of the same'


see above, p. 194), Aristotle,

(loc. cit.,

on the contrary, speaks

of moral virtue as being impossible of attribution to the

gods (Mh. X.

viii. 7).

With regard

the question of a future


at present
differs

we may

we

shall

on

speak in Essay V., but

safely say that Aristotle's ethical system

from that of Plato in being conceived totally without

reference to any

tone in

life

to Aristotle's opinion

such consideration.

which the two philosophers

If

write,

we compare
it

the

will appear that

ESSAY

216

while Aristotle

more

is far

III.

scientific,

he

on the other hand

is

wanting in the moral earnestness, the tenderness, and the

Such ideas

enthusiasm of Plato.
life

he

'

the whole of

But

an education are not present with him.

is

'

more

is

that

as

safe

than Plato

he

is

again,

quite opposed to any-

thing unnatural (such as communism, for instance) in

He

or institutions.

recognises admiringly the

life

worth and

beauty of moral virtue, without the incessant demand which


Plato made, that this should be accompanied by philosophy.

And

on aU questions he endeavours to put himself into har-

mony with

the opinions of the multitude, to which he thinks

On

that a certain validity must be ascribed.


Aristotle is less delicate

human

of speaking of

the philosopher.

the other hand,

and reverent than Plato in

his

mode

happiness, especially as attained by

In Plato there seems

often, if not always,

present, a sense of the weakness of the individual as contrasted

with the eternal and the divine.


to

make

sophy

the philosopher in his pictures does not triumph over

the world, but rather


'

If Plato requires philosophy

morality, he also always infuses morality into philo-

is

glad to seize on

'

some tradition

like a stray plank,' to prevent his being lost

on earth

his philosophy
stotle,

is

but

'

knowing

he

feels that

in part.'

Ari-

on the contrary, rather over-represents the strength

of philosophy.

And

the philosopher

we cannot but

in his

picture
feel

of

the happiness of

that there

is

over;-much

elation, and something that requires toning down.

manner of the writing


grace, the rich

and

it is

obvious that

we

miss the

delicate imagination of Plato.

we miss the subtle humour which plays round


phenomena.

Aristotle does not

all

In the
art,

the

Above

all,

the moral

show any trace of archness.

There are sayings in the Mhics which might cause a smile,


but they are apparently given unconsciously, in illustration
of the point in question.

In Eth. x.

v. 8,

to

show that the

AKISTOTLE's tone compared


different creatures

with that op PLATO.

have each their different proper pleasures,

Aristotle quotes from Heraclitus the saying that


likes

hay better than

gold,'

Eudemian books

'

An

ass

without any sense of anything

The same thing occurs

ludicrous in the illustration.^^

of the

217

where

(vii. vi. 2),

mentioned to

it is

that

illustrate the hereditariness of hot temper,

in one

'

father

being kicked out by his son, begged him to stop at the door,
for

he said he had kicked his father as far as

mentioned with perfect gravity among a

This

that.'

list

is

of arguments.

and manifold knowledge of human nature

Aristotle's rich

exhibits itself in his Ethics.

might be doubted whether

It

Plato would have written the masterly analytical account of

the various virtues in Books III. and IV.

there

These are not

would have made,

living dramatic portraits such as Plato

nothing personal or dramatic about them

is

but they

are a wonderful catalogue and analysis of very subtle characteristics.

The

chief of the school of Plato

to Plato himself,

sippus

is

and successor

One

the Academy.

was Speusippus, nephew

him

to

in the leadership of

of the Pythagoreising opinions of Speu-

alluded to by Aristotle, Eth.

i.

'

vi. 7.

The Pytha-

gorean theory on the subject seems more plausible, which places


unity in the rank of the goods

to

which theory Speusippus

too seems to have given in his adhesion.'

adverted to

is

the identity of

The Pythagoreans appear

'

the

The question

One with
'

to have placed

'

the

'

the Good.'

One among
'

the various exhibitions of good, whether as causes or manifestations.


XIII. iv. 8),

fying

'

the

Among

the Platonists, as

we

are told (Metaphys.

there arose a difference, a section of

One with
'

'

them

identi-

the Good,' the others not considering

unity identical with, but an essential element

" But see notes on Eth.

i.

iv. 6, viii. yi. 4.

of,

goodness.

ESSAY

218

They saw
must

that

if

the

One be

identical with

'

'

the Good,'

evil,

evil.

'

'

identical

they found themselves forced to abandon the idenof

tification

To avoid making the many

it

must be

follow that multeity, or, in other words, matter,

the principle of

with

'

III.

the

'

One

Speusippus was leader.

with

'

He

'

the Good.'

Of

this section

seems to have adopted a Pytha-

gorean formula, saying, that the One must be ranked among


'

goods.'

Aristotle gives a sort of provisional preference to

this theory over the system of Plato.

(Metaphys. xi.
'

vii.

lo),

Elsewhere, however

he attacks and refutes the view of

the Pythagoreans and Speusippus,' that

result of existence than the cause of

it,

'

Good

rather a

is

as the flower is the

result of the plant.'

In morals, Speusippus seems to have continued the argu-

ments begun by Plato, against the Hedonistic theory of


In the

Aristippus.

list

following are mentioned

of his works given

extreme.
is

One

a.

-rrspl riBovijs

polemic appears to have

by Diogenes ^* the

'ApiaTi7r7ro<;

His

been one-sided, and his views

of his arguments on the subject of Pleasure

alluded to by Aristotle, Uth. x.

tioned with his

ii.

name by Eudemus,

5,

and expressly men-

vii.

xiii.

It

seems

very probable that other arguments against Pleasure, which


are refuted

by Aristotle and Eudemus, may have occurred

the treatise on Pleasure written by Speusippus.


Platonist,

Eudoxus.

with exactly opposite

to have been

is

known.

Out of the school

was

appears

Etli. x.

ii.

to

is

i.

of Plato, Aristotle appears to have

a close personal friend, namely, Xenocrates,

Also he seems

He

an astronomer, and his personal character

highly praised by Aristotle,

Philosophy.

Another

views on Pleasure,

Of him hardly anything

in

had

who accompanied

have written on Justice, The Citizen, Legislation, and

THE PLATONISTS.
him

219

He was

on the death of Plato.

to Atarneus,

a volumi-

nous writer, and seems to have endaavoured to carry out the


system of Plato on particular points, and to give
Besides

practical direction.

Ideas, science, genera

and

many

treatises

on

it

a more

dialectic,

the

species, divisions, thought, nature,

the gods, &c., Diogenes also attributes to him two books on

Happiness, two on Virtue, one on the State, one on the Power

The ancients ascribed

of the Law, &c.

to

him a high moral

tone of thought, saying that he considered virtue as alone


valuable in

He

itself.

seems, however, to have allowed the

existence of a hvvafus vir'qpsriKri in external fortune, which

perhaps, alluded to by Aristotle. ^^

His

disciples,

is,

Polemo and

Grantor, appear to have had almost exclusively an ethical


direction.

We

must regret the

early Academics, for

them much that

And

should, no doubt, find

common

to

to be found in the system of Aristotle.

is

yet, so far as

we

loss of the writings of these

we can

tell,

none of the Platonists appears

individually to have been of sufficient importance to have

greatly influenced Aristotle either in the

way

of

communi-

cation or of antagonism.

-^

Erepoi Se KaX t^v ixrhs eveTtjpiav a-v/xirapaAafi^dvovcriy,

E/k.

I.

viii. 6.

ESSAY
On

the Philosophical

IV.

Formulae in

the Ethics

of

Aristotle.

rPHE
-*-

advance which Philosophy made under the hands of

Aristotle, consisted in its

to say,

it

becoming

scientific.

That

is

was divided into separate branches, or departments

(Trpaj/MaTEias) ,

and each of these was a

setting forth of appropriate principles

be made from them

fisdoSos, or orderly

and the deductions

and the instrument

was a precise terminology.

to

for this exposition

The Dialogues

of Plato almost

invariably exhibited philosophy in the process of being worked

out in conjunction with unphilosophical personages, so the


point of departure in them

is

the ordinary thought of refined

cultivated, but not scholastic, circles,

and
is as

much

and the language


Yet

as possible that of the purest literary Greek.

even Plato, owing to the nature of his subjects, could not

keep

clear of abstract, highly philosophical,

terms.
'

Ideas,'

the
'

'

In
'

fact

Dialectic,'

Understanding

Thought

'

'

processes, the

are instances

'

names

(jjipovrjcrts),

'

(BidvoLo),

One and the Many,'


'

and technical

he was always tending to create such

'

the

Being and

'

Division,'

'

'

'

Reason

the

'

and

Not being,' the

and other names

for logical

for the constituent parts of the soul, &c.,

of the kind.

But Plato

dealt freely with

language, as he did with thought, and never bound himself

by

fixed terms

any more than by a fixed system.

With

THE DOCTRINE OF THE END-IN-ITSELF.


was

Aristotle the case

different

as possible, exhaustive

and

his object

final

on

all

was

221

to be, as far

the great questions of

philosophy, and to express his results in precise and perma-

nent phraseology.

Thus, the more general forms of thought

which he gradually worked out

for himself

became with him

a language which was never laid aside, and which was applied

In comparing any Aristotelian treatise with

to all subjects.

the works of Plato, one sees in

it

the accumulation of experi-

ence and the carrying out of analysis, but

still

more, one sees

the constant recurrence of these forms of thought, which seem

brought in to explain everything.

The forms indeed

fre-

quently become modified through their application to special

branches of inquiry

they no longer remain mere logical or

We

metaphysical abstractions, but become concrete ideas.


shall find this
is

abundantly exemplified in the Ethics

and

it

the object of the present Essay to isolate and examine the

formal element of the Aristotelian moral system


origin and full philosophical

meaning

to trace the

some of the leading

of

terms used, and to follow them out into their ethical appli-

The formulse

cation.

to be discussed are

(i) TeXos, or the

End-in-itself, as connected with Aristotle's doctrine of the

four causes

(2) 'Fivspysia, or the Actual,

constantly contrasted with the Potential

Law of Quantity,

farther
of the
I.

MsaoTTjs, or the
;

form borrowed from the Ari-

and applied by Aristotle himself, and

by the Peripatetic

human

(3)

a-term with wide philosophical associations

(4) the Practical Syllogism, a

stotelian Logic,

which Aristotle so

school, to explain the

still

phenomena

will.

Aristotle's doctrine of the four causes arose probably

from a combination and modification of conceptions which


occur separately in Plato, namely, the contrast of matter and
fesm, of

means and end,

of production

and existence.

Every

individual object might be said to be the meeting-point of

ESSAY

222

these oppositions
of which

it

it is

was intended to
it

it

it birth,

the end or object which

it realises,

it

Thus knowledge of anything implies

attain.

from these four points of view, or knowing

four causes.
rises to

by reason of the matter out

it is

has sprung, the motive cause which gave

the idea or form which

knowing

what

IV.

The End

or final cause, however, as

its

is natural,

an eminence beyond the other conceptions, and though

must always stand opposed

to matter,

for the sake of

which anything

tends to merge

it

The end

the other two causes into itself

of anything, that

can hardly be separated

exists,

from the perfection of that thing, from

its

idea and form

thus the formal cause or definition becomes absorbed into the


final

rw

cause (opi^srai yap sKacrTov

In the same way the End mixes


efficient cause,

m.

rsXsi, JEth.
itself

up with the

the desire for the end gives the

of motion, the final cause of anything

vii. 6).

impulse

first

becomes identical with

the good of that thing, so that the end and the good become

And

synonymous terms.

this is not only the case

gard to individual objects, but


exist for the sake

which

is

of,

though

tion

an&

And

so the world

desire,

nature and the whole world

all

and in dependence
This, existing as

the Good.

is

In this way
is

is

a unity of idea.

the same

The idea

'

of the

as final cause

suspended from

it.

In

Human
to their

final cause,

Kivu

is

Good

by being directed

KiveT Se SSe

voriThv

harmonised and united.

is

form his ethical philosophy presents itself.

and action are rendered

end or

all things.'

nature desiring the

the unity of nature conceived by Aristotle,

pervades the world, and the world

life

an object of contempla-

finite, for all

Good and tending towards an end

it

on, their final cause,

immovable, moves

itself

rendered

with re-

rh

finite

the good attainable in action.

opeKrhy Kal rh

ou KivoipLfva.

'Ek

toi-

avTTjs dipa

^ ^uais.

apxv^ ^pTTjrai

Metaph.

The ques-

6 ovpavhs Kai

XT. vii. 2-6.

THE DOCTRINE OF THE END-IN-ITSELF.


tion of the Ethics

is,

Tt

eo-ti

human

An
nature

end or

is

quot^

from the

End

from the Metaphysics

of action, the whole of

suspended.

life is

cause implies intelligence, implies a

final

and desire

to see

and

this principle,

And we

to twv TrpaKT&v rekos ;

miglit say, altering the words

From

223

The appearance

it.

mind

and means in

of ends

a proof of design in the operations

nature,

of

this Aristotle distinctly recognises (Nat. Ausc.

ii. viii.).

When we come to Ethics, What is meant by an End of human


action ?
For whom is this an end ? Is it an end fixed by a
higher intelligence

In short,

the principle of Aristotle

is

the same as the religious principle, that

out the purposes of his


that Aristotle

God

lation of
too,

he

is

man

this it

born to work

is

must be answered,

indefinite in his physical theory as to the re-

And

to the design exhibited in creation.

so,

not explicit, in the Ethics, as to God's moral govern-

ment of the
'

is

Maker ? To

On

world.

the whole,

we may say at

present that

moral government,' in our sense of the words, does not at

all

form part of Aristotle's system.

is,

that as physical things strive

after the

though unconsciously,

good attainable by them under their several limita-

tions, so

man may

in

We

life.

His point of view rather


all,

consciously strive after the good attainable

do not find in the Ethics the expression tbKos

Tov av6panrov, but rwv TrpaKTcov tsXos


TsXos

iTLvasv

(x. vi. l),

(i. vii.

TO avOpwTTivov w^adov

8),

rwv avdpw-

(i. xiii.

best, therefore, to exclude religious associations (as

5).

It is

being un-

Aristotelian) from our conception of the ethical tsKos, and

then

we may be

free to

acknowledge that

it

meant

to have a definite relation to the nature

tion of

man.

Thus

is

evidently

and constitu-

Aristotle assumes that the desires of

man

are so framed as to imply the existence of this tbKos (Eth.


ii.

i).

And

sphere of his

he

asserts that

own proper

man

can only realise

functions (iv tg3

spryai

it

i.

in the

tov av6pco7rov,

ESSAY

224

I.

and in accordance with the law of his proper

lo),

vii.

nature and
aperrjv,

Is

its

vii.

I.

IV.

harmonious development

(jcaTo, ttjv

man, then, according to

this system, to

be regarded

which obeying the

similarly to one of the flowers of the field,

law of

organisation springs and blooms and attains

its

oIksmv

15)-

peculiar perfection

This

is

no doubt one

But there

of Aristotle's view.

is

in the language of the Bible,

is

own

side, so to speak,

also another side.

while each part of the creation realises


'

its

its

For,

proper end, and,

very good,' this end exists

not for the inanimate or unconscious creatures themselves,

But the

only exists in them.


in man, but also for

him, but

it is

man

ethical reXos not only exists

not only

recognised by

it

him

is

the good realised in

as such

it is

only of his nature, but also of his desires

it

the end not


stands before

his thoughts and wishes and highest consciousness as the ab-

solutely sufficient, that in

which he can

in and for itself desirable (airXms

alpsTov asl,

I.

vii. 4).

The ends

Si)

rest, that

which

is

tsXsiov to xad^ avro

of physical things are for

other minds to contemplate, they are ends objectively.

But

ends of moral beings are ends subjectively, realised by and

contemplated by those moral beings themselves.

The

final

cause, then, in Ethics, is viewed, so to speak, from the inside.

Or rather the

peculiarity

is,

that the objective and subjective

sides of the conception both

have their weight in Aristotle's

system, and are run into one another.

The tsXos tmv

-TrpuKTcbv,

or absolute end of action, has two forms, which are not clearly

separated

in the

first

place

it is

represented subjectively as

happiness, and in the second place objectively as the morally


beautiful.
It

has been said that the ancient Ethical systems were

theories of the Chief Good, rather than theories of Duty.

And Kant

brings against Aristotle the charge that his system

THE DOCTRINE OF THE END-IN-ITSELF.

We

one of mere eud^monism.

is

shall

this conception
it

'

duty

it

It is unfair to charge

mere eudaemonism simply on account of


'

'

definition of

statement

happiness

'

The word

his Ethics.

present

ignores the true charac-

teristics of Aristotle's Ethical doctrine.

making a

At

some unfairness in the

is

charge brought by Kant, and that

Aristotle with

relations of

to the ancient systems.

'

show that there

will suffice to

have an opportu-

upon the

nity in a future Essay of touching

225

happiness

'

the chief good

(JEth.

iv.

i.

way

only a popular

is

'

Aristotle tells us that

it is

Again, during his whole

2).

discussion on the virtues, and on moral actions, there

is

where he speaks of

But again the


chief good

the

as

as

it

the beautiful

'

'

happiness

above

Aristotle's question

But

this

What

How

deep

is

absolute end

Th

Eth.

I.

in

and

is.

VOL.

is

I.

we

shall see

not with Aristotle a primary

What

human

life

so from this point of view,

is

falls

to the ground.

the chief good for

What

and action

is

is

man ?

the rsKsiov

the End-in-itself ?

the moral significance of this conception


!

Can anything

TTJs apsTTis a6\ott Kai TeAo5.ix. 3.

end of

to belong to happiness

he resolves into another form.

TsXos

itself,

Happiness with Aristotle is something

the charge of eudeemonism

all,

only

is

as being the

Pleasure (as

from what we mean by it

different

There

which Aristotle defines

and proved

hereafter) is rather argued


sort of after-thought,

'

no

not seem immediately, but only

does

part of the conception.

'

is

good acts

prize of virtue.' ^

The end and

imply pleasure.

inferentially, to

by a

'

if

on happiness

in the discussion

Elsewhere he speaks of
virtue.^

sake of happiness.

for the

one place, and that

of

the popular word for

mention of happiness as connected with these, as


were to be done

his

the leading principle of

'

the

small or frivolous, or anything

Toy HaKov

rrjs apirijs,

ei/eKa,

Eth. in.

tovto yap r4\os


vii. 2.

ESSAY

226

IV.

mere pleasure and enjoyment come up

like

ments, and

human

something beyond which we cannot go

sciousness to be

absolute satisfaction of our nature


sarily,

to its require-

appear in the deepest depths of the

Essentially and neces-

that only can be called a rsXos which has in

moral worth and goodness.


sweetness and pleasure of

own, but one quite

from that which springs from any other


attain to

it

but desiring the satisfaction

itself

This also Aristotle says


its

con-

the

'

has a

different

Men rarely

sources.

they seize

it affords,

in its place the pleasure derived from amusements, on account


of this latter having

some

mind

tion which the

nature of an end.'

sort of

feels in

resemblance to the satisfac-

moral acts which are of the

The deep moral pleasure which attaches

to noble acts,

Aristotle describes as triumphing even over the physical pain

and outward horrors which

And he

courage.^

may be

We

may

attend the exercise

the only pleasure attending upon virtuous actions.^


see in these passages

how

the objective and subjective

The end and the

import of the tsXos are blended together.


consciousness of the end are not separated.

which Aristotle speaks of

we

approval of conscience.'

would be

to

In the pleasure

as attaching to the moral tsXos

what we should

see something that answers to

this,

of

acknowledges that in many cases this

call

'

the

Only to say that Aristotle meant

mix up things modern and

ancient.

It is

better to keep before us as clearly as possible his point of

view, which

is,

Politics, Tlir.

that a good action

V.

12.

'Ev

/i-iv

Ti^

TtAei (rvii0atvei tois avBpdiitois oKiyixis


ylyv<r6ai.
Tcis

f x^'

T^P

^"'"'^ ijSoviiv

rwa. Kolrb riKos, oAA' ou tJ(i/ Tv^ovaav


fijToOvTes St Tairifv, Ka)i,^avouaiv

ravrtiv

iKiivr]i>,

Sis

5ib rb Tip te'Aei tQiv

an End-in-itself, as being

TrpH^av ex*"'

Cf. Eth. x.

^M"""/'"^ ti.

vi. 3.

2i;^)3e/37)K6 Se TroieierSoi

iroiSmj tc'Aos

is

Uv

Eth.

eivtxL

III. ix. 2.

Ou

jii))i/

a.K\a StifeiEv

rh Kara t^v avSp^iaif Te\os

Eth. in.

ix. 5.

Ou

Si)

TjBii.

ev inrdtrais

rats apCTOis rb ijSeus ivepyeiv virdpx^t,


'iT\^v i<p' '6(Xov

TOv t4\ovs ifpaimTai.

THE DOCTRINE OF THE END-IN-ITSELF.


the perfection

'

and that

of our nature,

227

which

for the sake of

(pv svsKo) our moral faculties before existed, hence bringing

a pleasure and inward

with

satisfaction

it

something in

which the mind can

rest pleased

which possesses the

qualities of being kuXov, mpia-fievov,

and acquiescent

something

and

ivepyeia rsKsLa.

We

how

observe

in the separate parts of

lopment of each of the various

an end to be attainable

and

particular acts,

moment

faculties, Aristotle considers

how he

in the deve-

life,

attaches a supreme value to

importance of the passing

idealises the

how he attributes to each moment a capability of

being converted out of a mere means, and mere link in the


chain of
is,

as

it

life,

an End-in-itself, something in which

to be

were,

summed

exercise of the moral


is,

according to the

imperfectly an

But

up.

an end

faculties,

life

and in an

in action,

if

attainable, this

is

system of Aristotle, only faintly and

end, compared

with what

attainable in

is

contemplation by the exercise of the philosophic thought.

In both senses of the word tsXos, both as perfection and


as happiness, Aristotle seems to have

Philosophy

philosophy.

human
faculty.'

excellence

it

is

In another passage {Eth. in.

He

Te'\os of every individual

says,

Tii.

'The

moral act

the same with that of the formed


moral character (teAos Se ttcJo-tis h^pis

'

yeias

ia-rl

rh Kari

tV

U'")'

The

whole passage is a difficult one; it


seems to come to this .4n individual
act can only be said to have attained

the

place

highest

contains the most absolute

it

most entirely desirable

the term
6), Aristotle seems to use
re'Aos in a more purely objective sense
to denote perfection.

placed virtue below

first

the development of the highest

In the second place,

satisfaction, it is

'

in the

is

perfection

for its

when

qualities as the

ter

e.g.

brave

it

own

sake,

and

exhibits the

same

formed moral charac-

a brave act

when

would do

it,

is

only perfectly

done as a brave

man

consciously for its

own

it is

sake, or for the sake of the beautiful

(ko\oS

eVe/ca),

Eth. A.

fiovia

Kar

&c.

vii. I.

El

S'

icTiv

ri

EuSai-

aper^v ipepyeia, ^i:\oyoy

Karh TT^y KparlffTr^v

avTj]

5' clv tit]

apifTTOV, K.T.A.

Q 2

rov

ESSAY

228

not as a means to anything


virtues are all in a sense

which

ly.

Whereas the

else.^

means to

Courage

this.

for the sake of the fruition of peace

is

does this consist

summed up

So too in

in the one faculty

{a-o<f>ia),

Thought

the perfection of the speculative

State and the individual, in what

and

(<f)p6vTj(ns), this

restless action of

means and measures

to

some

identical for the

but in those

end not only of the

to Aristotle, the

individual, but also of the State."

If

'

happiness consists in doing well, a

it

be true to say, that

of action

life

some

must be best

But we need

both for the State, and for the individual.


as

satis-

Philosophy, therefore, and specula-

faction in themselves.
are, according

Not

war or diplomacy, not in

ulterior result,

thoughts and contemplations which find their end and

tion

side.'"

this constituted ?

is

may

words the highest

Politics, the end, or in other

in the busy

war,

and instrumental to

as subordinate

all

and the highest happiness, being

perfection

is for

and in what

If the practical side of our nature be

be regarded after
Philosophy

practical

not,

do, suppose that a life of action implies relation to

only are

those

others, or that

thoughts which are

active

concerned with the results of action

but far rather

we must

consider those speculations and thoughts to be so which have


their

end in themselves, and which are

A moment
is

for their

'

/4((j/77

'

but for

Eth. X.
Si'

A<(Jai t' &v outJ;

Tii. 5.

iriT(iTT, a\\' ovK

"

Pol. VII.

iii.

\4yeTai Ka\a)s
fvvpaylav
irdheus Uy

Koi

SeTfoy,
e?rj

oSv cceKa

iicilvji.

Tijy

Kol

Kol Kaff

ei

ToCra

^iihai^oviav
Koii/fj

irdirris

tKaajov &puTTOs

which

no
the

is

'A\\& rhv npaKTwhtr


irphs erepous,

irep oiovTai Ticej, ovii


fi6t'as

'AXX'

7.

0ios 6 vpa.KTM6s.

OVK kvayKoiov flvai

'Eicf (cijj

xiii. 8.

It is sought for

It is a state of peace,

itself.

avTTju ayawaffSai.

Eih. Ti.

sake.'

of contemplative thought (OsmprjTiKr) hspyeia)

most perfectly and absolutely an end.

result

own

KaBd-

rhs Siavaias ehai

TouTas TrpaKTiKas Tas tuv ano-

^aiv6vTav
irpdrreiv,

x'^P'"

aWa

y^yuofaivas

ttoAv

T6\fis Kal TOS auTUV UveKiv


KoX StayoT}(reis,

4k

iutWov Tas

toS

aiiTO-

Biwpias

THE DOCTEINE OP THE END-IX~ITSELF.


crown of

exertion

all

the realisation of

229
It is

(^aa-'^aiXov/j.sda 'iva a''^oXd^a>fj,sv).

divine in

tlie

man^ and

constitutes the

most

absolute and all-sufficient happiness,'" being, as far as possible

human

in

stances.

independent of external circum-

things,

'^

This, then, constitutes the most adequate answer to the

great question of Ethics,

What

TO tS>v irpaKTOiv tsXos

moment

of

life is

with regard to
says Aristotle,

shortcoming.'

then

is

and individual

'

Philosophic thought,'

we

But, as

the result

if

ex-

For in happiness there must

life.

'''

ia-ri

a difficulty suggests itself

more

see

shall

clearly

cannot actually be so extended.

it

If Aristotle accepts the absolute

and worth of a moment as the end of

satisfaction

Tt

or

be absolutely perfect happiness

will

with regard to ivspysia,

What

But

viewed as a whole.

tended over a whole


be no

Good

as far as a separate

concerned.

life
'

the Chief

is

life,

his

principle becomes identical with the fiovo'^povos rj^ovri of the

Oyrenaics

above, p. 175).

(see

If,

again, he

requires an

absolute teXos of permanent duration, his theory of

good becomes a mere

Here, then,

ideal.

human

a dilemma between

is

the horns of which Aristotle endeavours to steer, on the One

hand acknowledging

make

will not

(Etli.

summer

1.
;

'

vii.

16), that

can be called happy as long as he

good must be kv
life

good, as

'2

it

Eth. X.

viii. 7.

jiovia. BewpriTiKii

"

Eth. X.

airdpKeia

vii.

and

\fyofi.4vTi

ircpl t?);' flca>p7)Ti/cV

'No man

x.),

that

He

says the chief


life,

for the consciousness, is

'H reAefo cuSoi-

"H T

swallow

but in a

this expression that the absolute

ris iaTiv ivipyfia.


4.

I.

lives.'

tsKbIw, not a perfect

/3ta)

indicating by
exists in

A single

on the other hand urging ob-

jections against the saying of Solon (Etli.

perfect

'

ndXiffr'

''
eJV)

'H Te\ela 8^ evSai/iovIa aSrr] hv

aiiBpclmov,

\eioy

independent

'

Aa0ov<Ta

ovShv yap

evdatfioflas.

/xtikos /Si'ou t-

areKh

Eth, x.

iffTi

vii. 7.

tuv

rrjs

ESSAY

230
of time and duration

but

IV.

we belong

as

still,

to a world of

time and space, that this inner supreme good must have

its

setting in an adequate complete sphere of external circum-

About

stances.

which probably

this

word

'

complete,' the

philosophic, implying that which

mind

is

'

the other

perfect,'

in itself desirable, that

Taking

finds satisfaction, the absolute.

we may

a signification between the two,


to have meant, that the chief

of the consciousness,

its

are twofold, the one popular, convey-

ing the notion of the

in which the

was half conscious

Aristotle, himself,

meaning

associations of

an ambiguity of

rsXslq) there is

conceive Aristotle

good must be an absolute mode

and that

must be attained in a

this

sphere of outward circumstances themselves partaking of


the nature of

out of

all

Aristotle's conception,

absolute perfection.

two

then, of the chief good has


relation to time,

the one internal, ideal,

sides,

which speaks of happiness

absolute good, as that end which

is

the

sum

of

all

as the

means, as

that which could not possibly be improved by any addition


(JEth.

practical,

vii.

goes

8)

the

quite

other

side,

all

in

all,

is

Cyrenaic

the

against

regarding the present as

which

and

and

external
principle

also against the

of

Cynic

view which would set the mind above external circumstances


(JEth.

as

I.

V. 6).

This part of the theory considers happiness

compounded of various more or

shows how

far the

more

less essential elements,

essential parts (ja Kvpia rrjs siSai-

fiovias) can outbalance the less essential.

manence of duration, but

it

It requires per-

looks for this in the stability of

the formed mental state, which

moments

and

is

always tending to reproduce

of absolute worth.

The End-in-itself renders life a rounded whole,


of art, or a product of nature.
definiteness to the aims,

knowing what

'

The knowledge

So that

to shoot at' (Eth.

we

shall

i. ii.

2).

be

of

now

like a
it is

work

to give

like archers

In the realisation

THE DOCTRINE OF THE END-IN-ITSELP.


of

we

it,

are to feel that there need, be no

onwards towards

'

this

is

says Aristotle,

Life,'

it

finite

is

'

i. ii.

i).

Closely connected,

system with the view that what


'

is

more reaching

the desires and powers will

infinity, for all

hare found their satisfaction (Eth.


then,

231

a good to the

good man, because

At

sight these sayings

(Eth. IX. ix. 7).

first

suggest the idea of a cramped and limited theory of


if all

were made round and

artistic,

the aspirations of the soul.


ever, that that
is

which

is

here spoken of as making

the outside of which the


this absolute

moments

end

life,

as

left for

that,

life finite,

above and beyond

And

mind can conceive nothing.

yet further represented as the deepest

is

either of the moral consciousness, or of that philo-

sophic reason which


being.

and no room were

must be remembered, how-

It

the absolutely sufficient

itself

good.

is finite is

It

an approach to the nature of the divine

is

must be remembered

wpca-fLsvov) does not

mean

'

also that

'

the finite

the restricted,' as

if

'

(to

expressing

that in which limits have been put upon the possibilities of

good, but rather the good,

Good and even existence

itself.

cannot be conceived except under a law, and the


with Aristotle an essentially positive idea.
negation enters into

it

Only

cannot in our conceptions pass out of the


is

absolute and an end for the

limited and restricted conception

conceived beyond

it.

is

much

so

as is necessary to constitute definite-

ness and form in contradistinction to the chaotic.

which

finite

Truly we

human mind

that

mind cannot be a mere

but rather nothing can be

Something might be said on the

tion of the Ethical reXos to the idea of a future

life,

rela-

but this

can be better said hereafter.


II.

'

Actuality

'

is

perhaps the nearest philosophical re-

presentative of the ivspysia of Aristotle.

It is derived

from

it

through the Latin of the Schoolmen, 'actus' being their translation of Evspysia, out of

which the longer and more abstract

ESSAY

232

The word

form has grown.


directly

'

IV.

comes more

energy,' which'

from svepysia, has ceased to convey the philosophical

meaning of

being restricted to the notion of force

its original,

The employment of the term

and vigour.

energy,' as a

'

translation of svspysia, has been a material hindrance to the

proper understanding of Aristotle.

This

case with regard to the Ethics, where there


plausibility,
lation.

To

especially the

is

is

an appearance of

though an utterly fallacious one, in such a transsubstitute

would certainly have

'

actuality

'

in the place of

this advantage, that it

'

energy

would point to

the metaphysical conception lying at the root of

But

various applications of svip'ysia.

with far too

little flexibility

with ivepysia, and at

uniformly translate

deavour to understand

book

like the

can be found in

Our only course can

which

Any

JEtliics.

in the various places where

it

will

be, first to en-

meaning

philosophical

its

and secondly to notice

Aristotle's system,

tions in a

it,

therefore there is no term

it.

a word

is

'

the

conception equally plastic

answering to

all

And

modern thought.

actuality

all

to be adapted for expressing all

No

these various applications.

'

'

as part of

its special

rendering of

applica-

its

import

occurs must be rather of the

nature of paraphrase than of translation.


'Evsprysia

is

not more accurately defined by Aristotle, than

as the correlative

'

Actuality

'

He

and opposite of Bwa/iis.

we must rather

feel

may be

in various

ways opposed

and the import of the conception depends


relation to each other.'*

'5

Metaphys. vm.

4vepjeia rh uiriipx^"'

vi. 2.
''^

Sk Svvdiiei, oTov, iv
^v

rf

'6\ri

t^

'

"Ecrri

Now
5'

irpay/m, jur) ou-

TQ>s &tTirp \eyofiev Bvvdfiei.


JiiXqi)

A^yofiev
'EpfiTJv ko!

riiv Tjiiiffeiav, Srt ^(paipeBelri

tiy,Kal HiriirT'liiioyaKalTliii

/lii

implies, that

meaning than seek

its

BeupovvTa,

to

to define
'

it.

potentiality,'

entirely

on their

svspysM is the existence of a


ioiv

Svvaris ^ Beaprjffai

SrjKov

B' eiri

ri 5 ipepyela

ray Kaf eKatrro rfj eira7(07^,

S 0ov\6fi9a \eyeiv^ Koi ov Set iravrds

Spov

(riTf^i',

avyop^v

Sri

aW^

Kttl

t6 ayihoyov

us rd oiKO^OfXOvy

rb oiKoSofiiKdy, Kal ri eypTjyopds

irpds
Trp&s

THE DOCTRINE OF
thing not in the sense of
" potentially"

we

its

'ENEPPEIA.

233

use, for instance, of,the statue in the block,

and of the half in the whole (since

might be subtracted),

it

and of a person knowing a thing, even when he


ing of

By

it,

The term

potentially existing.

but might do so

whereas ivspysia

is

the opposite.

applying the various instances our meaning will be plain,

and one must not seek a

definition in each case, but rather

grasp the conception of the analogy as a whole

waking

as the

that

which builds to that which has the capacity

as that

ing

not think-

is

to the sleeping

for build-

which sees to

as that

that which has sight, but whose eyes are closed

form to the shapeless matter

definite

In this contrast,

unaccomplished.

the

as

as the complete to the

let

the hspysia be set off

and on the other

as forming the one side,

it is

the potential

let

Things are said to be svepysM not always in like

stand.

manner (except
thing

an analogy, that as

so far as there is

in this, or related to this, so

is

lated to that), for sometimes

is

this

that in that, or re-

implies motion as opposed to

it

the capacity for motion, and sometimes complete existence

opposed to undeveloped matter.'

The word evspyeia does not occur


opposition of the

virtual

'

implicitly contained in

there

is

6}\/iv

^K TTJs

'

and the

some parts of

Si

irpis

tA fiiov

'^X**^i '^"^ "^^ aTroKKptfJLi'OV

BAtjs irpos

tV

irphs

BLireipyaffficvoy

SAt);/,

rh

koI tJ

ii.v4pyaffrov.

TavTTis Sc TTJs Staipopas ddrepov flSptov


%ffTa

T]

ivepyeta

atpapiff/ievT},

darepiji

Aeyerai Se ivepyeia ov

5e rb SvvarSi/.

Trdyra bfioias, &AA' % ri avd\oyov,

TQVTO V

T0{)T(p

Ty 5e fl Trphs t6Sc
irphs Svi/a/jLiy,

SXriv.

in Plato, though the

may

be found

his writings.

Perhaps

actual

'

no genuine passage " now extant of any writer pre-

rd KadevBoy, Kal rh 6puv


/XEf ,

'^

'

tA

^
'

Trphs TOVTO,
rii fiev

rh

S'

ais

ev

y^p us Kiyqoris

5' qjs ovffia

irpds riva

"

Cf. Theietetus,-p.

irotovv

eari

ri,

157

irplv tty

A.

r$

OilTeyap
irtitrxoyTi

^vv\6rj, oUre irdffxov, Trplv tty

ri/i

irot-

OVVTi, K.T.\.

" For the fragment of Philolaus,


apud Stob. Eel. Phys. i. xx. 2, is very
suspicious.
Koi

Ka\(os

It
e;^ei

is

as

follows

Ai&

\iyety K6fffioy ^/iev

iyepyeiay atiiov 6eS>

re Kal yevefftas

Kari (rvvaKo\ov6lav tus jUerafiAaTtKas

ESSAY

234

vious to Aristotle in which

it

IV.

Topics,

I.

xii.

to connect

But

I.

It is the substantive

occurs.

form of the adjective ivspyi^s which

is

to be found in Aristotle's

by a

Aristotle,

false

immediately with the words

it

appearance the idea of

its

gested by the Megarians,

etymology, seems

'*

who

To

iv ^pja>.

opposition to Bvvafiis was


asserted that

'

Nothing could

be said to have a capacity for doing any thing, unless


in the act of doing that thing.'

'^

all

sug-

first

This assertion

it

was

itself

was

part of the dialectic of the Megarians, by which they endea-

voured to establish the Eleatic principles, and to prove by the


subtleties of the reason, against all evidence of the senses, that

the world

We

absolutely one, immovable, and unchangeable.

is

cannot be exactly certain of the terms employed by the

Megarians themselves in expressing the above-quoted position, for Aristotle is

never very accurate about the exact form

in which he gives the

^^

We

opinions of earlier philosophers.

cannot be sure whether the Megarians said precisely orav


svepyfj fjiovov Svvaadat.

But

at all events they said some-

thing equivalent, and Aristotle taking the suggestion worked


out the whole theory of the contrast between hivafits and
svepyeia, in its almost universal applicability.

At

these terms were connected, apparently, with the

first

But

idea of^' motion.


of

'

"

C{.

Metaphys. Yin. viu.

Kal Tovvofia ivepyeta Keyerat


cpyoi/ Kol ffvvTsiveL trphs

meaning

since Bvvap,ish.a,a the double

possibility of existence

ii.
KttTct

'

Aib

rb

t^v ivTe\4-

as well as

'

capacity of action,'

oi.

ivfpyii<f S'

XI.

vi.

7.

Aii

evioi

Totovtriv ae\ iyepyeiav, otov AevKtirtros

Ka! IIKilTav.

In these passages Ari-

stotle expresses the ideas of his pre-

" Met.
(paffiv,

Tin.

iii.

EiV! 5c Ttvts o1

I.

/xovov SivaffBai, tirav Se /a^ ivepyy ov


SivaffOai, oToy

rhv

fii]

oiKoSofiovi/Ta ov

SivaffBai oiKodofieiv.
'"

decessors in his

oTov oi JAeyapiKoi, (irav eyepyif

Cf.

fi6KpiT6s

Metaph.
<\>T)inv,

xi.

^v

*'

71

Metaph.

own

viii.

^vepyeta ToUvOfxa,

ffvVTidefiivTi

KoX

formulae.

iii.
7}

eirl

rh.

Kivfiffeuv fj.ti\tffTa, So/cet


ii.

3.

Kal ws A7^

Sfiov TtavTa Swd/ict,

fjiii\iffTa

7]

'E\^\u9e

9.
Trphs

KlyTjfTis clvai.

8'

ivreKex^^av

&Wa,
yap

7]

eK twi'

iv4pyeia

THE DOCTKWE OF ENEPFEIA.


there

arose

tlie

double contrast of action opposed to the

capacity for action

To

opposition Aristotle seems

an adjective

^^

But in

analogy of

vovve')(rjs.

and ivspyeia

is ^'

of comparatively

plete

fact this distinction

we

find

he says,

tt/dos

while

occurrence,

rare

between

The former

not maintained.

iveprysia, as

mixed up with the idea of com-

As we saw

existence.'

Svvafiis,

'

it is

being constructed on the

everywhere throughout Aristotle


svTskB')(t,av (TvvTcds/j,svrj

that

is,

being in the state of perfec-

'

exeti",

term

have introduced the

to

ivTsXs'XTjs

svTsKi')(sia
is

express accurately this latter

of which the most natural account

svTs\^')(^SLa,

a compound of iv rsXsc

word

opposed to possible

actual existence

existence or potentiality.

tion,'

236

above,

contrasted with

is

it

sometimes as implying motion, sometimes as

'

form

opposed to matter.'

In Physics Bvvafiis answers to the necessary conditions


anything before that thing

for the existence of

thus corresponds to

vXtj,

absolutely devoid of

coming any

all

both to the Trpmrr]

which

qualities,

is

Marble then

in the simple elements before

marble.

of thought exist either purely

vXt),

At

and

it is

The statue

exists

All objects

or purely ivsp'ysia, or

Bvvd/j,t,,

This division makes an entire

both Swd/MSt and svspysia.


the world.

exists Bvvd/j,sb

Svvd/isi in the marble before it is carved out.

all

marble

matter capable of receiving form,

as marble the form of the statue.

chain of

or matter

iiXr),

capable of be-

definite substance, as, for instance,

also to the ia-'x^aTrj vXrj, or

It

exists.

the one end

is

matter, the

which has a merely potential existence, which

is

TrpcoTT]

neces-

sary as a condition, but which, having no form and no quali-

^^

Be Gen.

et

Corr.

ii.

x. ii.

twe-

yap

iffriv

li.6vov

vii. xiv.
'''

Cf.

Metaph.

viii.

i.

2.

'Eirl

vXiov

ri

Svi/a/its

koX ^

4v4pyua rwv

\eyofi4vav Kari KivTiaiv.


8.

Ov yhp ^6vov

Eth.

Kiv-fitre^s

iffnv ^vepyeia a\ha Kal ccKivqirlas.

ESSAY

2-W

IV.

ties, is totally

incapable of being realised by the mind.

it is also witli

the infinitely small or great

as possibilities, but, as

is

So

they exist always

obvious, they never can be actually

At the other end

grasped by the perception.

of the chain

is

God, oviria aiSios Kal svspysia dvsv Swdfisats, who cannot be

thought of as non-existing,^'' as otherwise than actual, who

Between these two

the absolute, and the unconditioned.

is

extremes

the whole row of creatures, which out of poten-

is

In this theory we see the

tiality spring into actual being.


affinity

between SvvafiLs and matter, svepysia and form


conceptions are

Aristotle's

Another
evefyyeia

made

to run into one another.

affinity readily suggests itself,

The progress from

and tsXos.

motion or production

(^Kivrjcris

or

and that

But

'yivecris).

mere process not in

And

sake desirable.

and ivepysia,

between

is

itself

this

motion or

in itself imper-

and

for its

own

however,

own

thus arises a contrast between Kivrjcns

for the latter, if it implies motion, is a

desirable for its


relatively,

is

Zvvafiis to svspysia is

production, aiming at or tending to an end,


fect {aTEkrjs), it is a

Thus

sake, having its

Kivrja-is

end in

Viewed

itself.

may sometimes be

motion

called svspjsia.

In reference to the capacity of action before existing, the


action calls out into actuality that which

house there

is

itself, this is

if

it

an evspysia of what was before the hvvafiis

Viewed, however, in reference to the house

oLKoSofiiK'^.

or

a mere process to the end aimed

be called ivepysia,

it

qualified as ivspysid ris arsKijs.^^

rdXos

"

It

is

was before only

Thus, for instance, in the process of building a

potential.

must

strictly

at,

a yivsais,

speaking be

In short, just as the term

relatively applied to very subordinate ends, so too

might be said that the being of

existeuce of

God

God cannot be fully grasped or realised

His own mind.

by our minds

in

but, according to the

views of Aristotle,

the

everlasting

is

He

and for Himself

an ivipyfia for
is

above

existing.

X. ix. II.

all,

the

THE
ivspysia

applied to what

is relatively

view a mere

OF 'ENEPrEIA.

DOCTEIJSTE

or Kivrjais.

lyEvecris

This

Sia(f)opa Ss Tts (paivsTai reov tsXwi'

Ta Ss

is

from another point of

we

Having traced some of the leading


tinction between SvvafMs

how

We may

How

moral associations

2,

ivspysiai,

features of this dis-

the chief good for

At

how

upon Ethics.

far is it reacted

man

upon by

the very outset of Aristotle's theory

as the proposition has


is

work

this proper

itself

the category of the actual brought to

is

As soon

and that

slcriv

i. i.

we may now proceed to

form of thought stamped

this

ask,

and

svspr/sia,

bear upon moral questions, and

appears.

find in Eth.

ra fjisv yap

avras spja Tivd.

Trap'

observe

237

it

been laid down that

only attainable in his proper work,


is

a peculiar kind of

life,

TrpaKriKij

\6yov s^ovtos, Aristotle proceeds to assume

ris {^(orj) Tov

(6sTsov) that this

must be no mere possession (kuB'

life

of certain powers and latent tendencies, but

'

form of the conception.'

this is the distinctive

s^tv)

in actuality, for

He

^^

then

transforms the qualifying term Kar ivspysLav into a substantive idea,

and makes

it

the chief part of his definition of the

supreme good.^' Thus the metaphysical category of ivspysia,

which comes

first

into Ethics merely as a form of thought,

becomes henceforth material.


In short,

ness.^^

becomes an ethical

it

In this connection
at once

now

exactly parallel
application.

idea.

cognate rsXaf) avepysia becomes

(like its

something mental.

as existing

It is identified with happi-

It takes a subjective character,

both in and for the mind.

way

On

to the use of rsXos,

the one hand

it

is

it

Moreover, in an
receives a double

applied to express moral

action and the development of the moral powers, on the other


''

AiTTas

Si

Kol TavTTis \eyofi4vris

Kvpidtrepov

r^v

/car'

4jf^pyeiav Qer4ov

yap

avrif]

8oKfl ^eyeffdai. Eik, i.yH. 13.

'"

Ei

5' eVtIi/

'

epyov avSpiiirov if'ux^'

tpdpyeta kbtc^ Adyoy, k.t.A.

ei S'

oSra

Th avdp^irivov ayadhv ^v^vs ivfpyeia


yiv^Tai Kaj'
^

Eth.

I.

aperifi'.

xiii. I.

LiSaijuo;'ia '^vj(ris

T^c.

Cf.

I.

II.

14, 15.

'Eirel

5'

eVriv ^

^vipy^ui ris Kor'ape-

X. 2, IX. ix. 5, X. vi. 2.

ESSAY

238

hand

to happiness

meaning that

and the

ivsprysia is

IV.

fruition of

most purely subjective. Taken as a

formula to express Aristotle's theory of

more

sider it as applied in its

though even here

We

tions.

it is

It is in its latter

life.

we may

\'irtue,

objective

and simpler

mixed up with psychological

associa-

how, under newly invented metaphysical

shall see

man.

forms, Aristotle accounts for the moral nature of


Aristotle divides hvvd^eis into physical

these mental hvvdfieis

it is

restricted to one side of

and mental.^'

Of

characteristic that they are equally

capacities of producing contraries, while

for instance, is

con-

sense,

two

the physical are

The capacity

contraries.

capable of producing heat alone

hvvafLis laTpiKri, as being a mental capacity,

of heat,

whereas the

and connected

with the discursive reason, can produce indifferently either

From this

health or sickness.

Aristotle deduces the

mind

of the doctrine of free-will, namely, that the

bound by any physical

For he argues

necessity.

the requisite active and passive conditions, there

first
is

a necessity

if

way

equally a capacity of contraries,

Svva/j,is is

there were any necessity

not

that, given

is

for a physical hvvafiis to act or suffer in a particular

but since the mental

step

for its

development,

it

must be

necessitated to produce contraries at the same time, which

Therefore there must be some other influence

impossible.

which controls the mental

two contraries

side of the

Svvaftis,
it

and determines into which

shall be developed,

either desire or reasonable purpose.^"

point

is

'^^

another of

Not only

theory.

Metaph.

is

VIII.

ii.

I.

still

and

this is

Connected with

this

greater importance for the ethical

in the use and exercise of a moral hvvajxis

ntv

'Ettc! S' oi fiev

effovrai &\oyoi, ai Se fierh \6yov,

fv ToTs

atfiixo's ivvTrdpxovaiy

TOtavTai, al
ifivxfi,

S'

apxal

'
\

iv ToTs ^ii^j/vxots Kal iv

Kal T^s

'l/t'X^'

'"

'*'

^^yo"

pf<nv.
j

evoiTt, 5TJ\ot' OTi Kal

ruy

SvifdfjL(t/v

al

'AydyKii &pa erepov

xipiov.

ti

ehai rh

Aeyco 8e toCto ipt^m ^ irpoai-

Meiaphys.

Yiii.

3.

THE DOCTRINE OF ENEPrEIA.


is

239

the individual above tke control of mere external or physical

circumstances, but also the very acquirement of these Bvva/j,sis

For the moral capacities are not

depends on the individual.


inherent, but acquired.

may

In considering how this can be, we

follow the logical

order of the question according to Aristotle, and ask which


exists

first,

the Bvvafiis or the ivspysca

The answer

as a conception, in point of thought (Koya), the ivspysia

necessarily be prior

in short,

we know nothing of the

'

the case

is

different

must be confined
thought,

we

hvvafiis,

each individual creature exists

This assertion, however,

hvvdfiEi, afterwards ivspysia.

first

must

In point of time

except from our knowledge of the svepysia.


(j(^p6v(j))

that

is,

to each individual

a necessity of

for, as

are led to refer the potential existence of each

thing to the actual existence of something before (a flower,

owes

for instance,

its

potential existence in the seed to the

actual existence of another flower before

it)

and

so the world

is eternal, for

an ivspysia must be supposed as everlastingly

pre-existing.

But even

things in which the


are things

doing

'

are

some

the hvva^is

there

in the individual there

hspysM seems prior to

which the individual seems to have no

until

he does them

rise to

of Bvvdfj,sis into the physical, the passive,

power of

he acquires the power, in

This phenomenon gives

doing them.''

'

fact,

by

a classification

and the inherent on

the one hand, and the mental or acquired on the other. '^

The merely physical

VIII. viii.

capacities of our nature exist indepen-

6.

Ath Kol

5oK? aSvvaTov elvaL oIkoS6iaov ejvai fi^


olKodofi-ljffaVTa fn}6v,

0iv KLdaplffaVTa
pi^tiv

KiSapl^wv

^ Kt9api(rT^v

fiTj-

yap p.avBdvuv KiBa-

fuivBdvei

KiOapi^eiv,

Sfiolus Se Kal ol liKAol.


'-

Metaphys.'^ui.

\. I.

TcDj/ Suvtificaiv
i

vuVf oloy

ray

ovffwv

afVfli^treaji/

olov ttjs tov aiiAsTy

twv

/j,kv

irvyye-

tSiv 5e

5e

e0f,

fLa07]tTet,

oTav TTJs rStv rexvuv, riy fiev avdyKTj


'KpoevepyfjfravTas
\6ytf}

'Airatrwj/Se

twv

rov

Ttts Se

fjL-^

e^^ty

oaai edei Kal

Toiatiras Kcd Tas

irdtrx^^y oiiK hvayKT}.

cttI

ESSAY

240

dent of any act or

And

on the part of the individual .''

effort

with the

so, also, is it

IV.

senses.^''

But

the contrary

the case

is

with regard to moral virtue, which does not exist in us as a


capacity (Svvafiis)

in other words, not as a gift of nature

(<j)vai),

by doing virtuous

for virtue

that a sort of paradox

we become

that

we

things,

just

It will be seen at once

things.

here involved.

is

acquire the capacity

'

The answer

are just already.'

Virtue follows the analogy of the

How

by doing just things

can
If

it

be said

we do

just

of Aristotle to this

would seem to be as follows

difficulty

first

We

previous to moral action.'^

may by

essays of the learner

of his master
of success

chance, or by the guidance

koI aXXov

(a-Tro tvj(7)s

and an

artistic

which the

arts, in

vTro6s/j,svov), attain

appearance, but the learner

a sort

no

is

artist as yet.

These 'just

2.

acts,'

by which we acquire

nearer inspection, not really just

justice, are,

fication of that settled internal character in the heart

mind

of the agent, without which no external act

highest

in the

on

they want the moral quali-

sense of the term.

They

is

of the artist are towards the acquirement of

virtuous

tendencies

are

towards the acquirement of this character, as the

and

first

an

art.

essays

But

they are not to be confounded with those moral acts which


flow from the character

Eth.

1.

H.

xiii.

TV TomuTTji' yap

opposed to some of the modern discoveries

iy avafft

ali^fffSai)

Bfln TiS
ii>

ti/

TOij

fi.6pioy
'*

fixed.

The whole question depends on Aristotle's theory of the

3.

when developed and

II. i.

rb

iyepys'v fiiMtrra

TOVTO Kol

ri

4.

Svya/iis auTT).

Tas Suva/ieis

irp6'Tfpov KOfit^S/jieSay

iyepyflas

Tpe<pojj,4vots

Kal iv Tois ifLPpvois SoKEl

Sttcoij

Eth.

rots

airoSlSo/jiev.

VffTepoy

psjcliology,

as,

for

in-

'Theory of Vision.'
It is corrected, however, in
some
degree hy Aristotle's doctrine of Koivij
ottrBriais.

toutoii'

Se

of

stance, Berkeley's

ras

This doctrine

is

^*

Ibid.

ivepinravres

Tas

5'

aperas \a^0avofiev

'trp6Tepov,

ray &\KQtv rexvwy.

Sxr-Trep

Kal

^irl

THE DOCTEINE OF ENEPrEIA.

There can be no

and evspysva.

related to Bvvafus

s^ts, as

such thing, properly speaking, as a Bvvafus

we have

before seen, a Bvvafiis, except

And

admits of contraries.

way or

be merely physical,

it

that, either well or

by no

capacity

of acting

which

therefore

ill,

is

The ivepyeia

equally a Svvafus of virtue and of vice.


case is determined

The

desire or the reason of the agent.


indefinite

definiteness for
(eOos),

has,

it

at

but by the

ivspysia, however,

some

events,

all

And by

good or bad.

in this

law of the hvva^is

intrinsic

(avop/Kr) sTspov ti slvai to Kvpiov, Met. VIII. v. 3),

no longer

As

rris apsrfjs.

therefore in the case of moral

action there can only be an indefinite


either in this

241

is

sort of

the principle of habit

which Aristotle seems to assume as an acknowledged

law of human nature, the hvapr/sia reacts upon the hvvapas,


reproducing

and

Thus the hvva/Ms

itself.

tendency

passes into a definite

and becomes a

BvvafMLs,

s^is,

loses its indefiniteness,

it

ceases to be a

that

is

to say, a

mere

formed and

fixed character, capable only of producing a certain class of

terms,

by the help of a few metaphysical

Briefly then,

ivspysMi.

does Aristotle

character.

Kat

ivl

yivovrai.

And

it is

Brj

sum up
Xoyco sk

his

twv

theory of

oftoiav

moral

the

svepysMv at

sPsis

quite consistent with his entire view of

these metaphysical categories, that he defines virtue to be

not on the one hand a

Bvvafjiis,

physical, nor on the other

equivalent to svspjEia), else

but

a sort of s^is.

else

it

would be merely

hand a irdOos
it

The

would be an

efts, or

moral

(which

result of them.

here

isolated emotion
state, is

farther side, so to speak, of the hspyeiai.

and

is

on the

It is the

sum

If efts be regarded as a sort of deve-

loped BvvafMis, as a capacity acquired indeed and definite,

but

still

only a capacity,

with ivspysoa.
vii.

Thus

it

may

I.

be contrasted

in the above-quoted passage, FAh.

13, BiTTcbs TavTi]s Xsyofjbsvqs

VOL.

naturally

means Ka6'

s^iv

and
R

i.

kut''

ESSAY

242

we may

ivspyniav, as

lY.

by comparing

see

vii. xii. 2,

this point of view Aristotle says, that

From

for a E^is to exist,

'

without producing any good.

regard to an ivepysia this

not possible.'

is

other hand, however, the s^is

is

(i. viii.

produce these.

in a s^LS, but also follows from

tion of a E^is
(11. iii.

pleasure

is

When Aristotle

I .)

so abiding as the ivspysiat

v. I

possible

But with
9.)

On

the

do not

forbid,

The svepysia not only

results

and the

it,

felt

in

test of the forma-

resulting from

acts

nothing

says, that there is

xar

vm.

is

a fixed tendency to a certain

class of actions, and, if external circumstances


will certainly

it

aperr/v

it.

human

Bia to fiaXia-ra Kal

avve')(s<TTaTa KaTa^fjv sv aiirais rovs /xaKapiovs, he implies,

bound together by the

of course, that these ivspyscai, are

chain of a
efficient,

s^is, of

which in his own phraseology they are the

the formal, and the final cause.

It is observable,

that the phrase ivspysiai riji apsTrjs occurs only twice in the

(m.

ethical treatise,

v. i, x.

iii.

i.)

This

is

in accordance

with the principle that virtue cannot be regarded as a


Bwafiis.

Therefore Aristotle seems to regard moral acts not

much

as the development of a latent excellence, but rather

so

as the development or action of our nature in accordance

with a law (svspysiat kut apsrijv).

Virtue then comes in as

a regulative, rather than as a primary idea


as subordinate,

When we

though

it is

introduced

essential, to happiness.

meet phrases

like

this just

translate them, most probably, into our

mentioned, we

own

formulae, into

words belonging to our own moral and psychological systems.

We
'

speak of

'

moral energies.'

as

amounting

Practically,

acts,'

or

'

virtuous

Thus we conceive of

to this, that

no doubt,

if our object in

irpa^ts,

moral

'

activities,'

Aristotle's doctrine

good acts produce good

his theory does

or

come

habits.'

to this;

and

studying his theory be ov yvSxns aXXa

no better or more useful principle could be deduced

243

THE DOCTEINE OF 'ENEPrEIA.


from

it.

But

in

so

interpreting

When

Aristotle of all his pMlosophy.

KUT

he spoke of evspjsta

wide range of metaphysical associations ac-

aperrjv, a

He was

companied the expression.

man

moral powers of

bringing the mind and

into the entire chain of nature, at one

end of which was matter, and


had in

him, we really strip

at the other

He

end God.

was to the unde-

his thoughts, that a moral ivspyeta

veloped capacities as a flower to the seed, as a statue to the

waking

block, as the
defined.

And

to the sleeping, as the finite to the

he yet farther implied that this ivspjsia was

no mere process or transition to something


tained

The

its

un-

end in

itself,

distinctness of

and was desirable

but con-

else,

own

for its

sake.

modern language, and the separation

between the various spheres of modern thought, prevent


us from reproducing in any one term

the various asso-

all

ciations that attach to this formula of ancient philosophy.

As

said

before,

we must

rather

feel,

than endeavour to

express them.

Hitherto

we have only

alluded to those conceptions which

We

evspysta, as a universal category, imported into Ethics.

have now to advert to those which necessarily accrue to


reason of

its

introduction into this science.

it

by

It is clear that

a psychical ivspysta must be different from the same cate-

gory exhibited in any external object.

moral

faculties,

must have

their

distinguished from their mere


difference, not

common

'

'

Life, the

existence in

potentiality

'

to other existences.

distinguishes vitality from

the

conditions

mind, the
actuality

by some

What
of

life,

special

is it

that

waking

from sleeping, thought from the dormant

faculties,

moral

action from the unevoked moral capacities

In

these

contrasts

there

is

no conception

that

all

approaches nearer

towards summing up the distinction than that of

'

conscious-

Tiess,'

E 2

ESSAY

244

objectively, ivepysia

Viewed from without, or

own

it

But when taken

forth

mind but

also in

aspect and character.

blooming of something

activity, the

Hence-

itself called

but

it is

the mind

mind

It springs out of the

out into actuality.

and ends in the mind.

contem-

perfect, in the

mind could repose

plation of which the

life

new

not only the rounded whole, the self-ending

is

it

with-

it

subjectively, as being an svepysia of the

acquires a

it

activity desirable

means or a condition to anything beyond.

as existing not only for the

itself,

the mind,

must mean

mind could contemplate

sake, so that the

out seeing in

mind

an

fully developed in itself, or

an existence
for its

IV.

It is not only

but the sense of

life,

not only waking, but the feeling of the powers

only perception or thought, but a consciousness of one's

not

own

faculties as well as of the external object.

This conscious vitality of the

life

and the mind

is

not to

be considered a permanent condition, but one that arises in


Oftenest

us.'^

Were

tion.

it is

like a thrill of joy, a

abiding,

it

perpetual ivepysui,

if

we should be

But that which we

BwdfiEeus.

momentary

as God,

who

is

The

of

life

God

which with us

is

last a brief space, it

itself.

And

sciousness that

^^

Eih. IX. is.

is

it

"

Metaph.

ouTW yap

they are peris

pleasure

waking and perception and thought are the

5.

xi. vii.

dplffrri

Him

because they are vivid states of con-

yiverai Kal ovX

6.

aSivarov)

TovTou

inrdpx^^ ^oirep KTrifid Tt.

karXv ota

moods

being impossible that

His ever-present consciousness

since

of God.'^

life

of a kind with those highest

they should be permanent, whereas with

manent,

ivEpysia avsv

attain to for a brief period

gives us a glimpse of the divine, and of the


'

intui-

our mind were capable of a

AioYwy^

fUKphv xp^'">v

S'

ti/j.Ti'

oe! iK(7y6 eVriv {iliup fiiv

yap

cSriais

eVel

Kal riSov^

7)

v4py(ia

Kal 8i4 TOVTO iyp-fiyop<ris atv6rj(ns

fiSiffroy,

iKwlSes Se Kal

THE DOCTRIJME OF ENEPrEIA.


sweetest of

245

tMngs, and in a secondary degree hope and

all

memory.'

This passage seems of itself an almost sufficient answer to


those

who would argue

that Aristotle did not

which

is

defined as svEp<ysi,a

yp'vx^'rjs,

of the blessedness of God, which


'

is

to

imply

If our happi-

consciousness in his definition of happiness.


ness,

mean

gives us a conception

elsewhere defined as the

thinking upon thought,' we can hardly escape the conclusion,

that

it is

the deepest and most vivid consciousness in us that

The more

constitutes our happiness.

more completely

out, the

theory of Aristotle

and be

justified

by

be found applicable to the

will it

the more will

But here

it.

that in using the term

it

justify his philosophy

it is

necessary to confess,

consciousness

'

this idea is followed

'

to express the chief

import of Evspysia, as applied to the mind and to the


theory of happiness,

we

are using a distinct

whereas the ancient one was indistinct


explicit

what was only

modern term,

we

implicit in Aristotle

are

we

making

are rather

applying to him a deduction from his principles than exactly


representing them in their purest form.
'

consciousness/tlwughjwe^see^he meant

peculiarities of his philosophy

and a tendency

formulse,

objective together.
sistent

it.

But one

to confuse the subjective

it

of the

was the want of subjective

About svip<ysia

sometimes he treats

Aristotle never says

itself Aristotle is

and the
not con^

purely as objective, separating

the consciousness from

it; as,

sari Tt TO ala6av6fj,svov

on

for instance,

ivspyovfisv-

'

mii. ix. ix. 9,

There

is

somewhat

in us that takes cognisance of the exercise of our powers.'

Again x.

iv. 8,

Ti TsXos.

making

'

tsXsioX ttjv svspysiav

Pleasure

is

sort

rj

of superadded perfection,

perfect the exercise of our

at variance

with his usual custom

versally defined

by him

rjhovT] cay sin'yivoiisvov

as ivspysia,

powers.'

for

But

Happiness

this is
is

uni-

and Eudemus, following

ESSAY

240

IV.

And

this out, defined Pleasure as ivspysia av/j,Tr6Sia-Tos.


if

we wish

way,

to see the

we may

irapovTos

rj

term applied in annndeniably subjective

look to Eth. IX.

'USsla

vii. 6.

ivspysia, rov he fisXKovTos

97

sari rov

8'

kXiris,

fisv

rov Bs ysysvrj-

where we can hardly help translating,

'

the

actual consciousness of the present,' as contrasted with

'

the

fievov

fjivrifjur),

7)

hope of the

future,'

similar context,

and

'

memory

the

Be Memorid,

i.

4,

we

In a

of the past.'

find

Tou

fisv irapovTos

aicrdrjais, k.t.X.

In saying that the idea of

consciousness

'

and might almost always be taken

if Aristotle

made the

much weight

overshoot the

Aristotle's theory rather

that the chief good for

man

according to his philosophy,


in the words of Goethe,

'

that would

to the subjective side of the

conception svspysia.

is

to be found in

comes to

Life itself is the end of

this,

Life,

life itself.

no means to anything

is

in,

Summum Bonum

to consist in self-consciousness, or self-reflection

be giving far too

implied

is

to represent, Aristotle's

we need not

Ethical application of evspyeia,

mark, and speak as

'

ulterior

life.'

The

very use of the term ivspysia, as part of the definition of


happiness, shows, as Aristotle tells us, that he regards the
chief good as nothing external to

man and
and the

for

man

'

happiness

actuality
is

existing in the evocation, the vividness,

man's own powers.^'

fruition of

out into

man, but as existing in

'

which

the result.

application of the term

'

is

Let that be called

potential or latent in

consciousness,'

paraphrase than translation,

may be

it

and aiming rather

'A/aa ys koX sittiv svBai/icov tots i-rrsiBav airoddvjj

^^

Eth.

1.

^OpQus 5^

/cai '6ri

\eyovTai Kal ^vepyeiat rh

viii. 3'

at

useful to notice one or

two places in which the term svdpysia occurs.

irpd^eis T/^s

man, and

Avoiding then any overstrained

Eth.
;

i.

x. 2.

"H tovto ys

t^Aos, QiiTwsyb.prSiV'irspi

yiverai Kal ov tcov 6KT(Sy,

^vxhv ayaBSiv

247

THE DOCTEINE OF ENEPrEIA.


dWcos ts kuI

n-avTsKws oltottov,

Tiva

Or

TTjv siBai/Moviav

is

Is a

'

rots Xsyovcriv

man

rjfitv

ivspysiav

he

//ie?i.happy, after

not this altogether absurd, especially for us

happiness a conscious state ?

apsT^v

'

Kvpiai

x. 9.

i.

'

svspysiai, rrjs siiSatfiovias.

dead ?

S' sla-lv

ai

call

kut

Happiness depends (not on

on harmonious moods of mind.'

fortune, but)

is

who

i.

Tt ovv

x. 15.

Kfokvsi Xeyeiv ev8ai/j,ova rov /car' dpsTr/v rsKeiav ivspyovvra,


'

K.T.X.

moving

What

harmony?'

vn. xiv.

ydp

fiiav Kol aTrXJji' ')(aipt rjhovrjv ov

dXXa

ivdpysia,

one pure
is

aKivrjcrias.

ical

pleasure

'

possible, not only of motion,

svspyslv avvsjfots,

fie6'

is

consciousness

but also of repose.'

life is

and in

is

sos del

in the fruition of

For deep

ix. ix. 5.

ov yap paSiov KaO' avTOV

grievous; for

glow of mind by one's


else,

Ato

STspmv Ss koI irpos aXXovs paov.

to the solitary individual

with some one

8.

fiovov Kivrjcyscos egtiv

God

everlastingly.

MovcoTT] fiev ovv '^aXsTTOs 6 ^ios

to maintain a

him happy whose mind

hinders us calling

in perfect

self,

it

is

'

Now

not easy

but in company

relation to others, this is easier.'

The formula we are discussing

applied by Aristotle to

is

express the nature both of Pleasure and of Happiness.

By

examining separately these two applications of the term,

we

shall not

of EvspysM
for seeing

only gain a clearer conception of the import

itself,

but also we

what were

The great point that

I.

is,

that

(JEth. X.

iii.

4, 5, X. iv.

and

exactly the

'

elvai

Bhet.

I.

is

2).

upon with regard to

or yivecrts, but kvipyeia

What

less scientific view,

is

the meaning of the

we

find Pleasure defined in

terms here repudiated, namely, as 'a certain

xi. I.

"CiroKilaBa

T^v riSov^v Kivr\(rlv Ttva ttjs

Kol KaTdaTatTtv

kivtjo-is

In Aristotle's Rhetoric,^^ which contains his

distinction ?
earlier

be in a better position

Aristotle insists

not

Pleasure

it

shall

Aristotle's real views about Happiness.

adp6av

Kal

8' riiuv

if'ux'is

afVflijT^v

is

tV

itrdpxoveav

Toivavriov.

(pvffiv,

\{nri\v

ik

ESSAY

248

motion of the

IV.

and a

vital powers,

down

settling

percepti bly

and suddenly into one's propeFnature, wEIle Pain_is_the conThis definition corresponds wiih that gireiiTiii^to's

trary.'

Cyrenaics

seems to have been originally due to the

It

Timceus.*"
;

the Philebus of Plato


set

of

men

be referred to by Socrates in

for these are said to


(p.

S3 0) under the

who maintain

{KOfiyfrol rives),

always a state of becoming

being (ova-la)' (see above,

Both would have

good

that pleasure

and Plato were quite

pleasure

said,^'

is

state of

Nowinall_essential

176).

p.

of 'a refined

and never a

{^ivecris),

parts of their views on pleasure Aristotle

agreed.

name

not &e.chief

is

both wouldj^ayejnftd^. .a.jiJalaxictiiOn befrwei^^

pleasures,

which are preceded .1^ -desire and a sense "of pain

and the mental pleasures, which are

from this; both

free

would^ave_aiSs^rteaL4ik&-vpleasur& of the philoso;^er tofbe

higher than

all

Thedifferfinc g betw een

other pleasures.

Plato has no consistent

resolves itself into one of formula.

formula

WeipresT

natural

state,'

But

all

'

pleasure, he calls

a ^becoming,'

these terms

'

'a"

it

return to one's

a filling up,'

only

are

them

a transition.'

-'

applicable to

pleasures, preceded by a sense of want^

the

bodily

Plato acknowledges

that there are pleasures above these, but he seems to have

no word to express them.


the stigma upon
of transition.

Therefore he

may be

pleasure in general, that

it

is

said to leave

a mere state

Aristotlehere,, steps in with his formula of

ipipysM, and gays, pleasure

is ript^

a transition,

^ut

a fruition

It^is notjniperfect^ but an End-in-itself. ^.jtj^aeS-agtarise

from our coming to our natural


--^"^"""^'~'
ingit.'"
"

Cf. Plato, Timceus, p.

jiiv iraph, ipiaiv Koi

64 D.

x.

Ti)

eis <piaiv airibv ttiKiv

a6p6ov

Cf. Plato, Philebus, p.

iii.

'2

piaiov yiyv6iiiVov

a9p6ov trap inilv vaSos aKy(iv6v, rb

"

state,

S'

r/Si,

22 E, Elh.

Ou

^ut.iroDi-our mploy-

13.

So Eudemus,

Ff.h.

vii.

yiyo/j.vo>v (rvfifiaivov(riV,

xii.

3.

aWct XP"'

THE DOCTRINE OF ENEPrEIA.


Kant "
promotes

defines pleasure to be

life,

249

the sense of

'

pain of that which hirers

tha.t

it.

every pleasure must be preceded by pain

he argues,

'

always the

first.

For what

advancement of

else

which

Consequently,'
;

pain

is

would ensue upon a continued

power, but a speedy death for joy?

vital

Moreover^nopleasure, can. fQllow immediately upon another


JL "*''^^'^] some pain must have

but, bstweep,

.th q

place..

the slight depressions of vitality, with inter-

It is

nnf,

vening expansions of

!\xi(]

it,

tib

which together make up a healthy

which we erroneously take

condition,

state of well-being

for a continuously felt

whereas, this condition consists only of

pleasurable feelings, following each other

that

is,

with continually intervening

it

reciprocation,

JEain

wp.firArttBQflPiq

stimulus of activity, and in activit y


of lifeT^ithout

by

pain.

an inanimate state would ensue.'

is

the

cnnsciona
J[n__;

words the German philosopher seems almost exactly to have

coinc^d_jvithSSo'" The 'sense of that which promotes


life'

answers to avaifKripaiais, an^. JHato_ appears_to_have

^"l^.jfi.l^ ^.gjiiAp^J^k.. reciprofial. action styEU^leaaoes(cf.

T^MitjRaibrglHl-g6 a,,,U.ke., Pl^'to'S) are paly

Phcedo, p. 60).

applicable

to

the

pleasures o f the
Aristotle in

m akes
powers

it,

not

bodi ly

s ensations,

the sense of what

not__ express

S rsKsioi rrjv ivspyeiav,


p^TOfltififl ]if"i' b"^-

j""*^^^"^

the sense that any faculty whatsoever has met

proper object.

This

defi|^]"tijfm

the highest functi ons of the


orgajQS.

an d do

mi n^,.^
defini' njy^ PJf^a.guja>,aig

'

and pain

Even

^^""^

mi^id

i'n,.n,r|..u.YM.[i|j.MwKiv,

a^ wpII

in the case of pleasure

felt

g.a

to the

its

^q

bodily

upon the supplying

ofaTwant, the Aristotelian** doctrine with regard to that


"

Kant's

The above

Anthropology,
translation

is

p.

given

169.

by

Dr. Badliam in an Appendix to his

edition of Plato's Philebus.

London,

1855.

"

Cf. Elk. X.

iii.

6.

OiJS' ra-Tii/

&pa

ESSAY

250

w ag. .that

IV.

.WM. nQtAdmtioal.wiikM:S.MJS^ but


contemporaneous; tha-fcTt- reSTllted'fromtlie plBy aniJ-action-

pleasu re

it

of vital powers not in a state of depression, while the de-

To account

pressed organs were receiving sustenance.

for

the feet that Pleasure cannot be long maintained, Aristotle-

would not have

Kant, that we are unable to bear

said, like

a continuous expansion of the vital powers

we
,j^.,^-

but rather, that

are unable to maintain the vivid action of the.faculties.'"

PJggsace-tlieii, according to .Aristotle, .pEQGeedS-E&thes

within,-&im..fi!wn without
ifr48

from

it is the^sense.iif .-jesjgtgjice.;.^nd

so iBa,e5iajablS-^Qa.nspJtad-jrilh._the idea of life,^that

cannot

tell

whether

is deisired for

life

pleasure for the sake of


2.

the sakg of pleasure, or

life.*^

If Happiness be defined as evspyeia i|ri;^^s, and Pleasure

as o reXeioi rr]v evspyeiav,

Perhaps

it is

what is the

relation

between them

unfair to Aristotle to bring the different parts

of his (probably unfinished)

he worked out the

much

we

work thus

into collision. Probably

on Pleasure in Book X. without

treatise

regard to the theory of Happiness, but merely availing

himself of the formulae which seemed most applicable.

only in

Book VII.

(vin. 2)

which

It is

we have seen reason

consider a later work, and the compilation of

Eudemus

to

that

Pleasure and Happiness are brought together on the grounds


that they both consist in

This

[svipysia avefj-TToBta-Tos).

doctrine beyond what

we

the free play of conscious

'

is

find in

life

a carrying out of Aristotle's

Books

I.

and X.

Aristotle

recruited.

luv cLvojrKvpdirftDS ^Soit' &v


xiv. 7. A7tti 5

kotA

Ti

'in

laTffvovTO.

tis.

(rviJi.$$riKhs

yhp

vil.

^Seo

(Tvit-Patvei la-

rpeieaBai tov uirOjueVovTOS u^ioCs irparTovris Tt, Sii toSto riSii SoKfi ihai, i.e.

that

it is

the play, in some

sort,

of

the undepressed vital functions, while


those that were depressed are being

"

Eth. X.

iT. g.

ndvTu yhp to

hv-

6puireia dSvyaret trvpeyws ivepyeTy.


'^

Eth. X.

iv. II.

ivye^fvxBat

yhp ravra

(fyaivfrai xtd

Sex^ffSai

&yev

yiverai

x'up'ir/'ic

/ihp

oi

re y^p evepyeias ov

T)Sovii, itatriv

tc ivipyeiav re-

251

THE DOCTRINE OF ENEPFEIA.


had prepared the way in these

for the identification of

Happi-

ness with the highest kind of PIeEBure, but had not himself
arrived at

his theory
latter is

However, we can find no other distinction in

it.

between Pleasure and Happiness, than that the

something ideal and essentially moral (rsXos

km

irdvTas), and extended over an entire

life

TsXsiov irdvrri

(Ka^ovaa

human

/xtjkos ySt'ou TsXelov),

and implying the highest

excellence, the exercise of the highest faculties

ivEpysia Kara rrjv KpaTia-rrjv dpsTrjv).

We have before
This

to the ideal character of Happiness as a whole.

by the

especially

that while on the one

fact,

says that Happiness (hvepysM ^v'xfjs)


life,

hand

he argues,

is

shown

is

Aristotle

must occupy a whole

human

svspysia.

tending to bring them to a stop.

and

them

eternal,

this

move perpetually and

it is

unweariedly,^' for
exist.

faculties,

Aristotle figures

into a vivid

moment

it

as the whole of

of consciousness

life

is

some-

summed

or again, as the

aggregate of such moments with the intervals omitted


again, that these

moments

*''

Metaph.

iypye7

7JA.10S

viii.

Koi

life (feo^

viii.

oel

'6\os 6

oipavSSj Kal oh ipofiephv fi-fi Trore ffry, t


tpofiodvTai ol "Kepi tpvffeais.

Ov5e

or

most blessed state

(laKapiwTdTr}), while the

Aib

i8.

ScTpa KaX

are its essential part (to Kvpiov

fispos TTJs evhaifiovias), constituting the

of the internal

to

on which joy and pleasure

Happiness then, as a permanent condition,


;

But

impossible to long maintain an ivdpysia

that vividness of the


thing ideal

always

is

The heavenly bodies, being

law of contradiction does not

mortal creatures

depend.

Svva/j,Ls

This contradiction always infects our ivspjeiai,

and, like a law of gravitation, this negative side

divine

Svva/Mts,

not only a hvvapus of being, but also a

of not-being.

up

alluded

on the other hand he speaks of brevity of duration as

necessarily attaching to every

in

(xjrvj^rjs

k6.-

fivei

framework

TOVTO SpZvTa- oi yap vepl t^v


T^s avTufxittfas avrols, oTov

Sivap.iv

Tois (peapTo7s,

fi

Rivr\ais.

ESSAY

252
for these will be the

/St'os

external career (Mh.

ix.

moments
ality

IV.

aipsTcoraros, or most favourable

ix.

In what then do these

9).

Chiefly in the sense of

consist ?

life

and person-

in the higher kind of consciousness, which

the mere physical sense of

This

life.

is

above

either coupled with

is

a sense of the good and noble, as in the consciousness of good


deeds done (Eth.

ix. vii.

4)

or

awakened by

it is

by the sense of love and admiration

who

friend,

is,

(Eth. IX. ix. 10)

as
;

it

exists to the highest degree in

III.

it

is

also

forming the deepest

something divine, and

us.*'

Turning now to the consideration of

shall see that it is only

use

not only each man's

is

ix. iv. 4, x. vii. 9), as

ground of his consciousness, but

more than mortal in

goodness of a

were, one's self and yet not one's self

it

or finally

the evocation of the reason, which

proper self (Eth.

for the

friendship,

Mso-ott/s,

we

one application of this formula, to

in reference to moral subjects

that

it is

indeed a most

widely applicable philosophical idea, and has a definite history

and development previous

to Aristotle.

It

would seem not

to require a very advanced state of philosophy in order for

men
'

to discover the

excess

is

maxim, that moderation


'

Thus

to be avoided.'

as far

The

find the praise of /isrpia spya.

is best,'

that

back as Hesiod we

era of the Seven Sages

produced the gnome, afterwards inscribed on the temple of

And

Delphi, MnjBsv dyav.


cylides

which remain

Now

iv iroKsi slvai.

one of the few sayings of Pho-

IIoX.Xa fisaoicriv dpia-ra, /Msaos OsXco

is

all

and prudential sayings

that
is

" The

But

to

Peripatetics seem to have

have tried

to

is

so conspicuous in the Ethics

Aristotle's principle

refined upon Aristotle's use of fvipyeia,

and

contained in these popular

of course also contained in the

principle of MecroTi;s, which

of Aristotle.

is

give

it

a re-

stricted

contains something

ethical

sense as

self-determination

above, p. 36.

and

implying
-will.

See

253

THE DOCTRINE OP THE MEAN.


more

not a mere application of the doctrine of mode-

it is

ration to the subject-matter of th^ various separate virtues.

We

see traces of a

of the idea in his

more profound source

reference to the verse strOXoi fisv

yap

airkSis, iravTohairws oe

For here we are taken back to associations of the

KUKoL

Pythagorean philosophy, and to the principle that


the nature of the infinite and good of the

To say that what

may seem an

good,

We

thinking.

is infinite is evil,

finite.'"'

that

entire contradiction to

speak of man's
'

evil is of

what

is finite

finite nature,' or of

'

the

nite nature of God,' from a contrary point of view.


finite

'

in such sentences

'

we mean

is

our own ways of


infi-

But by

to express limitations of

power, of goodness, of knowledge, each limitation implying

an

inferiority as

compared with a nature in which such limi-

But the Pythagoreans were not deal-

tation does not exist.

ing with this train of thought, when they said

'

They were expressing what was in the

good.'

the finite
first

is

place a

truth of number, but afterwards was applied as a universal

symbol

they were speaking of goodness in reference to their

own minds.

The

'

finite

'

in

number

is

which the mind can grasp and handle


incalculable, that

which

to reduce itself to law,


'

infinite

baB.es

the

'

infinite

'

^^

the

is

the mind, that which refuses

and hence remains unknowable.

in this sense remained

'

the calculable, that

The

an object of aversion to the

Pythagoreans, and hence in drawing out their double row of

goods and
'

the odd

'

evils,

they placed 'the even' on the side of the bad

on the side of the good.

paradoxical, until

'"

Eth. n.

Tov airflpov,
rh

ayaBhv tov

S'
5

vi.
iis ot

Cf.

rhys.

I.

14.

This

itself

learn that with even

Ti yap Kanhv

nvBaySpeiai

itica^ov,

TreircpacrfJi^pov.

apud Stob. Eel.


Kal ivdvra 7a fikif ri

Philolaus,
xxi. 7.

we

yiyi/oiiTKofieiia

&vev

numbers they

apiBfihv exovTi,

oUv re oiiSh oSre


a-erj/ieii

might seem

i/or)fl^/ij/

tovtoi.

Whether

fragment be genuine or not,


presses the doctrine.

011

yap

oSte yyu-

it

this

ex-

ESSAY

254

IV.

subdivision,

associated the idea of infinite

and that even

numbers added together fail to produce squares while the


series of the odd numbers if added together produce a series
;

of squares

and the square, by reason of its completeness and

of the law which


finite.

it

exhibits, is evidently of the nature of the

The opposition

of the finite and the infinite took root

in Greek philosophy, and above

Unity and

plurality,

in the system of Plato.

all

form and matter, genus and individuals,

idea and phenomena, are

different modifications of this

all

The Pythagoreans themselves appear

same opposition.

have expressed or symbolised matter


dirsipov,

and Plato *' seems

to

under the term to

to have yet

more

distinctly con-

ceived of this characteristic of matter or space, saying that

was an
an

'

undefined duad,' that

infinity in

two

is,

that

it

contained in

and the

directions, the infinitely small

it

itself

in-

finitely great.

Assuming, therefore, that the principle of the

finite,

or the

may be considered as identical


we may now proceed to notice what

limit (TTETTspaa-fisvov or irspas),

with that of form or law,

appears to be the transition from the idea of fixed law or

form
that

proportion or the

(slBos), to that of
is,

to law or form become

the Philebns of Plato, pp. 23


existence into four

27.

classes:

second, the limit (irepas)

relative.

(jiea-oTrjs),

Socrates there divides

first,

created and com(l/c

tovtcciv p.iicT'qv

fourth, the cause of this mixture

of the creation of things.

The

admitting of degrees, more or

all

the infinite (airsipov)

third, things

pounded out of the mixture of these two


KoX ysysvrjfiEvrjv ovauiv)

mean

It is to be found in

and

infinite is that class of things

less,

hotter and colder, quicker

and slower, and the

like,

where no fixed notion of quantity

has as yet come

The

limit is this fixed notion of quan-

in.

"

Cf. Ar.

Metaphys.

1.

vi. 6.

THE DOCTRINE OF THE MEAN.


tity, as, for

mixed

instance, the equal or the double.

class exhibits the

Of

the awsLpov.

law of the

this Socrates

The third

or

introduced into

"Trspas

adduces beautiful manifesta-

Thus in the human body the

tions.

255

infinite is the

tendency

to extremes, to disorder, to disease, but the introduction of

the limit here produces a balance of the constitution and


health.

In sounds you have the

high, quick
tion,

and slow

and harmony, and

infinite

degrees of deep and

but the limit gives rise to modulathat

all

is

In

delightful in music.

climate and temperature, where the limit

has been intro-

duced, excessive heats and violent storms subside, and the

mild and genial seasons in their order follow.

mind,

'

the goddess of the limit

'

In the

human

checks into submission the

wild and wanton passions, and gives rise to

all

that

is

good.

Both in things physical and moral these two opposites,


the finite and the infinite, are thus

made

to play into one

another, and to be the joint causes of beauty and excellence.

Out

of their union an entire set of ideas

and terms seems to

spring up, symmetry, proportion, balance, harmony, moderation,

and the

And

like.

this train of associations

have been constantly present to the mind of Plato.

seems to
It suited

the essentially Greek character of his philosophy to dwell

upon the goodness of beauty, and the beauty of goodness,


on the morality of art, and the artistic nature of morality
so that words like

/jisTptoT-rji

and

a-v/xfjueTpLa

appropriated to express excellence in

This Platonic

life

become naturally

and

principle, then, Aristotle

action.*^

seems to have

taken up and adopted, slightly changing the formula, however


"^

Cf. Republic, p.

400 E.

'Eo-Ti 5e

76

irou irKitpris fifv ypafpiK}} ai/Tuv Kal iraffa


7]

Toiairrj STj/jtiovpyla, irXiipiis Se v^av-

TiK^ KaX troiKi\ia Koi oiKo5o/ia Kal

o5

7)

Twv ^AAwj/ (TKevwv

Tratra

ipyuffia, eriSe

(pvTuy iv

Train

('"(rxniioauri]

yhp roirois iveoTiv

% aaxwoaivn. koX

ri

)iMv

atrxwaivri koI a^ftve/iia ua\ avapfioaria


KaKoXoyias Ka\

Ka/corjfle/os

aSf A<pd, tk

S'

ivavTia rod havriov, a<i(ppov6s re koX

O7eo5

fiiovs,

aS\<pi re Kol ^i/t^^ara.

ESSAY

256

IV.

and speaking of /iscroTris instead of fisTpioTris. The reason for


this change may have been, that the formula became thus

more exact and more capable of a close analytic application


to a variety of instances, and at the same time gave scope for
expressing that which

with Aristotle the complement of

is

the theory, namely the doctrine of extremes and their relation


to the

mean.

artistic

meanings of the

is

On

principle.

bearing of his use of the term


virtue

the contrary, the whole

show that moral

fisa-orijs is to

only another expression of the same law which

in nature and the arts. Life has been defined to be


in unity,' in other words,

For about

is

a-vfjufjiSTpa)

'

he

Excess and

multeity

consists in a balance

says,

is

them

'

use

equally

de-

proportionate
(JEth. n.

art aims at the

life

we must

'

deficiency

preserves and augments


all

see

argument made use of by

first

things,'

Again, he points out that


finest

we

the law of the irepas exhi-

and strength, while what

stroy the health

'

drawn from the analogy of physical

immaterial

material analogies.'

(ra

is

show that virtuous action

between extremes
'

it

The

bited in the dirsipov.


Aristotle to

and

Aristotle does not ignore the physical

ii.

6).

mean, and the

works of art are those which seem to have realised a

subtle grace which the least addition to any part or diminution from
virtue,'

it

would overset {Eth.

he adds,

'

ii.

vi.

than the finest

is finer

9).

Meo-oTT^s

is chiefly

(sv Travrl

admits of the terms more,

terms

relative,

The mean,
is

you have

then,

is

less,

by a
it

to

Aristotle's use of

says, that all quantity,

Brj (tvvb-)(si

and equal.

kuI SiaipsTw),

On making

these

excess, deficiency,

and the mean.

in geometrical proportion

what the equal

in arithmetical progression.

tically is

He

distinguished.

moral

it is

by reducing

an absolutely quantitative conception, that

whether space or number

And

But

art.'

mathematical expression of the formula,

'

that which

is

The middle term arithme-

equidistant from the terms on each

THE DOCTRINE OF THE MEAN.


side of

Geometrically, the

it.

but a relative mean, that

is, if

mean

is

257

not an absolute mean,

applied to action,

it

the consideration of persons and of circumstances

This opposition of the

4, 5).

mean

expresses

(JEth. II. vi.

much and

to the too

too

becomes henceforward a formula of almost universal

little

application.

no mere negative principle, not the mere

It is

avoiding of extremes, but rather the realisation of a law.

When

Aristotle says that the fjLsaoTrjs

must be

wpicrfjievri

he means that our action must correspond to the

Xo-yo),

What

standard which exists in the rightly ordered mind.


is

subjectively the Xo'yos, law or standard, that

the
'

jMsa-oTTjs

or balance.

a sort of balance

is

objects of sensation,

'

Bach

objectively

between extremes in the

(jMstroTris)

and

is

of our senses,' says Aristotle,

this it is

which gives us the power of

^'

judging.'

Thus again he says


ceptions,

'

fiscroTrjTa,

of plants, that they have

because they have no standard

De An.

II.

xii. 4).

(Bta to

'

no per/iij

ej(^eiv

Again, he defines pleasure and

pain to consist in 'the consciousness, by means of the discriminating faculty

(rfj

alaO-qTiKfi fisa-orrjri) of the senses, of

coming in contact with good or


then

is,

And

it is

He

as

says, that

regarded this

^ De Animd,
ai(r6'fifff(iis

'

11.

xi.

17.

'flj

tijs

ri

aladTjTd.

Kal

T6 yhp

fieffov KpiTlK6v.

eiTTi

TO %ieaiai xaX KviretaBai

evepyeiv rp aiadTjTiKff fi^airTiTi irpus

VOL.

I.

He

seems to have

'

oXov ^ff6n]T6s tivos o^ffiis

Sta TOVTO Kpivei

rti

It is peculiar to

moral sense as analogous to the musical

Tijs iv Tois al(r67]To7s ivavTitiffeus.

Kal

'

compared with the other animals, that he has a sense

of good and bad, just and unjust.' ^^

"

senses

clear that Aristotle attributes to us a similar critical

faculty in regard of morals.

man,

Bach of the

eviL'^*

or contains, a sort of standard of its proper object.

ri ayaSdv
III.

f)

Kanhv,

^ Totadra.

ear.

Se An.

vii. 2.

"

Pol.

I.

tSXAo (^a
fi.6yov

ii.

12.

Tois

TovTo jap

ayBpdwois

irpds

Uwv, t6

dyaSov Kal kukov Kal SiKalov

aSlKov Kal Tuv

&\\av

ci(<r6T]aw

/col

e^f ik.

ESSAY

258

which in some degree

is

IV.

almost natural to

all

exists in very different degrees in different

be more

man

the good

man
that
if

one

being

'

also

And

in Eth. x.

iii.

not just, as

is

be to

it will

the pleasure of a musical

feel

In the Ethics,

'balance,'

and not the 'standard'

proper objective

its

which

expressed by the term \6yos.

is

for

determining that balance,

moment's con-

sideration of this point will give an answer to the

Why

superficial question.

lectual virtues

mean

principle of M.sa-oTrjs

does not Aristotle

make

somewhat
the intel-

states ?

In the original form of the

we have

seen that

consisted in the

it

introduction of the law of the irspas into the airsipov.


passions and desires are the infinite

introducing limit

harmony

On

Xoyos),

in

name

another

is

The

moral virtue consists in

in bringing them under

making them

(jMeaoTTfTa),

the other hand,

i.e.

them

(irdpas-) into

law (X6y<p opl^scv)

law.

man

preserved to Mso-ott;*, which accordingly means a

is

portion,

may

lo he says

It will be impossible to feel the pleasure of a just

man if one is not musical.'


sense

men, and

{Eth. ix. ix. 6) he speaks of

pleased at good actions, as the. musical

at beautiful tunes.'

is
'

Thus

or less cultivated.

men, but again

which

is

reason

exhibit balance, pro-

the realisation of the

is

for the

'

right

law

law

'

It

itself.

(ppdos

the

is

standard, and therefore does not require to be regulated

the

The

standard.

by

intellectual virtues are not fisa-oTqTss,

because they are Xoyoi.

The worth and

validity of Aristotle's principle of the

mean has been much canvassed and questioned. Kant has


been very severe on Aristotle for making a merely quan'

titative

difference

thought
untenable

the
;

abstractedly

between vice and

theory

others,
it

is

practically

virtue.'

true,

but

on the contrary, that


true, but

that

unworthy picture of morality, that

Some have
scientifically

scientifically

practically it
it fails

gives

and
an

to represent the

THE DOCTRINE OP THE MEAN.


and awful

absolute

259

between right and wrong.

diiFerence

Aristotle himself seems to have anticipaied this last objection,

by remarking

^8

that

'It

and metaphysical conception that virtue

between

vices,

extreme

(i.e.

most

only according to the

is

abstract

is

whereas from a moral point of view

mean

Aristotle acknowledges that the formula of the

not adequately express the good of virtue

that

mean does

when think-

ing of virtue under the category of good, and regarding

an object

for the

be striven
express

after,

its

moral feelings and

we

an

it is

and extremely removed from them).'

utterly

desires, as

it

as

an object to

should rather seek some other formula to

In the same way

nature.

accordance with modern views, that

'

it

might be said in

the

mean

'

does not

adequately express the right of virtue in relation to the will

and conscience.

The

objections to Aristotle's theory arise from a partial

misconception of what the term 'Msctottjs really conveys.

Kant

for

'

the

mean

'

substitutes

'

law.'

But we have already

traced the identity or correlation of A6<yos and Mectottjs, and

we have

seen that Meo-ori^s really implies and expresses

exactly what

meant by

is

'

law

only advantage which the term


as

an ethical

sort of

law

principle,

law

comes to

it

may

it

'

so called.

can have over

unfairly.

The

'M.sa-oTqs,

For there

is

command

denote a general principle, or

on the other hand, an authori-

of the State.

In applying the word to morals

harmony, or idea in nature


tative

properly

ambiguity between the two meanings of the word

on the one hand

'

'

the associations of both meanings are blended together,

and the law of right accordingly expresses not only some'

'

thing harmonious, the attainment of an idea in action, but

'

Eth.

oitrlav Kul

II.

vi.

17.

Kara

/lec

tV

rhy \6yov rhv rl ^v elvat

f^iyovra iiea6Tiis iffrlv

t)

ctper^, Korb,

Se rh &piffToy Kal rh ed aKp6Ti\s,


s 2

ESSAY

260

IV.

also there is a sort of association of authority conveyed, of

the

must,' of something binding on the will.

'

we take

Supposing, then,

the word

being the real representative of

asked

'

law

or

'

it

whether a quantitative term be a

fit

may

M.sa-6T7]s,

'

as

still

be

and worthy

The Pytha-

deep a moral conception.

expression for so

idea

'

goreans would not have understood this objection.

They

thought numbers the most sublime and the only true expression for aU that

They

was good in the physical and moral

world.

have used in reference to number the exact

wou.ld

counterpart of Wordsworth's praise of Duty

'

And

have delighted to say that virtue

When we

uneven-sided figure.

the most

They would

ancient heavens by thee are fresh and strong.'

a square and vice an

is

look to the arts, following

the analogy that Aristotle pointed out,

we

see clearly

how the

whole of beauty seems from one point of view to depend on


the more and the

less.

It does not derogate from a beautiful

form, that more or less would spoU

it.

We

beauty as something positive, and that more or


the negations of

By

this.

still

think of

less

would be

we come

degrees, however,

figure to ourselves beauty rather as repelling the

the

than as being caused by them.

less,

more and
Plato.

The capacity

The idea coming in stamps

itself

upon

have the harmonious and the beautiful, and


possibilities

all

We

of virtue, look at

might

it

extremes and

vanish out of sight.

fix

less

than

vice.

But

this

out of the negation of

To look

at

its

Matter

So

it is

is

also

our view upon the negative side

in contrast to the extremes,

constituted virtue by being a

we now

this,

totally forgotten in our contemplation of form.

with morals.

for

matter, the airsipov, the aopicrros Bvds of

less is

quantitative

to

more and

little

would be

more than

and say

vice

it is

and a little

to establish a positive idea

negations.

anything in

its

elements makes

it

appear

THE DOCTRINE OF THE MEAN.


inferior to

what

it

seems as a whole.

261

Eesolve the statue or

the building into stone and the law3of proportion, and no

worthy causes of the former beautifal result seem now

left

behind.

and

So, also, resolve a virtuous act into the passions

some quantitative law, and

it

than analysed

all,

though, after

An

could be resolved into ?

and noble

This

nothing

and

else that it

this to a balance

between the

self-confidence, the glory of it is gone.

because the form

is

what was there

act of bravery seems beautiful

when we reduce

instincts of fear

seems to be rather destroyed

everything,

is

and

and yet the form, without the matter

ponent, has no existence.

It

is,

matter

the

as its ex-

no doubt, true that the

beauty of that brave act would have been destroyed had the
boldness of

it

been pushed into

been controlled into caution.


hibits the

law of life,

the law of beauty.

'

folly

The

and equally so had

act, as it

multeity in unity

This

then,

is,

'

it

was done, ex-

or, in

other words,

what the term Meo-ott^s

the law of beauty.

is

capable of expressing

is

harmony, grace, and beauty in action, Msa-oTrji perfectly

it is

If virtue

expresses this.

That beauty constituted


If

idea.

them

all

we run through
embodying

virtue,

was an eminently Greek

Aristotle's list of the virtues,

this idea.

The law

we

find

of the M.scrorrjf, as

exhibited in bravery, temperance, liberality, and magnanimity,


constitutes a noble,

Extend

it also,

free,

and

brilliant

type of manhood.

as Aristotle does, to certain qualifications of

temper, speech, and manners, and you have before you the
portrait of a graceful Grecian gentleman.
is,

which exhibit some other law than

are there other virtues

this

The question now

law of beauty, and to which, therefore, the Meo-oTi;s

would be inapplicable?

Let us take as instances, truth,

humility, charity, forgiveness of injuries,


case with these.

'

Truth

'

is

and ask what

is

treated of in a remarkable

the

way

ESSAY

262

by

Aristotle

IV.

under this name he describes a certain straight-

forwardness of manner, which he places as the


boastfulness and over-modesty.

which, as he says,

omits to treat
of justice

is

taking

That deeper kind of truth

concerned with justice and injustice, he

When we

of.

mean between

this as

come

an individual virtue

Now,

imperfectly developed.

to the Peripatetic theory

we

find

it

truth itself seems expressible

under the law of the Meo-oTTjy

it is

a balance of reticence

with candour, suitable to times and seasons. But the impulse


to truth

the duty of not deceivingthe

relation of the will

to this virtue, seems something quite beyond the formula of

the Mean.
So, also, with the other virtues specified

and forgiveness of

described by Aristotle;

we

states,'

but

if

we ask

if

they are 'mean

find that they are all beautiful

as that, they

human

humility, charity,

injuries being Christian qualities, are not

and, in so far

exhibit a certain grace and balance of the

all

There

feelings.

is

a point at which each might be

overstepped; humility must not be grovelling, nor charity

weak and

forgiveness

But there seems

tion.

in

all

of

them

as

different point of

that

is,

in

at times give place to indigna-

them something which

and which

chief characteristic,
this quality of the

must

mean.
'

is

beyond and

is

also their

diflferent

from

Perhaps this might be expressed

self-abnegation.'

Now,

here,

we

view from which to regard the virtues

get a
;

and

the relation of Self, of the individual Will, of the

moral Subject to the objective in the sphere of action.


point of view Aristotle's principle does not touch.

This

Meo-6t?s

expresses the objective law of beauiy in action, and, as correlative with

it,

the critical moral faculty in our minds, but

the law of right in action as something binding on the moral


subject

it

leaves unexpressed.

supplied by

To some extent

Aristotle's doctrine of the ts\o9,

this

which

want

is

raises a

THE DOCTRIXE OF THE


beautiful

makes

it

But

action

into

something absolutely desirable, and

the end of our being.

still

the theory of

and

Aristotle,

acts,

them unexpressed.

Duty cannot be

'

'

Meo-oTijs,

said to exist in

we have

is

with him

seen, expresses the

but leaves something in the goodness of

In conclusion, we must remember that

mean quite the same

'Apertj with Aristotle did not

with us

that relates to the moral will

all

only in its infancy.

beauty of good

263

ifEAIf.

as

virtue

'

he meant the excellence, or perfection of man, just

as he spoke elsewhere of the 'Apsrij of a horse.

wonder then that with

Greek views he resolved

his

It is

no

this into

a sort of moral beauty.

rV. Aristotle prided himself,^^ not unnaturally, on having

been the

first

to

work out the laws

on in his

literary career

syllogistic

formula might be

of the Syllogism

later

he appears to have seen that the


useful

expressing other

for

psychological phenomena, besides those involved ia arriving

Accordingly in his treatise On the

at a deductive conclusion.

Soul (m.

xi.)

he applies

it

to explain the process of arriving

He

at a resolution or determination to act.

process

is

says that this

only possible in the animals which possess the

power of calculation

it

implies a

power of combining two or more impressions into one

(hvvarai,

(sv rots Xoyia-TiKois)

%v EK irKsiovav ^avTaafidrcov iroisiv)

that

that this syllogistic

conviction (rrjv ek arvWoyurfiov So^av) contains on the one

hand perception and


a univeral element
see note

on Eth.

it

may be

desire,

and on the other hand

wish for the generally good (^ovKTjais,

ni. iv. i), or a general intellectual conception

of the reason (^ KadoXov v7ro\i?i^ts koI Xoyos)

that some-

times the wish for the generally good conquers the particular
"
Kal

Cf.
irepl

Sophist. Elench. xxxiii.


fiiv

-rSiv

i8.

jnyropmwv innjpx^

iroWii Kal ira\aiil ri \fy6iiva,

irfpl

Sk

TOv

trvWoyi^eaOai

fix"/^^"

SAAo

TravreXws

ovSfv

d\\'

rpi^p

\4yeiv,

i)

ESSAY

264

IV.

the moment, and sometimes the contrary takes

desire of

place (viKa

sviors

S'

sKsivT) TavTTjv)

and

ops^isi]

[rj

major premiss, asserts that


'

'

Kivel

which

'

So^a, oi-^

97

it is

the minor premiss

8'

ore

am

'

moment

or

such

such or

is

motion

sets the faculties in

(^Sr] aijTT)

This passage, which was

KadoXov).^^

rj

such or such a person ought to

or such a person and this in the present

such an act

^ov\r)cnv

Trjv

though the general proposition,

that,

do such or such an act

koX kivso

probably written long after the discussions on Wish and


Deliberation in the third book of the Mhics, comes

were incidentally, in treating of the ascending

The suggestion which

throughout nature.

plaining the psychology of the

formula of the

human

series of souls

contains of ex-

it

will

in, as it

by means of the

syllogism does not appear to have been

pursued further by Aristotle in his extant writings, but

was evidently taken up by the Peripatetic


find

made much use

it

On

(2) in

the treatise

placed

among the works

and we

school,

Eudemian Ethics, and

of (i) in the
the Motion

it

which

Animals,

of

of Aristotle, but

is

attributed to a later follower of his school.*'

is

now

generally

For a

clear ex-

position of the doctrine of the Practical Syllogism, as held

by the

account of

The

it

which

is

given in the last-mentioned treatise.

Practical Syllogism depends on this principle, that

No creature moves or acts, except with


What therefore the law of the so-called

a view to some end.'

'

'"

Seo note on

Eth.

vi.

xii.

10,

where the latter part of the above

passage
'

Lih.

is

summary

Peripatetics, let us refer at once to the

Ord.

et

Auct.

Eose,
pp.

De

Arist.

162-174.

this little treatise

contains medical doctrines belonging


to a school

of medicine later than

and

it

has

all

'

is

the marks

of being an able cento and compen-

dium

quoted.

See Valentine

Eose shows that

Aristotle

reason

sufficient

'

*"

of various parts of Aristotle's

physical and physiological works.


'**'

nipTa T^

ej/CKd Tivos,
ir6.(n}s Tris

^(jjo

Kal Kivet Koi Ktveirat

&ffTe tovt' iffriv avTois

Kiv^ffeus irepas,

De Mot. An.

vi. 2.

t!>

ov eVeKa.

THE DOCTlimE OF THE PRACTICAL SYLLOGISM.

265

to a proposition of the understanding, that the law of the


final

cause

of thought

time

to an act of the will.

is

acts, at

'4Jnder what conditions

asks the writer,

it,' ^'

is

'

another time does not act

motion, at another time not

It

case as with people thinking

that a person at one


at

one time

seems to

be much

is

put in

the same

and reasoning about abstract

matter, only there the ultimate thing to be obtained

is

an

abstract proposition, for as soon as one has perceived the

But here the

two premisses, one perceives the conclusion.


conclusion that arises from the two premisses

when one has

for instance,

to walk,

still

am

and I

No man

that

the action

perceived, that Every

am

as,

man ought

man, he walks immediately.

ought now to walk, and I

Or

again,

a man, he stops

Both these courses he adopts, provided he

immediately.

be neither hindered nor compelled.


the conclusion,

is

plain

is

That the action

is

but the premisses of the practical

syllogism are of two kinds, specifying either that something

good, or

is

how

again,

it

is

''^

possible.'

may

This then

shortly be said to be the form of the practical syllogism

Major Premiss.

either (i)

Such and such an action

is

universally good.

Minor Premiss.

This will be an action of the

kind.

Performance of the action.

Conclusion.

De Mot. An.

^*

Sri

wpdmi

fXv

&TC

Ktvurai,

irapaTr\7itTitos

5' oi/

ob

S'

kivgItcu ;

'A\h'

Th

6riKev)f
t!)

oiov

Srav

"EoiKe

rwv

BaijyriiM

8i5o

TrpoTtitTeis

5'

4k

frvfinepafffia
vo-fjcrrj

Ttjov

8i5o

yiyvCTai

'6ti

ttoi^tI

tj

5'

a.v8pii-rrip,

aiirhs

T]pGfie7

'

Kal

Ti Kw\vT]

" De
Tj

irpa^is

fi

Uti

5'

&vdpuTros,

$aSi^ei

ouSew fiaSttneov vvv


S'

evBbs

HvSpairos,

ravTa ifupu irpdmi,

ttvfii]

avayKd^Ti,

Mot. An.
rh

vii. 4.

trvfitr^pacrfia,

"Oti

iJ.iv

t^avep6v

oZv
*

at

Se TTporaffiis at TronjTiKal 5ia Svo eiSuv

irpord-

yivovrai,

trpa^i^,

hvvaTov.

fiaSiffrfov

aiirhs

atidp^irep,

evOeuSf &v

t4

trvfiTrspatTfia iv6i)fTc koX ffvv4~

ivravBa

ffiuv

Ka\

Koi ffvWoyt^o-

fikv

ixe'i

t4\os {(irav yap riy


po-fjffTjt

irp&TTii,

(rvfi^aivetv Kal wepl

OLKiviiraiv Siayoovfifvois

tihois.

riws 5e vowv

vii. i.

ire

Siif

re tou 070^00 Koi Siirof

ESSAY

266

IV.

Such and such an end

or (2) Major Premiss.

is

de-

sirable.

This step will conduce to the end.

Minor.

Taking of the

Conclusion.

step.

In other words, every action implies a sense of a general


principle,

case

and the applying of that principle

or again,

it

to a particular

implies desire for some end, coupled with

perception of the means necessary for attaining the end.

These two different ways of stating the practical syllogism


are in reality coincident

assuming that

for

some end, the major premiss may be

And

the statement of an end.^^

which

all

is for

again, any particular act,

the application of a moral principle,

is

action

said always to contain

may

be said to

be the means necessary to the realisation of the principle.


'

Temperance

good,'

is

may

be called either a general prin-

ciple, or

an expression of a desire

ance.

To abstain now

'

of the

principle, or

again,

is

it

means towards the attainment of the


as Aristotle tells us,

'

for the habit of

be temperate,'

will

when one

temper-

an application

is

the absolutely necessary


habit.

For

'

it is

absurd,'

acts unjustly to talk of not

wishing to be unjust, or when one acts intemperately of not


wishing to be intemperate.' ^

The

end and means, which plays

distinction between

so

important a part throughout the moral system of Aristotle,

comes out, as might be expected, very prominently in Book


III.,

where what must be called a

logy of the Will

is

given.

But no application

of the scheme of the syllogism.

formula seems used in Book

'

Elk. XI.

xii. 10.

Oi

yiip

sort of elementary psycho-

III.,

where a

there

made

logical formula is

"^ Etk. nr. v. 13.

a-vWo-

is

Indeed a mathematical

'EriS' li\oyovThii

rav TrpaKrav ^pxh^

yifffiol
eiffiVy

i-KeiS^ Toi6vBe

&ptffToy,

aiiKOvvra

exoi'Tes

rh reKos Kal rh

fxij

^oi\eff9ai &S1K0V elvat ^

rhv aKoXaorTaivovTa aKiiXaarov,


[

THE DOCTRINE OP THE PKACTICAL SYLLOGISM.


Book VI.

in

for in the former, the process of deliberation is

compared to

analysis of a diagram (Eth.

tlie

the latter, error of deliberation


logism, where the right end

that

is,

by a

made

use

spoken

is

of the practical syllogism.

is

shown to contain a universal and a

2.

To show the

is it

This phenomenon

possible ?

man

the incontinent

is

In

inseparable

In answer to the

4.

know

possible to

contrary to one's knowledge ?

which

judgments and

To prove the necessary and

connection of wisdom and virtue.*'

how

{<\>p6v7)ais),

particular element.^^

intuitive character of moral


3.

to see the

It is applied, first, to

the explanation of the nature of Thought

question,

wrong means,

middle term.^'

false

knowledge.^'

in

of as a false syl-

attained by a

is

ill. iii. ii)

Books VI. and VII. that we must look

It is to

2G7

the good, and yet act

how

short,

incontinence

is

explained in two ways

either

does not apply a minor premiss to his

universal principle, and so the principle remains dormant,

and

knowledge of the good remains merely implicit

his

or,

again, desire constructs a sort of syllogism of its own, in-

consistent with, though

not

arguments of the moral

It

it.

case in point

"^

fiev Set

aAAa

Kol

TCk

ttafl'

rvx^tv,

$l'

7.

OuS'
fidj/ov,

vii.

fKaffTa

Ka6'

"Eti
Tij)

cKaffTOV

Kal

ea-Ti

ov

S'

ofi,

71

il

ecTTlv

a\K^

^
5e7

yvapiCetv, k.t.K.
hfiaprla ^ irepi

PovKfiaaaBat

yhp 3ti

fj

irtivra

irepl

to

piffraQfia

uSara

"
"

^ir*

Eth. TI.

VTjffLS

Kol

Eth. Ti. xi. 4.

^ Zti

to51

tuv

vovs

'Eo-Ti S'

xii. 10.

71

(pp6-

apxoiS.

Eth.

&

afjL(p6Tpa, k.t.\.

VII. iii. 6.

t!)

ivepyeT. vii.

rh

KarcL (rvfi$e$7jK6s.

/3a-

tpav\a,

fiapia-Tad/jLOV.

itrxdruv

rhv laiaov Spov ehat.

VI.

vi. viii. 7.

Ka96\ov

'A\A'

5.

tuv Ka96\ov

Elh.

ipp6y'r]a'is

such a syllo-

for the necessary conclusion to

fruWoytfffi^ TuxeiV, Kol t

jTOtTJffai

ifievSrj

therefore

same time not know-

which applied the knowledge of the good to a

Eih. YI. ix.


i|/u5ei

at the

would be impossible to act contrary to a com-

plete syllogism

TOvTov

Incontinence

reason.*^

knowing the good, and

implies

ing

directly contradictory to, the

iii.

"En

9, 10.

eirel

... ouk

"Ert Kal w5e

ESSAY

268

gism would be good

IV.

But there

action.

is

broken knowledge

and temporary moral obliviousness in the mind of the incontinent man, and the practical syllogism gives a formula for ex-

pressing this.

The foregoing
formula

way

only a

is

references serve to show, that in itself this


of stating certain psychological facts.

The question whether people do

we always

go through a syllogism

really

much

in or before every action, is

like the question

whether

Most reasonings seem

reason in syllogisms.

from particular to particular, that

by analogy

to say,

is

yet some sort of universal conception,

And

so too in action,

and

be only the sense

if it

of the uniformity of nature, lies at the bottom of


ference.

to be

in-

all

most acts seem prompted by

the instinct of the moment, and yet some general idea, as


for instance, the desire of the creature for its proper good,

might be

said

to

behind this instinct.

lie

This theory

acknowledges ''" that the mind constantly passes over one of


the premisses of the practical syllogism, as being obvious
that

we

act

we

because

often instantaneously, without hesitation, just

merely a way of putting

it,

powerful analytic instrument.


the

way

results
it

we

to say that

But granting the formula,

gism.

Thus

see an object of desire before us.

It

it

by a

is

syllo-

becomes immediately a

seems to suggest and clear

for a set of ulterior questions, in

would be involved.

act

it

which important

For now that action has been as

were caught, put to death, and dissected, and so reduced to

Se Mot. An.

vii.

4, 5.

'nirwep

rh oZ

irphs

ffBijffet

eVefca

^ rp tpavraai:}

^ T^ v^, ou opeyerai, evObs iroiu

erepay irp^ratTtv t^i/

Si]\7]P ouS'

vota ^fpiffraaa iTKOTret ouSev

^yaOhv hvOp^irtfy

fiaSl^etv
&vdpoyiros,

ovk

^vStarpifiei.

/x^ \oyi(rdfievoi trpdrTO/jiev,

ro/ify.

'

rf

Std-

oiov el rh
'6ti

avrhs

Aih Kal

rax^

^potT'fjffetvs

yiverai

'6ffa

elirep
iriyei.

"Otov 7^^ hfpyharj % tJ

a\-

ivipyna.

Ovjila Kiy^L

irpdr-

yap ^

7/

vo'fia'eus

t}

TloTeov

ToSi S^ itot6v^

tpaPTatria

fi

rjjs
fiot,
tj

avr'

opf^eus
if

eiri-

aX<r67]cris

6 yovs

ei/dvs

THE DOCTEINE OF THE PRACTICAL SYLLOGISM.


the level of abstract reasoning,

it

seems that we have only to

know

deal with its disjointed parts in oijier to

theory of

human

We

Will.

how

obtained

answer to these questions in the Ethics

is

is

the

What

how obtained

the nature of the minor premiss, and

is

the whole

have only to ask what

nature of the major premiss, and

This

269

is

The

not very explicit.

exactly one of the points on which a conclusive theory

seems to have been least arrived

With regard

at.

to our

possession of general principles of action, there appear to be

three different accounts given in different places.


(i)

They

(2)

They

are innate
are

and intuitive
from

evolved

(vi. xi. 4, vii. vi. 6, 7).

experience of particulars

(vi. viii. 6).

(3)

They depend on the moral character

(vi.

xii.

10,

VII. viii. 4).

These three accounts are not, however, incompatible with


For as in explaining the origin of speculative

one another.

principles {Post. An.

II.

xix.) Aristotle

seems to attribute them

to reason as the cause and experience as the condition

we might

regard to moral principles,

so in

say that they were per-

ceived by an intuitive faculty, but under the condition of a


certain bearing of the moral character, which itself arises out
of

and

consists in particular moral experiences.

ciliation of the

There the

statements

is

different points of

not

made

view stand apart, and there

something immature about the whole theory.


regard to the minor premiss in action
are told that

it is

'

thoughtful

" UpaKTiK6s 76

is

So too with

on the one hand we


viii. 9),

as if

it

on the other hand we are told that

the apprehension of these particulars


guishes the

a matter of perception (vi.

belonged to everybody

This recon-

for us in the Ethics.

man."

'

6 (ppdvifLOS

'

Toji'

is

But

yap 4(rxiTaii

exactly
it

tis.

is

what

distin-

unnecessary to

Eth.

vir.

ii.

5.

ESSAY

270

IV.

attempt to go beyond the lead of the Ethics in answering

we should

these questions, for

them

ourselves most probably state

in an entirely different way.

We

see in these applications of the Practical Syllogism

by the Peripatetics the progress of psychology, and the


tendency now manifesting

phenomena

stated, abstractedly,

and with a

rather than an appeal to

thing of the scholastic

gism dogmatically

is

have put

way

it

in this

itself

life

in which the theory

and consciousness

spirit.

To reduce

But

remarkable that

it is

one of those that remains most completely

acting on principle,' or speak of a man's

we do

Plato would

and would then have passed

When we

stamped upon the language of mankind.


'

shows some-

action to a syllo-

a piece of scholasticism.
for once,

'

not reflect that this expression

talk of

principles,' perhaps

is

Practical Syllogism of the Peripatetics.

a remnant of the
'

Principle

'

other than the Latinised form (principium) of apxV;

major premiss of a practical syllogism.


above,

is

in

is

in logical formulae,

full belief

on to other modes of expression.


this formula is

give attention to the

to

The manner

of the Will.

Aristotle's

language

'

And

this, as

is
o''

no
^^^

we saw

a universal conception

affirming that one ought to do (or not to do) some kind of


thing.'
'*

De An,

I.e.

7}

(xev

KaSShos

TOtovToy rh TOidy^e irpdrreiv.

v-tr6\ri\l/i5

Kal hSyos

Aeyei

'6ti

Se*

rhy

ESSAY
On

V.

Physical and Theological Ideas in the Ethics

the

of Aristotle.
A

LTHOUGrH

-^-*-

tlie

Aristotle endeavoured completely to separate

Practical from Theoretic philosopliy

and tkough in

present treatise he professed to adhere exclusively to an

ethical (or, as

though on

he called

this account

a political) point of view

it,

and

he postponed, as belonging to another

branch of philosophy, the consideration of several important


questions

'

yet

still

it

was perhaps impossible

system

for a

of morals to be composed bearing no trace of the writer's

general views of the Universe, the Deity, and the


Soul.

And

accordingly,

we

find

Human

more than one passage

of

the Nicomachean Ethics influenced by and indicating such


general views.

To understand

of that which in the

mind

setting of the entire piece,

these,

and to obtain possession

of Aristotle

we have

must have been the

him

to

some

extent beyond the limits of his Practical writings.

To

collect a

few of Aristotle's more salient dicta on Nature, God,

and the Soul,

'

to follow

will

be an interesting task, but

As, for instance, the metaphysical

Soul

is

we must

not be

divisible into parts,

i.

xiii.

question concerning the good, as a


universal, S:A. I. vi. 13. The question

8-10. The question whether in nature,


as a general principle, the like seeks

of Divine Providence in relation to

the like, or each thing seeks

happiness,

i.

ix.

13.

The question

vphether, scientifically speaking, the

site, vili.

i.

7,

&c.

its

oppo-

ESSAY

272

V.

expected to set forth a complete and definite system on these

them

subjects, for in regard to


far

Aristotle's extant writings are

from containing entirely definite

results,

own mind he

be doubted, whether in his

and

it

may

even

ever succeeded in

arriving at such.

In deducing Aristotle's opinions on any question from


extant works,

we must not

probable order and

mode

his

leave out of consideration the

of composition of these works, as

indicated by internal evidence (see above, p. 71, note).

It

seems highly probable that Aristotle having during the


previous

course

of his

life

thought out the divisions of

philosophy, the leading ideas of each department, and the

phraseology in which everything was to be expressed, and

having also collected great stores of materials on

had treated of

when about

make

years old, to

his exposition of the

whole, as a settlement of questions and a KTrjfia

the world.

He

the

set to work,

subjects which his predecessors


fifty

all

els asl for

appears to have commenced with that which

was not part of Philosophy, but was a necessary prelude

to

Philosophy, namely, the discussion of Method under the two

forms of Dialectic, or the Logic of Probability, and Analytic,

His treatises on these subjects were

or the Logic of Science.


collectively

entitled

by

his

editors

Organon, or the In-

and almost simul-

strument of Philosophy.

Collaterally,

taneously with these, he

appears to have composed his

Rhetoric, as treating of a subject closely allied to Dialectic.

And

an easy transition led him on to deal next with the

remaining branches of Practical and Productive philosophy


in his Ethics, Politics, and Art of Poetry (see p. 71, note).

Leaving

a. 48,

all

these

more

See Grote's Aristotle, vol.


&c.

or less unfinished,

i.

p. 78,

he seems to have

and Brandis' Sckol. ad

Arist. p. 259,

THE ORDER OP ARISTOTLE's WRITINGS.


gone on to the composition of

Of

treatises.

his great series of Physical

these probably the

Physical Discourse,^ which

273

first

to be written

contained, as Hegel

was the

said,

'

the

Metaphysic of Physics,' being an account of what Aristotle

under

conceived
'

Space,'

'

the

Causation

terms

'

Motion,'

'

'

Time,'

Four Causes), and the

(or the

'

Nature,'

like.

After these prolegomena to Physics, he proceeded to treat of

the Universe'* in

orderly sequence,

beginning with

the

divinest part, the periphery of the whole, or outer Heaven,

which, according to his views, bounded the world, being com-

posed of ether,' a substance distinct from that of the four


elements and identical with that which constitutes the vital

and reason in the creatures of the

principle

region was the sphere of the Stars


Aristotelian system,

Planets

(the

number) moving in

and below

it,

This
in the

was the planetary sphere, with the seven


and moon

sun

earth.

being reckoned among the

Both Stars and Planets he seems to

it.

have regarded as conscious, happy beings, moving in fixed

and inhabiting regions

orbits,

chance

On

composed his
order

Next

Heavens.

the

free

from

all

change and

and these regions formed the subject of

treatise

expound

to

On

those

he

this

to

is

thought* to have

Generation and
principles

his treatise

Corruption,

physical

of

in

changp

(dependent on the hot, the cold, the wet, and the dry)

which in the higher parts of the Universe had no existence.


This work formed the transition to the sublunary sphere.

*U(nK7is 'AKporiffewj A, B, k.t.X.

AKp6a<Tts

posed

to

means a
a

scientific, as

popular,

discourse

'

De

or

'

See Spengel, XJeber die Beihenfolge

The

treatise

(Tlepl K6aiiov)

On

the

Universe

which appears among

the works of Aristotle, is spurious,


being the compilation of some later

VOL.

Ccelo,

i. iii.

13,

&c.

der naturwissenschaftlichen Schriften

lecture.
'

Peripatetic.

op-

I.

des

of

AHstotelcs,

the

1848.

in the

Transactions

Royal Academy of Bavaria,

ESSAY

274

V.

immediately round the Earth, in which the meteors and


comets moved, which was characterised by incessant change

and by the passing of things into and out of


and which formed the subject of
book of

down

this treatise brings us

indeed beneath

surface, for

its

likely have

been that

From

Anatomy and

seems probable that the work On

curious

this point

his array of

may

very

Next

Physiology.

it

Soul was produced.

the

was not intended

This, as Spengel points out,

and

Animals, as containing

On, the Parts of

general principles of

written of