You are on page 1of 329

cover next page >

title : The Political Dimensions of Aristotle's Ethics SUNY

Series in Ancient Greek Philosophy
author : Bodéüs, Richard.
publisher : State University of New York Press
isbn10 | asin : 0791416100
print isbn13 : 9780791416105
ebook isbn13 : 9780585086866
language : English
subject Aristotle--Contributions in political science, Aristotle.--
Nicomachean ethics, Ethics, Ancient.
publication date : 1993
lcc : JC71.A41B63 1993eb
ddc : 320/.01/1
subject : Aristotle--Contributions in political science, Aristotle.--
Nicomachean ethics, Ethics, Ancient.
cover next page >
< previous page page_i next page >
Page i

The Political Dimensions of Aristotle's Ethics

< previous page page_i next page >

< previous page page_ii next page >
Page ii

SUNY Series in Ancient Greek Philosophy

Anthony Preus, Editor

< previous page page_ii next page >

< previous page page_iii next page >
Page iii

The Political Dimensions of Aristotle's Ethics

Richard Bodéüs

translated by
Jan Edward Garrett


< previous page page_iii next page >

< previous page page_iv next page >
Page iv

This book contains characters with diacritics. When the characters can be represented using the ISO 8859-1
character set ( ), netLibrary will represent them as they appear in the
original text, and most computers will be able to show the full characters correctly. In order to keep the text
searchable and readable on most computers, characters with diacritics that are not part of the ISO 8859-1 list
will be represented without their diacritical marks.

The book was originally published under the title of Le Philosophe et la cité by Publications de la Faculté de
Philosophie et Lettres de l'Université de Liège.

Published by
State University of New York Press, Albany

© 1993 State University of New York

All rights reserved

Printed in the United States of America

No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except
in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

For information, address State University of New York Press, State University Plaza, Albany, NY 12246

Production by Christine M. Lynch

Marketing by Lynne Lekakis

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Bodéüs, Richard.
[Philosophe et la cité. English]
The political dimensions of Aristotle's Ethics / by Richard Bodéüs
; translated by Jan Edward Garrett.
p. cm. (SUNY series in ancient Greek philosophy)
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 0-7914-1609-7 (cloth : alk. paper). ISBN 0-7914-1610-0
(pbk.: alk. paper)
1. AristotleContributions in political science. 2. Aristotle.
Nicomachean ethics. 3. Ethics, Ancient. I. Title. II. Series.
JC71.A41B63 1993
320'.01dc20 92-34024

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

< previous page page_iv next page >

< previous page page_v next page >
Page v


Author's Preface to the English Edition ix

Translator's Preface xi

Abbreviations xiii

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 In Search of Aristotle's Project

I. Difficulties peculiar to the interpretation of Aristotle

II. 1. The Corpus in the catalog of Andronicus of Rhodes

2. Conceptions inherent in the principles of division

3. The supposed foundations of the systematizing interpretation

III. 1. The first set of interpretive categories

2. A second set of interpretive categories

3. A third set of interpretive categories

4. Provisional balance sheet

IV. 1. The common plan of the Ethics and the Politics: Ancient testimonies

2. Modern exegesis

V. 1. A key-concept:

2. Prudential knowledge

3. Conclusions

VI. The meaning of Aristotle's project

Chapter 2 The Justification for a Political Teaching

I. 1. A privileged document

2. A reflection in the Socratic-Platonic tradition

3. The limits of discourse in education

II. 1. On the insufficiency of discourse for forming the good person

2. On the need for laws

3. On the formation of the lawgiver

< previous page page_v next page >

< previous page page_vi next page >
Page vi

III. 1. The purpose of the lectures contained in the Ethics and the Politics

2. The intellectual nature of legislative activity

IV. Philosophy to the aid of the lawgiver

Chapter 3 The Development of Aristotle's Philosophy and Aristotle's Position in the Development of Philosophy

I. The problem

II. 1. Affinities with Politics vii-viii

2. Affinities with the Protrepticus

III. Aristotle and the development of philosophy

Chapter 4 The Public Character of Aristotle's Discourses

I. Introduction

1. The complex nature of the documents

2. Oral communications

3. Lectures of a more or less private nature

4. An opening of the school to the city?

5. Differences with Plato

II. 1. Obscure material circumstances

2. The traces of didactic precaution

3. A basic aspect of the discourse: The methodological statements

Chapter 5 The Audience of the Political Discourses

I. The concerns of the "speaker"

II. Prerequisites for the discourse
1. The limits of language as instrument of knowledge

2. The experience required of the listener

3. The faculty of "comprehension"

III. Education and critical aptitude

1. In music

2. In drawing

< previous page page_vi next page >

< previous page page_vii next page >
Page vii

3. In medicine

4. Conclusion

IV. The need to be educated

1. The unity of the concept "educated"

2. The deficiencies of the traditional interpretation

3. Results of to be avoided

4. General education and politics

V. The practical relevance of education

1. New preliminaries for the discourse

2. "Good moral habits" and practical education

Conclusion Education, Ethics and Politics 123

Notes 127

Bibliography 199

Index of Passages from Plato and Aristotle 225

Index of Ancient and Medieval Names 237

Index of More Important Greek Terms 239

Subject Index 241

< previous page page_vii next page >

< previous page page_ix next page >
Page ix

Author's Preface to the English Edition

This book first appeared in Paris in 1982. It is now translated into English without any major revisions.
Minor corrections have been made and at various points a more appropriate presentation has been adopted.
But the content is basically the same as in the original version.

Since 1982, and partly in response to recent literature on related topics, I have published several
complementary pieces in scholarly journals and anthologies. These include: "Law and the Regime," in
Essays on the Foundations of Aristotelian Political Science, ed. by C. Lord and D. O'Connor (University of
California Press, 1991), 234-50; "Savoir politique et savoir philosophique," in Aristoteles' 'Politik', ed. by G.
Patzig (Göttingen, 1990), 101-23; "Deux propositions sur le droit naturel chez les continentaux d'Amérique,''
Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale 94 (1989): 369-89; "L'imagination au pouvoir," Dialogue 29 (1990):
21-49; "L'homme d'Aristote et son avenir," in L'Avenir (Paris: J. Vrin, 1987), 108-11; "Qu'est-ce que parler
adéquatement des choses humaines? La réponse d'Aristote," Revue Philosophique de Louvain 85 (1987): 143-
70, 329-55.

An up-to-date version of most of these complementary publications can be found in my book Politique et
philosophie chez Aristote (Namur, Belgium: Société des Études Classiques, 1991).

< previous page page_ix next page >

< previous page page_xi next page >
Page xi

Translator's Preface

This translation of Richard Bodéüs' Le philosophe et la cité: Recherches sur les rapports entre morale et
politique dans la pensée d'Aristote is indirectly the product of a National Endowment for the Humanities
Institute on Aristotle's Metaphysics, Biology and Ethics, in which I participated in 1988. Pierre Pellegrin,
who had been invited by the institute's organizers to address the participants on Aristotle's biology, joined in
the discussions of a special interest group on the Politics which some of us had formed. During one of these
meetings Pellegrin made it clear to those who knew some French that we just had to read Richard Bodéüs'
book, a work of which most of us were then entirely unaware. Taking Pellegrin's advice to heart, I quickly
became convinced that not only was his emphatic recommendation justified, but also that this was a book
that should be made available to a wider audience of scholars whose limited knowledge of French might
impede their reading the original.

From the early stages of this project, the support and cooperation of State University of New York Press
have been essential. Special thanks are due William Eastman, Director at SUNY Press, Anthony Preus,
SUNY Press's Series Editor in Ancient Philosophy, and Christine Lynch, SUNY Press's Production Editor.

The author, whose English is quite excellent, has worked closely with the translator, checking the translation
for accuracy and taking the opportunity to make minor revisions and corrections. In June 1992 he came to
Western Kentucky University to work with me in order to resolve numerous points of difficulty that
remained. Several other scholars have read the translation at various stages of refinement. Those due thanks
for working through the complete text and providing helpful criticisms regarding unclarities and awkward
sentence structure include Richard Weigel and Alan B. Anderson of the Departments of History and of
Philosophy and Religion, respectively, of Western Kentucky University, and Fred Miller Jr. of the Social
Philosophy and Policy Center of Bowling Green State University in Ohio. (Any errors of translation or
English-language style that remain in the final product, however, are the responsibility of the translator.) I
want to acknowledge also the encouragement I have received in this project from colleagues in the 1988
Politics discussion group and other scholars working in the interpretation of Aristotle.

One suggestion Bodéüs and I have adopted from Fred Miller is to reduce the prominence of Greek terms
relative to their frequency of occurrence in the original work. We have tried to make at least the main text of
the book accessible to readers who know little or no Greek. Generally, we have translated the first
occurrence of a Greek term and then used that translation consistently,

< previous page page_xi next page >

< previous page page_xii next page >
Page xii

while eliminating the Greek term, in the following passages. Where longer quotes are at issue, the reader is
typically given the Greek and a translation. With respect to the notes, however, there has been no attempt to
translate the French edition's untranslated Greek. But citations from modern European languages (French,
German, Italian, Spanish and Dutch) have been translated.

A word about my strategy for handling citations from Aristotle is in order. Because Prof. Bodéüs'
commentary on these citations is often closely tied to the French translations he was citing in his original
book, my primary approach has been to retranslate the French into English. In doing so, I have frequently
checked the result against widely used English translations, for the most part those found in Barnes 1984,
though for the Nicomachean Ethics I have also consulted translations by T. Irwin (Indianapolis: Hackett,
1985); by M. Ostwald (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1962); and by H. Rackham (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard
University Press [Loeb Classical Library], 1934). These translations may have inspired a word choice here or
there, but have not normally provided the basis for my renderings.



< previous page page_xii next page >

< previous page page_xiii next page >
Page xiii


After the interpretation of the abbreviations, I indicate the edition whose text I have followed, unless
otherwise noted.

A Pr. = Analytica Priora.

A Post. = Analytica Posteriora. The two works are cited in accord with Aristotle's Prior and Posterior
Analytics, A revised text, with introduction and commentary by W. D. Ross, Oxford, 1949.

C = Categoria (et liber de interpretatione), edited by L. Minio-Paluelo, Oxford Classical Texts, 1949.

DA = De anima, edited by W. D. Ross, Oxford Classical Texts, 1956.

DC = Du ciel, text established and translated by P. Moraux, Paris, Les Belles Lettres, 1965.

EE = Ethica Eudemia, edited by F. Susemihl [Leipzig, Teubner, 1884], Amsterdam, A. M. Hakkert, 1967.

GA = De la génération des animaux, text established and translated by P. Louis, Paris, Les Belles Lettres,

GC = De la génération et de la corruption. Cited from Aristotle on Coming to Be and Passing Away. A

Revised Text with introduction and commentary by H. H. Joachim. Oxford, 1922.

HA = Historia animalium, edited by L. Dittmeyer, Leipzig, Teubner, 1907.

M = Metaphysica, edited by W. Jaeger, Oxford Classical Texts, 1957.

Me = Meteorologica, edited by F. H. Fobes, Cambridge, Mass., 1919.

MM = Magna Moralia, edited by F. Susemihl, Leipzig, Teubner, 1883.

NE = Ethica Nicomachea, edited by F. Susemihl, 3rd ed. by O. Apelt, Leipzig, Teubner, 1912. Sometimes I
have preferred the text of I. Bywater (Oxford Classical Texts, [1894] 1962). Of the NE there is no truly
satisfactory critical edition.

P = Politics. Cited from Aristoteles' Politik, introduced, edited and indexed by A. Dreizehnter, Munich,
1970. I have sometimes, however, followed the text of W. D. Ross (Oxford Classical Texts, 1957).

PA = Les parties des animaux, text established and translated by P. Louis, Les Belles Lettres, Paris.

Ph = Physics. A revised text with introduction and commentary by W. D. Ross, Oxford, 1936.

< previous page page_xiii next page >

< previous page page_xiv next page >
Page xiv

Po = De arte poetica, edited by R. Kassel, Oxford Classical Texts, 1965.

Prot. = Protrepticus. An Attempt at Reconstruction, by I. Düring, Göteborg, 1961. I have sometimes referred
to the fragments according to the enumeration of R. Walzer (Aristotelis dialogorum fragmenta in usum
scholarum, Florence, [1934] 1963, pp. 21-65), because this collection includes longer passages of text.

R = Rhétorique, text established and translated by M. Dufour, 2 vols., Paris, Les Belles Lettres, 1932-1938.

SR = Sophistical Refutations.

T = Topica. These two final works are cited from their common edition by W. D. Ross (Oxford Classical
Texts, 1958).

< previous page page_xiv next page >

< previous page page_1 next page >
Page 1


1. Anyone who has visited the Room of the Signature in the Vatican and stood before Raphael's School of
Athens will remember the meaningful image offered by the figures of Plato and Aristotle in the center of the
composition. It is the concise representation of a dialogue conducted over a period of twenty years by the
master of the Academy and his disciple from Stagira, doubtlessly one of the most fertile in the entire history
of philosophical thought. 1

The first encounter between the two men probably took place in the year 366/5 B.C.2 They were associates,
at Athens, in almost constant interaction, until the death of Plato in May 347.3

However, the master left his imprint forever upon the mind of the disciple. This is so true that the attentive
reader of Aristotle can often receive the impression that he finds in Aristotle's works, as T. Gomperz said, the
"Platonist" and the "Asclepiad" confronting each other on all the great questions of philosophy.4

Without doubt the most formidable problem confronted by interpreters of the Corpus Aristotelicum is the
difficulty of reconciling positions maintained by Aristotle as heir of the Academy with those he maintained
as champion of a new philosophy. This problem had appeared to be brilliantly solved when interpreters
recognized the results obtained by W. Jaeger, who applied the method of Entwicklungsgeschichte to
Aristotle's works.5 Many were then persuaded that the philosopher's writings belonged in fact to two
successive phases of Aristotelian research, testifying, in the first, to adherence to the strictest Platonism and,
in the second, to a clear break with Platonism in order to adopt a more empirical orientation.6

The bulk of the studies undertaken to verify or correct this hypothesis has only very rarely (alas!) attained the
high level of the views expressed by the one who inspired them.7 They are often committed to a method
which neglects the essential task the interpreter must accept. In fact, the obsession with fixing ever more
precisely the stages of Aristotle's career, an obsession which, in short, tries to analyze philosophical
problems only for the purpose of determining the relative chronology of the writings in which they are stated,
willingly reverses the order required by a sound exegesis. A sound approach subordinates inquiries
concerning relative or absolute dating of texts to understanding their intellectual content. The "genetic"
obsession is, after all, likely to lead to an error which one has the right to denounce a priori: "in the absence
of exter-

< previous page page_1 next page >

< previous page page_2 next page >
Page 2

nal criteria, a chronological method which is based upon the incompatibility of texts and whose fecundity
thus thrives upon failures of comprehension runs the risk at every moment of preferring pretexts of not
understanding to reasons for understanding." 8 Moreover, the effort to attain and identify an "Urmetaphysik,"
an "Urpolitik,'' and so on, like the attempt of Homeric philology in the nineteenth century to reconstruct a
primitive Iliad, has mutatis mutandis the effect of shifting emphasis from the synthesis to early drafts or
works which prepare for it.9 Even Jaeger's worthy effort to take into account fragments of lost Aristotelian
works for the genetic interpretation of the Corpus10 seems to have turned his imitators away from their basic
task, for they think themselves called upon to attempt a hypothetical reconstruction of the lost works rather
than to illuminate, by means of their preserved fragments, the major texts of the philosopher which have
been recognized as authentic.11 In this respect and in many others, the "genetic" current of interpretation
contributes to nostalgia for studies bearing on essential content.

2. Ingemar Düring's Aristoteles, published in 1966,12 the most complete and ambitious work devoted to the
philosopher since Jaeger, challenged the thesis of Entwicklung on a point of decisive significance; I refer to
the claim that the writings of Aristotle's first period testify to an adherence to the Platonic doctrine of Ideas.
According to Düring, the hypothesis of a dramatic crisis in Aristotle's career and of a spectacular about-face
at the end of this crisis appears, all things considered, very hard to sustain.13 The results acquired by the
philosopher progressively over more than thirty years' uninterrupted reflection are sometimes such, our
author thought, that they noticeably modify certain earlier positions; but the stages of this progress are the
stages of a continuous organic development, according to a movement "which leads to increasingly refined
structures of thought and to increasingly subtle understanding."14

The picture of Aristotle which one tends to receive from this interpretation is that of the inquirer, who is
prompt to review his own opinions and those of others by means of constantly renewed inquiries.15
Speaking of Aristotle's procedure, Düring writes, "the strength of his accounts always resides in the
discussion of problems, his weakness in the search for definitions; the most interesting thing with him is not
generally what he affirms (results), but the way in which he affirms it and poses the questions."16

Aristotle, of course, excels in discussion of disputed questions. But Düring's interpretation invites
conclusions which are hard to accept. It tends to present the development of Aristotelian philosophy over
time as evidence for a philosophy which is aporematic in its very principle.17 In other words, Düring not
only rejects, as Jaeger did, the idea of Aristotle's work as a rigid system of doctrines, but also takes for
granted that Aristotle himself was a "problematic" philosopher.

< previous page page_2 next page >

< previous page page_3 next page >
Page 3


1. The study which I publish here is not committed to this approach, which would perhaps yield a bit too
easily to current tastes. 18 Nor does it aim to continue "genetic" studies in some way. But this is not to say
that it intends to ignore the historical distance between Aristotle and ourselves and to confront his texts as if
they were contemporary texts with which one might conduct a philosophical dialogue. Rather, I have taken
the approach of historical inquiries whose ambition is to rediscover the essential features of a way of
thinking which time has obscured.

2. Conceived at first for the sake of the citizens of the Greek city of the fourth century B.C., the part of
Aristotle's teaching traditionally associated with human philosophy sought somehow to be useful. How can
one make sense of this aim historically, this desire to contribute concretely to the perfection of human
becoming? This is the question which has guided my research from the beginning.

It has led me to scrutinize the unity of purpose which clearly governs the elaboration of the two Ethics and of
the Politics. This issue is not sufficiently clarified if one limits oneself to saying that the two series of texts
are written from the same theoretical perspective, a perspective appropriate for explaining human affairs, and
that the one series describes rules of an ethical code for individuals, the other series principles for the
organization of communities. On this point it is necessary to challenge a very long tradition of

To make this clear is my task in the first chapter. This chapter also brings to light support for the belief that
the works of Aristotle with which we are concerned were the object of a political teaching which the
philosopher aimed primarily at the "lawgiver" . Aristotle designates by this term not the well-
known magistrate of Athenian institutions19 but, like the French word législateur, with its collective sense,
the individuals to whom political communities entrust the ultimate task of defining coercive norms relating
to the good and who potentially include all the adult citizens in the city which corresponds "to the wishes" of
the philosopher.

3. This interpretation will perhaps surprise those who have been accustomed to regard Aristotle's two works
called Ethics and, especially, the most famous of them, the Nicomachean Ethics (NE) as the expression of a
strictly independent science, designed to teach each individual the ends of his moral action and, therefore, as
the first historical expression of the individualistic spirit which asserts itself against politics.20 One will
notice at once, however, that my exegesis takes seriously the philosopher's own statements in the NE's
introduction; for he explicitly describes his inquiry as "a political inquiry" (i 1.1094b 1). When he later
clarifies, for the sake of "the one who wants to listen to a discourse on political questions" (i 2.1095b5-6), the
rules of what

< previous page page_3 next page >

< previous page page_4 next page >
Page 4

P. Ricoeur has so aptly called "the very discipline of reasoning," 21 Aristotle resolutely excludes all young
people from his audience"the young person," he says, "is an inappropriate listener to politics'' (i 1.1095a2-3)
because he lacks experience and has not yet completed his education. Scholars have been too little
concerned, in my opinion, with examining the real implications of these statements. However, already in
themselves, as the unprejudiced mind can confirm, they suffice to suggest that Aristotle does not intend his
ethical researches to contribute basically or directly to the moral education of those whom he addresses and
whom he supposes already to be essentially virtuous.

Among other obstaclesfor they are numerous, as one may imagine the one which has perhaps made
interpreters hesitate most to draw this conclusion from the NE prologue is the interpretation of
proposed by certain Aristotle commentators, according to whom a function of this intellectual virtue is the
study and definition of the ends of action.22 In fact, as I hope to show later, the ends of action lie beyond any
discursive search by the understanding; correct determination of the ends of action is not an operation of
practical intelligence; according to Aristotle, the correctness of practical ends is assured by moral virtue. As
for virtue, it depends upon habitual conduct that society and, particularly, the political community tries to
make its members adopt. He was thus persuaded that moral education, in the strict sense of the term, was
primarily a political task for which the compulsion of the laws turns out to be indispensable. This is why
philosophical discourse and, therefore, the teaching of Aristotle himself (including that reflected in the
ethical studies) are addressed primarily to the lawgiver.

4. The arguments to which one can appeal in support of this thesis are clearly stated in the final pages of the
NE (x 10), where Aristotle considers the role of discourse in the apprenticeship of virtue. They will be the
object of my second chapter.

I shall try to indicate, in the following chapter, the reasons why Aristotle's position which can be
reconstructed from this famous textand in close connection with the NE prologue of which I spoke
abovedoes not represent an "archaic" stage of his thinking left behind by his later views. This will provide
occasion to clarify how the philosopher conceived his contribution to the lawgiver's knowledge.

In continuing this study I shall try, in the fourth chapter, to determine summarily to what extent Aristotle's
texts, especially those of the NE, may be linked to a form of oral communication addressed to a public
broader than that of his school. I shall try, in other words, to lift a corer of the veil which masks the identity
of the listener to whom the prologue of the NE alludes.

My last chapter, finally, is also dedicated to certain details of the NE's prologue. It will try to shed light upon
the prior qualities which Aristotle requires of listeners to his lessons on politics and, especially, on the
indispensable "education" which he demands that they have.

< previous page page_4 next page >

< previous page page_5 next page >
Page 5

5. This study, as the reader will see, is designed always to draw attention back to the same text, NE i 1 [in
some versions of the NE, this is i 1-3-tr.], whose importance I indicated at the start. Indeed, this text can
really be clarified only for those willing to take several long detours. Without these detours, the text is a
formidable enigma and, moreover, risks a misinterpretation on the part of the exegete who would only retain
its final, least obscure, lines (i 1.1095a4ff.): "[the young man] who is inclined to follow his passions listens
in vain and without benefit, since the goal is not knowledge but action." In fact, this claimambiguous in any
case 23would easily lead one to think either that the philosopher intends only that his discourse incline, or
preserve, the orientation of his listeners' actions towards the good, or that, on hearing his discourse, they
would have no other wish than to perfect their own moral conduct. When at the end of this study I shall again
have occasion to take up the examination of these few lines, we shall see that in fact, if Aristotle believes that
he can help certain people in their actions, it is because he addresses precisely persons of proven morality
and political experience, as those must be whom he wishes to prepare for the role of lawgiver.


1. The fact that my study so often focuses upon the texts of the NE has a precise reason. The form in which
these texts appear seems to convey, more clearly than that of the Eudemian Ethics (EE),what I shall call, for
brevity and convenience, the political perspective of Aristotelian teaching.24 From this difference between
the two Ethics, which does not appear to imply any doctrinal inconsistency between them, I refuse to extract
any argument for relative chronology or the possibility of Aristotle's philosophical evolutionor, especially,
against the authenticity of the EE, which nobody any longer seriously contemplates calling into question.25 I
have therefore left open here, without deciding, the question posed by "developmental" studies.

My reservation on the subject is dictated by the opinion that the difference just mentioned, like, moreover,
the majority of the differences, in my view minor, between the EE and the NE, does not rest upon their
author's philosophical evolution; rather it would seem to rest, as some have suggested,26 upon different aims
or circumstances of composition.

2. That said, such a hypothesis continues to imply that one of the two Ethics followed the other in time,
perhaps with an interval of several years. But it seems to me that the temporal priority of the one to the other
cannot be securely established with the help of arguments which postulate a scheme of evolution in
Aristotle's thinking. Formal analysis, by means of stylometry, may eventually provide a better way to solve
this problem.

It is this type of analysis to which A. Kenny has devoted himself.27 And it is not impossible that some of the
conclusions which he has reached will ulti-

< previous page page_5 next page >

< previous page page_6 next page >
Page 6

mately be firmly established thanks to other studies of the same type. Reversing the perspective to which
interpretation had practically unanimously subscribed up to C. J. Rowe, 28 Kenny's works argue for the
temporal priority of the NE relative to the EE and, even more sharply, for the attribution of the "common
books" (NE v-vii) to the EE. For my part, I incline to support the thesis that the contested books actually
belong to the EE. Evidence drawn from comparative study of the methodological statements of the Ethics
seems to argue in this direction.29 And, in my view, there are serious presumptions in favor of the idea that
these three books in their present form make up a fraction of the EE and not of the NE, as scholars have often
believed up till now.30 Now, these presumptions provide additional reason for disbelieving in the existence
of the theoretical differences between the two Ethics which some have audaciously wished to affirm.

For this reason I have not felt obliged to abstain from using in my study the account of from the
second common book, or other passages proper to the EE, to clarify Aristotle's thinking contained in the NE.
This approach is in keeping with my view that the two Ethics are distinguished less by their content than by
the different circumstances of their composition. I do not see, on the other hand, a reason which could
decisively settle the question of which of the two, the NE or the EE, was written first. And, for my purpose,
the solution of this problem does not seem to me to have major significance.

The fact that the Politics, when it refers to "ethical discourses" (1261a30, 1280a18, 1282b20, 1295a36,
1332a8 and 22), seems to have in mind the texts of the EE rather than those of the NE does not prove that the
former were written before the latter. And, even if this were the case, the NE's reflections on politics would
not lose their significance because the texts of the Politics had been composed earlier.31 My study, however,
does not aim to establish that the NE texts with which I am concerned form, along with those of the Politics,
a continuous sequence in which the NE texts were written first. I only hope to show that the thinking
expressed in the NE (and implicitly contained in the EE), like that which one finds in the Politics, depends on
a comprehensive vision or perspective oriented towards politics.


1. It would have been possible, and not without interest, to extend my study along several paths which, for
economy's sake, I have not taken.

In particular, it would have been useful to explore in detail the conceptions of politics prior to Aristotle, as
well as the confrontation of the politics taught by Protagoras (Plato, Prot. 318e-319a) with the notion of
virtue as science defended by the Socrates of the earlier dialogues, a Socrates who no longer busies himself
actively with politics but continues to place the laws of his city higher than the judgments of those who
dispense justice (Crito

< previous page page_6 next page >

< previous page page_7 next page >
Page 7

50aff.). However, it is obvious that Aristotle's thought, being silent as much about the Socratic idea of virtue-
science as about the sophistical conception of politics, takes its place in the history of all these notions with
the conception of , of which I shall speak.

2. It would, moreover, have been profitable perhaps to scrutinize the historical traditions which highlight the
connections of the philosophers with the city-states and, more particularly, the role of advisor of princes
assumed by the members of the Academy. But it did not seem to me necessary to examine further whether
our philosopher had wished somehow to promote the happiness of cities by indirectly influencing the policy
of princes. It suffices here for me to see to what extent what has been called his ethical thought is
inextricably connected with the politics of princes and cities.

< previous page page_7 next page >

< previous page page_9 next page >
Page 9

In Search of Aristotle's Project

Difficulties Peculiar to the Interpretation of Aristotle

"It is without doubt the fate of great persons who have put their mark on the ages: commentary very soon
comes between their work and posterity. It does not hesitate to goat least quantitativelybeyond the works
upon which it is commentary. More seriously yet: it becomes autonomous and generates a superimposed
tradition which, driven by its own logic, obliterates the work from which it has issued, masks it, distorts it
and makes it disappear." This observation by G. F. Duvernoy 1 concerning Machiavelli could be applied
almost without qualification to the work of Aristotle. But among the philosophers of great intellectual vision
whose original message historical exegesis strives to recover, Aristotle is a strange caseand for two reasons
at least. First, because of the preeminent role that he plays in the intellectual adventure of the West. As J.
Voss2 recently noted, "for about twenty-three centuries, the West has been enveloped in an almost
uninterrupted dialogue with the man whom the scholastics called 'the philosopher."' The difficulty of
piercing the screen, sometimes very opaque, which is the Aristotelianism of so many centuries, based
substantially on the thinking of a thousand and one more or less faithful "disciples,'' is doubled by a difficulty
probably unique in its kind: the impossibility of always being able to determine exactly the sort of things the
writings of the authentic Aristotelian Corpus are.3 For we suspect that scholars often have to deal with texts
whose definitive form owes something to the work of Aristotle's disciples. We remain, on the other hand,
powerless to determine always with precision the extent to which the products of their work continue to
conform to the master's thinking or proceed, on the contrary, from a new idea. At least I can state very
generally that the organization of the Corpus Aristotelicum, such as scholars after Andronicus of Rhodes
have understood it, depends for them on the firmer and firmer conviction that Aristotle elaborated a
philosophical system whose constituent parts are reflected in the arrangement of the different preserved
treatises, as if their author had effectively "programmed" them from the perspective of systematic expression.
Now, this is the one intention that we may hardly attribute to our philosopher. The project of expounding a
genuine system is in fact, as I. Düring has written,4 "typically Hellenistic but very un-Aristotelian." Such a
claim will perhaps seem today the unavoidable result of Jaeger's explicit

< previous page page_9 next page >

< previous page page_10 next page >
Page 10

attempt to combat "scholastic idolatry," 5 which regarded the work of the "master of those who know" as a
genuine "summa," firmly articulated. But, independently of Jaeger, K. Praechter, for example, assures us that
"a secure division of the philosophical disciplines according to a determinate principle does not occur in
Aristotle"!6 And it is obvious that Aristotle was not as concerned as his disciples were to propose a rigid
system of sciences and to organize his writings systematically according to it.

This indeterminateness is obviously quite irksome for the interpreter who asks about the occasion for the
project of Aristotle to which the texts catalogued under the titles Ethics and Politics correspond, and who
finds himself dealing with a Corpus established by people who indeed thought that they could abolish such
indeterminateness by recourse to the hypothesis that the philosopher conceived his project as formally
expounding a genuine system.7 Moreoverand this is a prime consideration whose significance I shall
examine at great lengththe originality of Aristotle's project risks being masked by the interpretation or the
importance given since antiquity to certain interpretive categories (human philosophy, practical science,
ethics, etc.) in accounting for the approach of a series of texts integrated in the Corpus, itself conceived as a
philosophical summa. The danger will appear considerable especially as these categories make reference to
Aristotelian vocabulary.

To restore to the philosopher that which properly belongs to him is thus an extremely perilous task. Without
hiding from ourselves either the difficulty of the undertaking or the limits beyond which everything is no
more than a tissue of gratuitous hypotheses, it is important to state in the clearest way the particulars of the


1. The Corpus in the Catalog of Andronicus of Rhodes

We know that Aristotle's death in 322 B.C. left in the hands of his immediate disciples an impressive series
of texts unedited and without determinate classification.1 As F. Wehrli has suggested,2 the very nature of the
texts (joined to the difficulty of the message which they contain) was perhaps the principal cause of what one
must call the decadence of the Peripatos during the Hellenistic period. Still the fact remains that the rebirth
of Aristotelianism in the first century before our era coincides with the labors of Andronicus of Rhodes, who
obtained a first-rate edition of the principal so-called "acroamatic" texts [writings thought to have served as
the basis for oral presentations] of Aristotle, of which Andronicus drew up a new catalog.3 Its arrangement
supposes an organizing principle about which we should inquire.4 The historian who desires to measure the
originality of Andronicus' contribution is forced to study the early lists of Aristotle's works preserved by
Diogenes Laërtius and the anonymous author of the Vita Menagiana, which permit us to ascertain the
condition of the Corpus a good century at least before the cata-

< previous page page_10 next page >

< previous page page_11 next page >
Page 11

logs of Andronicus were drawn up. 5 But the comparison of these earlier materials with the catalogs of
Andronicus is not without difficulties. For no Greek text has preserved the latter for us. Perfectly known in
Plutarch's time6 and probably still used by Porphyry and the Neoplatonists,7 these catalogs, if one believes
the tradition, were integrated (in an abridged form?) into a general work on Aristotle's life and writings
composed by a certain Ptolemy.8 Thanks to Ptolemy, at first translated into Syriac,9 they then penetrated the
Arab world and it is there that we can make our acquaintance with them in the parallel editions of Ibn al Qifti
(twelfth-thirteenth centuries) and Ibn Abi Usaibia (thirteenth century).10 A section of the lists which these
authors offer us has every chance of reproducing the work of Andronicus; it indexes the principal titles of the
modern Corpus as it is edited, for example, by I. Bekker.11 It is a section which has no parallels in the earlier
lists and thus constitutes an exceptional document.

Seen against this background, the titles of the Andronican Corpus provoked many questions. But I do not
need to dwell here on the problems raised by the formation of Aristotle's "works" before the Christian era.12
It seems, after all, that Andronicus was largely influenced in this regard by prior efforts.13 To take just one
example which concerns us especially, everything supports the belief that from the time of Theophrastus'
leadership of Aristotle's school, if not from the time of Aristotle himself, the eight books of the Politics have
never formed anything except a whole.14 In any case, before the work of Andronicus, there existed much
more than a mosaic of independent . As P. Moraux noted,15 "the Rhodian did not have to deal with a
pile of orderless notes which he would have been the first to sort and classify systematically." In short,
collections into "treatises" had already been for the most part performed.

2. Conceptions Inherent in the Principles of Division

But what will especially bear looking at in the section of the Andronican catalog transmitted by the Arabs is
the fact that the list of different "treatises" bears witness to a desire for classification,1 that is, that it
distributes Aristotle's works according to certain well-defined categories. Moreover, perhaps we have here a
reflection of the order followed by Andronicus in his edition of the Corpus Aristotelicum,2 an edition which
we know served as Porphyry's model for his edition of Plotinus' works.3 Be that as it may, the above-
mentioned catalogwhich, as I. Düring liked to put it,4 was a "catalogue raisonné," since it offered
information other than the mere titles of the works (incipit [first words or lines of the text], stylometric
indications, notes on the question of authenticity)5tries to divide up the various titles still, for the most part,
included in our Corpus in accordance with a principle of division. Andronicus thus had the very clear sense
that the group of the (two) Ethics and the Politics

< previous page page_11 next page >

< previous page page_12 next page >
Page 12

(arranged alongside the Poetics and the Rhetoric) 6 conveyed the same kind of philosophical preoccupation
and that this part of philosophical inquiry could be located along with other parts (to which there would
usually correspond one or more collections of Aristotelian texts), in a rationally organized system of
writings. So, was Andronicus the first to pose the question which became classical for the neo-Platonic
commentators of Ammonius' school, "where should one begin the study of Aristotle?"7 Now, a question of
this type clearly expresses the conviction that Aristotle's principal writings, collected for this reason in a
Corpus, are, each in its place, the component parts of a systematic enterprise, solidly articulated by
teleological principle, and that one should approach them as a program of study.

The internal organization of the system suggested by Andronicus' classification of the works he listed may be
guessed without difficulty.

a. The Tripartite Division

A clear-enough tripartite division appears in the section of the catalog corresponding to the Corpus:8 1
[Categories, 1 (book)], etc.; 2 [Great Ethics, 2 (books)], etc.; 3
[Lectures on Physics, 8 (books)], and so forth. One can hardly doubt that this
division bears traces of Stoic influence; for logic, ethics and physics make up the three parts of philosophy
for the Stoa.9 Obviously, Andronicus' classification of the Aristotelian works does not necessarily, in itself
alone, imply that the Rhodian attributed to Aristotle a tripartite conception of philosophy. For the catalog's
author, the point was mainly to divide up the philosopher's writings in the most convenient manner. Now, the
distinction "logical-ethical-physical" already appears in the Topics10 as a principle of classification of
propositions and problems . Andronicus may thus have wanted only to group
Aristotle's principal "treatises" according to the type of questions which they address. One might think,
however, that such a division of the writings likewise reflects Andronicus' view that Aristotle divided
philosophy in this way, just as Diogenes Laërtius' summary of Aristotle's doctrines according to the three
categories "logic," "ethics," and ''physics"11 probably reflects Diogenes' view that Aristotle subdivided
philosophy in this way.12 Besides, Andronicus, who includes the "logical" writings in the first division of
writings in the Corpus, also recommends beginning the study of Aristotle with logic
;13 this fact clearly demonstrates that for him the "treatises" contained systematized
knowledge and were coordinated with one another.

b. The Bipartite Division

But a qualification should be made here. For, in fact, like the majority of later Greek interpreters14 and
unlike the Stoics,15 Andronicus held that logic was not a part of philosophy at all and was only its
instrument .16 Therefore

< previous page page_12 next page >

< previous page page_13 next page >
Page 13

restricting philosophy properly so-called to a twofold scheme, Andronicus himself understood, and invited
his successors to understand, that the two series of writings which he put after the logical writings were the
expression of this twofold philosophy. Now, if the categories "ethical" and "physical" seemed appropriate for
cataloguing these works (as the category "logical" was for designating the works which contain philosophy's
instrument), then, on the other hand, one had recourse to the seemingly more adequate categories "practical"
and ''theoretical" to describe the two approaches of philosophy as such. This was already done in the
doxographical document preserved by Diogenes Laërtius: "There are two types of philosophical discourse,
the practical and the theoretical." 17 This document deserves our attention. It alludes to two notions which,
considered separately, can pass without much difficulty as authentically Aristotelian (in the sense that they
find a direct echo in Aristotle's texts): the contrast of the categories "practical" and
"theoretical" 18 and the idea of a "philosophical discourse."19 But what falsifies Aristotle's
thought or, at least, violates the most constant rules of the language which expresses it, is the use of the terms
"practical" and "theoretical" to distinguish two types of philosophical discourse; the basic idea is therefore
that Aristotle's written work is distributed by content into two divisions of a philosophical system. We are in
the presence of a remarkable phenomenon. On the one hand, the categories "practical" and "theoretical,"
which Aristotle uses to distinguish two types of reason , thought , or scientific disposition
,20 are used by the doxographers to distinguish two series of philosophical discourses
.21 And, on the other hand, the categories "logical," "ethical" and "physical," which Aristotle uses to
classify different types of problems,22 are adopted by the commentators to designate three scientific
disciplines as well. One discovers here the traces of an attitude which grows more and more pronounced
among the ancient Aristotle commentators and whose most notable trait seems to be the effort to state strict
correspondences between a division of Aristotle's written works
in a Corpus solidly constructed and a division of the
sciences according to Aristotle in a perfectly
organized philosophical system. It will be important to consider exactly to what extent exegesis prompted by
this attitude distorts or conceals the philosopher's real purposes.

3. The Supposed Foundations of the Systematizing Interpretation

Let us first note the reasons which convinced the ancients that there were correspondences between the
division of the written works and the division of the sciences.

< previous page page_13 next page >

< previous page page_14 next page >
Page 14

1. First, there is a certain anthropological or philosophical duality. At the beginning of his Commentary on
the NE, Aspasius tries to establish that practical philosophy, including "the inquiry concerning character
traits" and "politics" , is made necessary by our possession
of a soul and a body: 1 "if we did not have a body," he writes, "our nature would have no task other than
contemplation.'' This interpretation still prevails in the Byzantine epoch and Eustratius, for example, declares
straight out:2 "Given that philosophy is divided into two parts, that is, theoretical and practical, Aristotle is
engaged in both. He also published, in the two domains, scientific treatises instructing the souls of his
disciples in conformity with each subject-matter." Once this philosophical care for soulsthis wish to teach a
"practical happiness" and a "theoretical happiness," to adopt Stephanus' expression3is attributed to Aristotle,
it suggests that anthropological or psychological doctrine has a basic importance for the bipartite division of
philosophy. It is split in two, because the human being or the human soul can sometimes be regarded as pure
intelligence, sometimes not. The fact that the Neoplatonists understood the matter in this way is well known.
For example, John Philoponus, in his Commentary on the Categories, distinguishes between Aristotle's
"practical" and "theoretical" writings;4 then, in his Commentary on the Meteorologica, Philoponus explains
that the two corresponding parts of philosophy, practical and theoretical philosophy, should be correlated
with the two "faculties" of the soul, which he calls respectively "living" and
"contemplative" .5 These are the faculties, Philoponus tells us, "that philosophy wishes to
cultivate and perfect, the one by virtue, the other by knowledge of beings."6 Psychological theory can
certainly influence how one distinguishes forms of activity and the ways they are improved.

To convince ourselves of this it suffices to consider the quarrel which, in the first generation of the
Peripatetic school, set Theophrastus and Dicearchus at odds on the question whether one should opt for a life
of the intellect or a life engaged in the polis. Dicearchus, champion of the practical life ,7
defended a view strictly in accord with his account of mind, seeing that, as F. Wehrli has rightly stated,8 this
philosopher challenged Aristotle's theory of the separable mind .9 Theophrastus'
adherence to this theory explains his stand in favor of the contemplative life.10

As for Aristotle, he suggests at several points that very close relations obtain not only between the different
parts of the soul (animal, human and divine) and the three types of life (apolaustical [devoted to enjoyment],
political or practical, and philosophical or theoretical)11 but also between different forms of discursive
intelligence theoretical, practical and productiveand the three types of scientific disposition of the
same name.12 But this does not imply either that these dispositions form a (systematic) whole or that they
are expressed equally in three series of discourses. And the correspon-

< previous page page_14 next page >

< previous page page_15 next page >
Page 15

dences between parts of the Corpus and scientific dispositions or forms of intelligence always seem quite
rough, if not lame. So the reasons which, for example, J. Marietan 13 gives for defending the view, similar to
that of the Neoplatonists, that Aristotle makes a twofold classification of the sciences (namely, that such a
classification reflects the distinction between the practical and theoretical intellects made by the treatise On
the Soul14 and corresponds to the two types of life praised by the NE's tenth book)15 seem entirely

2. The attempt by the ancients to confer on philosophy in general and Aristotelian philosophy in particular
the allure of a formal system, all of whose parts are perfectly arranged and expressed in the Corpus, must be
understood by the indirect route of yet another distinction, which is based on the dual nature of knowable
reality. As an example here, consider Ammonius' testimony in the introduction to his Commentary on the
Isagoge (of Porphyry) where he wishes to respond to the question "What is philosophy?"16 For the most part
the definitions which Ammonius considers in response to this question are not of his invention; they are
borrowings, either from the tradition, or, in an explicit way, from the most famous thinkers, Aristotle and
Plato. In confronting them with each other, Ammonius tries to establish the unity of all these conceptions.
Now, the account brings to light two primary definitions. The first, in the words of Ammonius himself, is
drawn from the object to be known . We read: "Philosophy is the knowledge of
things divine and human"
.17 As one sees, such a
division supposes that philosophy, although a unity, is divided into two parts, according as the object to be
known, Ammonius tells us, is eternal (labeled "divine") or subject to generation and corruption (labeled
"human").18 Now the old pair of antithesesthe divine and the humanwhich dominates the Platonic reality
picture19 leaves several traces in Aristotle, and this fact seems to legitimate also the division of his
philosophy using these categories. I shall come back to this issue.20 My interest in Ammonius' definition,
however, derives less from its relation to Aristotle's view than from its connections with the other definition
of philosophy put forth in the same context, the one borrowed from Plato's Theaetetus:21 "philosophy is
assimilation to God so far as humanly possible''
.22 Ammonius actually explains
that the assimilation to God must be understood as two specific activities,23 themselves expressions of the
human soul's dual capacitytheoretical and practical.24 Thus justifying the twofold division of philosophy by
appealing to a psychological principle now familiar to us, Ammonius can henceforth align the definition
from the Theaetetus, "taken from the end" , with the definition "taken from the subject-
matter" : if one should refer to the "theoretical" end, philosophy is able to reach
only "divine" subject-matter; but if one should refer to the "practical" end, one is able to reach only "human"
subject-matter.25 The double assimila-

< previous page page_15 next page >

< previous page page_16 next page >
Page 16

tion to God in which philosophy consists therefore appears, in Ammonius' resolutely syncretistic mind, to be
respectively "a knowledge of beings as beings" the phrase
plagiarizes a passage from Aristotle's Metaphysics 26and "an apprenticeship with death"
the phrase is drawn from Plato's Phaedo.27

3. Considered collectively, the reflections of the ancient Aristotle commentators therefore produced the
following result: three pairs of categories were superimposed upon each other. Each pair bears witness to a
twofold conception of philosophy, which is itself based ultimately on the twofold nature of the mental
faculties, corresponding, respectively, to two levels of knowable reality:

"ethical" science"physical" science

"practical'' science"theoretical" science
knowledge about human affairsknowledge about divine things

A more or less clear conviction accompanies this view, namely, that the Corpus Aristotelicum, reflecting the
twofold division of philosophy, contains two basic groups of treatises, which pursue truth in two realms of
knowledge and whose totality makes up a philosophical system that should be studied in a precise order if
the student is adequately to progress towards philosophy's ultimate goal.

I have suggested the distance which separates Aristotle's concerns from the concerns which his
commentators tend to attribute to him or which they themselves proclaim while taking him as an authority.
However, directly or indirectly, the ancients were often inspired by his texts. I must therefore give them
credit for having brought to light the principal Aristotelian categories without the comprehension of which
we cannot claim to describe correctly our philosopher's project. Knowing the privileged charm which
posterity casts over such categories and recognizing, moreover, the fragility of both syncretistic and
systematizing interpretations of Aristotle, we are now ready to question Aristotle himself. Recovering the
genuine meaning and significance of his terminology is a sure means to clarify his philosophical project.


1. The First Set of Interpretive Categories

1. Let us begin by examining the categories "logical," "ethical" and "physical." In the Topics, as I said, they
serve to distinguish summarily different species of propositions or of problems.1
There is no question here of three philosophical disciplines or sciences but, simply, three

< previous page page_16 next page >

< previous page page_17 next page >
Page 17

points of view permitting classification, so to speak, of all types of propositions and problems. Do these
viewpoints correspond to "sciences" in the sense of formal objects recognized and distinguished elsewhere in
Aristotle? One is tempted to grant this in light of a passage of the Posterior Analytics where, after having
established the difference between having an opinion and knowing , 2 he writes:
"As for how the rest should be distributed among discursive thought and intellect and science and art and
prudence and wisdomsome of these questions belong rather to physical study, others to ethical study"

As for the Analytics, they exhibit the perspective of "logical" study. The fact that the Stoics happened to
divide philosophy systematically into three parts described as "logical," "ethical'' and "physical"4 might
suggest that such a system of sciences was previously drawn up by Aristotle himself. But the texts do not
really authorize our being so affirmative.

2. In the first place, the classification proposed by the philosopher in the Topics is not at all rigorous; it is
presented as approximate . Therefore it does not have as much weight for the
interpreter as would a categorical declaration regarding the organization of a philosophical system.5 Besides,
the passage from the Posterior Analytics does not imply that for Aristotle "'logical' study"
exists on the same level as "physical study" and "ethical study." Aristotle, who
reproaches the Platonists for their argumentation ,6 that is, their dialectical method, can describe as
only a very general, purely formal, if not verbal, perspective for discussing problems, thus a
perspective which, according to him, has no true scientific significance. For, in contrast to dialectic, science,
for Aristotle, always supposes a particular object. So it clearly follows that the distinction of viewpoints of
which I am speaking does not correspond to a distinction between sciences in the strict sense. The fact that
the physical investigator's viewpoint is narrower than the dialectician's does not imply that the physical
perspective is scientific.7 Nor does the fact that Aristotle makes an even narrower contrast between the
viewpoint that studies "ethical problems" and that which studies "physical problems"8 imply that he wishes
to correlate the former with a special science.

3. To the extent that references in the texts of the Corpus to certain "ethical" or "physical discourses"
9 allude to the works of Aristotle which we call by the titles Ethics
or Physics, these references would seem to restrict to those works the application of the two viewpoints of
which I am speaking. But the only conclusion that one can draw from this is that the works for which we
today reserve these labels certainly and more obviously exemplify the respective viewpoints to which their
traditional descriptions correspond. Still it is important to observe that (1) the physical study
of which the Posterior Analytics speaks obviously stands for the viewpoint exhibited by
the physical science

< previous page page_17 next page >

< previous page page_18 next page >
Page 18

which Aristotle elsewhere assigns to the "theoretical sciences" 10 and whose results he expounds in some of his
discourses, but (2) the ethical study of which the same passage of the Posterior Analytics speaks
and which probably stands for the viewpoint assigned to the accounts of the Ethics cannot be considered as
implying any science recognized in express terms by Aristotle. For not only does he nowhere
explicitly recognize an "ethical science," but what he calls a "practical science" , as we
shall see, does not coincide with studies expounded in a discourse.

4. Finally, one may recall that the terms "physical" and "ethical," essentially used by Aristotle for purposes of
classification of problems,11 refer to the two basic concerns of philosophy which successively occupied the
center of attention in the history of Greek thought, first with the early natural philosophers, then with Socrates,
for whom, in contrast with Aristotle, virtue was science!12

2. A Second Set of Interpretive Categories

1. The distinction between ethical and physical perspectives of which I have just spoken does not seem alien to
another distinction, indicated by the contrary terms "divine" and "human"
. As W. L. Newman1 has rightly observed, the phrase or
, used to name a field of philosophical investigation, probably derives from a Socratic usage. In
any case, this is what Xenophon's Memorabilia seem to indicate:2 "conversation (with Socrates)," we read, ''did
not turn on the nature of things as a whole , as was the case with most of
the others.... With him, conversation was always about human affairs" . The terms
used here to express the peculiar nature of Socratic inquiries in the context of the movements of contemporary
thought, therefore, duplicate, so to speak, the phrase (ethical problems) by which Aristotle names or
describes the concerns of the same Socrates.3 At the beginning, the expression
vaguely refers to a totality of phenomena defined only by their relation to human beings considered as something
specific. "Is there anyone," asks Socrates in the Apology,4 "who believes in the reality of human things without
believing in the reality of human beings?"
. In this
respect, the human conditionmortal possesses a certain depreciative tone (a tone that, according to R.
A. Gauthier,5 the adjective receives in the NE), at least insofar as it is opposed to the "divine"
condition. But it is precisely this antithesis that interests me. In Plato it becomes a philosophical contrast of the
greatest importance. For to those things which can be defined only in relation to the human being, Plato usually
opposes "divine things," which have status only in relation to the gods.6 Beyond the terms

< previous page page_18 next page >

< previous page page_19 next page >
Page 19

employed, we must understand that the order of the eternal and immutable makes possible the order of
"becoming where we dwell" 7 and that Socrates' interlocutor, in the Republic,8 feared that a guardian,
seduced by contemplation, would no longer devote any care to the latter
. Thus Plato described in a handy way the
respective domains of true wisdom and the political art.9 The Seventh Letter of the Corpus Platonicum,10
like the Epinomis,11states the above point in the same terms. There is no doubt, consequently, that we find in
Aristotle's terminology an echo of a usage in vogue in Academic milieux.

2. The contrast between the "divine" and "human" in Aristotle's texts still indicates the antithesis between the
order of the incorruptible (eternal) and the order of the corruptible (mortal).12 The NE notes13 that, unlike
divine things, "nothing human can be continuously in act"
But we know that for Aristotle
incorruptible things are contrasted not only with human phenomena but also with some natural things, which
likewise suffer corruption.14 Now, if Plato could not consider the latter as objects of any scientific
proceedingafter all, according to him,15 they are beyond the range of philosophyAristotle, we know, tried to
give them their due; they were henceforth objects of scientific study. This circumstance should make
interpreters cautious. Of course, one can draw attention, as some have done,16 to two phrases appearing,
although fleetingly, in Aristotle's texts: 17 ("philosophy" concerning
human affairs) and 18 (''philosophy" concerning divine things). But the
existence of these phrases does not permit us to suppose that Aristotle thought, as the Academicians did, that
philosophy was divided into two parts. In fact, in the treatise On the Parts of Animals, when he mentioned a
"philosophy" bearing on divine beings, he undoubtedly meant an inquiry devoted to the totality of
incorruptible celestial realities, governed by perfect necessity; but, as the context makes clear,19 he meant
this in contrast to an inquiry into corruptible beings where chance and accident occur (in a word, the
[living nature]), not in contrast to what he elsewhere, in the NE, calls "philosophy concerning
human affairs."20 Supposing that this latter expression applies to a part of the doctrines expounded by
Aristotlea supposition which has not been proven-it would thus seem to refer, not to one of two but to one of
three types of philosophical study.

3. Moreover, since philosophy no longer has for Aristotle the unity which it had for Plato, this phrase cannot
refer to a study tightly linked to other philosophical studies similar to the study of human things required of
philosophers by Plato. Kinship of vocabulary masks profound differences here. And if Aristotle employs
such an expression, it is most probably, we should conclude, because he still believes that it can express this
"concern for human affairs" which the author of the Republic made a duty for human beings "in search of
wisdom"; it therefore applies less to a part of speculative inquiry undertaken

< previous page page_19 next page >

< previous page page_20 next page >
Page 20

by Aristotle himself than to a study analogous to the study which human becoming, according to Plato,
requires of all those who aspire to know. That being said, the expression "philosophy concerning human
affairs," included in the NE's final chapter in a context which introduces a type of inquiry such as that
expounded by the Politics, cannot avoid posing grave problems for interpreters. 21 One can henceforth
suspect that Aristotle's teaching contained in the discourses collected under the title Ethics and his teaching
contained in the discourses collected under the title Politics are both related to what he calls "philosophy
concerning human affairs"; but it would at least be premature to think that the latter, as Aristotle conceives it,
contains the sum of two sets of studies expounded by him. For when it concerns "human things,"
"philosophy" is no more a matter of mere contemplation than ''science" is when called "practical."
Examination of a third set of interpretive categories used in the division of the sciences will allow us to
understand this point.

3. A Third Set of Interpretive Categories

1. Aristotle, we know, distinguished three types of "science," which he describes respectively with the help
of the terms "theoretical," "practical" and "productive."1 This distinction is famous; too much so perhaps
insofar as it has traditionally licensed the classification of Aristotle's texts into three groups of doctrines.2
Now, where it appears, this division of the genus "science" never alludes to any list of
scientific doctrines and still less to a program of inquiries which Aristotle would have wished to carry out. It
limits itself to distinguishing different kinds of intellectual disposition in terms of the activities which are
performed by each of them. This fact implies that nontheoretical science has a special status.

In Aristotle's language, the term "science" does not refer to an organic whole of known or
knowable objects but to a perfection of the knowing subject;3 science, as a firm
disposition , belongs to the category quality; corresponding to it in the category of substance is
discursive understanding . Thus Aristotle's view that every science is theoretical, productive or
practical is explained by the view that every intellectual excellence is oriented "to the contemplation of
something" , "to the production of something" , or "to the
determination of some action" .4 The distinction established here does not refer directly
to things scientifically known even if it presupposes a basic difference at the level of the known or knowable;
for practical understanding or science, unlike theoretical understanding or science, but like productive
understanding or science, does not deal "with a genus of being" , with
realities which possess in themselves their origin of movement and rest and which cannot be otherwise than
they are, but with realities which can be otherwise than they are and whose ori-

< previous page page_20 next page >

< previous page page_21 next page >
Page 21

gin is in the knowing subject, that is, in the one who acts or produces .5
"Practical science," especially, has action as its object, not action past and done, but action to be done
, action to come ,6 not another person's action, but action which is to be performed
by the knowing subject.7 "Practical science" thus appears to be a cognitive quality of persons immersed in
action and deciding to act.8 More precisely, it is an habitual disposition to act scientifically, not to study
action scientifically.

3. As a result, it seems difficult to assimilate practical science, without other precautions, to a group of
scientific or philosophical reflections (of practical interest) consigned to a set of discourses used for teaching;
for this would make it the expression of a speculative operation which could be performed by someone
outside every particular situation which requires his action and, occasionally, on issues which either were
already decided thanks to practical science or which, given that they can be decided, will call for practical
science. The fact, one may say, that Aristotle understood "practical science" in this way, while he also
undertook and expounded a scientific inquiry into the human good, "realizable in and through
action" ( : EE 1218b5), implies that he meant to present his study (primarily) to help others acquire
practical science. But this would suppose that for him the cognitive qualities of the acting subject as acting
could be acquired or at least reinforced by teaching by means of discourses . Is this the case? It
will be important to examine this question.

4. Let us note, moreover, that the division of the "sciences" into three species, as some of Aristotle's texts
state it, appears historically to be the result of a subdivision performed on one of the terms
of a dichotomy which was established earlier and is still used in other texts: that which contrasts purely
"theoretical (or knowing) science," on the one hand, with "productive sciences,'' on the other hand,9 or, as
Plato, from whom the dichotomy derives (Statesman 258e-260e), says more frequently, the "practical
sciences."10 Indeed, Aristotle, who condemns the Platonists' method of division by two,11 probably
substituted a tripartition for the dichotomy rather than subdivided a member of the latter. As the Topics
attests, the three-way division of science could have been fixed relatively early in his career.12 It is not
thereby excluded that the two-way contrast (on the one hand, theoretical , on the other hand,
productive and practical ) continues to be used subsequently to mark the distinction
between purely speculative science and the science of subjects engaged in an activity other than speculation
(leaving aside the different forms which this activity may take). It would not necessarily follow from this that
these texts remain faithful in spirit to a dichotomy of the Platonic type.13 Thus, for example, when he
considers the improvement of the human being, as he does in the ethical writings, Aristotle is led naturally to
neglect the human being's "productive science," that is, the

< previous page page_21 next page >

< previous page page_22 next page >
Page 22

intellectual virtue related to making things; and so the NE's sixth book, which mentions three forms of
discursive thought 14 and rigorously distinguishes practical disposition and
productive disposition 15, tends in spite of everything to reduce to two virtueswisdom
and prudence the intellectual virtues of the rational soul.16

4. Provisional Balance Sheet

My analyses so far let me draw conclusions only with extreme caution. Aristotle's description of "practical
science" as the quality of human understanding which performs action suggests that such a "science," in his
eyes, cannot be assimilated to any speculative study which is expressed in a discourse. A study of this type
which would take character as its viewpoint as did the inquiries of Socrates (who dealt with
ethical problems )1escapes the division of the genus ''science"
into the species "theoretical" and "practical"; Aristotle never gives it the label of science . One
could not apply this label to a study on the Socratic model which took "human things" as
its object. Moreover, it is probably not this type of Socratic inquiry to which Aristotle was directly referring
when he used the expression "philosophy concerning human affairs," but, as we have seen, the concern for
human becoming which, according to Plato, must turn all those who aspire to know away from pure
contemplation and lead them to take the destiny of cities into their hands.

All this helps to make more uncertain than ever the exact epistemological status of Aristotle's studies the
results of which constitute the discourses of the Ethics and Politics of the Corpus. Moreover, were these
studies, which are not presented as ends in themselves, conceived as a means to help those addressed by the
philosopher to acquire "practical science"? Does the philosopher expect in that way to play his part in the
improvement of human becoming, on the assumption that it requires the aid of those who know?

None of these questions is easy to resolve. Before formulating any hypothesis in this connection, I must
examine how far I am justified in taking into consideration the Ethics and the Politics jointly, that is, whether
I am entitled to assume that they both ultimately express a single plan. Here too I touch on a delicate issue.


1. The Common Plan Of The Ethics And The Politics: Ancient Testimonies

It is especially significant that, from very ancient times, commentators and doxographers have always
grouped the Ethics (in the singular) (or both Ethics)

< previous page page_22 next page >

< previous page page_23 next page >
Page 23

together with the Politics in the same set of works as so many contributions to a single and unique general
plan. Moreover, they are always mentioned in the same order. 1 According to the testimony preserved by
Diogenes Laërtius,2 "practical philosophical discourse" of which I have already spoken, would be
subdivided into two parts, the ethical and the political , and this latter
part, according to the same source, would sketch two types of reflection, the one pertaining to the city, the
other to the household. By listing the parts of the second subdivision in this order, the doxographer probably
meant only to suggest that the essay on problems concerning household management
contained in Politics i was of less importance than other materials treated in the Politics.3 Inclusion of the
apocryphal Economics4 in the Corpus will later lead interpreters to list for Aristotle not two but three
"practical sciences."5 For its part Andronicus' catalog, reconstructed with the help of Arabic documents,
classifies the two Ethics, followed by the Politics, in the same section.6 This order of classification is natural,
especially as Andronicus here describes in detail the "ethical" category of writings in the Corpus. The
secondary place which the Politics thus occupies in this list could also be explained by historical factors,
namely, the ever diminishing general interest in that work during the Hellenistic era, when the city-state was
no more than a shadow of the of classical Greece.7 Moreover, as products of their times, the Stoic and
Epicurean philosophies, the one relatively, the other radically, turned the minds of their initiates from civic
preoccupations to the pursuit of an ideal of self-sufficient wisdom, that is, wisdom independent of political
contingencies.8 As valuable evidence for this, one notes that the Compendium of Arius Didymus, preserved
by Stobaeus, which depends upon sources from the time before Andronicus, dwells infinitely less on the
doctrines contained in Aristotle's Politics than on doctrines borrowed from various ethical discourses
attributed to him.9 But all that does not exclude the hypothesis that the ancient
doxographers or commentators wished to respect the purpose of Aristotle himself who, in the NE, on
completing an inquiry about happiness, pleasure and the principal virtues, explicitly recommends an inquiry
about constitutions.10 To verify this hypothesis among the ancients is a difficult business; for we lack
information about the interpretation of the Politics in antiquity.11 This gap cannot be remedied by the mere
incidental notes of commentators who classify this "work'' as part of Aristotle's written works
or within a division of philosophy.12 But at least we know that
they did not dissociate the Ethics from the Politics in principle; and even if in a general way the exact nature
of the connections which they recognized between the two "works" ultimately escapes us, we must regard as
conveying the prevailing interpretation the opinion of Alexander of Aphrodisias for whom the NEdespite its
prestigewas but a preliminary to the Politics.13 Trustingtoo much perhapsin the letter of the prologue, which
announces "an approach which is

< previous page page_23 next page >

< previous page page_24 next page >
Page 24

political in some way" , 14 and considering that the subject-matter of the

NE's ten books (i.e., human character traits ) would make up in fact "the primary
parts of the City" , Alexander intended to vindicate the received sequence of the
two treatises.15 Whatever one thinks of the summary arguments which Alexander uses to support his
interpretation, it doubtlessly has the merit of not concealing that, in the ancients' view, the (logically prior)
inquiry concerning character traits and the (logically posterior) inquiry concerning
constitutions formed a unity. The hypothesis that this unity was defended by Aristotle
himself must obviously be considered, however problematic it should appear to us.16 For, neither
misinterpreting nor of course denying the significance possessed by the mere material existence of two
separate "writings," we must refrain from overstressing this distinction of subject-matters at the expense of
the unity of intention which governed the two groups of investigations.

2. Modern Exegesis

1. This is an essential basis for understanding the attitude of modern interpretation. Unable to find a rigorous
correspondence between the "works" of the Corpus and the Aristotelian notions of "philosophy of human
things," "practical science,'' and so on (which I examined above), contemporary interpreters, for the most
part, have had to be satisfied with the convenient unity represented by each "treatise" of the Corpus. Thus
interpretation of the Ethics and the Politics was often attempted by different specialists who rarely occupied
themselves with the details of the Politics concerning the Ethics and vice versa. For to say that each of the
two treatises could be considered as parts of a whole which explain Aristotle's "human philosophy" does not
tend to draw any tighter connection between the two, as long as the nature of this generic unity of "human
philosophy" does not seem clear; it makes no difference if one baptizes this ensemble "practical philosophy"
or "practical science," in a way which one thinks more in accord with Aristotelian vocabulary.1 Besides, let
us note in passing, modern epistemology, even in its most "classical" form, tends to avoid, if not to reject, the
notion of "practical science";2 consequently, the notion seems very difficult to define, even to understand, in
Aristotle. As for the expression "practical philosophy"for which one searches in vain in the Corpus3some
have thought that Aristotle avoided it because he deemed it self-contradictory.4 The tradition which made
use of it surely defended the real unity of ethics (and of economics) and of politics, as answering to a single
philosophical discipline; but if one can trace this living tradition up to C. Wolff, as J. Ritter5 has done, it is
indisputably interrupted in the post-Hegelian era. And one can understand how, in these conditions, the

< previous page page_24 next page >

< previous page page_25 next page >
Page 25

exegete might neglect the profound meaning which the categories I examined above possessed for Aristotle
and make up his mind to rely upon the significance assumed by the autonomy of the so-called Aristotelian

2. A sound method recommends rather adopting the inverse attitude and forgetting for a moment the prestige
of the "works" of the Corpus, each existing as a whole, in order to rely more on the notions, defined in the
"works," which are likely to reveal more exactly Aristotle's concerns. This is the attitude which J. Burnet
adopted 6 at the beginning of the century. In his commentary on the NE, J. Burnet maintained that the
philosopher's terms "practical science'' and "politics" both correspond
adequately to the single science with which both the NE and the Politics deal.7 F. Susemihl criticized such a
viewpoint from the start, asserting "that, for Aristotle, politics is applied ethics (die angewandte Ethik)."8
But one cannot grasp the thinking of Aristotle, who does not speak of "ethical science,"9 by subordinating
politics to such a science. J. Burnet was more faithful to the letter and to the spirit of the philosopher when he
defended the idea of a "practical science" also called "politics." Yet the expression "practical science," as we
have seen, does not seem to refer to a body of speculative theory, expressed in a philosophical discourse, any
more than the expression "political (art, capacity, science)" ( ),10
which may be a synonymous expression. It is therefore in our interest to acknowledge two distinct levels: the
level of practical knowledge (knowledge of the acting subject), at work, for example, in the political art,
capacity or science, and the level of speculative or philosophical knowledge (knowledge of the subject
studying issues related to action or to politics),11 worked up by Aristotle himself. Indeed, clearly there are
two roles here, on the one side, that of the political leader , who governs in the sphere of
action, and, on the other side, that of the philosopher who reflects upon politics
and about whom the NE states, for example, that he must study
pleasure.12 For one cannot overstress that the idea of "science" which Aristotle conceives under the
expression "practical science" "apprehended in terms of competencies of the
knowing subject"13 refers, as H. H. Joachim noted,14 to a science "immersed" in action; which science,
according to the Topics,15 is not fundamentally knowledge of something but a
disposition to act in some way , as I have observed. Its operation, in other words, does
not conclude with the utterance of a proposition, whatever it might be, but in action. It is a "savoir-faire," a
knowledge of how to act, in accord with truth. As G. E. M. Anscombe has written,16 "there is practical truth
when judgments involved in the formation of the 'choice' leading to action are all true; but the practical truth
is not the truth of those judgments." Now although all those arguments of which, for example, the ethical
discourses and the political discourses 17 consist ultimately pursue a
useful end, they

< previous page page_25 next page >

< previous page page_26 next page >
Page 26

express a person's reflection, independent of his action, upon objects which, otherwise and in another person,
are objects of such savoir-faire.

3. Moreover, the interpreter is naturally led to describe in different terms what Aristotle calls a "practical
science" (in contrast to "theoretical science") and what I shall call, for convenience, but in another sense, the
"practical writings" of the philosopher (in contrast to the "theoretical writings''). As Joseph Owens has noted,
18 the first and immediate purpose of "practical science" is action (not contemplation) which has its origin in
the knowing subject. As for the writings called "practical," as G. Bien liked to say,19 their ultimate purpose
also is action; but their immediate purpose can only be knowledge. And if the occasion requiresbut only if it
doessuch writings involve what G. Bien calls20 "an instrumental aspect" [ein technologisches Moment] with
respect to their ultimate purpose. That is, they often furnish advice useful in the exercise of virtue, in the
practice of affairs, etc. Otherwise, they are expressions of nothing but speculative knowledge. Besides, the
objects of the "practical writings," to once again follow G. Bien,21 are "human affairs" (pertaining to the city
and not to the cosmos) which of course (as future objects 22 for "practical science") do not have
their origin in the subject who analyses them or clarifies their rationality once they have occurred. For
example, the constitution of Sparta, examined in the second book of the Politics,23 was the object of the
"practical science" of the Spartan lawgiver; it had its origin in the understanding of this lawgiver.
Aristotle himself studies it as a reality whose present existence and contingent occurrence do not depend
upon him. Here we see the vast difference that separates knowledge realized in the study expounded in what
may be called Aristotle's own "practical" writings from what he really means by "practical science" or
(according to Burnet) "politics."

4. In spite of everything, an extremely thorny problem remains. For although the two levels of knowledge
just mentioned might be de facto clearly distinct for the contemporary interpreter, it could be that Aristotle
did not intend or know how to make such a distinction and clung to the idea that one and the same cognitive
excellence is exercised both in action and in speculative inquiry into action. This is an hypothesis which will
be advanced by some scholars, who regard Aristotle's discussion of I shall translate this term by
"prudence"in the sixth book of the NE as supporting the view that, for him, this "prudence" simultaneously
involves an intelligent inquiry into the particular good to be realized hic et nunc and a speculative inquiry
about action or the good (like that set forth by the Ethics and the Politics). Can we draw this conclusion? To
get to the bottom of this issue I must now open up a special inquiry.24

5. Let us first keep as provisional what in the preceding remarks seems able to secure a sort of unity to the
discourses collected in the Ethics and Politics. There is, in the first place, the idea preserved by the ancient

< previous page page_26 next page >

< previous page page_27 next page >
Page 27

tors, that the human affairs discussed in the ethical discourses form the "primary parts of the city." To this
vague idea must be added the statements of Aristotle himself that (1) "the concern about character can
justifiably be called political" (R 1356a26), that (2) the inquiry to which the NE prologue is an introduction is
''a sort of political inquiry" (1094b11) and that (3) the study "of the philosopher who reflects upon
politics" (NE 1152b1-2) must also deal with pleasure. These statements, the grounds of which are not
obvious, nevertheless suffice to connect the studies set forth in the Ethics with a reflection which Aristotle
elsewhere calls "political philosophy" ( : P iii 12.1282b23) and of which he says that
it raises questions about equality. Thus it follows that for him "ethical" problems, far from representing the
inquiry of an independent science, belong, on the contrary, to the philosophical study which Aristotle
describes as "political," like the problems which are specifically called "political," because they bear on the
laws and constitutions (R i8.1366a22).

From the fact that, wherever Aristotle mentions it, the "political philosophy" which studies, for example,
questions concerning equality turns out to be clearly distinguished from "the political capacity"
which represents the most sovereign of the "sciences" (or "arts") that have the
good as their end (P 1282b14-16), one may ask whether it is not the latter, rather than the former, which
corresponds to the notion of "practical science."

An examination of the concept of "prudence" ( ) should shed some light on this point.

1. A Key Concept:The Irritating Quarrel Of The Interpreters

Scholarly discussion of the topic of , as P. Aubenque has noted, 1 originated in the works of a
disciple of K. Fischer. While refuting an anti-Kantian essay on Aristotle's practical reason (an essay
published in 1855 by F. A. Trendelenburg2 and supported by his pupil G. Teichmüller), J. Walter tried to
establish, in the course of a critique nearly 600 pages in length, that since the Aristotelian prudence of the
NE's sixth book is not assisted, like Thomistic prudence, by synderesis, it is reduced to knowledge of the
means of moral action, knowledge which provides no illuminating intuition of first principles.3 Since Walter
held that for Aristotle the determination of ends (i.e., of values), moreover, was given over to virtue (i.e., in
the last analysis, to desire), without the aid of reason, he concluded that the philosopher's ethics was basically
empiricist and rejected the claim by other scholars that Aristotle's "practical intelligence"
had anticipated Kant's "practical reason."4 Although E. Zeller, in the third edition of
his Philosophie der Griechen,5 does not assume Walter's essentially polemical conclusions, he nevertheless

< previous page page_27 next page >

< previous page page_28 next page >
Page 28

accepts the view that Aristotelian prudence is understanding of the means of moral action only and not of the
end. But in the same year, G. Teichmüller 6 replied and his viewpoint would be supported in 1903 by R.
Loening's original study.7 This quarrel, whose vicissitudes have been recounted by E. Kress,8 includes many
issues which go beyond the scope of my work and whose significance depends on the opposition between
two philosophical schools at the end of the nineteenth century. But the debates about the concept connoted
by the Greek term which fed this quarrel were to recur in the course of the twentieth century;
and, despite what R. A. Gauthier thinks or rather desires,9 they are not yet definitively finished today. The
fact is that the texts of the NE (even the most explicit, in the final chapter of book six)10 can easily give rise
to controversy and M. Wittmann11 formulated the quite seductive hypothesis that the word in
these texts constitutes "an ambiguous term," which sometimes designates the instrumental wisdom of the
Greek tradition, sometimes the properly Aristotelian virtue of the same name. Very lucky in that it
introduced an historical criterion of interpretation two years before W. Jaeger's Aristotle, M. Wittmann's
suggestion nevertheless runs exactly counter to the view of Jaeger himself, for whom in the NE
regains its ordinary pre-Platonic meaning:12 "a practical faculty concerned both with the choice of the
ethically desirable and with the prudent perception of one's own advantage." (English translation, p. 83) H.
G. Gadamer13 criticizes Jaeger's hypotheses concerning in the writings which Jaeger takes to be
prior to the NE, but seems to admit, at least implicitly, that, in the NE itself, can be understood
in Jaeger's manner and is not set aside for discursive investigation of general norms of action. This is also the
position defended by F. Wagner14 in the same year, 1928. But this view was to be attacked vehemently and
influentially by D. J. Allan in a series of studies whose arguments appeared in his general work on Aristotle's
philosophy published in 1952.15 Allan defines for us as ''practical wisdom,"16 whose task is
"the discipline of the emotions according to a rule or purpose formulated by reason,"17 as an intellectual
virtue which can be "produced by teaching," concerns "[general] rules," and involves "skill in applying such
rules intuitively to given situations."18 Therefore, according to Allan, we should distinguish, within
conceived as "practical wisdom," between intelligent inquiry into the means of action
(corresponding to the minor premise of the practical syllogism) and intelligent inquiry into the ends of action
(corresponding to the major premise of the practical syllogism).19 According to Allan, this interpretation
coincides, or, in any case, could coincide with the course taken by Aristotle himself in the Ethics and the
Politics. And Allan tells us precisely concerning the "practically wise person" 20 that he
possesses "a philosophical view of man's place in the universe" and "can best define the end for which all
human society exists." To argue for this position,21 Allan refers to a number of passages from the NE,22
whose most explicit is a

< previous page page_28 next page >

< previous page page_29 next page >
Page 29

definition of excellence in deliberation , from which it can be inferred that is not

only intelligent inquiry into the means of action but also "true apperception of the end"
. 23 Aristotle would thus proclaim straight out
that knowledge of the ultimate ends of action devolves on the "prudent" person , who fixes the
norms of virtue and, therefore, that his own philosophical inquiries, performed with this goal, depend on
"prudence."24 J. Tricot, who defends in every possible way the assimilation of Aristotelian prudence to
Thomistic prudentia, translates the above passage as if the antecedent of the relative pronoun were not
(the end) but (what is effective in promoting the end).25 This
interpretationhardly a natural onepermits him to reduce the knowledge of prudence to the order of means.
From his side, and in the same direction, P. Aubenque26 has exploited the manuscript tradition's alternative
in the passage under consideration in order to support the claim that prudence has the
task of knowing a particular goal . As for the absolute end of action, which virtue alone permits
us to glimpse correctly, it is not the task of the prudent person as such to seek knowledge of it. But D. J.
Allan's interpretation found other partisans. Like T. Ando,27 whose study of practical knowledge in Aristotle
was written during the Second World War but published only in 1958, R. A. Gauthier, in his commentary on
the NE, which appeared in the same year, thought that he could corroborate the analyses of the professor
from Glasgow.28 In short, Gauthier tells us that to understand Aristotle's thought concerning we
must carefully distinguishas Aristotle does implicitlybetween two levels: first, the level of efficient causality
(where , as knowledge penetrated by desire, determines action at the end of the deliberation, i.e.,
at the end of an inquiry into means) and, second, the level of formal causality, the level on which
(as pure knowledge) has the role of determining universal laws of action.29 would
thus seem to be the total virtue of the practical realm;30 if this claim is correct, it would justify Gauthier's use
of the term "wisdom" to translate Aristotle's Greek term.31 When the second edition of his commentary on
the NE appeared in 1970, Gauthier included, in a new introductory volume, a study of the avatars of
Aristotelian (''the scholastic origins of the modern notion of 'prudence"')32 which I shall have
occasion to evaluate shortly. Before this, several scholarsE. M. Michelakis,33 J. J. Walsh,34 W. F. R.
Hardie,35 to name a fewhave sanctioned D. J. Allan's interpretation of , along with what it
implies about the knowledge put to work in an inquiry like that testified to by the NE. In this respect, J. D.
Monan clearly expresses the view of those who hold that the study carried on by Aristotle himself is a
function of . "Perhaps," he writes,36 "the ultimate justification for looking upon the NE as an
exercise of moral knowledge lies in the perfect coincidence of its

< previous page page_29 next page >

< previous page page_30 next page >
Page 30

avowed purpose with the function which Aristotle explicitly ascribed to phronesis. The whole work is quite
simply devoted to determining the end of human action, the value or values one should realize in conduct.
The function of discerning those precise values ... is exactly the task which Aristotle assigns to phronesis."
But does Aristotle really think in this manner?

Let me clarify what is at stake here. If Aristotelian prudence were the excellence activated by the philosopher
who argues (theoretically), for example, on the nature of happiness, then that would mean that this virtue is
acquired just when one becomes a philosopher and also that the philosopher's teaching produces this
intellectual virtue. In these conditions, the philosophical lessons expounded in, for example, the NE, would
ipso facto be Aristotle's contribution to the arrival of the intellectual virtue of prudence in those who listen to
him. But is that right?

2. Prudential Knowledge

1. One point seems immediately to indicate the opposite. Indeed, Aristotle himself assures us 1 that like other
"intellectual excellences," prudence proceeds "for the most part from teaching"
. Now, what does this mean precisely for prudence? It means, at the very
least, that to commence and develop, prudence needs assistance from another person, a teacher
; but in contrast to what "teaching" connotes for us, this does not at all imply that the
discourse or the oral lessons of a philosopher are the true means of acquiring prudence.2 Aristotle, who
emphasizes in this regard the imperative need for experience,3 suggests rather that we should conceive the
teacher as a guide, a counselor, for the person who, in acting, is gaining experience. Philosophical lessons in
due form, like those which Aristotle himself offers us in his writings, cannot of course lack interest on
occasion; but, like any discourse, they will be able only to utter general rules, universal and theoretical laws
of conduct. Now such a teaching does not put the person taught in possession of principles which suffice for
his being a prudent person. Aristotle seems to be very explicit about this:4 principles are not taught by
discursive reasoning . The impossibility of teaching
principles by means of rational speech holds especially when it is a matter of practical principles. Listening
to a philosopher's words is one thing; acquisition of practical principles from them is another. Therefore,
even if it is admitted that the prudent person knows the end of action, that is, the true practical principles, it is
not possible that prudence is an intellectual capacity for rationally determining these principles, seeing that
reason and discursive understanding, by themselves, cannot truly teach them to us.

2. A source of difficulty for the interpreter of Aristotle resides in the fact that no text of the philosopher
explicitly distinguishes between the knowledge

< previous page page_30 next page >

< previous page page_31 next page >
Page 31

which the scholastics will call prudential and the knowledge which they will call scientific. 5 When St.
Thomas, for example, wants to justify the inclusion of oeconomica and politica as partes subjectivae
[subordinate parts] of prudence, he takes care to state:6 "oeconomica et politica non accipiuntur hic
secundum quod sunt scientiae, sed secundum quod sunt prudentiae quaedam" ["domestic management and
politics are here taken as kinds of prudence, not as sciences"Gilby tr.]. Thus we distinguish between moral
science (moral or ethical philosophy) and morality (the domain of prudential knowledge).7 If Aristotle does
not explicitly mention such a distinction,8 one may be tempted to believe that in his eyes, scientia and
prudentia are based on one and the same capacity,9 complete virtue of the practical realm: . This
is the interpretation of R. A. Gauthier for whom, as a result, "St. Thomas dismembers Aristotle's
."10 In order to show us the distance between the two philosophers, Gauthier displays with
perfect clarity the different superimposed orders of knowledge recognized by St. Thomas in the practical
domain.11 They are:

1. "Faith with the gift of wisdom and the contemplation which arises from it"which knows the
supreme end of man, that is, God.
2. "Synderesis"which (naturally) knows universal first principles.
3. "Moral 'science"'"which draws conclusions of universal significance from first principles using
reason alone.''
4. "Prudence"which, "at the bottom of the ladder, [applies] to concrete cases [the] rules which
come from higher up."

Consequently, considering the "small and humble place"12 reserved by St. Thomas for prudence, Gauthier
holds that it amounts to a "modest virtue . . . which preserves nothing of what made Aristotle's a
[form of] wisdom."13 The reason, according to Gauthier, is that Aristotle extended the realm of
to include both the determination of the human being's ultimate end and the inquiry into principlesfirst or
second principlesof all moral action. But if, as is clearly the case, prudential knowledge for St. Thomas is
limited to a search for particular means on the basis of general principles established in advance, is that a
reason to see in it, with some discomfort, a "modest virtue"? Is it not, quite to the contrary, that prudence is
the exact opposite of a "modest virtue," for the precise reason that it lies, as Gauthier says, "at the bottom of
the ladder"? Let us not forget that we are in the practical domain. And, in this domain, primacy returns to the
knowledge which directly presides over action, however important scientific or synderetic knowledge of
principles may be. Gauthier commits here, it seems to me, a singular error of judgment when he disregards
an essential fact pertaining to practical matters: the implication of the higher in the lower. For he dissociates,
or rather thinks he can dissociate, prudence from the higher forms of knowledge

< previous page page_31 next page >

< previous page page_32 next page >
Page 32

just enumerated. A conceptual distinction in terms of the objects known and in terms of the modes of
acquisition of knowledge is possible. But can they be separated in reality? One cannot ignore the nature of
the prudential act whose exercise presupposes knowledge of principles and endsknowledge which, according
to the theological perspective, begins with the knowledge bound up with faith. 14 "Prudence," writes St.
Thomas, "includes (includit)15 knowledge of universal principles" although "it does not consist principally
(principaliter consistit non)16 of the knowledge of these universal principles"; the latter "are naturally
known" (naturaliter nota),17 that is, by synderesis.18 And it comes to the same thing for "the universal
posterior principles'' (principia universalia posteriora) which one discovers "by way of experience" (per
viam experimenti) "or by teaching" (vel per disciplinam):19 they are included in the science of the prudent
person. This is why St. Thomas includes among the partes integrales of prudence, for example, instruction
by a teacher (docilitas).20 If one takes account of these successive implications, one must recognize that
prudence constitutes the whole virtue of the practical realm; this point, in a way, precisely reverses R. A.
Gauthier's conclusions. Although prudence, considered in itself, that is, in its own operations, is limited to an
inquiry into the means, nevertheless, it knows, from synderesis, the end of the moral virtues and, from
science or experience, the general principles of action: it is wisdom in the practical realm. From this point of
view, whatever (Christian) faith and above all (St. Albert's) synderesis21 contributes to Aquinas' teaching,
one must indeed admit that the positions of St. Thomas and Aristotle, concerning prudentia and
respectively, are infinitely less distant than R. A. Gauthier claims. The connections will be tightened even
more when one has noted the essential feature of Aristotelian prudence.

3. I have in mind Aristotle's definition of prudence as a permanent disposition which directly presides over
action ,22 as does Thomistic prudentia. We can pinpoint two passages
fundamental in this connection.23 The NE, indeed, states that prudence is "prescriptive" and
not only critical (like "comprehension" )24 and that prudence is not merely "a rational disposition
based in habit" .25 Understanding effectively commands action by
discovery of the "final term" which figures in the minor premise of the practical syllogism.26
But, according to both the NE27 and the treatise On the Soul,28 understanding, by itself, moves nothing.
Thus practical understanding is understanding penetrated by desire ; and so its virtue, prudence,
because its specific task is to govern action, is not a purely intellectual virtue. One must dare to say so and, in
some ways, it seems obvious: nothing derived from pure knowledge would make of prudence a practical
disposition , not even deliberation , which occupies a preponderant place in
the act of the prudent person.29 And, on this point, Allan was right. "Deliberation," he wrote,30 "is of the
intellectual order and not an operation

< previous page page_32 next page >

< previous page page_33 next page >
Page 33

distinctive of practical reason." Saint Thomas thought so too, conceiving it to be an act of the speculativa
ratio. 31 But one cannot subscribe to J. D. Monan's view:32 "that the work distinctive of phronesis is truth,"
he writes, "is a matter of evidence for Aristotle, simply on the grounds that it is an intellectual virtue." The
error here, if I may say so, consists in taking the definition of the genus for a definition of the species. Of
course, as a point of contrast with the ethical virtues, there is no room to object to it. But to affirm what is
true is not a ''work distinctive of phronesis" within the genus of the intellectual virtues.33 What gives the
operation of prudence its specific difference is the discovery of a "practical truth" ("in agreement with right
desire"),34 as G. E. M. Anscombe has written.35 Since each particular action may be regarded as a means
with respect to the good which is the end of action, there is consequently no doubt that Aristotelian prudence,
like Thomistic prudentia, has the function of inquiry into (particular) means and not that of theoretical
inquiry about the (general) end.

In summary, Aristotelian prudence represents essentially the intellectual virtue whose operation consists both
in determining rationally (by deliberation) and in commanding effectively (through its connection with
desire) the precise means which allows attainment of a good end.

4. But such an operation obviously presupposes that the prudent person possesses some sort of knowledge of
the good end in terms of which he deliberates and commands. And, in this respect, the texts of the final
chapter of NE vi are explicit:36

The operation (of the human being) is fulfilled in accordance with prudence and moral virtue; for
virtue produces the rightness of the end and prudence the means with respect to it.

Deliberate choice will be correct neither without prudence nor without virtue; for the latter
produces the end, the former the actions with respect to the end.

The idea that the rightness of the goal is assured by virtue rests on the also expressed conviction that
"wickedness disorients us and deludes us about practical principles."37 In short, as Aristotle says, adopting a
Platonic metaphor, "the eye of the soul"38 glimpses the good (which serves as end) only if correctly oriented
by virtue.39 Such is, after all, the only difference which separates the prudent person from the clever person
: the former acts for a noble goal , that is, with an eye focused on the good.40
I find it difficult to understand the qualification which D. J. Allan41 wants to introduce when he claims that
Aristotle "is careful not to say that

< previous page page_33 next page >

< previous page page_34 next page >
Page 34

moral virtue can furnish us with a true judgement about the good or end which ought to be pursued." This
claim is contradicted, almost word for word, in a passage of NE vii of which Allan 42 is perfectly aware:
"virtue," we read,43 "whether natural or the fruit of habit, teaches a correct opinion concerning the
principle." Indeed, in the context, Allan must have meant only to maintain that virtue, not being an
intellectual disposition, cannot by itself judge! One would be truly surprised at the contrary. R. A. Gauthier
uses all his efforts, however, to note the same obvious point: "without doubt,'' he writes,44 "it is moral virtue
which, in keeping [the virtuous person] turned in the proper direction, permits wisdom [i.e., R.B.]
to see the true end, but the point remains that it is [wisdom] which sees it." Backed by this observation, R. A.
Gauthier,45 like D. J. Allan46 can thus maintain that is not limited to the choice of means, since
the also knows the end. But the conclusion goes beyond the premises. For the fact that the
, thanks to his virtuous dispositions, possesses a vision of the good to be pursued does not imply
that is also an intellectual capacity for rational determination or philosophical investigation of
this goal.47 Aristotle tells us that the premise of deliberate choice is "a rational representation of the end for
which we act" ;48 and that temperance preserves prudence by preserving the
apperception of "the final cause of our acts" or of the
"principles of our acts" .49 Hence it seems that, in this connection, which
abstracts from its specific operation (deliberation which governs action), prudence can be assimilated to a
true apperception of the end. This is in effect what we are taught by the famous
definition of deliberative excellence of which we have already spoken.50 But what should we
understand by this?

5. It is quite simply an issue of true opinion which, therefore, is not, as such, the conclusion of scientific (or
philosophical) demonstration, but the starting point for the working of prudence as such.

In his commentary on the NE, St. Thomas paraphrases Aristotle's passage when he writes that deliberative
excellence constitutes a "rectitudo consilii in ordine ad illum finem circa quem veram aestimationem habet
prudentia simpliciter dicta et hic est finis communis totius humanae vitae" ["rectitude of deliberation in
respect to that end which so-called absolute prudence truly evaluates. This is the common end of the whole
of life."]51 This explanation in no way distorts Aristotle's thought, as Gauthier himself has to admit.52 For
one easily agrees with Aristotle that in order to decide "what types of thing one must do to live well
generally" ,53 the prudent person must possess a conception of living
well generally, in other words, an idea of the end which his actions should pursue. But, like all those more
specific ideas which motivate his actions, this idea proceeds, in its most exact form, from the direction which
the prudent person receives from his virtues. It is not the conclusion of an intellectual or theoret-

< previous page page_34 next page >

< previous page page_35 next page >
Page 35

ical study undertaken independently. One will look in vain in Aristotle for a single passage, a single allusion,
endorsing the belief that prudence is an intellectual operation assigned to the discursive search for principles
of action. On the other hand, it is said and demonstrated that the supreme end of action does not appear
54 to the person who is not virtuous. This rather leads one to think that the prudent person
receives from his virtues the possibility of acknowledging the (supreme) good. For the characteristic
capacities of the prudent personlike those of the clever person are those which make him achieve
acts tending towards the goal posed in advance .55 The statements that
a virtuous disposition determines a correct opinion of principles56 and that temperance guarantees a true
apperception of the end57 imply that, far from having to find, by means of discursive inquiry, what the good
actually is, and far from having to establish this good rationally, understanding, preserved in its orientation
towards the real good, is content to grasp it and affirm it.58 It is a form of intuitive knowledge,59 which
makes as little pretense to be (total) virtue of practical understanding as (the intuition of the first
principles of science)60 makes to be total virtue of theoretical understanding.61 This analogy, which
Aristotle does not make explicit,62 asserts that apperception of the end is integrated into
prudence as intellectual intuition is integrated into wisdom . It will later be exploited by the
scholastics,63 who will introduce here the concept of synderesis, natural practical reason.64 But in Aristotle
neither true apperception of the end, which is guaranteed by temperance, nor right opinion about first
principles of action, which is made possible by natural or habitually acquired virtue, is ever said to be a result
of natural reason.65

In Aristotle, in other words, one does not find that reason naturally determines (praestituit) the end towards
which the moral virtues aim, as St. Thomas asserts. It is therefore a peculiarly Thomistic idea which Gauthier
paradoxically defends66 when he writes that Aristotelian virtue "is ready to accept the rational imperative
which will be the major premise of the syllogism of virtuous action." Let us understand clearly: what this
proposition claims is true, but what it presupposes is not: namely, that the rational imperative could be
known and still not be accepted without virtue. Aristotle was perhaps close to seeing that the first principles
of action are naturally known by each person,67 and that, moreover, they can be theoretically determined by
natural reason; but he did not maintain that the practical principles which are grasped by prudence are
determined as the conclusion of theoretical inquiry by natural reason. He admits, of course, the existence of
natural virtue.68 He admits therefore that native dispositions of character could favor, in certain people, the
accomplishment of acts conforming to right reason; and even that, in some circumstances, such virtue might
facilitate the development of a correct opinion concerning first principles of action. But in itself, natural
virtue is blind;69 it does not imply any knowledge of these principles. On the other hand, knowledge of

< previous page page_35 next page >

< previous page page_36 next page >
Page 36

principleswhich one cannot teachpresupposes virtue, whether it be natural or the result of habits. Because he
naturally acts in accord with right reason (cf. ) or because he obeys the injunctions of
another, on the condition that these injunctions also conform to right reason (cf. ), a person
can at last conceive for himself what this right reason is, what are, in other words, the principles which
govern his action. 70 And this discovery implies ipso facto two fundamental changes. Virtuous dispositions,
precariously sustained up to this point by nature or as a result of another person's instructions, are
transformed into true virtue sustained by personal choice. And his skillfulness at finding
and realizing operations permitting the attainment of just any goal is transformed into prudence, a
skillfulness at finding and realizing only the operations which conform to the good now known. Distinct
from cleverness only because its operations rest on a true conception of the good, prudence
therefore represents right reason; and Aristotle can affirm that it is the prudent person who furnishes or rather
constitutes in himself the norm of the moral virtues.71 But, as we have just seen, the prudent person owes
this true conception neither to his natural reason nor to his intellectual (i.e., scientific or philosophical)
capacities; he possesses the knowledge of principles because his character dispositions have permitted him to
apprehend themdispositions themselves acquired by having acted over a long time, either naturally or under
the authority of his masters, according to a right reason which he did not possess. Indeed, such knowledge is
not taught by means of discourses any more than a properly prudential capacity is taught by such means. And
the prudent person constitutes for another what other prudent persons had been earlier for him, namely, as P.
Aubenque72 has clearly seen, a norm in the flesh, a model to be imitated. For by his acts of justice, courage,
magnanimity, liberality, etc., he establishes, in the society where he lives,73 the norm of justice, courage,
magnanimity, liberality, etc., in short, the norm of every practical good which should govern those who do
not themselves possess right reason or do not possess it yet.

3. Conclusions

At the end of this inquiry it is therefore possible to answer categorically the question whether , as
Aristotle understands it, combines, in the same intellectual excellence, both prudential or practical
knowledge and a speculative knowledge of a philosophical sort bearing on the ends of human action. The
answer is no. Even if Aristotelian prudence infallibly contains a knowledge of the end, this in no way
coincides with the knowledge obtained by a theoretical or discursive study like that whose results may be
contained in Aristotle's texts. On the other hand, as the NE1 essentially asserts, no discourse teaches the
principles of "practical science." Therefore, one cannot attribute to the philosopher the intention of supplying
in his own arguments

< previous page page_36 next page >

< previous page page_37 next page >
Page 37

a teaching of the sort that would aid the acquisition of prudence in those who are listening to him.

From this perspective, one sees better how and why the disposition which Aristotle calls also
exhibits the pattern of every "practical science." And, by the same token, one must understand that the
theoretical inquiry to which the philosopher devotes his energies not only is not the expression of any
"practical science," but does not contribute directly to practical science by supplying its conclusions, as such,
to function as principles for practical science.

The true principles by which the action of the prudent person must be prompted, in order that it be good
action, are not fixed rationally thanks to a theoretical operation of the philosophical sort, but empirically, in
each person, thanks to virtuous action which prepares his understanding to grasp and acknowledge the truth
of the principles which prompt his action. As for the intellectual activity of the philosopher who tries to fix
speculatively the ends of all action, it in no way compares with the intuitive process that each virtuous person
activates in order to grasp and acknowledge the good to be pursued as an end. It compares rather to the
activity of this person when he exercises his properly prudential excellence in deliberating about the means
to be employed in order to attain the good end which imposes itself upon him.

Indeed, just as the prudent person, for example, does not ask whether one should be happy (the end), but how
to be happy (the means), and tries to determine what he must do in order to respond practically to the correct
intuition which he has of happiness, so, in the same way, the philosopher who wants to know theoretically
what happiness is, seeks then to determine the account which best corresponds to the idea of happiness that
imposes itself upon him as the end of all action. But the philosopher's question is not that of the prudent
person. For the latter tries to respond to a practical question (how am I going to be happy?) which he poses to
himself and whose answer will determine his action, while the philosopher responds, in his turn, to a
theoretical question, which, as such, expresses a desire for general knowledge (what is human happiness?)
and whose answer does not have to determine what he himself will do. And the theoretical question of the
philosopher, in contrast with the practical question of the acting subject, turns out not to be conditioned by
the earlier development of the person who poses it, any more than it must determine his later development.
By definition, it is beyond the range of the contingencies into which every action necessarily enters. Thus the
answer to the theoretical question is not and, for Aristotle, cannot be an answer to the practical question
which is posed for each subject in his own situation, firstly, because what I must personally do is not
necessarily what in general one should do 2 and, secondly, because knowing what in general one should do
does not give me in turn the means of doing what I ought to do. These two rea-

< previous page page_37 next page >

< previous page page_38 next page >
Page 38

sons were such as to remove from Aristotle the intention of supplying, with the conclusions of his theoretical
studies on happiness, the obligatory and effective principles which his listeners would have to pursue in their


The Meaning of Aristotle's Project

1. The reason I have taken up discussion of Aristotle's concept of prudence is that an adequate grasp of this
concept clarifies the plan pursued in the studies expounded in the Ethics and the Politics. Two observations
should be made here.

We have just seen, in fact, that the conditions under which each person can reach knowledge of practical
principles are rigorously connected to the acquisition of a virtuous disposition which is not yet prudence but
only a permanent disposition to act in conformity with right reason. We must thus suppose that the persons
with whom an individual regularly interacts and especially the society to which he belongs play a dominant
role in the process whereby he is called upon to recognize this right reason. 1 Each person receives his
standards of conduct from society and more immediately from those who educate him, whether they support
and cultivate a natural inclination to follow the law or use their authority to correct a contrary inclination.
Indeed, whether educators intervene a little or a lot, they promote good or bad habits, which determine the
acquisition of true or false practical principles (true principles, in the virtuous, agreeing with the
prescriptions of the law, or right reason,2 false principles, in the vicious, opposing what the law prescribes).
Ultimately, therefore, it is society, in the broad sense of the term, which through its laws, its decrees and its
customs tends to define compellingly (with physical force, if need be) in each of its members the dispositions
which will enable him or her to acknowledge, as being practical principles , the
standards expressed in its laws, its customs or its constitution. In short, practical principles are actually
determined for everyone by the society in which they liveand, for this reason, they involve an element of

This inference calls for another. For one still needs a guarantee of correctness for the educational regime
actually promoted or organized by each city and for the dominant values prescribed by it or sustained
infallibly by it in the conduct of its members. Now to whom, above all, does the task of furnishing this
guarantee befall if not the politician or, more precisely, the lawgiver? Indeed, it is primarily his responsibility
to establish laws that accord with right reason, thus stating the norms respect for which will assure in all
people subject to them the possession of true (or good) practical principles governing their actions. This is
equivalent to emphasizing the importance of "political science" for everything that concerns the acquisition
of happiness. Thus we are referred to this famous science of the politician to which, as I

< previous page page_38 next page >

< previous page page_39 next page >
Page 39

suggested hypothetically above, Aristotle may have wished to contribute by means of the group of inquiries
to which the discourses of the Ethics and Politics bear witness.

This is not all. For, if the principles of the "practical science" of the prudent person are adequately defined by
the science of the politician-lawgiver who furnishes (by means of his laws, decrees, etc.) the general norms
by reference to which, in a given society, the conduct of every person is evaluated, there is, on the other
hand, no superior science to determine the principles of legislative science. This is why Aristotle describes as
"architectonic" the legislative prudence 3 whose task is to discover or establish
the best laws in a given society, as the task of every prudence is to discover and propose the best actions in a
given situation. Now, it appears, according to the NE prologue, that Aristotle is concerned precisely with
politics as an architectonic science4 and offers his discourses as a contribution to the knowledge needed by
such a science.5 Hence the hypothesis, which it will be necessary for us to examine, that the philosopher's
works which we are readingnot only the Politics (which is obvious) but also the Ethicsaim essentially to
instruct the politician and above all the politician par excellence, that is, the lawgiver, who requires general
knowledge concerning both constitutional regimes and the human good in order to make laws in particular
circumstances; for in order to legislate adequately, it is indispensable to know the goal (human happiness)
sought by every regime (or way of life in a political community). Besides, what we call the "morality" of
people (i.e., the conformity of human conduct to the good), turns out to be defined and determined in
Aristotle's view by the society of which they are part (i.e., in the last analysis, by politics). In other words,
the principles of the ethical good are in fact taught, orto put it more preciselyinculcated by the lawgiver, who
therefore can and must desire a general knowledge of the human good, of virtues, habits, etc. Thus, if the
philosopher himself hopes to serve morality effectively through his lessons, he will do so indirectly, by
helping the lawgiver gain possession of a general knowledge of this type, which constitutes, along with the
knowledge of the best political or constitutional rules, a basic element of knowledge useful, if not
indispensable, to legislative science (i.e., architectonic politics). That is the reason why Aristotle, as we have
seen, describes his inquiry concerning character traits as political , because it
contributes to the knowledge required for the adequate exercise of political art .

2. The first condition for verifying the hypothesis which I just formulated is of course to guarantee the
political nature of the enterprise which unites the discourses of the Ethics and the Politics and, especially, to
present arguments to show that, in spite of the existence of the so-called ethical discourses ,
Aristotle does not acknowledge "ethical science" as such nor does he recognize ethical inquiry which is not

< previous page page_39 next page >

< previous page page_40 next page >
Page 40

To speak of "ethical science" in describing the doctrines contained in the Ethics is obviously to betray the
letter of Aristotle's writings. J. Burnet, as I have noted, insisted on the fact that the expression
is found in no text of Aristotle. 6 As for the phrase , Burnet said in
short that it refers to discourses characterized by the use of ethical propositions .7 In
any case, it is certain that the occurrence of this phrase is not, by itself, what R. A. Gauthier judges it to be, a
fact "of primary importance, which constitutes the birth of ethics as a science."8 Picking up, moreover, on
the words "ethical study" ,9 Gauthier does not hesitate to conclude: "thus it seems that one
could consider Aristotle the creator of the expression and the concept 'ethical science."'10 This is as if one
were to argue from the existence of the expressions 11 and
12 ("'exoteric' discourses'' and "'more exoteric' investigation") to the conclusion
that Aristotle was the founder of "exoteric science"! If the adjective "ethical" describes a type of
discourses , mostly concerning human character traits ,13 the reason
is that these discourses argue from a specifically human perspective (which is neither "logical" nor
"physical"). But, for all that, Aristotle does not grant that the study that corresponds to such arguments has
the status of a science . There are other expressions by which the philosopher clearly designates
his own writings or writings similar to them: "discourses about actions"
,14 "discourse about things to be done"
,15 "discourses about character traits and actions"
,16 "discourses about issues relating to passions and
actions" ,17 and so forth. Now, although
the expression "practical science" is used by Aristotle, we know how difficult it is
to equate the notion of "practical science" worked out by him with the theories set forth in a "discourse on
actions." There is even less reason to infer, from the occurrence of the expression "ethical discourses"
, that Aristotle conceived of something with the status of "ethical
science" ( ), especially when the latter phrase does not exist in any text.18

Those committed to the philosophical tradition which has seen the NE as the first monument to "ethical
science"19 may perhaps claim that an ethical teaching, an ethics as we understand the term, is really found in
Aristotle, even if its author did not describe it as such. Everyone who wishes to subscribe to this opinion is
free to do so, but our problems are in no way resolved by such a move. Let us indeed admit what is probable,
that the expression "ethical study" , like the expression "the inquiry about character traits"
, refers to a study such as that expounded in the texts now entitled
Ethics. Can one admit, for this reason, that Aristotle conceived this study as an autonomous science, seeing
that the

< previous page page_40 next page >

< previous page page_41 next page >
Page 41

Rhetoric proposes to describe as "political" the inquiry about character traits with which it deals 20 and that the NE is presented as an
approach which is in some way political ?21

It has been claimed that the NE's use of such an expression is the trace of an earlier conception, left behind in deeds, which the philosopher could
not resolve to abandon in words!22 This is a fine example of an ad hoc hypothesis, conceived by those who unhappily see that his terminology
impugns their own interpretation! This spare hypothesis should be considered only when all interpretations which could do justice to Aristotle's
vocabulary have been invalidated.23

To claim, moreover, that the NE, after being described as a political inquiry, is transformed quickly and definitively into a strictly ethical
inquiry24 gets us nowhere. Indeed, nobody denies that the discourses of the NE deal essentially with material which is properly called ethical.
But nothing proves the incompatibility of this fact with the second fact that the same discourses present the results of an inquiry described by
Aristotle himself as "political." Modern exegesis tends to reserve the term "political" or "political science" for the teachings (about the
constitution, etc.) contained in the Aristotelian work of the same name,25 but Aristotle himself is far from thus restricting the meaning of the
term "political (inquiry)." And that is why some interpreters have conceived a "politics'' in the narrow sense (i.e., the teachings of the
Politics) and a "politics" in the broad sense (i.e., the teachings of the Politics and the Ethics). One finds this distinction in R. McKeon,26 A.
Schwan,27 G. Bien28 and W. F. R. Hardie,29 for example.

However, as Hardie saw clearly, this distinction is much more artificial than real:30 "Aristotle does not seem to suggest that there are
different senses of 'political science."' And Hardie refers to the introduction of the Magna Moralia (MM), which to him seems to state
Aristotle's view correctly.31 Here is the conclusion of this passage:32

The inquiry about dispositions of character is, then, as it seems, a part as well as a starting point of politics, and, in its totality, I think that the
inquiry also rightly bears the name, not ethical, but political.

There is not the least ambiguity to the rejection here, by the author of the MM, of the label "ethical inquiry" which,
according to R. Christi's apt observations,33 influenced Aristotle's editors in the Hellenistic era; this influence was natural, inasmuch as the
Stoics at this time were preaching a human philosophy under the name of "ethics." The position defended by Aristotle himself leaves no room for
doubt: the writings supplied to us by the Ethics and the Politics belong to a single study described as "politics."

< previous page page_41 next page >

< previous page page_42 next page >
Page 42

Such a position does not require us to minimize the distinction between an inquiry about character traits and
an inquiry about the constitution nor the credit which Aristotle deserves for making this distinction more
clearly than Plato, as G. Bien has noted. 34 But such a division within "political" study does not involve, in
Aristotle's mind, more than a way of distinguishing two kinds of problem for homo politicus himself.35 The
historian of philosophy does not have to judge prematurely, as E. Voegelin did, that, in contrast to Plato,
Aristotle understood the need for securing the excellence of the human being independently of any political
system by working out an ethical theory for individuals. Nor do we have to say that "the Nicomachean Ethics
is the great testimony in which the authority of the spoudaios asserts itself through the ages, beyond the
accidents of politics."36 Such a judgment can hardly be sustained when one knows that human excellence, in
Aristotle's eyes, is effectively realized only under the aegis of correct compulsive norms, that is, of just
laws37 and, above all, when we keep in mind Aristotle's conception of the human being as "political animal''
38 noted by so many interpreters,39 a conception which prohibits the philosopher from
proposing an ideal form of life which would abstract from the actual (political) conditions in which each
person is located. Moreover, the majority of the moral virtues analyzed by Aristotlenot only justice and
friendship40presuppose a common life organized in accord with established rules.41

"Genetic" approaches, which have tried to describe an evolution in Aristotle's thought, have often been led to
overemphasize his differences with Plato on this point. P. Betbeder wrote, for example:42

when he teaches the courses which will become the Eudemian Ethics and then the Nicomachean
Ethics, Aristotle innovates; he creates a new cycle of teaching, inaugurates in its autonomy a new
field of study. For at the end of the classical age which knew the grandeur of the city-state and of
its "political humanism," Aristotle establishes a new balance between the problem of organization
of the city and that of moral formation of the individual. One can say that with Aristotle reflection
on the human being divides in two, having been a single study up till then. Plato's Republic is
succeeded by the Ethics and the Politics: we are present in a way at the origin of a separation.

Apparently quite seductive, this judgment nevertheless rests on a capital error of interpretation which calls it
into question. The error is to regard Aristotle's Ethics as an attempt to contribute to "the moral formation of
the individual" considered in isolation from society.43 Gauthier, who also pleads in favor of the strict
autonomy of "ethical science" in Aristotle, commits exactly the same error and assures us, for example, that
ethics cannot have such independence before Aristotle "because the individual does not [yet] have an
autonomous end."44 How can such judgments be supported? And, above all, where can one find in Aristotle
the notion of an "individual" whose good

< previous page page_42 next page >

< previous page page_43 next page >
Page 43

should be promoted without consideration for the society to which he belongs? 45 One knows that, in the
philosopher's eyes, there can be no contradiction in principle between what is required for the good of the
city and what is presupposed for the happiness of human beings (particular, concrete beings, integral parts of
the city).46 Indeed, according to Aristotle, the city and the particular person are not
opposed, but are distinguished only as whole and part .47 Hence the objection addressed to
the Socrates of the Republic: "it is impossible that the city as a whole should be happy without all its parts or
the majority or at least some among them possessing happiness."48 Aristotle thus reproaches idealism with
sacrificing the actual components of the state (its members) to an abstraction of the state.49 When he asserts
elsewhere the identity of happiness (or type of life) defined for each person taken separately
and happiness defined for cities in their totality ,50 he did not
of course mean to say that each individual could be happy living separately. Really isolated human beings
, if they exist, are only deformed human beings.51 Even when they are least political,
that is, when devoting themselves to "contemplation," human beings still remain decisively dependent on
favorable conditions provided for them by the city.52

This having been said, it is perhaps Aristotle's realistic perspective which, paradoxically, has ensnared his
interpreters. The attention devoted by the philosopher to concrete human beings, who were neglected by
Plato so that he could focus on an idea of the state, can indeed tempt one to infer prematurely that, from the
perspective of the final cause, Aristotle's city exists only for the individual. M. P. Lerner seems to reach this
conclusion.53 But it is a conclusion of a false realism.54 Recognizing, as Aristotle does, the importance of
individuals (i.e., concrete human beings) is not equivalent to falling into individualism! It is true that the
organization of the city does not seem to be an end in itself for Aristotle.55 But, as A. Schwan has correctly
noted, if the city is that by which human beings secure their "living-well," it becomes immediately obvious
that it is in each individual's interest that he offer his cooperation to the support and prosperity of the city,
even if this should be at the expense of his own immediate advantage.56 And this, moreover, is the
explanation of the claim that the city is prior to each of its members:
.57 The part, indeed, does not exist without the whole and,
consequently, the real human being does not exist without the city. And if the interest, or even the existence,
of the city's common good must be preserved or secured, then the particular good must be subject to
sacrifice, including, if necessary, the most elementary good: life. The reason is that, from Aristotle's
perspective, just as the human being is not an abstraction, so the city is not an idea but a reality to which one
must assimilate the good of each and every member.

A final argument to support the autonomy of a supposed Aristotelian "ethics" might be found in the
distinction, laid down in the third book of the

< previous page page_43 next page >

< previous page page_44 next page >
Page 44

Politics, between the excellence of the good citizen and the excellence of the good man. 58 In reality, the
philosopher's statements on this point, correctly interpreted, categorically nullify the hypothesis that he
meant to promote an ethics which was not political. They furnish the evidence for our counter-interpretation.
Aristotle, in fact, asserts59 that, strictly speaking , the excellence of the good citizen
differs from the excellence of the good man because the
qualities of a good citizen do not necessarily imply the qualities of a good man; but that is for very definite
reasons. Above all, because the excellence of the citizen depends upon the type of constitution in which he
participates ;60 therefore, it can vary, while the excellence of the good man cannot,
and it might be the case that a good citizen in a given constitutional regime would not be a good man
absolutely. Consequently, it is only in one type of city that the two coincide
.61 But, even under this favorable hypothesis, the excellence of every
citizen is not yet the excellence of the good man. For the latter presupposes prudence and, as a
result, it can only be identified with the excellence of the leader .62Let us think of the paradigm of
the prudent person, that is, Pericles.63Now, the subordinate is also a citizen. Aristotle thus
concludes that only "the politician who is sovereign or can be sovereign in the care of common affairs (either
by himself, or along with others)" is a good man.64 To sum up, the excellence of the good citizen coincides
with the excellence of the good man under the two conditions that he exercises a commanding role and that
he exercises this role in the best type of city. On this last point, Aristotle is explicit: "The excellence of a man
is necessarily the same as the excellence of the citizen of the best city."65 Let us therefore pose the question:
outside the conditions created by the best constitutional regime, is it possible to conceive a truly good man,
either among the governed or in a nonpolitical activity? Obviously not, to the exact extent to which the
excellence of the good man is identified with the excellence of the prudent person operating in a political
role.66 One will object that there are other kinds of prudence which relate not to the political arena but to
domestic life and even to strictly personal life. Of course; Aristotle, however, recognizes the objection and
refutes it:67 "one thinks,'' he tells us, "that the person who knows his personal interests and occupies himself
with them is a prudent person, while the politicians are those engaged in intrigue . . . but perhaps personal
happiness does not exist without political life." One must resign oneself to what cannot be avoided:
Aristotle's man is above all a political man, prudence above all an excellence of political life and the good
man a leading citizen.

After all, one must observe that the principal moral virtues analyzed by the philosopher, even without
considering justice and friendship, are essentially virtues of the public man.68 Courage, displayed in the
dangers of war,69 is a virtue of the citizen-soldier and particularly of the military leader (who is

< previous page page_44 next page >

< previous page page_45 next page >
Page 45

a prudent person). Liberality and magnificence engage the noble citizen respectively in the domain of small
expenses vis-à-vis his fellow citizens or his friends and in the domain of great expenses for the benefit of the
entire state, for example, in the practice of the liturgies ["public services" only the wealthy could afford]. 70
Honors , large or small, are also the subject of two virtues (magnanimity and an anonymous virtue,
the just mean between ambition and the lack of ambition), which are virtues of the citizen who exercises a
magistracy .71 They are thus the virtues to which only the politician can aspire. Temperance and
mildnessas well as other minor virtues "concerned with conversations and interactions in common life"72
(truthfulness, humor and friendliness)are no more virtues of the private person than the other virtues are; they
attach to the citizen either in his life of leisure (let us think of the symposia!) or in the meetings or assemblies
where, directly or indirectly, the affairs of state are discussed and negotiated.73

To think, after all that, that Aristotle was engaged not only in describing but also in actively recommending
an ethics foreign to every political system is, it seems to me, to misconstrue all the philosopher's explicit
statements and to risk an hypothesis which cannot be sustained historically.

If my analyses up to this point are correct, particularly if it is true that Aristotle did not recognize ethics as an
autonomous "science" in any sense, and so did not undertake ethical studies outside of a larger inquiry called
"politics," and, in the practical domain, did not dream in any way of proposing an individual happiness apart
from the city, then one can say, without prejudging the content of his discourses known under the name of
Ethics, that they are united by a close connection with the discourses grouped under the name of Politics and
that the two types of inquiry express ultimately the same basic concern.

If, moreover, one takes account of the conclusions to which the study of Aristotle's concept of prudence leads
us and, thus, if one admits that teaching by discourse has no part in the acquisition of the principles of action
which truly orient the prudent person towards the good, we are justified in supposing that the collection of
discourses which make up the Ethics and the Politics are not addressed (directly or primarily) to just any
person whatever but preferentially to the lawgiver, as has been said.74 Their intention, consequently, would
be above all to instruct the lawgiver, the educator par excellence, who must know both what constitutes the
happiness of human beings belonging to the city, and what are the best arrangements which the city can
make to promote this happiness.

I shall have to verify, render precise, and correct if need be the interpretation which I am proposing. But one
will note henceforth that it does not do violence to any of the philosopher's assertions concerning the nature
of his teaching.

< previous page page_45 next page >

< previous page page_46 next page >
Page 46

I said above that Aristotle's concerns are part of a tradition inaugurated by Socrates. What was the source of
the latter's desire to clarify "human affairs"? Perhaps the Greek city, at his time, had developed in such a way
that a curious or simply attentive mind was led to inquire simultaneously into the nature of the human good
and the means which political authorities could employ to secure it. Perhaps politics and, especially,
lawgiving seemed to fail at their most basic tasks. The reflections of Socrates and his successors may thus be
understood as being prompted by the wish to supply politicians and lawgivers with the insights of which they
were manifestly deficient.

My inquiry, which here adopts a new point of departure, will allow us to see to what extent Aristotle's
enterprise implies an historical context like that to which I am alluding. But it will permit us above all to
understand the philosopher's theoretical reasons for addressing his teaching to the politician and, particularly,
to the lawgiver.

< previous page page_46 next page >

< previous page page_47 next page >
Page 47

The Justification for a Political Teaching

1. A Privileged Document

The figure of the helpless Strepsiades who resorts to Socrates' "thinkery" in the hope of finding there a guide
for his son's education proves to be symbolic for us. 1 As the city's alarmed conscience, Aristophanic
comedy2 is the echo of an actual historical drama: that of education at a time when the poets
ceased to be the teachers of virtue, in an Athens which left the task of training its citizens to the discretion of
the heads of families. The anxiety and confusion of those responsible for the upbringing of children shows up
in Plato's portraits of Callias in the Apology, Lysimachus and Milesias in the Laches, and Crito in the
Euthydemus.3 People seek new insights. They are forthcoming. Like Protagoras and his imitators,4 Socrates
attracts to him youth in search of instruction.5 His death, in 399, gives life to an ineradicable message in the
minds of his disciples. The most brilliant among them, Plato, will train the young Aristotle over a period of
almost twenty years. Thus Aristotle's enterprise comes to maturity within an Athenian tradition born a good
century earlier when the men of wisdom, who had been till then natural philosophers, were summoned into
controversies concerning the education of citizens.6

This project should not be understood as a mere contribution to knowledge.7 The works which we read
today, the Ethics and the Politics, bear witness to an effort to solve problems raised by human life on Greek
soil in the fourth century B.C. A privileged text, the present final chapter of the NE, allows us to glimpse
Aristotle's intentions in this respect. It vividly displays the concerns which prompted the philosopher's
investigations. Two thousand years of scholarship have not exhausted this chapter's richness. Given its
location at the end of the NE's tenth and final book, its readers and commentators often come to it already a
bit winded. Perhaps also philosophers have too readily abandoned to the philologists what would seem, on
the whole, to be only a transitional passage. Indeed, as its general content suggests and its appendix which
lays out a program of studies "concerning lawgiving ... and, in general, the constitution"8 confirms, there is
no doubt that this chapter was meant to introduce, not necessarily the Politics as we have it, but an
investigation into laws and, more generally, into constitutions. Nevertheless, given the depth of thought
expressed and the importance of themes addressed, the

< previous page page_47 next page >

< previous page page_48 next page >
Page 48

NE's final chapter is just the opposite of an artificial transition. 9 It essentially involves the entire enterprise
of Aristotle about which we are inquiring. It presumes, moreover, the Platonic heritage as a whole and,
therefore, the most definitive lessons drawn from attempts beginning with Socrates to solve human problems.

2. A Reflection In The Socratic-Platonic Tradition

For the sake of convenience, I distinguish three sections in this chapter, aside from the appendix.1 The first
and the third pose analogous questions. In essence: "How does one become a good human being?" and "How
does one become a lawgiver?" The debate on both issues seems to be inspired by the Meno.2 This dialogue,
however, does not distinguish between the good man and the statesman so far as virtue is concerned. And
Aristotle elsewhere exposes this confusion.3 But the influence of the arguments of the Meno on Aristotle's
thought is rather superficial.4 On the other hand, the Laws, published after Plato's death by Philip of Opus,
seems to have been a profound source of inspiration for Aristotle: the central part of the chapter directly
refers to it.5 And, as F. Dirlmeier has noted,6 the influence of the Laws appears basic, beginning with the
first part, which is dominated by a conception of human beings divided between two tendencies, rational and
irrational.7 Like Aristotle, Plato bases on this conception the need for education from infancy on
,8 education which requires the aid of the laws as rational norms. Aristotle, who
understood the law in this way from the time of his Protrepticus, apparently sees in it the ideal instrument of
education.9 As in his predecessor Plato, we find in Aristotle a concise confirmation of the defects displayed
by the majority of Greek cities and of the futility of attempts to remedy them.10 We are thus referred back to
the historical situation that was the fifth century origin of philosophical reflections about human beings.

Within the general problem of education, the NE's final chapter raises a particular but important difficulty
about the connections between habit and knowledge in the acquisition of virtue.11 Plato's Republic had
already noted the inadequacy and radical imperfection of those who attain a sort of virtue "through habit
without philosophy" .12 The myth of metempsychosis, presented in the
Phaedo,13 illustrates this idea. In the Laws, Plato gives us his final word on the question. He has succeeded,
or nearly so, in distinguishing the elements of a synthesis which will be clearly formulated by Aristotle.
Different conditions, he tells us in effect,14 must be combined in order to produce a good human being
; one of these conditions is that habituation precedes knowledge. Plato expressly states his
conviction that at the earliest age the totality of character is basically determined by habit
.15 Hence the importance reserved in the dialogue (book ii) for education
defined as the primary acquisition of virtue in children.16 Plato

< previous page page_48 next page >

< previous page page_49 next page >
Page 49

started from the idea that those still incapable of reason must be trained to rule their appetites and their
aversions by rational norms whose rationality they will later acknowledge. He sees in this agreement the
whole of virtue . 17 Aristotle will retain the lesson.
Like his master, he too will appreciate the importance of the laws in this respect. Plato stated: "education
consists in drawing and leading children to the norm which has been pronounced right by the law and which
has been proven truly right in the unanimous experience of the best and oldest."18 For Plato, all education
should seek that "the child's soul should not be accustomed to react to pleasure and pain in ways contrary to
the law and to those who have been persuaded by the law."19 Aristotle decisively adopts the same
perspective regarding both the nature of primary education20 and the importance of the laws.21 Perhaps he
does not consider the discord between that which pleasure pursues and that which rational
opinion prescribes to be the greatest possible ignorance , as Plato did.22 Nevertheless,
intemperance remains a sort of ignorance in his eyes, seeing that it opposes prudence and
prevents knowledge of the good.23 Nothing shows better Aristotle's debt to his master on this thorny
question than a remark in the fifth book of the Laws. Plato asks: who can really appreciate this measure
which we have just proposed? He answers: "according to the ancient proverb, nobody will ever be able to if
he be evil, but whoever has become experienced and good from habit will"
.24 The deep conviction that virtuous habits
are required for knowledge of the good is at the root of Aristotle's statements in the NE's final chapter. A
conviction of this sort leaves little room for the claims of those who think they are able to teach virtue by
means of discourses.

3. The Limits of Discourse in Education

In attacking the problem of teaching in the first part of the NE's final chapter, Aristotle recalls the Meno,
from which the Theognis citation at 1179b5 is borrowed.1 As is shown from other Aristotelian texts which
echo it,2 this dialogue stated the question concerning virtue in a form which had become classical. Aristotle,
who refers to it, sets aside Plato's response to the question in order to return to the way in which it was posed
on the threshold of the dialogue: Plato was asking,3 Can virtue be taught or learned ?
Can it be obtained by practice ? Does it pertain to us by nature or in another way? Such
are the hypotheses preserved by Aristotle,4 who ignores here the dialogue's solution (which was provisional,
in any case) that virtue was to be a divine gift.5 The silence is deliberate; for other passages in the NE (and
the EE) deal with divine dispensation .6 Although he examines elsewhere7 the hypothesis, set
aside by the Meno, that virtue is the result of chance ,8 Aristotle ignores it here. Were pre-

< previous page page_49 next page >

< previous page page_50 next page >
Page 50

thinkers primarily divided according to the three hypotheses here recorded by Aristotle
? This is not impossible. To suppose that the virtues are purely and simply natural is
to mortgage all education or rather to condemn it as a futile undertaking. Those, like Antiphon, 9 who
stressed education, obviously assumed that this mortgage has been removed, though they did not necessarily
completely deny the importance of natural qualities. Others, like Gorgias, whose epistemological (and
didactic) skepticism was notorious, did not claim at all to teach virtue, and, in their ambition to teach
rhetoric, emphasized the irreplaceable importance of natural gifts.10 This will also be the case with Isocrates
a generation later.11 But without minimizing natural gifts, the majority, beginning with Protagoras,12
insisted on apprenticeship in the acquisition of the qualities of the good human being and claimed to be
teachers of virtue. But two points must be made here: first, apprenticeship does not ipso facto involve
teaching , and, secondly, the Sophists' claims that they taught by discourses were
open to criticism. Socrates undertook this criticism in a radical way, challenging the pretensions of the so-
called masters of virtue who complained of the injustice of their pupils,13 while certain Socratics like
Antisthenes denied instruction any role in the acquisition of virtue, which they likened to a sort of repetitive
practice .14 Believing in spite of everything that the virtues are sciences, as Aristotle frequently
notes,15 Socrates was able to adopt the claim of the Sophists to teach virtue, preparing the way for Plato's
description of philosophyinsofar as it is "concerned with teaching" and "concerned with
educating" as genuine sophistic.16

The elements of this old controversy become with Aristotle the elements of a familiar synthesis. The
philosopher falls in with the majority of his predecessors in stating that human beings are not naturally
virtuous.17 It is not that natural factors play no role in his view. On the contrary, they are essential; for "one
must first be born with human nature and not that of another animal, as well as with a
certain quality of body and of soul."18 There would be much to say in this vein concerning Aristotle's idea of
inborn excellence ; for the philosopher holds that the same nature which distinguishes man from
woman also distinguishes the free man from the slave.19 But that would take us far from our
purpose. In the view of thinkers prior to Aristotle, the insufficiency of natural qualities did not always imply
an unconditional need for repetitive practice in order to acquire virtue worthy of the name. Now, Antisthenes
thought that it did, as I indicated. So did certain Sophists, among them probably Critias20 and surely
Iamblichus' anonymous Sophist, for whom virtue is the result of numerous actions, differing from rhetoric in
that the latter can be acquired rapidly.21 But the Socratic tradition did not understand the issue this way.
When, in the Meno, Plato impugns the natural virtues by noting that they can be harmful in certain
circumstances, he is agreeing with Socratic claims that what is wrong with the

< previous page page_50 next page >

< previous page page_51 next page >
Page 51

natural virtues is a lack of understanding. 22 Hence Aristotle attributes to Socrates the belief that all virtues
are kinds of knowledge.23 Plato, for his part, brings off a preliminary synthesis: he emphasizes the
importance of habit alongside nature and the necessity of (philosophical) knowing in addition to
habituation.24 Two main corrections allow Aristotle to perfect this synthesis: he distinguishes between two
main types of virtue and affirms a radical difference in kind between prudence and wisdom. Thus the final
difficulties of Platonism are dissolved. For, according to Aristotle, if "intellectual virtue, for the most part,
owes its birth and growth to teaching ... moral virtue, on the contrary, proceeds from habit."25 Strictly
speaking, the acquisition of the moral virtues owes little to teaching as we understand it: it rests upon habit,
which perfects or corrects nature. However, once acquired, the moral virtues allow one to know the human
good and this knowledge belongs to the prudent person, who uses it for the premises of his deliberation.26 In
a sense the Socratic thesis is inverted: knowledge is no longer the condition of virtue but virtue is the
condition of knowledge (i.e., knowledge of the human good).27 In another sense, Socrates was not wrongnor
was Plato insofar as he held that the emergence of prudence raises a virtuous disposition to the rank of true
virtue.28 As for instruction by means of discourses, up to that point it is strictly useless or almost so, but at
that point it becomes possible because the prudent person is open to effective persuasion. Conclusion:
teaching does not create (moral) virtue in people but it permits prudent people to exercise better the virtue
they already have.

Consequently, one cannot assume that Aristotle's project constituted by the Ethics aims to supply principles
permitting everyone to become a good person. At the most, it would help those who are materially virtuous
to become so formally, through the knowledge or awareness which they would acquire of their virtue. But
did such a plan require the lengthy analyses offered us by the Ethics? And, on the very likely hypothesis that
the philosopher could only count on prudent persons who were a powerless minority in the polis where he
taught, what echo could he expect from his teaching, given that it could not operate at the early stage of
education? Did he abandon to circumstances the whole of basic training in virtuous habits? All these
questions are addressed by the last chapter of the NE.


1. On the Insufficiency of Discourse for Forming the Good Person

The present final chapter of the NE (book ten, chapter 10), which has no parallel in the EE or in the MM,
begins with a question full of interest for us. It concerns whether, after what has just been said in
outline about happiness and the virtues, about friendship and pleasure, we

< previous page page_51 next page >

< previous page page_52 next page >
Page 52

can consider that we have attained the goal which had been established. 1 The question is posed both for the
teacher (the author of the preceding discourses) and for the person taught (the listener to these same
discourses). Such is the starting point of a long reflection which examines both the meaning and the role of
the philosophical "discourses" which we read today in the Ethics and the Politics.

The question which Aristotle formulates at the start is explained by a dual conviction (general and particular)
which he expresses elsewhere ( ),2 that is, first, that "in practical matters the goal is not to
gain the ability to study or know all good things but rather to realize them in action,"3 and, second, that "on
the subject of virtue, knowledge does not suffice but one must try to possess [virtue] and practice it."4 The
end envisioned by Aristotle at first, therefore, is the virtuous praxis of the learner, and it is
admitted right away that this praxis is distinct from knowledge acquired by teaching by means of discourses.
The whole problem is whether acquisition of knowledge in this way necessarily implies that the learner's
praxis is virtuous, that is, whether it is the sufficient condition for such a praxis. The text apparently offers
two parallel passages on the topic,5 and H. Rassow,6 followed by R. A. Gauthier,7 chose to see there two
successive versions. Of course, the same doctrine undergirds both expositions. But the hypothesis of a
doublet, for which no interpretive difficulty calls, is not required.8 The first passage puts observed
phenomena 9 in opposition to the view that arguments in discourse form might, in
themselves, have the power to make a person good. Arguments, Aristotle says in short, do not have decisive
influence on most people. The possible exception made for generous, well-born characters, who are truly
enamored of the good, is misleading because the influence of discourse on such persons is entirely dependent
on their being already oriented towards the good. Thus the philosopher implicitly answers the initial question
in the negative: no, the goal sought has not necessarily been reached after what has been said about
happiness, the virtues, and so forth. About the effectiveness of discourses, Aristotle sets forth several
considerations which join those of the second passage; the latter passage states, more affirmatively, the
conditions under which teaching, in spite of its intrinsic insufficiency, could attain the goal sought, by
contributing to the effective virtue of those who are listening to it. Aristotle insists on what we can call the
preliminaries (cf. 10 / 11) of teaching by means of discourses.

I shall note the strict correspondence which exists between these claims and certain claims in the NE's
prologue. Indeed, the two passages agree in affirming that many people listen in vain and without benefit to
discourses (which appeal to reason), that is, they do not obey what these discourses enjoin;12 knowledge
supplied them by teaching remains of no interest to them.13 These remarks apply to people who live at the
mercy of their passions.14 Correl-

< previous page page_52 next page >

< previous page page_53 next page >
Page 53

atively, both passages agree also in positing an ideal listener in whom teaching will produce results. In the
prologue, Aristotle states specifically that knowledge of issues with which his political discourses deal
"would be of great benefit to those who govern their appetites and their actions in
accord with reason" . 15 In the
same line of thought, he states the conditions under which instruction received has force: "the soul of the
listener must first have been shaped for a long time by habits so that it will rightly exercise its likes and
dislikes";16 "the character therefore must have a predisposition for virtue, loving what is good and not
tolerating what is evil."17 The same view, that human conduct is motivated by two antagonistic principles,
reason and passion , lies behind Aristotle's claims in these two parallel passages. In short,
Aristotle holds that the dominion of the passions operates at reason's expense. Hence this statement that
"generally, passion does not seem to yield to reason" ,18
a claim which seems almost a truism to us because of the ambiguity of the word .19 The idea is as
follows: whoever does not ordinarily act in conformity with the rational rule which he possesses in himself
cannot conform any better to the rules prescribed for him by arguments in
another person's speech. For Aristotle, therefore, the knowing acquired through teaching by
discourses amounts to an external regulator, useful only for the learner whose actions obey reason, an
internal regulator. The disciple's understanding of the teacher's discourse presupposes analogous
conditions.20 The NE's prologue expresses the point precisely.21 The relationship between the two passages
is not merely one of parallelism but of complementarity. Let us see for ourselves. The love of the good and
the hatred of evil here mentioned as indispensable prerequisites for instruction obviously can only be the
result of a good education: that point was already an implication of the prologue, which describes the listener
as an educated person .22 Besides, while the prologue limited itself to indicating the
considerable importance of knowledge on the subject, without specifying that certain discourses can
contribute to the virtuous praxis of the well-disposed listener, our present passage, on the other hand, alludes
directly to protreptic discourses.23 Thus, a rational discourse capable of shaping virtuous praxis by the
indirect route of persuasion (cf. )24 is compared to traditional counsels and exhortations.

Given this, our passage, unlike the prologue, insists on the basis of observation that the many, who cannot be
reached by arguments and thus by teaching, nevertheless yield to the external forms of virtue involving
compulsion.25 Indeed, Aristotle's intent is to show that the sanctions used to secure the masses' respect for
the good are of the same type as those needed to guarantee the virtuous action of the youth, the category of
the people most frequently in rebellion against reason because they are carried away by the passions. Here
Aristotle focuses on the fundamental problem of education.

< previous page page_53 next page >

< previous page page_54 next page >
Page 54

2. On the Need for


Already in the prologue, as I said, the philosopher insisted that education is a necessary condition for fruitful
reception of lessons on politics. Noting now 1 the need to acquire virtuous habits beginning in childhood
,he insists again on the same prerequisite by stating that in the absence of external regulation
neither the many nor the young can undergo the habituation needed2 to acquire a taste for the good. The
regulation Aristotle has in mind would be accomplished by laws governing the education of the children and
arranging the entirety of adult life in the same spirit; ''for," he says,3 "the majority of people obey necessity
rather than reason and chastisements rather than desire for the good." Because education here is (in
the broadest sense of the term, as W. Jaeger4 examined it), Aristotle's assertion presupposes a conception of
the human being as (educable). The psychological notions of (reason) and
(character) are irreplaceable elements of this view. Reason and character are taught in two fundamentally
different ways: the first by means of arguments , the second by habits . Politics vii fully
presupposes this distinction when it asks, "must human beings be educated first by reasoning or by
habituation?" .5 Like Plato,6 but from a
different viewpoint, Aristotle decides in favor of the second solution, appealing to observations regarding
human development beginning in early childhood.7 Still following Plato,8 he observes that if the inclinations
of appetite, which pertain to character , inhere in the human soul from birth, "reasoning and
understanding, on the other hand, naturally appear only at a later age."9 Given the temporal priority of desire
to understanding , it is biological necessity which requires us to educate at first by
habituation, when reason is absent in the child, just as it is biological necessity which explains the need for
education generally and education at the earliest age especially. In other words, for Aristotle, the fact that the
human being is a possible object of education correlates with the fact that the human being is
by nature a political animal .10 As Lacordaire wrote,11 "If we ask why the
human being is a being which is taught, we shall answer that the human being is a social being like all the
beings which, each in their own manner, subsist through a social nexus." The essential dependence of human
beings on each other (which begins with conception, continues after birth and lasts, as it were, during their
whole existence) implies the very principle of education. Thus, to state that human beings need laws
throughout their lives, as Aristotle does in the last chapter of the NE,12 is to express in unambiguous terms
the permanent insufficiency of human beings in the absence of a social framework. To be sure, dependence
on others characterizes primarily and especially the first phases of human existence, that is, the years during
which appetite and the passions are all and understanding is nothing or very little.

< previous page page_54 next page >

< previous page page_55 next page >
Page 55

Such considerations show, ultimately, that the problem of education and the more special issue of early
childrearing , on which the philosopher touches here, tend to be posed in political terms. For the
needs inherent in primary education and those rather similar ones felt by more mature people who wish to
lead just lives imply that they require in their social environment what Aristotle calls "a certain
understanding and right disposition, possessing force" .
13 I take this phrase to mean: a rule defined by understanding, supplied with coercive power, and able, for
these reasons, to mitigate, by guiding the development of human beings, the weaknesses they would express
if left to themselves. As the philosopher stated at the outset,14 he conceives of the law, which "possesses a
compulsive power" , as also being "a normative expression which
proceeds from a certain prudence and understanding" .15

The underlying ideawhich Aristotle will formulate a little later, that is, that "it is thanks to the laws that we
can become good human beings"16might seem to be weakened by attention to certain facts, if it is true that,
on his own admission, most existing bodies of law show little concern for education.17 Undeniably.
However, the philosopher's thought is also rooted in factual evidence. Once more we are referred to the NE's
prologue, that is, to the famous passage about the architectonic (i.e., political) science. Aristotle observes
there that the human good by which he means human happiness or excellenceis
the end of that science "which establishes by means of legislation the action which people should perform
and those actions from which they should refrain"
.18 This is to acknowledge, in other
words, that by its positive regulations legislation actually shapes the excellence of the persons subject to it,
for it is the ultimate norm (hence its architectonic character) to which all forms of praxis are referred. Of
course, one can deny that existing legislation promotes the actual good of the citizens it governs: that is
another issue. One cannot deny that, in principle, laws exist so that the human good may be attained or
preserved. One thus can observe that in this sense the laws orient us, not only in principle but in fact, towards
what the lawgiver takes human happiness to be. In its very essence, therefore, legislation assumes a function
with respect to virtue and thus seems to be the privileged instrument of education. In fact, willy-nilly,
whether good or badand we should also say: by its presence or absencethe law and whatever has legal force
shapes education more effectively than the most persuasive speech, for the good reason, as we have seen,
that education is not a matter of discourse, but requires, in the vast majority of cases, a minimal form of

The complexity of the phenomenon and, therefore, the difficulty of the problem which Aristotle raises in the
last chapter of the NE is obviously connected to the distinction between public and private domains. The

< previous page page_55 next page >

< previous page page_56 next page >
Page 56

of a state educationof the Spartan type 19would get rid of the trouble; the same lawgiver who regulates the
whole of political life also regulates education from one end to the other. But Aristotle knows that autonomy
of the private domain, sanctioned in most cities, leaves to the discretion of the familial authority the
education of the children who thus, in a sense, escape the law.20 Such a situation turns out to be worrisome
insofar as it removes the education of children from the influence of all law and leaves it to chance.21
Aristotle thinks that to solve this problem we can rely on paternal authority (in virtue of certain natural
advantages which compensate for its relative weakness, if one compares this authority to the authority of the
laws).22 He places much less trust in paternal wisdom if one judges by his statement that each head of
household has a duty to acquire the capacities of the lawgiver.23 Obviously, such a duty would have no
meaning if the existence of the suprafamilial community was never to be of any interest to the young
child.24 But, as we have seen, Aristotle's view is that the ultimate end of the laws coincides with the ultimate
end of every educational undertaking and that the law of the city is the law of young children from birth
on.25 They subsist on this law, on which their happiness directly or indirectly depends. There is no choice in
it for them. Aristotle's injunction upon the heads of household should be understood primarily as providing a
way to align children's education, via paternal authority, with the principles of the laws which determine the
development of the political community to which the children belong. Thus is removed the possible
discontinuity between the household regime and the political regime in which children indirectly participate
and in which, when they have become adults, they are invited to flourish. But Aristotle recommends not only
that heads of household know the existing laws; he also recommends that they acquire a legislative capacity.
That is, the heads of household will have to know the purpose of the laws and will have to be able, without
reference to existing laws, to establish rules which are appropriate for each child.26

In this detour of the argument, the concept of "legislative science" put forth by the philosopher takes on
special importance. By "legislative science," Aristotle means the capacity to establish the rational norms
which effectively govern human development; a faculty which characterizes not only the lawgiver charged
with a mission in the city, but also, by analogy, everyone who is furnished with a similar science and is thus
prepared to formulate for other people precepts possessing force of law.27 The philosopher's reasoning can
be summarized as follows: The need for rational and effective external regulation, permanently inscribed in
human nature, but especially in the earlier years, implies a need for laws; that is to say: for ultimate coercive
rules, precepts not formulated in legislation now in force must either be drawn somehow from the existing
laws or, on the assumption that there are gaps in the laws, such precepts must indicate what the laws should
be. In every case, leg-

< previous page page_56 next page >

< previous page page_57 next page >
Page 57

islative knowledge, understood as the knowledge of what is appropriate for human beings generally, 28
should govern every educational undertaking.

In short, Aristotle tells us that human happiness depends on the capacity which some possess to formulate for
others compulsive laws based on genuine knowledge (cf. ).29

3. On the Formation of the Lawgiver

Consequently, the question returns: "from what source or in what way can one acquire the qualities
characteristic of the lawgiver?" 1 This question is
crucial, if ever one was, for here it is equivalent to asking how some individuals develop the capacity to
secure the conditions of happiness for people generally. The question is important also because it occurs at
the point where the philosopher has just shown that the lawgiver must really possess a kind of knowledge.
From what source or in what way ? The two terms are not equivalent. ; implies that the
qualities sought may be the result of the individual's acting in a certain way. And in the following passage2
Aristotle provides part of the answer to this question by referring to the need to acquire experience through
involvement in public affairs. This question, let us note, strangely resembles the question posed at the
beginning of the chapter: "How does one become a good person?" The semblance is striking, inasmuch as
the attempts in both places to provide an answer not only echo the Meno3 but reconnect at certain points with
ideas from the NE's prologue about an appropriate listener to political discourses.4 The question concerning
teaching must therefore be posed for the lawgiver as it was for the good person. This is the sense of the
interrogative ; (from what source?), which suggests, among other things, that there might exist
persons competent to give instruction to would-be lawgivers. I say, "among other things," because the
interrogative ; could also refer to a suggestion, advanced by the Sophists,5 that one might become a
lawgiver merely by studying existing collections of laws. Aristotle doubts that one could acquire the
capacities of a lawgiver from this source 6 because
experience is required for judging the quality of the laws. In the course of arguments developed on this
subject we find yet another echo of the warnings issued in the NE's prologue.7

Moreover, as we recall, the prologue affirms the importance of knowledge about political matters
and thus of teaching, provided that certain conditions are given.8 Regarding
the formation of good persons, we have seen how far Aristotle restricts the role of instruction by means of
discourses. Is the situation the same for the formation of the lawgiver? Because Aristotle borrows the
arguments of the Meno, we are tempted to think that he sees no difference between the two cases. In fact, the

< previous page page_57 next page >

< previous page page_58 next page >
Page 58

problems are not identical but only analogous. Experience is for the politician and especially for the lawgiver
what virtuous habits are for the good person: a necessary condition for teaching, which cannot possess in the
two cases either the same nature or the same degree of necessity.

Starting from the view that the legislative art is a part of politics 9indeed, an essential partAristotle goes to
some length to discard two possible sources from which it would be futile to expect teaching. First,
politicians themselves,10 who, the philosopher remarks, have never written or spoken on the subject.
Aristotle infers from this that their actions display a certain natural capacity and experience rather than
understanding, with which, if they but had it, they could formulate general principles of their art in
discourses and thus easily transmit them to others.11 If such is the philosopher's argumentand how could one
interpret him otherwise?we must believe that in his view politicians [politikoi] do not possess the general
knowledge for which the name, with a change of ending, is the same [politike]. Of course, in proclaiming this
deficiency, Aristotle does not mean to pronounce on the value of political action in his time,12 even less does
he wish to deny the importance of political practice (experience);13 his sole concern is to show why
politicians are unable to teach. One cannot consult people for whom mere social custom, of whatever kind,
takes the place of science and who cannot communicate to others general precepts which they themselves do
not know.14 To transmit to another, by way of writings or lectures, the rules of political art can be done only
by one who knows. Now, if the politicians make no pretension in this respect,15 the same cannot be said for
the Sophists. But the Sophists, who brag that they can teach the political art
16 are in fact a long way from
doing so.17 They do not even know what politics is, and if they did know, Aristotle notes in passing, "they
would not have equated it to rhetoric."18 In vain would one seek instruction from the Sophists. Contrary to
what one might think at first, this discussion does not imply the impossibility of instruction in the legislative
art. Of course, Aristotle does not in any way conceive that one could become a lawgiver as a result of
teaching alone; in this connection nothing replaces experience. But he speaks of the true lawgiver as a person
competent in the art and as one who has studied it , in any case, one who must
have attained general knowledge.19 This attests to the insufficiency of experience .
Consequently, Aristotle thinks either that every experienced person must pull himself up by his
bootstraps to the level of art ,20 or that he can look forbut from whom?the help of instruction;
neither of the two possibilities necessarily excludes the other. The philosopher does not pronounce explicitly
on this issue and sticks to a prior question: are there teachers in political or legislative matters?21 But the
negative responses which he gives to that question (first in relation to the active politicians and then in
relation to the Sophists)

< previous page page_58 next page >

< previous page page_59 next page >
Page 59

indicate the elements of his thought. Let us note especially this little sentence: "for those who pursue
knowledge about politics, it would seem that experience must be added"
. 22 This warning is
also given by the NE's prologue.23 The knowledge about politics which Aristotle there seems to promise
those who are going to hear him requires, he says, experience of the topics to be discussed. But such
knowledge cannot be communicated by the politicians (who themselves do not get beyond the level of
experience). If they really possessed art or knowledge, they would write and speak of it. "Generally," he
observes elsewhere, "the mark which distinguishes the knower from the one who does not know is the
capacity to teach, and, therefore, we believe that art is closer to science than is experience."24 Now, does
Aristotle himself intend to impart the knowledge required by the politician or lawgiver who would be a
? We shall see how far it is possible to give an affirmative answer to this question.


1. The Purpose of the Lectures Contained in the Ethics and the Politics

The topic of teaching1 is treated twice in the NE's last chapter: first, quite explicitly, as a means of realizing
virtue, then, more implicitly, as a means of securing knowledge for the lawgiver. Each time the philosopher
hastens to note the prior conditions without which the person taught would get nothing from instruction:
virtuous habits in the first case, experience in the second. Nevertheless, with regard to virtue, Aristotle stands
his ground, so to speak, at the level of effectiveness (or efficiency), claiming that discourses could have a
persuasive (or dissuasive) effect on well-disposed people, as if discourses constituted only an instrument of
persuasion relating to action. In fact, they are also the vehicle of a kind of knowledge and, considered from
this angle, they enter into Aristotle's reflections about the lawgiver. Of course, one may object that the
persuasive and informative aspects of the teaching process cannot be completely dissociated, neither when
they concern virtue (because some information turns out to be useful for practicing virtue and becoming
conscious of one's virtue) nor when they concern lawgiving (because the point is not only to formulate laws
but to apply them). But it remains the case that virtue seems primarily to call for persuasive discourse and
legislation primarily for informative discourse. One must insist on this, for the two questions posed by
Aristotle(l) How does one become a good person? and (2) How does one develop the ability to formulate
laws?seem to provide focus for the Ethics and the Politics respectively. Of course, there is but one step from
this to thinking that the Ethics is the philosopher's teaching addressed to persons who wish to be virtuous and
the Politics a teaching which Aristotle

< previous page page_59 next page >

< previous page page_60 next page >
Page 60

aimed at persons who wish to be lawgiversa step all the more quickly taken because our chapter supplies a
handy transition between the two works. This is at least an error of perspective.

Contrary to what may at first seem to be the case, Aristotle is not really discussing the Ethics when he
alludes to teaching in the first part of our chapter. For could the Ethics be assimilated without qualification to
those arguments "which it would be necessary to produce," Aristotle tells us, "if arguments were
enough to make people virtuous"? 2 This is doubtful. One can recognize in the Ethics an element of
exhortation, if not throughoutan hypothesis which could not be sustainedat least in some parts. But we should
see there above all a collection of analyses directed at intellectual clarification. Consequently, did Aristotle
really conceive his scientific project as primarily benefiting people who, already naturally enamored of the
good or habituated to virtuous actions, needed practical advice or an exhortation to persevere in their activity
rather than the help of such an extended inquiry? That he considered that such an inquiry could be useful to
people of this sort is not debatable. But, once more, we must take into account the NE's prologue, where, in
introducing his listeners to political lessons (cf. ... ...
),3 the philosopher insists especially upon their having experience. I am aware, of course, that,
beginning with J. Burnet4 who adopts a view of H. Diels5interpreters now and then have allowed themselves
to treat the vocabulary of the prologue as a traditional vocabulary which we need not take too literally.6 But
this hypothesis, as I said, is to be retained only by those who, for one or another reason, find troublesome the
terminology employed at the beginning of the Ethics. I am not in this situation. Therefore, in my view, the
discourses of the Ethics too are addressed to the person charged with defining the laws, that is, to the

Let us look at the Politics. Should we say that this work is essentially a vehicle for Aristotle's teaching
addressed to the lawgiver? Does it supply knowledge which is directly useful to the persons of whom the
philosopher demands real knowledge in the subject-matter? Without any doubt. But can we say that the
lawgiver will find a sufficient teaching there? Given that the philosopher requires of the lawgiver that he be
able to decide what is appropriate for all the people or for such and such a category among them and to
formulate the rational rules which should govern the development of his peers or assure the virtuous conduct
of his own household, could he be satisfied to know only the discussions contained in the Politics? In other
words, could he dispense with analyses of the issues tackled by the Ethics? That is much less sure.
Therefore, to speak in a general way, if, first of all, the lectures of the Ethics seem to offer a teaching
insufficient to guarantee virtuous praxis on the part of listeners who do not already have virtuous habits and
if, secondly, the Politics seems to contain a teaching which, by itself alone, hardly suffices for

< previous page page_60 next page >

< previous page page_61 next page >
Page 61

the moral instruction of the lawgiver as Aristotle understands him, can we not conclude that the Ethics and
the Politics were conceived as forming together the teaching intended from the beginning for the person who
must preside over the fate of the city, the lawgiver? For this reason, and given that legislative art is the most
important part of politics, 7 the term "political" is reserved for the teaching announced by the prologue of the
NE. This conclusion calls for some qualifications. It does not imply that the lessons about happiness and
about virtue in the Ethics are otherwise of no interest to those who meet the prior conditions of morality with
which we are familiar. But in Aristotle's enterprise they are likely to have a more fundamental aim. The
development of ideas in the NE's last chapter lets us understand it. Aristotle, as usual, considers first of all
the end, here virtuous praxis which leads to happinessthe ultimate term on the level of realization and the
starting point of reflection.8 Then the philosopher delves further and further into the order of means: virtuous
praxis (happiness) requires virtuous habits; virtuous habits, in most cases, require compulsive rules;
compulsive rules, in turn, require people capable of instituting them, and so forth. And thus, by degrees, he
comes to prove the importance of instruction in the legislative art (this instruction being first from the
practical point of view). Nowand it is at this point that the teaching of the philosopher proper enters without
real interruption of continuity into the actualization of human happinessthe capacity of some individuals as
lawgivers to institute rational norms requires a type of knowledge to which Aristotle intends to contribute
through his own lessons (the Ethics and the Politics, each in its place). The NE's prologue, addressed to the
person who listens to lectures on politics, expounds an analogous idea. There Aristotle states that each of the
many actions , arts and sciences pursues its own end.9 The examples
cited (medicine , shipbuilding , generalship , household
management , etc.) clearly show that the philosopher is not referring to diverse activities of the
same individual but rather to diverse activities of the social whole.10 There follow the familiar accounts of
the arts subordinate to the architectonic arts, to which corresponds the notion of the intermediate end, that is,
an end which is means to another end, which itself demands the idea of a supreme end. Of this good, which
constitutes the supreme end, it will be asked, among other things:11
, that is, "on which of the sciences or faculties does it
depend?"12 And Aristotle answers: "it seems to be the most eminent and, to the highest degree,
architectonic, and such science is obviously politics."13 An ''unexpected and deceptive" answer, asserts P.
Aubenque, who obviously thinks that here Aristotle means that political philosophy crowns a finished system
of the sciences.14 As we have seen, this is not his intent; he only wishes to specify, among the forms of
nontheoretical activity governed by human understanding, the form upon which the realization of the
supreme good ultimately depends. Now, despite a condensation of thought which

< previous page page_61 next page >

< previous page page_62 next page >
Page 62

should not be abused, the philosopher's answer completes a line of reasoning analogous to a more explicit
one developed in the NE's final chapter. For to assert that the human good is the end of politics amounts to
saying that happiness (not for a single individual only but for the whole city) depends on the capacities of the
politicians; which is what the NE'sfinal chapter tends to demonstrate. Besides there are numerous occasions
when Aristotle presents the politicians as those who ensure for themselves and others the virtues and
qualities of good persons. 15 We are familiar with what follows in the prologue: the announcement of an
inquiry labeled "political" and reserved for "the hearer of [or listener to] politics" who would have to listen to
the discourses which make up the promised inquiry.16 Now, the philosopher's idea, never called into
question, is that the politician pursues the happiness of his fellow citizens primarily by means of good
legislation .17 It is therefore probable that, in the prologue of the NE too, Aristotle is addressing
himself to the lawgiver.

Although they let us glimpse how solidly grounded Aristotle's project is, the close connections between the
NE's prologue and last chapter do not license any prejudgment regarding the texts assembled within the NE.
Desiring, at some point, to construct a coherent whole made up of lessons which were political in the sense
defined a moment ago, the philosopher was able to regroup, with minimum revision, several earlier studies
which he had not initially composed with the idea that they would become part of such a comprehensive
whole, the arrangement of which he had perhaps not yet frozen. Besides, do we have any assurance that
Aristotle is responsible for the arrangement of texts within the NE as we read it today? It should be confessed
that we do not.18 But never mind; at least we have some explicit indications that the philosopher's teaching
presented in the NE's main texts was addressed to the politicians (primarily to the lawgivers) and thus
pursued a plan similar to the one I have been bringing to light. Thus, he observes just as he broaches the
study of virtue, "it seems that the true politician should be concerned with virtue above all, for he intends to
make his fellow citizens good persons, who obey the laws. We have an example in the Cretan and
Lacedaemonian lawgivers and possibly in some others of the same type. Now if this study (i.e., concerning
virtue ) answers to politics, our inquiry will clearly conform to our initial project."19 This
passage is very convincing, and quite precious inasmuch as a great part of the NE is devoted to the study of
the virtues. This study contains numerous references to the lawgivers.20 A little farther on, when Aristotle
introduces some remarks about the human soul, we read: "it is obvious that the politician must possess a
certain knowledge of psychological matters."21 Moreover, at the start of NE iii, the philosopher states:
''presumably it is necessary to define the voluntary and involuntary when one undertakes a study of virtue,
and it is likewise useful for lawgivers for purposes of honors and punishments."22 Finally, in NE vii, we find
this important consideration: "Taking up a study of pleasure and pain is the duty of the person

< previous page page_62 next page >

< previous page page_63 next page >
Page 63

who philosophizes about politics; for he is the architect of the end with respect to which we call each thing
good or bad unconditionally." 23 The idea that the politician operates like an architect in determining the end
of human becoming finds an echo in the prologue.24 Aristotle now says that the politician, in this task, must
be informed by a study for example, the study of pleasureif he wants to act as a philosopher.25
Apparently, the situation of the politician whose task it is to secure the happiness of his fellow citizens
naturally calls for such a study. The need for study and thus the possibility of teaching addressed to the
politician is affirmed quite clearly here. So what I have said about how Aristotle's teaching fits into the
realization of human happiness receives solid confirmation. I shall make a new step in my interpretation by
examining the notion of an "architectonic" art often introduced by the philosopher.

2. The Intellectual Nature of Legislative Activity

Already in Plato, the relation between master craftsman and manual laborers provides a particular illustration
of the general relation between a chief and subordinates.1 The master craftsman decides; the
laborers execute, similar in this respect to the slaves who are their master's instrument.2 Aristotle speaks
metaphorically of an "architectonic" doctor and of a "workman" doctor, following a
distinction already exploited in the Laws:3 the latter cares for the patient while deferring to the judgment
and correct decision of the former.4 But the figure of the master
craftsman, who uses the work of his laborers, excavators, masons, carpenters, etc., in order to actualize such
and such a building, serves also to indicate the relations which exist between arts , some of which
use other arts for their own ends.5 Hence the NE prologue's notion of architectonic (art, science, capacity),6
to which E. Zeller had recourse in order to reconstruct what he called Aristotle's hierarchy of the practical
sciences.7 The art of bridle-making , along with other arts, is subordinated to the
architectonic art of the horseman ,8 which along with still other arts is subordinated to the
architectonic art of the general , which, along with other arts, is subordinated to the supreme
architectonic art, that of the politician , who uses, so to speak, all the other arts (cf.
etc.).9 However, as it appears from other passages,10 politics is
itself subdivided. Within it we may distinguish "dicastic" [judicial art], "bouleutic" [the art of deliberating in
the assembly], and "nomothetic'' [legislative art], which governs the preceding two, thus constituting the
supreme architectonic art. Here Aristotle deliberately ignores the distinction between acting and making,
which people will later describe as immanent and transitive activities, respectively.11 In addition, the
vocabulary used has no moral coloration even with regard to politics: the capacity which Aristotle attributes
to the politician

< previous page page_63 next page >

< previous page page_64 next page >
Page 64

is indifferently good or evil, unlike a permanent disposition , which is always good or always evil. 12
The moral coloration does not always disappear in this way. In fact, in NE vi the label "architectonic" seems
always to be reserved for the legislative art, but this art is understood there as a permanent disposition, or,
more precisely, as a type of prudence. Therefore, it belongs to the practical realm, not to the productive.
Aristotle's text enables us to construct in his name the following table, which lists the different specific forms
which can be taken by prudence (the generic term for all the virtues of practical understanding), among
which is the prudence which governs actions concerning only the self and to which people give the common

Prudence in the generic sense

A. Political art in the broad sense

1. Legislative art/architectonic science

2. Political art in the narrow sense

a) Deliberative art
b) Judicial art

B. Household management

C. Prudence in the specific sense, concerning the interests of the individual

I must make a parenthetical remark here. Because Aristotle takes legislative prudence to be a disposition of
the public person (strictly distinct from similar dispositions which pertain to the private domain), he suggests
that alongside politics (the architectonic science referred to in the NE's first chapter), that is, escaping its
sovereignty, we should acknowledge the autonomy of household management and prudence (in the narrow
sense of the term). Indeed, a passage in the EE depicts each of these three dispositions (see A, B, C above) as
absolutely sovereign .14 This means that the authority which the individual ultimately
possesses over actions which concern only himself and the authority of the household manager over actions
which concern only domestic life are equivalent in rank to the authority which the politician possesses in the
city. But this apparently rigorous distinction is toned down considerably in concrete reality because every
individual, despite his autonomy, is a member of a household and a city, and because every household,
despite its autonomy, is part of a city. Aristotle sorts out the implications of such a state of affairs by
observing that "personal happiness of course does not exist without economic or political life";15 the point
would seem to be that economic and political life shape even the person who would like to escape it, or that
it offers the means without which one cannot be happy, or, again, that we have to participate in it in order to
attain happiness, or, more likely, for all these reasons together. Consequently, the legislative facultyand

< previous page page_64 next page >

< previous page page_65 next page >
Page 65

prudence toois far more important than household management and prudence in the specific sense of the
term. That being said, we should acknowledge that on one principal point architectonic prudence is
resolutely distinct from every species of prudence understood as a permanent practical disposition
. Aristotle notes this point explicitly when he compares architectonic prudence to political
prudence in the narrow sense (i.e., ). For he tells us of the latter that it is reduced
(this is the word) to a practical disposition: 16 "thus," he goes on,17 "it is said that those people who
deliberate are only the instruments of politics, since they are limited to acting as manual laborers do." As for
the lawgivers, since they only establish general rules as master craftsmen do, they perform, in a sense, no
practical activity at all. Their art does not qualify them to accomplish a particular action but only to
formulate laws (which are general by definition); and this is a rather intellectual operation. Regarding this
point, I must cite an important passage from Politics vii which, notwithstanding the remarks just made,
emphasizes that legislative activity, in another sense, is practical activity par excellence.18

Those especially and in the strict sense act, we say, who, by their thoughts, direct the actions of
others, as architects do.

If from such a perspective lawgivers seem to be men of action par excellence, still one cannot say that their
thinking decides upon an action which they perform themselves. As the EE attests,19 their "architectonic"
thinking discovers general ruleslaws (rational expressions of a sort of wisdom)which form the premises of
the deliberations of the politician; the actualization of the good in the city requires the cooperation of a
master craftsman, the lawgiver, and subordinate laborers, the politicians in the narrow sense of the term. In
an entirely similar way, the actualization of health will require the collaboration of two types of doctors, one
to formulate principles of the art, the other to apply them. And one may say that laws are to politics as
medical doctors' handbooks are to medicine. Aristotle himself noted this analogy.20

Wherever Aristotle discusses the view which we have just extricated from his texts, he is guided by a
Platonic distinction. Indeed, an important passage of the Statesman21 contrasted the master craftsman
and the worker , by distinguishing the knowledge characteristic of
the first from the manual labor characteristic of the second. The point was to illustrate the
idea that politics ( or ) belongs to knowledge rather than to manual
dexterity or action . Whatever philosophical arguments they may support in
Plato, this dichotomy and the metaphor which accompa-

< previous page page_65 next page >

< previous page page_66 next page >
Page 66

nies it are adopted by Aristotle to make a distinction within politics itself, between legislative and
deliberative activity. Such a distinction within politicswhich from a certain angle is a unity just as the
building of a house is a unity, although the architect's (intellectual) work differs essentially from the
laborers' (manual) laborbrings out the specific nature of legislative work in the actualization of the good: a
rather intellectual activity which determines all human becoming.


Philosophy to the Aid of the Lawgiver

We must now draw the most immediate corollaries from the analysis to which the NE's final chapter lends

Let us recall first that the description of lawgiverthe notion towards which all the elements of Aristotle's
account converge and which must be understood in a quite broad senseapplies not only to those who, by
acknowledged right, share in legislative work within the city, but also, it seems, by analogy, to all the
educators, such as heads of household, who must set up for others and make them respect the same rules of
conduct which are expressed in the laws. 1 After all, the essentially educational nature of legislative work in
Aristotle's view is confirmed by the sketch of the ideal constitution offered us by Politics vii-viii, given that
this sketch tends to be reduced to a sketch of an educational system.2 It is also confirmed by the conception
of general justice offered us by the NE (v 3). Aristotle speaks quite clearly in this respect: "that which has
been defined by legislative science possesses legal force and we say that each
of its precepts is just. Now the laws, which pronounce about absolutely everything, pursue the common
interest . . . so much so that in a sense we call just whatever produces and preserves happiness and its
constituent parts for the benefit of the political community."3 Aristotle, who also remarks that the laws
prescribe acts conforming to all the principal virtues,4 thereby indicates the essentially educational function
of the legislative art. Hence, incidentally, the need on the part of the lawgiver, as conceived by Aristotle, to
possess knowledge of ethical issues.

We have just seen, besides, that the lawgiver's constructive work (or, if one wishes, the operation of
architectonic prudence) is eminently intellectual work. In intellectually guiding the actions of others, the
lawgiver as such performs no action in the ordinary sense of the term, even if lawgiving is not only thinking
but giving a rule. The adequate exercise of his function thus does not depend upon moral dispositions in the
same way as do practical activities in general; and what Aristotle calls "legislative prudence" therefore turns
out to be a more purely intellectual excellence. This is the reason why, as I said, Plato already, in the
Statesman, assigns "politics" to knowledge rather than to action.5 Since the deliberation of the prudent
lawgiver, like the deliberation of any prudent person, is backed by true general principles, we must infer, in

< previous page page_66 next page >

< previous page page_67 next page >
Page 67

light of the preceding analyses, that he owes his principles to experience, as the prudent person concerned
with his own happiness owes his principles to virtue (be it natural or the result of habit). I have already
revealed a similar analogy between virtue's relation to the good man and experience's relation to the good
lawgiver. But contrary to what occurs in the realm of action properly speaking, where the law rules from
without the conduct of persons who feel their way towards right decision, since they have not yet internalized
the practical principles, there are neither superior rules nor superior force able to guide a lawgiver who may
be still too inexperienced to possess unerring principles of good legislation. Did Aristotle consequently think
that a teaching such as his, especially to the extent that it would be normative and although it did not possess
any coercive force, could play, with respect to the lawgiver in power, a role analogous to that which the laws
play with respect to the person who is becoming good? It would appear in any case that the philosopher who
had the desire could guide legislative activity (without himself legislating in any given situation) as the
lawgiver guides the action of others (without himself, as lawgiver, acting hic et nunc).

Nevertheless, the analogy thus developed has limits which should be noted. For without being understood
and by its coercive force alone, the law can determine each person's action; for, in order to act according to
the good, people who submit to the law and are habituated to virtuous actions do not necessarily have to
succeed in grasping the true principles which it expresses in general terms (and if they succeed on their own,
the law as coercive force becomes practically useless for them). But, on its side, the philosopher's message,
which, according to him, can only rely on the persuasive force of discourse, cannot ultimately prompt any
legislative work worthy of the name if it does not address people sufficiently experienced both to understand
the cogency of the propositions it contains and to express these propositions adequately in social reality (in
the form of laws or precepts). The philosopher must therefore obtain safeguards from his listener. Now this is
indeed a principal preoccupation of the prologue of the NE, 6 a text which, as I have stated, connects at many
points with the final chapter of book ten.

At the same time that it displays the philosopher's concerns about the qualities required by his listeners and,
more generally, about the methodological rules demanded by his discourse, the prologue of the NE thus turns
out to be evidence par excellence for our knowledge of the aims of this discourse. And in this connection the
analysis of the final chapter of the NE confirms the importance of its first chapter, which I have emphasized
from the introduction on.

We shall see, in the continuation of this study, that, by whatever end we grasp the problem which I have
chosen for my exegesis of Aristotle, we are invariably brought back to those fundamental lines which open
the NE. Consequently, the statements they contain will acquire ever greater importance and will increasingly
display their significance as the inquiry advances.

< previous page page_67 next page >

< previous page page_68 next page >
Page 68

But, to speak precisely, the fact that I have concentrated my attention on certain passages of the NE, which in
spite of everything is but one document among others for the exegete's use, requires me to consider the
possibility that the passages in question express for Aristotle only a provisional opinion, which is called into
question by other passages or provably characteristic of a stage which the philosopher left behind in his later
thinking. For this reason, it is important, before proceeding, to examine whether the delicate problem of
Aristotle's evolution does not require us somehow to say that my interpretive hypothesis corresponds to an
"early phase" of the philosopher's thought.

< previous page page_68 next page >

< previous page page_69 next page >
Page 69

The Development of Aristotle's Philosophy and Aristotle's Position in the Development of Philosophy

The Problem

Those who hold that Aristotle's thought sanctions the emergence of individual ethics at the expense of
political ethics will perhaps be tempted to think that the traces of genuine political concern preserved in the
NE are evidence for a position which he was later obliged to abandon. Therefore I now need to consider the
hypothesis of a doctrinal evolution in the philosopher's career and, more precisely, to test whether the texts
which I have used to defend my interpretation do not convey ideas corrected by the philosopher in particular
texts of later date.

The NE's final chapter, for instance, has no parallel in the EE, which, in its turn, does not explicitly present
itself as a political inquiry or one aimed at the politician. 1 Could this not be evidence that the EE, precisely
at the point where it seems to refer to the individual rather than the citizen, corresponds to a more mature
stage of Aristotle's thought than the NE? It seems to me that the differences between the two Ethics are
related to something other than a development in Aristotle's doctrines; but the essential doctrinal unity of the
NE and the EE is far from having been proven to complete satisfaction. I must thus again take up the
argument within the limits of my project.

If for Aristotle the teaching of ethics is addressed to the politician (lawgiver), the reason is, I have assumed
in accord with the NE's final chapter, that it is the task of politics to effectively ensure the morality and
happiness of human beings, given that the individual, by himself, dependent on his own subjectivity as he
may be, is most often unable to reach the objective good. Is this conception challenged by the EE? A precise
text proves that, on the contrary, this is exactly the view which it supports.2 Aristotle here rigorously
distinguishes between "the absolute good" and "the good relative to oneself"
, which, he tells us, morality requires "to be in harmony with one another"
. The context shows that in the case of a disharmony we are dealing with a conflict
between the good and pleasure, that is, with the condition, of which I have spoken at length, that
characterizes most people left to their own devices, especially prior to

< previous page page_69 next page >

< previous page page_70 next page >
Page 70

maturity, when reason is blinded by the power of the passions. Thus virtue, described in the terms used here
by the EE, will be what produces this harmony . An account which agrees
with the teaching of the NE's final chapter would be obliged to entrust politics with attending to this
"production." Well, that is what the EE says next: "politics exists precisely to give birth [to this virtue or this
harmony] in those in whom it is still lacking"
. 3 This perfect identity of opinion
between the EE and the NE, which agree in acknowledging the subordination of individual morality to the
intervention of politics (i.e., of the law), implies that the author of the EE had the same reasons as the author
of the NE for addressing a discourse on ethical questions to the lawgiver.4

And so I shall no longer entertain the possibility that Aristotle's thinking on this subject evolved, either from
the NE to the EE or from the EE to the NE, but only the possibility that the interpretation of the "ethics"
proposed up till nowthat it is part of a teaching addressed to the lawgivercorresponds to a view defended by
Aristotle early in his career and abandoned in subsequent philosophical reflection.

Let us first of all state the obvious, that the fact that one is able to assign an early date to a given text does not
necessarily imply that the ideas contained in it ever "lapsed," at least if other texts, chronologically later, do
not call it implicitly or explicitly into question. Thus, for instance, one can assume without great risk of error
that the NE's tenth book contains numerous passages written at a relatively early point in Aristotle's career; it
is probably the case for chapters 6-9, devoted to contemplative happiness.5 And stylometrical studies, whose
results were communicated by C. Rutten,6 tend to show that this tenth book is homogeneous enough and
that, as a whole, it could go back to an early date. If, therefore, it were securely demonstrated that its
concluding chapter expresses an early set of ideas, that would only signify that Aristotle fixed relatively early
the positions which I have been trying to elucidate; and, if we do not otherwise find facts which clearly cast
suspicion upon them, we cannot conclude that they were later given up because the philosopher changed his

Let us observe first in this connection that the contentions of NE x 10like those which seem to underlie the
prologue of the NEcan be reconciled without major difficulties with the account of prudence (including
legislative prudence) in the "common books," an account which has every chance of representing Aristotle's
final position on this intellectual virtue.7 In other words, it is difficult, if not impossible, to declare
incoherence, within the ethical works, between the account of the NE's final chapter and the passages which
contain Aristotle's definitive thinking on a notion as important as prudence. Besides, one will note that the
view, expressed at the beginning of NE x 10,8 that knowing is not the end, either
generally, if one has to do with actions, or particularly, if one has to do with virtue, faithfully echoes,

< previous page page_70 next page >

< previous page page_71 next page >
Page 71

respectively, the general claim of the prologue ("the end is not knowing but action") 9 and the particular
claim which introduces the study of virtue ("we do not inquire in order to know what virtue is but in order to
become good").10 Now these are key passages for the NE; everything looks as if the philosopher intended to
compose his discourse in light of such a final cause. The fact that this final cause reappears in the concluding
chapter displays another type of coherence in the discourses gathered to form the NE and suggests that they
are indeed guided by the same perspective. So it is very dangerous to seek in them traces of doctrinal
disharmony on important questions.

It would also be dangerous to attribute an "archaic" character to the doctrines contained in a text like NE x
10, on the basis of its relations with some claim or other defended by Plato. Even if Plato's Meno directly
influenced the composition of this text, it would not follow that the text is "early." As I said, Aristotle was
content to borrow from the dialogue the traditional arguments of a controversy which had already become
classical, without referring to strictly Platonic solutions of the problem.11 For its part, the influence of the
Laws,12 although considerable at certain points, is related to agreement between Aristotle and Plato about
the importance of legislation for education ;13 for the NE's final chapter relies on a conception of
the legislative art which no longer has anything specifically Platonic about it. In this connection, Aristotle's
claim that general knowledge is needed and his distinction between experience and art
14 should be compared with ideas set forth in Metaphysics A,15 a text to which scholars since
Jaeger tend to assign an early date.16 F. Dirlmeier hesitates to regard it, however, as a source of inspiration
for our passage and even inclines to adopt the hypothesis that the influence operated in the reverse
direction,17 probably because Metaphysics A contains an explicit reference to the "ethical discourses"
.18 But such a reference need not have chronological significance. And, ultimately, in spite
of the similarities which can be established between the two texts, it is impossible to specify which text
influenced which. Can we even take reconciliation between the texts as an indication of relative chronology?
One cannot be completely sure. For to establish that point one would have to show that NE x 10 is also in
agreement with the mode of thought of other early texts which also allow reconciliation. I am now going to
discuss them.


1. Affinities With Politics VII-VIII

A major challenge to my interpretation derives from the close affinities between the NE's final chapter and
Politics vii and viii, which are generally held to be early.1 But again, such affinities are naturally explained,
at least on a general level, by the clearly shared purpose of the texts. For as the teaching of Plato's Laws
reappears in detail in the NE's final chapter because both texts tackle the problem of education and the role of
lawgiving in education,2 so

< previous page page_71 next page >

< previous page page_72 next page >
Page 72

also the normative teaching of Politics vii and viiithemselves influenced throughout by the Laws 3seems
evident in this chapter, and for the same reasons. However, it does not follow from this that, when Aristotle
composed the text of the NE's final chapter, he planned to offer his listener only the sketch of an ideal
constitution like that which he tries to present in the final two books of the Politics.4 In terms of content,
after all, the affinities between these books and our NE chapter are essentially determined by two particular
points. The first is the role of the triad nature , habit , discourse in the acquisition of
human goodness. Indeed, contrary to other passages which consider how a person can attain the supreme
good, identified with happiness (NE i 10; EE i 1),5 and which, while doing this, lay out a broad range of
possibilities, Politics vii 13 and NE x 10 see in the last analysis only three factors which shape human
goodness: nature, habit and discourse (or teaching ).6 Seeing that this triad conforms with the
teaching of Plato's Laws,7 we might think that it expresses an early opinion that Aristotle would have
expanded later by considering other possibilities. But perhaps, on the contrary, the triad, while still
conforming to the Laws, is the answer to inquiries formulated by other texts which take their point of
departure from the options considered by the Meno.8 This answer reduces the several possible causes that
might be entertained hypothetically to three basic ones. The fact that NE x 10 coincides on this point with
Politics vii 13 does not necessarily prove the "archaic" nature of the former; perhaps it only indicates the
early existence of a (lasting) view which is stated there. Another point of coincidence is the role of the
lawgiver in education. According to Politics viii, it is a basic duty of the lawgiver to busy himself with the
education of young people. And there the philosopher advocates "public attention to education"
, which, he says, does not exist, so to speak, in any city-state, with
the exception of Lacedaemonia.9 The NE's last chapter, it must be insisted, mentions the same deficiency
and, above all, it acknowledges the same ideal.10 Up to that point we notice no difference between the two
texts; and, let it be said parenthetically, it is a bit hasty of R. A. Gauthier11 to claim that in the NE Aristotle
admits the "collapse" of the educational system which he recommended at an earlier date in the Politics: one
does not find a trace of a disavowal or a retraction concerning the ideal of "public attention to education.''12
What is true, on the other hand, is that the NE, contrary to the Politics (which restricts itself to an ideal
proposal), considers also the solution of last resort, which one must adopt where the organization of an ideal
educational system is neither applicable nor in force (i.e., in the great majority of cases).13 Without in the
least renouncing his view that public care is the best , Aristotle proposes a lesser evilnot,
strictly speaking, as a substitute, but as something to fall back on. Now, let's be on our guard here: this is an
exact application of the principle expressed in Politics iv (generally considered by commentators to be a late
work) that "it is

< previous page page_72 next page >

< previous page page_73 next page >
Page 73

necessary to examine not only the best political organization but also that which is possible." 14 That is, the
best realizable in a given situation and not only the best absolutely. The same points hold with respect to
education.15 Does that imply that we must push back the date of the NE's final chapter to the time, probably
much later, of the central books of the Politics? That claim would be audacious. But it is important at least to
say that, even if the chapter at issue is early, it already leaves room for the type of consideration which will
lead the philosopher, at the final stage of his thinking about constitutions, to recommend carefully taking into
account historical contingencies which often make impossible the realization of an ideal. In that respect,
whatever be its date of composition, it already expresses Aristotle's "definitive" opinion.

2. Affinities with the Protrepticus

Before deciding the issue definitively, it still remains to raise some difficulties posed by an important section
of this chapter (1181a12-b12). L. Spengel1 already noticed the correspondence of this section with Isocrates'
Antidosis. Taking up the question in detail in his turn, O. Immisch2 even tried to identify in 1181a16-17 an
almost literal citation from an Isocratic speech.3 And scholars agree today in recognizing in this section a
piece of Aristotle's polemic.4 It is a polemic which obviously concerns our inquiry if it is likely that, in
criticizing the Antidosis in the last chapter of the NE, Aristotle was defending positions of his Protrepticus; if
that is the case, the tendency would be to push back the date of the chapter to a quite early period, still very
close to Platonism. This is the way R. Stark argued in a 1954 study which supported the claim that these
passages (except for the appendix of 1181b15-23, which is a later composition) were originally meant as an
introduction to Politics vii and viii (W. Jaeger's "Urpolitik").5 In itself, this conclusion runs contrary to my
previous claims that the attitude of NE x 10 vis-à-vis public attention to education presupposes the principle
enunciated in Politics iv 1 (which, according to W. Jaeger, introduces empirical politics). But that does not
eliminate our need to inquire further.

Stark points to a series of borrowings (some of them "almost literal") by NE x 10 from the Protrepticus. He
finds this already to be the case for the description of law at 1180a21-22.6 In his view, the affinities with the
famous Walzer fragment 13 are more or less constant starting from 1180b12:7 the same analogy with
medicine and gymnastics,8 the same effort to state the requirements for the education of the lawgiver, and, in
this connection, the same observation of the insufficiency of experience , the same assertion of
the lawgiver's need to avail himself of study (to be )9 and, finally, the same condemnation of
pseudo-lawgivers who base their proposals on existing laws which have a good reputation.10 But these
comparisons are not always conclusive. From the same description of law in the two

< previous page page_73 next page >

< previous page page_74 next page >
Page 74

texts, as R. A. Gauthier has rightly seen, 11 no inferences can be drawn about chronology. As for the
parallelism with fragment 13 of the Protrepticus (whose interpretation remains problematic),12 it seems to
be downright superficial. Quick to emphasize similarities, R. Stark is willingly silent about the differences
between the two texts. It is true that fragment 13 of the Protrepticus addresses the theme of the good
lawgiver,13 as does the NE's last chapter. But it is not surprising that two texts written by the same author,
devoted to the same subjects and probably directed against the same type of adversary,14 display common
featuresup to the point of using the same analogical argumentseven at what might be an interval of several
years. Together and consistently, the Protrepticus and the NE declare that the empirical "know-how"
which reigns in the political arena does not suffice to make a person a good lawgiver. But the
actual recommendations formulated in the two texts do not exactly coincide. In specifying the conditions for
the best realization of the particular education required by the head of
household, the NE recommends that he receive knowledge of a general sort .15 It is
such knowledgedescribed in Metaphysics A16which causes the head of household to resemble a lawgiver.
And Aristotle concludes, "Perhaps the person who wishes, by his efforts, to make people better, either many
or a few, must strive to acquire the capacities of a lawgiver, if it is through the laws that we may become
good."17 In short, the knowledge which he demands of the lawgiver is knowledge of the universal
.18 Stark19 tries to reconcile the NE passage in which this idea is
expressed with a passage from the Protrepticus:

NE x 10.1180b20-23:

He who intends in any case to become a man of art and knowledge must, it would seem, raise
himself to the universal and also know this universal as far as possible; for it is said that this is the
object of the sciences.

Protr. B 49-50 Düring:

The laws of the philosopher, alone among the artisans, are durable and his actions correct and
beautiful; for he is the only one to really live with his gaze fixed on nature and on what is divine.

If these two texts express the same basic intuition, nevertheless one may not ignore the differences between
them which they also reveal. Indeed, may the knowledge of the universal, which in the NE is characteristic of
the person competent in an art , really be assimilated without qualification to

< previous page page_74 next page >

< previous page page_75 next page >
Page 75

the knowledge of natural and divine patterns about which the Protrepticus preaches? 20 In any case, the
unreservedly Platonizing manner in which the author of the Protrepticus21 expresses himself no longer
appears to be present in the NE. But there is another, much more basic, difference. In its context, the NE
passage at issue really refers only to the lawgiver, who is concerned with the good of other people and who
is, as such, distinct from the person concerned with his own personal happiness or, more precisely, studious
of his own good. As for the Protrepticus, on the other hand, it refers to both without making any distinction.
The entirety of Walzer fragment 13 is devoted, moreover, to proving the usefulness of "theoretical"
knowledge for human life in all its aspects. And Aristotle explains:

This science is theoretical but it enables us to determine all our practical conduct in accordance
with its teaching. Just as sight neither produces nor accomplishes anything (since its sole function
is to distinguish and to reveal each of its visible objects), but it enables us to act thanks to its
existence and offers us great assistance in our actions (for, deprived of sight, we are almost
immobile), so it is clear that, although this science is theoretical, nevertheless, according to us, we
follow its teaching in many of our actions, we undertake some actions, we avoid others, and
generally, thanks to it, we acquire all good things.22

By subordinating the practical good of human beings to their acquisition of a "theoretical science"
, such language does not conform to the description of the prudent person
offered us by NE vi. This is so even if we assume that the knowledge of nature and the
divine to which the Protrepticus refers is not equated to supreme, purely speculative, wisdom. The
idea, however, corresponds well enough to what we are taught in the passage from Politics vii23 discussed
earlier24 concerning the "architects" (those persons who, without themselves acting, nevertheless direct the
actions of others by practicing an intellectual activity). In other words, the idea, expressed in the
Protrepticus, of a theoretical science or knowledge useful in the practical order finds an echo in the idea of
an architectonic prudence. But what the NE describes in this way, as we have seen, is the excellence of the
lawgiver, and that alone; for legislative science is, as we have said, the only speculative faculty in the
practical order. The NE'sfinal chapter conveys the same idea when it presents the lawgiver as competent in
an art and as having availed himself of study . Therefore, the comparison of this
chapter to the Protrepticus requires two remarks. First, there can be no doubt, as far as this chapter is
concerned, regarding the nature of the knowledge characteristic of the : it is general knowledge
arrived at by induction from experience of similar particulars. Secondly, we know that such a theoretical
capacity is not required of the ethically active person as such (i.e., of the prudent person in Aristotle's current
use of the term), but only of the lawgiver. Basing itself on the Protrepti-

< previous page page_75 next page >

< previous page page_76 next page >
Page 76

cus' analogy with vision, the NE elsewhere explains the case of the prudent person: 25 his knowledge is not
the science of universals which belongs to the speculative order, but knowledge of universal principles of
action; and if such principles are, in a sense, inferred from multiple empirical cognitions, they are
apprehended in virtue of the content of experience proper to the practical order: the exercise of virtuous
actions (which confer on character a stable disposition able to preserve understanding with respect to the
good, which it is summoned to acknowledge in action as being the good). This basic distinction does not
appear in fragment 13 of the Protrepticus. On the other hand, it underlies the entire final chapter of the NE,
proof that Aristotle has arrived there at a clear conception of practical science, sharply distinguished from
legislative knowledge, which his teaching is supposed to serve. That is why, in itself, this finding may
support the view that the NE'sfinal chapter, far from indicating an early phase of the philosopher's thinking,
seems to express, on the contrary, a considerable evolution in his way, if not of conceiving, at least of
presenting, prudence.

The same chapter differs from the Protrepticus by another perceptible difference missed by R. Stark.
Fragment 13 distances itself from all those pseudo-lawgivers who claim to legislate by imitating the best
existing constitutions. We read:26

As he is not a good builder who does not use a ruler or other similar instrument, but works on the
model of other buildings, so perhaps someone who legislates or acts by observing and imitating
other human actions or constitutionsLacedaemonian or Cretan or others of the same typeis not a
good lawgiver or a good person.27 For the imitation of a model which is not well-made cannot be
well-made itself, nor can an imitation of a model which is not divine and durable be immortal and
durable by nature.

Here the condemnation of the "imitative" method is radical. Even if we abstract from the Platonic coloration
of the thinking,28 it is possible to show the distance which separates this view from the view of the NE.
There, tackling the same adversaries, Aristotle shows less interest in denouncing, as such, the approach
which consists in choosing the best laws from among the most renowned than in determining the conditions
in which such choice is possible.29 In fact, the NE, rightly interpreted, does not fundamentally challenge the
stand taken by the "Sophists"30 when they recommend the collection of existing laws in order to select the
best among them,31 but when they claim that such a job is ''easy" .32 And the philosopher
emphasizes how much experience is needed for adequate evaluation of the laws. Perhaps in this insistence,
we can see also the trace of an ad hominem argument, since Isocrates, who always kept himself aloof from
public affairs, was the very model of the inexperienced person. But, in relation to the Protrepticus, the
approach adopted by Aristotle in the NE denotes a noticeable change on the

< previous page page_76 next page >

< previous page page_77 next page >
Page 77

issue of whether some advantage might be drawn from existing bodies of law or constitutions. 33

The outcome of all this is that, whatever be its precise date, the basic text to which I have appealed in sorting
out the reasons which, according to Aristotle, called for his teaching the politician, not only does not reveal
an "archaic" doctrine which may have been revised later, but still testifies, in certain ways, to ideas which
can be recognized as expressing the philosopher's definitive view: the plan for a "back-up" education for
those cases in which the city is deficient in its duties and even the possibility that, under certain conditions,
lawgivers may make use of collections of existing laws.


Aristotle and the Development of Philosophy

We ought to dwell at greater length on this last point. For if we examine carefully the several lines which
bring the NE to a close (1181b12ff.) and which I have not mentioned until now, they will show us that the
precise intent of Aristotle's investigations was to contribute to the perfection of the critical faculty which he
deemed a prior condition for the use of collections of the laws. They will also enable us to understand better
his notion of "the philosophy of human affairs."

As we know, the NE sets out, at the end of its final chapter, a "syllabus" of studies concerning constitutions.
What interests me here is the statement by which Aristotle introduces this "syllabus" and, at the same time,
justifies its content. The point at issue is a small, fairly enigmatic sentence which includes the famous phrase
. By appealing to this sentence R. Stark suggests, by way of
concluding the interpretation examined in the preceding pages, that early in his career Aristotle had
conceived the idea of a "lecture course" [Vorlesungszyklus] concerning human affairs, which would unite his
principal ethical discourses with the lessons contained in Politics vii and viii.1 As I. Düring already noted in
a 1956 review of Stark's work, the lecture course thesis turns out to receive only very feeble confirmation.2 I
shall say, for my part, that one may even doubt the argument that appears to give it most support: that there is
a parallelism between it and a lecture course ''on divine things" mentioned in the treatise On the Parts of
Animals.3 The question has already been touched on earlier;4 but this is the place to take it up in detail along
with other problems raised by the sentence to which R. Stark appeals. Here is its Greek text:5

The authenticity of this sentence was long doubted by the experts. G. Rodier,6 who summarized earlier
exegeses, once saw, in its language alone,

< previous page page_77 next page >

< previous page page_78 next page >
Page 78

two if not three pieces of evidence against authenticity: first of all the term , which belongs to
Platonic vocabulary, 7 but which occurs only once in Aristotle; then, the locution
itself, of which this is the only occurrence in the whole Corpus;
finally, if more evidence be needed, the formula ,8 on whose rarity L. Spengel had insisted.9
But it is above all the intellectual content which seemed problematic. Indeed, the sentence reproduced above
seems to contain two ideas which one can restate as follows: (a) given that our predecessors have not studied
the problem of legislation, it is our task to do so; (b) this study and the study concerning the constitution will
complete, as far as possible, "the philosophy of human affairs," of which we have just finished the first part
devoted to questions of ethics. Idea (a), which seems unaware of Plato's Republic and Laws, did not appear
to be attributable to Aristotle. It urged a verdict of inauthenticity.10 Today, however, the tendency is no
longer to invalidate the sentence; for the "genetic" perspective has enabled us to get around the difficulty. We
only need to imagine either a young Aristotle who considers himself still a Platonist and as such passes
judgment on defects in inquiry prior to Plato11 ormore probably, as W. Jaeger himself supposed12an
Aristotle dazzled by the discovery of empirical politics who disavows all earlier studies on the subject,
including Plato's and his own to the extent that they were conducted more Platonico. All the formal obstacles
disappear at the same time. One will say that a rare expression does not as such furnish
any decisive proof against the passage's authenticity; that the word must be understood as a
point of irony against Plato, whose works are regarded as almost worthless; and finally, the expression
turns out to be guaranteed by an ''excellent" parallel13 in the treatise
On the Parts of Animals: !

But we ought to ask if such a quarrel is not a bit fruitless. Does it not arise, in other words, from an error of
interpretation? For we notice, with some surprise, that idea (b), that an examination of legislation and the
constitution, coming after the study of ethical questions, would be the second part of the two-part human
philosophy of Aristotle, is accepted without comment by the exegetes. Now, such an idea is well conceived
only on the assumption that Aristotle was really intent here on constructing a system of doctrines through his
inquiries. Of course this hypothesis seems to find a solid confirmation in the famous chapter which opens the
Meteorology.14 There Aristotle insists on the opportunity of adding a study of meteorological phenomena to
his previous studies of physical phenomena so as to fill out the vast inquiry which he had proposed for
himself. In the same vein, one could also cite a passage from the treatise On the Parts of Animals where
Aristotle calls for an examination of corruptible beings alongside an earlier examination of incorruptible
realities, in order to omit nothing in his study of living things.15 But these parallels are less real than
apparent. For it is first necessary, in interpreting our passage,

< previous page page_78 next page >

< previous page page_79 next page >
Page 79

to take into account the close connections between ideas (a) and (b). In other words, the project of
completing as far as possible the philosophy of human affairs must be related to Aristotle's expressed
conviction that there is an important gap in the work of his predecessors. Now, in this respect, the NE
passage reveals at least two notable peculiarities when compared to the passages of the Meteorology and the
treatise On the Parts of Animals. For in these passages, alleged to be parallels to the NE passage at issue,
Aristotle mentions that after his having himself spoken about such and such a topic, it remains for him
to examine some other subject. And the context indicates that it is his own project which Aristotle
intends to bring to completion in this way. There is nothing like this in the NE, where the desire expressed by
Aristotle to complete, not his own philosophical inquiry, but philosophy, 16 may also be understood as an
intention to remedy gaps not in his own studies in a given area, but in studies undertaken by others in the
past. I shall translate as follows:

Since, therefore, in the past this problem of legislation17 has been left aside without having been
made the object of study, it is perhaps better to examine it further oneself, and thus, also, the
general problem of the constitution, so that, so far as possible, philosophy relating to human affairs
may be completed.

The idea that each successive generation of researchers passes the "torch" to the next18 and thus brings the
various arts gradually to their flourishing stage is an idea expressed elsewhere by Aristotle.19 Although its
application here has unique features, it seems to conform completely to the teleological perspective dear to
him. The term used in this context should not mislead the interpreter at all. For Aristotle the
point is not only, or even especially, to correct weaknesses or suppress gaps in political theories stated in the
past by those whom we call "philosophers," but, much more fundamentally, to remedy finally the
imperfections of legislative contrivances and actual political organizations, as indicated at the beginning of
Politics ii20 (which, moreover, proposes to subject to the same critical evaluation both constitutions in effect
in cities renowned for their good legislation and proposals of certain "theoreticians").21 In other words,
Aristotle conceives his own inquiry as a relay in the effort of earlier generations to realize a perfect
constitutional life. He does not actually see any discontinuity in development from the "lucky insights'' which
permitted the first forms of social organization up to the most recent proposals on the topic, utopian or not
(those of Plato, for example). Aristotle does not distinguish for his purposes here between the great lawgivers
and those thinkers prior to him whom we call "philosophers." Who were the former? Aristotle speaks of the
Spartan lawgiver who contrived felicitous arrangements for securing moderation in eating,22 of those who
strove to invent new procedures for the defense of cities,23 of those who studied musical education24 and of
those who, recently or in the

< previous page page_79 next page >

< previous page page_80 next page >
Page 80

most distant past (Sesostris in Egypt, Minos in Crete, etc.), have worked out, or are working out,
constitutional rules. 25 All these people are called "philosophers." After all, they are inventors who, by their
thought, have enabled or may enable human progress (whether or not their discoveries have found a
universal application).

That being said, we should know that Aristotle elsewhere formulated a rule which should govern the
development of politics as legislative science: "one must use sufficiently secure discoveries and try to find
what has been neglected" .26 He himself seems to be faithful to this principle
when, at the end of the NE, he announces his own study by saying:
And what was that omission, that shortcoming which he
discovered in past work? What deficiency was to be made good?

We can perhaps glimpse it when, in Aristotle's critique of Plato's Republic, he declares, with respect to
institutions, that "all the discoveries, so to speak, have been made but some have not been collected while
others, although known, are not in use."27 This is a basic claim. For Aristotle, indeed, it seems that the time
of essential discoveries in institutional matters is past or nearly so. Thus he finds it presumptuous of Plato
that he still used all his wits to try to propose new modes of political organization. In virtue of that
conclusion, Aristotle could only regard it as infinitely more urgent to assemble the discoveries already made
at various places in the world of the Greek city-state and to evaluate them, in themselves and in their
foundations, in order to help in applying them. It thus seems, in short, that in his view, the politics of his time
suffered not from a lack of inventive minds able to contrive institutional noveltiesfor this field of possibilities
seemed to him to have been exhaustedbut rather an intellectual incapacity, on the part of the politicians, to
choose, from among the legal or constitutional arrangements already conceived or even in effect in certain
cities, those which, while conforming as much as possible to the final cause of every political community,
could suit the particular community of their own city.

Now this is precisely the point in the last chapter of the NE. In fact, the enigmatic sentence whose analysis I
have undertaken comes shortly after Aristotle has noted that "the collections of laws and constitutions
can be quite useful for those who are able to
examine them and judge what is good or not in them and what measures are appropriate for what classes of
people."28 Aristotle, I said, does not deny that there is much advantage to be drawn from knowledge of
others' accomplishments. But he hints that this implies great powers of discernment on the lawgiver's part.
Consequently, everything is cleared up. Indeed, for what neglect could Aristotle reproach his
predecessorsincluding Platoif not failure to contribute to the critical formation of the lawgiver, preferring
instead to try to add further to the number of legislative inventions? For Aris-

< previous page page_80 next page >

< previous page page_81 next page >
Page 81

totle was right when he remarked elsewhere 29 that "the vast majority of the Laws happens to be laws" and
thus does not answer to the needs of contemporary cities at all. And so he does not wish, as Plato did, to
substitute himself for the lawgiver by proposing a system of laws in his own name, but rather to enlighten the
lawgiver by examining, for his benefit, what concerns legislation
, that is, the problems which are posed for legislative
work after all the discoveries have been made. And, thanks to this studyan essentially critical one, we may
surmiseAristotle wishes to complete the enterprise of all those who have striven to give intellectual guidance
to human development . For he holds that if lawgivers, authors of
constitutions, and other thinkers working in the same direction have, so to speak, gradually discovered, if not
applied, all that could be found out on the issue, then, on the other hand, to bring to completion the effort
thus begun, what is henceforth needed are minds capable of collecting with care and profit the fruits of this
mass of inventions; and it is in the formation of such minds that he wishes to collaborate by his teaching.

We are justified in thinking, then, that Aristotle produced a number of studies for the benefit of politicians
entrusted with defining the lawsome related to ethical questions (which politicians must resolve, because of
the educational aspect of their mission) and others concerned with a critical study of constitutional
"inventions" (so that the enterprise inherited from past lawgivers might advance and, if possible, be
completed). Now, if studies of this kind are not made public, they cannot expect practical results. Thus the
question obviously is: how did the philosopher make his teaching public?

What sort of hearing could Aristotle's message have? Or, more precisely, what sort of audience can we
suppose for the "discourses" of which his Ethics and Politics were probably the basis? Such is the question I
shall now tackle. It will especially permit us to perceive the distinctive character of the "discourses" of the
NE, whose peculiarity in relation to the "discourses" of the EE I have already noted.

< previous page page_81 next page >

< previous page page_83 next page >
Page 83

The Public Character of Aristotle's Discourses


Among the passages in which Aristotle refers to the idea that the arts are progressively worked out over time
and which, like the appendix of the NE, express his sense that his inquiries occupied an important place in
the organic development of various sciences, 1 I must cite the famous last page of the Sophistical
Refutations. For the Sophistical Refutations are brought to a close by a recapitulation of what has been
sought and achieved, at the end of which, Aristotle, noting that he had carried out his project, has still to
observe the peculiar character of the subjects with which he has just dealt. "It is necessary, however, not to
hide from ourselves," he says,2

what has happened in regard to this study. For, among discoveries, there are some which have been
received from others, partly worked out in advance, and which have made partial progress thanks
to those who have taken them on later; others, on the contrary, are original discoveries usually
denoting at first only a small advance, but nevertheless much more useful than the development
which derives from them later.

This distinction enables the philosopher to emphasize the merits of the undertaking which he has just
completed. We read: "On the subject of rhetoric there exist numerous early accounts. But on the subject of
arguments, we had absolutely nothing earlier to cite; we could only devote long hours of labor to the study
ourselves."3 Aristotle then addresses his listeners: "if it seems to you, upon examination, that, in light of the
conditions from which we started, the inquiry is satisfactory, in comparison with other studies developed by
tradition, nothing more will remain for all of you who have listened to me than to forgive the gaps in the
inquiry and give many thanks for the discoveries achieved."4

Beyond their interest for the appreciation of Aristotle's historical sense, these statements have the advantage
of counting among the rare and privileged passages where the philosopher focuses on his own listeners ("all
of you who have listened to me" ). They should be compared
with the first chapter of the NE whose purpose, for the most part, is to provide instruction about requirements
for being a "listener."

< previous page page_83 next page >

< previous page page_84 next page >
Page 84

1. The Complex Nature of the Documents

As the brief summary of lines 1095a11-13 indicates, the prologue of the NE, which consists of its first
chapter, seeks to clarify not only the nature of the project to which subsequent presentations correspond
("what we propose" ), not only the methodological requirements demanded by such
presentations , but also the preconditions which must be fulfilled by the person who
listens to them .1

Discovering this fact, the interpreter for his part is directly referred to the concrete historical situation from
which Aristotle's texts issued: that of an oral teaching whose specific character must not be neglected.
Although, in pursuing this connection, he ventures onto terrain which is extremely muddy, poorly
illuminated because of insufficient documentary evidence, and, in short, almost impenetrable, the exegete
must, whether he wishes to or not, resist the temptation to leave conveniently in the dark the peculiar
circumstances under which these addresses were held, given that their author has taken care, at the beginning
of the NE, to depict their ideal recipient.2

The fact that Aristotle orally addressed an audience is confirmed for us by several passages in the Corpus, of
which the clearest, because it uses the second person pronoun , is the passage quoted above from the
Sophistical Refutations. Already in 1912 W. Jaeger had drawn attention to the importance of this passage for
his interpretation of Aristotelian pragmateiai; he inferred from it that the entire Corpus, or nearly all of it,
comprises a system of , that is, material for Aristotle's various oral teachings, which differ from
his literary output.3 Jaeger's interpretation was based upon a negatively formulated claim: "The doctrinal
writings [Lehrschriften]are generally not literature." By "literature" Jaeger meant the works which were
composed and intended by the philosopher for publication, for instance, his dialogues, like those of Plato.
Unlike literary texts written for a wide audience, but like Plato's discourses on the Good,4 the discourses of
the Corpus Aristotelicum were as a rule only so many texts to be read or expounded before a limited circle of
disciples. The communication itself, of course, would constitute a minimal form of publication, but once it
had been performed, the texts which had served as its basis remained within the school. They became a sort
of common property, shared by the disciples, from which they could take apographa and to which they could
make their own contributions. This account assumes two partly overlapping distinctions within Platonic and
Aristotelian activity: the distinction between what F. Dirlmeier calls "orality and textuality [Mündlichkeit
und Schriftlichkeit]"5 and the distinction between "esoteric'' and "exoteric." Jaeger's account tends, in
addition, to acknowledge a perceptible parallelism and continuity between Plato and Aristotle on this point.

It is not my intention to solve here the problems posed by the nature of the texts of the Corpus, which would
demand a long and laborious study. But

< previous page page_84 next page >

< previous page page_85 next page >
Page 85

we cannot ignore the terms in which these problems are expressed if we wish to evaluate correctly Aristotle's
project. The need to address these questions is affirmed, moreover, if we abstract from the specific character
of Aristotelian exegesis. As E. Gilson has rightly noted: "in a philosophical work, even the literary form of
expression should be interpreted in function of the philosophical needs which it is supposed to answer." 6

In accord with what has just now been said, the difficulties in appreciation of the texts of the Corpus
Aristotelicum can be ranged under four primary headings:

1. The difficulty of explaining their oral character in comparison with other literary texts.

2. The difficulty of explaining their esoteric character in comparison with other texts of an exoteric nature.

3. The difficulty of explaining the connections between their oral character and their esoteric character.

4. The difficulty of explaining the similarity between an Aristotelian "work" thus conceived and a Platonic

These distinctions, although in a sense deceptive (for the difficulties are all inextricably related), nevertheless
provide a handy approach to the issues involved.

2. Oral Communications

The first difficulty does not seem very great; but it was able to evoke abundant commentary. One fact cannot
be doubted: the philosopher's very clear references to the "listener" , for instance, at the
beginning of the NE, supposes an audience and, consequently, an oral presentation of which the texts of the
Corpus are, for us, a kind of echo. Perhaps, although it appears in the NE, the expression "listener to politics"
1 is the source of the very early title given to the Politics in the first
catalogs, "oral presentation on political questions" .2 The better-known label given
to the Physics, "oral presentation on physical questions" , however, is more recent.3
Jaeger's interpretation summarized above, on issues connected with the oral presentations , was
sustained by the authority of Wilamowitz, who wrote in his Aristoteles und Athen that Aristotle's ''acroamatic
works" were "spoken discourses" rendered into writing before being, and in order to be, read aloud.4 He
happened to have the Politics especially in mind. L. Robin generally backed up this view,5 which had
received an enthusiastic reception from J. Burnet as early as 1900, the year he published his commentary on
the NE.6 But the same year, in a review of Burnet's work, F. Susemihl expressed reservations.7 Susemihl
thought that

< previous page page_85 next page >

< previous page page_86 next page >
Page 86

Aristotle's texts were not mere oral lessons but ratheras E. Zeller, he said, had demonstratedexpansions of
such lessons into books for the school. The idea that the lessons were committed to writing after the oral
presentation had a continued life. Supported by the often distressing discovery that the preserved texts
display numerous repetitions and contradictions (frequently imputed by the exegetes), it developed into a
claim still defended in our day (by M. Prélot 8 concerning the Politics, for example) that the texts of the
Corpus are "course notes" taken by Aristotle's pupils. This is perhaps to project anachronistically into the
fourth century B.C. a particular feature of present-day teaching; such an unqualified claim needs
modification, if not correction. Besides, as W. L. Newman had already observed, there is no evidence at all
that ancient writers held that the Corpus Aristotelicum was a collection of students' notes.9 But in adopting
Jaeger's arguments in principle, one must admit that it is possible (though not necessary) that Aristotle's
texts, which were written up in a concise form before, and for the purpose of, the oral presentation, could
have been revised after the oral presentation and as a result of the discussion which followed the reading.
This is an important point. There is room for hypothesizing, at this stage, a rather considerable expansion of
the text, performed by Aristotle himself or entrusted to certain disciples . But in the latter case, let
us note, the disciples had to work on the text of the oral presentation. M. Dufour did not understand this
possibility when he wrote: "what strikes us more than any other fact about the style of the treatises is the
equality of tone due to the perfect adequateness of the word to the object, of the sentence to the idea, of the
form to the subject-matter. A listener could not express the thought with such rigorous exactness."10 It is not
useful, in my view, to reinforce this impressionparts of which, in any case, could be challengedagainst the
idea that a listener, and not Aristotle, codified the texts which we read. For one cannot demonstrate for that
early era, as one could, for instance, in the case of the schools of the Christian era, that the disciples codified
the master's thought solely on the basis of notes taken in the course of oral expositions. Besides, simply to
maintain that the listeners were taking notes is already a poorly justified claim which seems inspired by a
relatively modern conception of teaching. R. Weil, who highly values Dufour's impressions, does not avoid
an odd view of this issue. "Our treatises," he writes, "and particularly our Politics, can . . . only be
'memoranda,' written after the course had been delivered, and only by Aristotle; . . . thus Aristotle would not
have committed them to writing before orally presenting and discussing them. Their purpose was probably to
allow his listeners to 'correct their notes' and also to 'preserve the official record of the teaching in the library
of the Lyceum.'"11 With an account like this, one can hardly avoid emphasizing the importance of
discussions following the oral presentation for the definitive composition of the texts preserved within the
school. But the very conception of the oral presentation is in error here. The term does not refer
to a

< previous page page_86 next page >

< previous page page_87 next page >
Page 87

"course" in the modern sense of the term, a course attended by pupils anxious to note down their teacher's
thought in order to prepare themselves for God knows what later study. It refers, as a rule at least, to a
"hearing" by informed collaborators charged with testing 12 the thinking of one of them (a sort of
primus inter pares).13 Besides, R. Weil omits two important circumstances. The first is that the oral
presentation is a reading which presupposes a prior text. Much better inspiredby W. Jaeger hereA.
Mansion,14 followed by R. A. Gauthier,15 is perfectly right in thinking that most of the works of our Corpus
are basically texts which Aristotle "fixed in writing himself with a view to16 his courses and for the use of
his disciples." Weil also neglected the very probable fact that the material of the oral presentations (revised,
if need be, after discussion and thus having become common property) could be taken up again by Aristotle
with a view to later oral presentations. Because their "public character" was initially quite restricted,
Aristotle's texts were not "laid down'' in definitive form. Corrections, amplifications, substitutions could
occur. And perhaps the reason that, in the preserved texts, Aristotle never explicitly retracts anything is that
he made the most of such a possibility.17 With his specifically literary works which, quite like Plato's
dialogues, were meant to be recopied many times and distributed to a broad cultivated publicthe process
called the situation is obviously very different. This was so not because Aristotle's dialogues could
not have been the object of a prior reading, but because their text, fixed in a more definitive way, was
conceived from the start with a view to publication. On the other hand, with the texts comprising most of the
works of the Corpus, the oral presentation seems, in certain respects, to be an end. In another sense, the
phenomenon of oral presentation defines and structures Aristotle's philosophical exposition as genuine
"discourse" (of the demonstrative type); this fact, after all, gives most of the texts of the Corpus their distinct
character in comparison with many texts of which we have often lost track (epitomes, problems, puzzles,
divisions, refutations, theses, definitions, propositions, instructions, notes, etc.)18 and which, given their
nature as collections, were never meant for oral delivery. Although the History of Animals is perfectly
integrated into our Corpus, it belongs to the same category. Aristotle refers to it, besides, in a very significant
way, when he says "has been written" 19 or uses the formula "consider from"
,20 which proves its strictly "literary" character. The arguments of F. Dirlmeier21 on this
point leave no doubt. The History of Animals, like the collections of 158 Constitutions, was never anything
but a written text, to be placed on the same level as the diagrams ( or ), for instance,
the anatomical plates, to which Aristotle sometimes alludes.22 Let us recall that Plato's dialogues (the
Phaedo, the Gorgias, the Republic, the Timaeus, the Laws, etc.) are cited by Aristotle with locutions which
use the verb "write" ,23 for the same reason: these texts belong to literature. A formula like "as
Plato says" ,24 which

< previous page page_87 next page >

< previous page page_88 next page >
Page 88

might be mentioned as an objection, is clearly of no significance. Besides, it turns out that Aristotle refers to
fictional speeches contained in his teacher's works. This could hardly be clearer when we read, "in Plato's
Republic . . . Socrates says . . ." ,
25 or again (in an allusion to the Symposium), "we know that, in the discourses about love, Aristophanes
says . . ." .26 This being
said, what lessons should be drawn from the "esoteric-exoteric" contrast in the Aristotelian work? This is the
second difficulty.

3. Lectures Of A More Or Less Private Nature

Let me first forestall any misunderstanding. Neither the word "esoteric" , which only appears
in the second century of our era,1 nor the concept which it expresses in the ancient or modern tradition is
Aristotelian. The use which I am making here of the word refers therefore to its etymological sense and aims
at describing in a handy way the nature of some of Aristotle's texts in terms of an idea retrospectively
conceived for them by usthe idea that these texts express the philosopher's concerns "inside" the
restricted circle of his disciples. By contrast I can speak of exoteric texts without prejudging in any way what
Aristotle himself actually meant by "'exoteric' discourses" another thorny question if
ever there was one.2

At bottom, the issue for us is to distinguish two possible groups of writings on the basis of their respective
intended audiences, one of them the disciples , the other the many . Indeed, this
natural distinction can fix a difference simultaneously in the subject being dealt with, in the method of
dealing with it, and even in the mode of expression of the discourse itself. Subjects are esoteric, in this sense,
when they are addressed to specialists, either because, in themselves or naturally, they are difficult to attack
or, still more simply, because they are of no interest to the massesfor instance, metaphysics in comparison to
ethics or politics, as certain ancient writers have already proposed (Aulus Gellius, Plutarch, Syrianus, etc.).3
Methods are esoteric when, for instance, they appeal to an unusual form of inference or argumentation.
Finally, discourses are esoteric when they renounce all rhetorical embellishment in favor of an extreme
sobriety able to render thought obscure, even hermetical, to the common run of mortals4hence the idea of
secret doctrines , mentioned by Clement of Alexandria5 and studied in our century by G. Boas.6

Let us note that a given philosophical account is not necessarily esoteric in all three senses at once. One can,
of course, imagine a philosopher dealing with esoteric matters with an esoteric method and an esoteric style
for the sake of certain initiates. But it is possible, for example, to approach an eso-

< previous page page_88 next page >

< previous page page_89 next page >
Page 89

teric subject with a nonesoteric method and vice versa. The decisive factor, in this respect, seems always to
be the intended audience; except, of course, with respect to collections of political and other data, where the
main consideration is not the intended audience and the decisive factor seems to be the subject being
addressed. Elsewhere, that is, where the philosopher wished to provide arguments and no longer only to
collect factual material, the importance of the intended audience appears at first sight to be decisive. Whether
the subject under discussion is esoteric or not, one might think a priori that the philosopher would be inclined
to opt for or against an esoteric method or language according to whether he addresses a group of his
disciples or, on the contrary, seeks a broad audience. In fact, the hypothesis that the principal texts of our
Corpus possess an esoteric character in this sense (and are distinguished from other Aristotelian texts which,
like the dialogues, were conceived for a broad public) is a seductive one. But perhaps it rests on certain
unreliable assumptions, among others, that all the oral presentations were delivered before the same audience
of specialists. 7 Thus we arrive at the third difficulty.

4. An Opening of the School to the City?

The problem we are addressing has been partly solved by ancient commentators. As we know, the
Neoplatonic writers, at the end of an already long tradition, systematically contrasted two classes of
"compositions" in Aristotle: the works designated "for oral presentation"
(works corresponding to occasions when the author himself is speaking , etc.) and the
works called "exoteric" (those in dialogue form , etc.).1 There would be much to
say and resay about this. But it is not very important. Ammonius, for example, justifies his division in the
following way: "the exoteric works are so called because they have been written for the sake
of people who have a superficial understanding, and so the philosopher labors to produce a clear style and
forms of reasoning which are not demonstrative but persuasive, based on widespread opinions. The
acroamatic works, on the other hand, almost necessarily assume a devoted listener
who is really sincere in his love of philosophy."2 Such an interpretation
is not to be taken literally. Everyone would admit it. But it rests on an intuition which one cannot entirely
challenge. Perhaps it arose historically from the discovery of a genuine difference between two types of
writings. It remains to be determined whether all of Aristotle's writings which we suspect to have been
connected to an oral presentation possess the same esoteric nature sharply distinct from the nature of other
writings which we know to have been published by their author in good and proper form (for instance, the

I must make an incursion here into the history of modern interpretations regarding the "'exoteric' discourses"
. In 1883, H. Diels

< previous page page_89 next page >

< previous page page_90 next page >
Page 90

maintained that by this phrase Aristotle meant discourses in which strict scientific method was not used and
one was content with probable reasoning. 3 This was suggested by a passage of the EE which contrasted
"'exoteric' discourses" with "discourses in accord with philosophy" ,4 a
passage whose importance must obviously be considered. Five years later, Diels5 observed that certain texts,
for instance, in the NE, contained passages in a popular style, using Platonic vocabulary and contrasting
clearly with rigorously scientific accounts.6 Not only the language but also the thought content in these
passages seem not to express rigorous philosophy. Diels saw in such a fact evidence that the NE was midway
between a truly philosophical work and an exoteric work (in a sense claimed by him to be Aristotle's) and
that it was addressed, in part at least, to a public of nonspecialists, like the Protrepticus. One knows the
interpretation which led J. Burnet to adopt this view of things.7 Let us note again that the exoteric character
of certain texts also explained their Platonic tinge, according to Diels, who did not imagine that the
occurrence of Platonic terminology in a text could vouch for its belonging to an early period in Aristotle's
career.8 I have tarried a bit on this point since this view, resolutely abandoned since Jaeger, has recently
regained favor, though its partisans have not invoked Diels' authority. In 1965, indeed, at the end of a minute
comparison between the NE's and the EE's critical accounts of the theory of Ideas, H. Flashar9 concludes
that the basic difference between the two passages tends to prove that the NE was addressed to a larger
public than the EE. In the NE, Aristotle would speak in the name of philosophers to an audience including
nonspecialists as well, while, in the EE, he would speak in his own name to an audience of philosophers
(inside the school), just as in Metaphysics A and Metaphysics M respectively.10 And Flashar drew the
following lesson: "Thus the NE is one grade more exoteric than the EE."11 Radically hostile to the
arguments of Dirlmeier, and unaware of Flashar and Diels, the Rumanian C. Vicol Ionescu nevertheless
reached analogous conclusions in 1973;12 in a vast study, he thought that he was able to establish that the EE
and the NE (with the exception of the common books) were two concomitant and complementary aspects of
a single systematic enterprise, the one (EE) intended to found a moral theory for philosophers, the other (NE)
intended, from a practical point of view, to formulate principles of action for people in general. Whatever
one thinks of his work otherwise,13 C. Vicoi bases himself on an easily verifiable point which, moreover,
has been noted by D. J. Allan,14 namely, that on the whole the texts of the EE have a more scientific, more
mathematical cast than the texts of the NE. Hence the hypothesis that the same subject-matter (ethical
questions, in this case) would have been discussed by Aristotle, at one time before his own disciples, for
whom a more rigorous mode of argumentation was appropriate, at another before a much expanded public,
who required certain concessions in terms of traditional (or Platonic) language and ideas.15 The NE,

< previous page page_90 next page >

< previous page page_91 next page >
Page 91

to this comparison, would tend often to appropriate the style and methods characteristic of published works
which sought a large audience, for instance, the dialogues. As for the EE, it would be an esoteric work (in the
sense I have defined), although its object, identical to that of the NE, might have nothing esoteric about it. Is
this not indeed a peculiar situation? For I have taken care to note above that, for many ancient writers, ethics
and politics constituted, not without reason, quite the contrary of an esoteric subject. Along with the rhetoric,
these subjects were the very ones which most directly and most naturally interested possible listeners from
outside the school. After all, one must recognize the truth that the majority of the works published by
Aristotle and destined for a broad public (among others, the dialogues) touched on ethico-political questions,
as did most dialogues of Plato. To persuade oneself of this, it suffices to compare the Platonic works and the
first twenty-four titles of Aristotle listed in the catalog preserved by Diogenes Laërtius. 16 It would thus, at
first sight, be normal enough that all of Aristotle's oral presentations, insofar as they tackled practical
problems, were held before an enlarged audience. But the discourses to which the EE testifies appear to be an

A very interesting study by G. Bien,17 it seems, clearly explains the situation in which we find ourselves.
Bien examines the relations between the "school" and the "city" from Plato on, in order to clarify the "theory-
praxis" problem. While Plato, he says,18 wanted to make the Academy a school for citizenship, Aristotle, in
his view, distinguished between a philosophical teaching reserved for an elite within the school and a
political teaching aimed at the mass of citizens outside the school.19 The reflections on the "politically active
life" , which are conducted from the practical perspective, were therefore addressed to
the citizens ''who come from the city into the school in order to be enlightened there about their ethical and
political existence."20 Bien then encounters the problem of the EE. In his judgment,21 the EE's difference
from the NE has less to do with chronology than it does with the public for which Aristotle conceived it: an
audience versed in special questions debated at the Academy. Thus, the EE does not contain a protreptical
eulogy regarding the "theoretical life" similar to that of NE x 6-9; it does not formulate
a "political" ethics while the NE does;22 it presents, compared with the NE, a rather different criticism of the
Platonic ideas23 and it shows less concern with happiness.24 Whether one endorses them in detail or not,
Bien's arguments have at least the merit of stating the fact that some of the philosopher's oral presentations,
as much by their purpose as by the way in which this purpose is carried out, conduce to a hearing which goes
beyond the narrow context of the disciples: they are oral presentations touching on the human problem (from
the angle of praxis). Because of its more esoteric character (in the sense of esoteric defined by us), the EE is
at first sight an exception. This difference, which seems to bring the EE25 under a perspective other than that
of the NE, would require a more detailed exami-

< previous page page_91 next page >

< previous page page_92 next page >
Page 92

nation if we were to try to decide whether the principal texts assembled in it are merely Aristotle's notes
consigned to writing for his personal use and eventually left for consultation by his collaborators or disciples,
while the texts of the NE would be the basis for various oral presentations, given by Aristotle in the context
of opening the school to the city. I am unable to perform such a study within the limits of the present work,
but, at least, I can try to clarify the hypothesis formulated above in light of historical facts concerning Plato.

5. Differences with Plato

The most important studies mentioned above and which converge remarkably enough (those of Dirlmeier,
Flashar and Bien) are backed, in one respect, by H. J. Kramer's work on Plato's unwritten doctrine. 1 The
nature of an "esoteric Plato"and even his existence, as writings of H. Cherniss attest2is a highly debated
question, which Krämer's daring but seductive synthesis has undeniably renewed in depth. The only thing
that interests me here is the meaning of the term "esoteric" as applied to Plato's doctrines. According to
Krämer, alongside the dialogues and undergirding the intellectual content of the dialogueswhere we find "the
protreptic, problematic and aporetic Plato"3we should suppose a fixed, fully worked out ontological doctrine,
which is the object of an oral teaching.4 Prompted by remarks of F. Solmsen,5 Krämer believes himself
justified in speaking of this sort of "esoteric" teaching for two reasons: first, because at issue are doctrines
completely original in comparison to the content of the dialoguesat least in one basic respect (Prinzipienlehre
[the theory of principles])and, secondly, because such doctrines, absent from the dialogues, were in fact
rather inaccessible to the great majority, even if Plato had not wished to keep them secret.6 However, they
possess very close relations to the philosopher's written and published works (his exoteric teaching). In the
esoteric teaching Plato explained the ontological foundations or, if you will, the metaphysical principles of
the Good, principles assumed by the dialogues, which work out, for the great majority, the principles'
"axiological significance,'' according to a sui generis procedure.7

Conceivable for Plato, such relations are no longer conceivable for Aristotle. For the disciple has broken the
unity, which was defended by the master, between what we call metaphysics and politics. As Krämer has
rightly noted, the very question which is the object of Plato's discourses on the Good
has disappeared from Aristotle's horizon, as is implied by Aristotle's doctrine of
the autonomy of the various sciences.8 That is why the esoteric-exoteric contrast as we have glimpsed it in
Aristotle does not continue the verbally similar contrast which, following Krämer's suggestions, we might
reconstruct in Plato. Freed from a metaphysics which is in itself of interest to the "school," politics is restored
to "the city." Henceforth, political

< previous page page_92 next page >

< previous page page_93 next page >
Page 93

topics are considered essentially exoteric. Therefore, the oral presentations which deal with such issues
would naturally seek a hearing outside the usual circle of disciples. This could have been the case, at least on
one or another occasion. We are going to see that it was.

Obviously, aspects of this complex reality are masked for us by the fact that Aristotle's discourses were all
combined so as to construct the works of the Corpus as we find them today. Their new "literary" status forms
a screen difficult to penetrate.

But we possess at least one significant general certainty. For it seems clear that, whoever Aristotle's intended
audiences were in particular cases, all these discourses express a thought the disclosure of which he did not
entrust to literature. 9 On the best hypothesis, the philosopher's message thus was intended by its author only
for a relatively restricted hearing. From another angle, in spite of their codification and although they
prepared in some way for the emergence of a new literary genre (the scientific monologue) at a more or less
distant date,10 Aristotle's texts remain linked to a form of oral expression. To the extent to which, finally,
they correspond to an intention to instruct or, better still, to educate, the oral presentation appears as an
extremely original phenomenon, deserving of further consideration.


1. Obscure Material Circumstances

Without doubt it is very difficult to picture concretely for oneself the oral presentations to which the works of
the Corpus bear witness; for, outside of a little passage from Aristoxenus,1 which, moreover, relates to a
very particular point, no indirect information survives to enlighten the exegete. Certain traditions assure us
that Aristotle taught rhetoric while he was still a disciple of Plato.2 An anecdote, recounted in the Vita
Marciana,3 refers to the "auditorium" of Plato where Aristotle was the "intellect" ( ).
According to another anecdote,4 Aristotle may have been described by his master as a ''reader"
. This anecdote, correctly interpreted, may allude to the fact that Aristotle assured the "public
reading" of certain texts before a circle of disciples.5 But all this is quite meager and imprecise. One is
reduced, in the last analysis, to exploit the texts of the Corpus themselves to obtain an idea of Aristotle's
teaching. It is in this way that H. Jackson reconstructs the philosopher's "lecture room" at the Academy6 and
I. Düring sketches a portrait of Aristotle "as a scholar."7 But the job of reconstruction, in spite of these
partial successes, remains at the mercy of preconceived ideas which have done so much damage, since H.
Usener8 and E. Howald,9 to similar efforts attempting to reconstruct the activities of the Platonic Academy,
which are known to us only indirectly, through the parodies of the comic authors.10 The little that we know
on the subject forbids building up a system

< previous page page_93 next page >

< previous page page_94 next page >
Page 94

of hypotheses about it and does not permit the exegete to conceive positively either the identity or the
attitude of the audience of the oral presentations in general or of any one such oral presentation in particular.
As for the habits of Aristotle himself as a teacher, they escape us completely, with the exception of one very
definite habit noted carefully by Aristoxenus of Tarentum.

2. The Traces Of Didactic Precaution

Himself a hearer and acquaintance of Aristotle, 1 Aristoxenus informs us that the

philosopher "announced in advance for those who were going to listen
what topics his study would deal with and what the nature of the study would
be."2 J. Brunschwig has recently noted the importance of this testimony.3 But certain texts of the Corpus
bear the trace of an oral teaching of Aristotle like that known and described by his Tarentine disciple.4
Obviously, these are the "prologues."5 Let me remove all ambiguity in this respect. It is not a question of
invoking here all the (more or less elaborate) introductions to each of the "treatises" which make up the
works of our Corpus. Baptized "prologues," these introductions were regarded, by the ancient commentators,
as the mark distinguishing ''acroamatic" from "hypomnematic" works, and the Neoplatonist Elias,6 for
instance, reports that the treatise On Interpretation was considered "hypomnematic" up to the time when
Ammonius discovered a prologue (and an epilogue) for it, thus enabling scholars to classify it among the
"acroamatic" works. On the other hand, it might be plausible to give special weight to the four texts of the
Corpus portrayed by their author as so many "prefaces" : NE i 1 (cf. : 1095a12);
EE i 1-6 (cf. :1217a18); Politics vii 1-3 (cf. : 1323b37 and
: 1325b33); and Metaphysics A 1-2 (cf. : 995b5). But, leaving aside
the case of the Metaphysics, which has no bearing on my study, not all these "prologues" or "preambles"
answer equally to the idea that, following the testimony of Aristoxenus, we can posit for ourselves habitual
declarations by Aristotle before embarking upon a lecture. In Politics vii 1-3, the philosopher's remarks
uniquely aim at establishing some preliminaries (of an ethical order) indispensable for the enterprise he faces
at that point.7 As O. Gigon8 has rightly seen, the six long chapters beginning the EE were conceived in order
to introduce the multiple difficulties of a given problematic, not precisely to describe, for the sake of the
audience , the matter and form of the study, as Aristotle used to do according to

By contrast, with reference to the same testimony, one cannot deny that the prologue of the NE (i 1) is a
model of the genre. There the philosopher addresses himself directly to his listeners. He sets out his project
for them (cf. "what we propose" ), specifying both the nature of the

< previous page page_94 next page >

< previous page page_95 next page >
Page 95

inquiry ("the approach . . . which is in some way political") and its subject-matter ("noble and just . . . and
good things"). He describes how each of his remarks should be received and, finally,
stipulates the qualities required of the listener himself (cf. ). The prologue of the NE also
recommends itself because of another virtue: brevity. Indeed, according to Aristotle's Rhetoric, 9 brevity is
desired for the prologue of discourses. So one cannot dwell too much on the importance of this text. For it
seems to bear witness to a precaution which Aristotle adopted at the moment of orally communicating to a
particular audience his reflections on questions pertaining to that aspect of human development whose
direction is the task of the politician.

3. A Basic Aspect of the Discourse: The Methodological Statements

In fact, a peculiarity of the NE prologue, which reinforces certain methodological considerations (among the
most famous in Aristotle), is that it formulates such considerations in order, as a last resort, to prevent the
listener's adopting an unacceptably critical attitude towards the account about to follow. This point is clearly
demonstrated by the structure of the passage:

Major premise: Every discourse must be appropriate to its object.

Minor premise: Now, the object of our discourse is . . .

Conclusion: Therefore, our discourse will be . . .

Corollary: And so the listener must . . .


If the philosopher is trying here to provide an advance justification of the method of his account, he does so
in order to show his listeners "how it should be received," as he says in the chapter's summary. In other
words, it is the presence of an audience on whom one must be able to rely which explains here the usefulness
of Aristotle's methodological remarks.

The philosopher's concern is to respect the requirements imposed by the object of his discourse. In rejecting
the ideal of precision , erected into an absolute methodological principle by the Academy,1
Aristotle emphasizes that the specific subjects with which his discourse deals at best tolerate only a good
approximation.2 Now we know, thanks to Aristoxenus' testi-

< previous page page_95 next page >

< previous page page_96 next page >
Page 96

mony, 3 that Aristotle liked also to recall the annoyance of Plato's listeners who came to hear the master
speak about the Good but left disappointed because he discussed mathematics. The anecdote says a lot about
Aristotle's wish not to subject his own addresses to Plato's setback before an unprepared public; it also points
to Aristotle's desire not to disappoint the expectation of people who might come to listen to him discuss a
similar subject. So one can seriously ask whether the words of the NE prologue, while fighting against
unacceptable demands of possible listeners influenced by Platonism, do not express the intention of
regaining an audience disappointed by the discourses of the Academy. In any case, they display the wish to
meet better the concern of politicians with respect to the good. On this ground, it seems, the beginning of the
NE bears the trace of oratorical precautions which the philosopher had to use in communication before a
broad public. Can one not conceive, then, that most, if not all, of the texts assembled in the NE were the basis
of communications of this type? The question deserves at least to be raised.

< previous page page_96 next page >

< previous page page_97 next page >
Page 97

The Audience of the Political Discourses

Obviously, there can be a "listener" only where there are "discourses" . That is why the
author of the NE, who is very solicitous about his "listener,'' also turns out generally to be mindful of his
discourse as a discourse.

The Concerns of the "Speaker"

We are essentially dealing with what the Rhetoric calls a "scientific discourse"
, 1 which corresponds to teaching and primarily
relies on reasoning to reach the listener.2 But one guesses that, in this regard, Aristotle did not neglect in his
own case the importance of a factor which he says was decisive in that of Eudoxus: the personality of the
speaker. "His arguments," Aristotle says in connection with Eudoxus, "were believed more because of his
moral excellence than because of their intrinsic value, for he was regarded as an extraordinarily temperate
human being."3 This remark may be put together with one from the Rhetoric: "We generally believe good
people more often and quickly than others; but where there is no exact knowledge and opinions are, on the
contrary, divided, this belief is absolute."4 In short, just as the orator, whoever he might be, would wish to
dispose his audience favorably towards what he had to say, so Aristotle took heed to describe in advance the
ideal attitude of his listener. Thus a part of the prologue of the NE is, mutatis mutandis, to the philosopher's
address what the captatio is to the orator's.

In any case, it seems that the question of how (and under what conditions) one might hope to benefit other
people by means of discourses is a crucial question about which the author of the NE is very worried;
infinitely more, on the whole, than the author of the EE.5 Accordingly, the relatively tiny interest in the
listener shown by the latter work could be partly the result of its lack of attention to problems raised by the
use of discourses in teaching.6

Of course, it would be a mistake to think that Aristotle could neglect at any moment or under any
circumstance what seems a natural requirement of every discourse: to seek the "persuasion" or "conviction"
of persons addressed. If need be, the EE fully reassures us of this fact when it states that "one must try to
seek persuasion with the help of arguments, by introducing what seems to be the case as evidence and

< previous page page_97 next page >

< previous page page_98 next page >
Page 98

. 7 In his desire to persuade, the

philosopher here proposes to add certain essentially rhetorical proofs8 to the logical argumentation appropriate to scientific discourse.9
Besides, Aristotle notes several times the persuasive force of opinions, above all universally held opinions, which he does not hesitate to use
as evidence.10 And the same concern is expressed in the well-known observation of NE vii (a "common" book) where we read: "we must not
only state the true view but also the cause of the error, for such an explanation promotes persuasion
; when we have an apparently reasonable explanation of why a false view appears
true, that reinforces the belief in truth" .11 And Aristotle then explains "why bodily pleasures
seem more choiceworthy."12

Nevertheless, one does not find either in the EE or in the "common" books the least secure evidence for the view that the philosopher was
really worried about the extent or form of persuasion which could be produced by his own discourses as discourses. On the other hand, this was
a preoccupation for the author of the NE.

One finds, for instance, at the beginning of the study concerning pleasure of NE x, the important statement that "discourses
bearing on subjects which involve the passions and actions are less credible than the facts"
.13 Here is remarkable evidence
for Aristotle's sense of the relative persuasive weakness of his own discourses (as such) in comparison with the reality which the listener
could otherwise observe. One will perhaps ask whether this sense went so far as to make the philosopher draw, for himself and his teaching,
the practical consequences of these discoveries. The answer, unreservedly affirmative, is given by NE x itself. For once his thoughts about
supreme happiness are confirmed by the opinions of the sages (Solon, Anaxagoras), Aristotle concludes: "Such reflections therefore possess a
certain conviction. But truth in practical matters is judged by reference to real facts and to life. For there is where the supreme criterion
And the philosopher draws the consequences that we expect: "one must therefore examine our foregoing statements by comparing them to
actual facts and to life and, in the case of agreement with the facts, accept them; but, in case of disagreement, one should take them as
mere words."15 If, therefore, Aristotle ultimately demands that his listener test the value of the words directed to him by confronting them with
lived reality,16 we easily grasp that he also demands from the listener, in return, a sufficient familiarity with the facts of life to empower
his judgment (cf. ). So we are not at all surprised to see the philosopher, in the prologue of the NE, describing the needed characteristics of
his listener as those of the

< previous page page_98 next page >

< previous page page_99 next page >
Page 99

"good judge" , and thus finally concluding: "this is why the young person is not a good listener to politics, for he does not
have experience of the actions which characterize life. But our discourses rely on and deal with such experience."
Given that, in his eyes, the truest discourses remain less convincing than observed reality, Aristotle knows that his teaching cannot persuade
persons who have not acquired from experience the means of confirming his words. Such is the view expressed by the philosopher at the
beginning of the NE. It is also an undisguised warning directed to the listeners of the discourses which he is introducing.

Besides, Aristotle is impressed by the fact that discourse is not only a vehicle of information; it offers a means of persuasion leading not only
to knowledge but also, because of knowledge, to action. In the same context of book ten where he introduces the listener to a study
concerning pleasure, the philosopher incidentally formulates the following idea:

It thus seems that discourses, if true, are most useful not only for knowledge but also for life. For, if they are in accord with the facts, they
bring conviction with them and consequently they encourage those who comprehend them to live in conformity with their teaching.18

This statement, however, suggests that in this case the "protreptic" effectiveness of discourse is not produced by the discourse itself (as it is in
rhetoric) but, on the contrary, it is dependent on a characteristic of the listeners which Aristotle calls "comprehension" .19 In reality,
as we shall see, the preconditions which must be met by his listeners if they are to "obey" the discourse's (implicit or explicit) injunctions are of
the same sort as the conditions which must be met if they are really to "comprehend" the discourse. In short, the listeners' appetites and passions
must have been disciplined by habituation so that, we might say, they can effectively "hear reason.'' In this connection, a passage from the final
chapter of the NE should be noted:

Discourse and teaching, one may suspect, are not powerful over everyone, but the listener's soul must have first been cultivated by means of
habits so that it tastes appropriate pleasures and feels appropriate aversions, as the earth which is to nourish the seed. For he who lives as
passion directs will not hear a discourse

< previous page page_99 next page >

< previous page page_100 next page >
Page 100
that dissuades, nor comprehend it if he does; and how could one persuade a person of this sort to change? 20

The persuasion which Aristotle has in mind here must be expressed, in the listeners, not only by a total intellectual assent to the truths of
the discourse, but also by actions conforming to its injunctionsa possibility excluded for those whose ordinary conduct has but one source,
passion. Ever bearing in mind the practical purpose of his teaching, the philosopher is thus equally compelled, in the NE prologue, to utter a
solemn warning: "those who are inclined to obey their passions," he says, "will listen in vain and without profit, since the end is not knowledge
but action"

Because he knows the limits as well as the possibilities of discourse, Aristotle strives, at the beginning of the NE, to describe the prerequisites
the listener must meet. Reflecting that the "hearer" must be able both to "hear" his message, that is, to ''comprehend"
it, and to "harken" to the message, that is, "obey" it , the philosopher proceeds to specify the conditions, pertaining to
the listener himself, without which there could be neither conviction (cf. ) of the cogency of his message nor persuasion to act
in accord with its injunctions.

This prefatory concern of Aristotle, entirely peculiar to the NE, should be examined in detail.22


Prerequisites for the Discourse

The listener to whom the NE prologue refers may be understood as a learner , Aristotle's undertaking as a kind of teaching
, and the discourses mentioned there as discourses for teaching . We do not have to dwell at length
here on Aristotle's notion of teachingas given or received 1a notion which implicates his entire theory of knowledge, as
J. Drechsler has rightly seen.2 But we can no longer ignore it completely.

1. The Limits of Language as an Instrument of Knowledge

In the fifth century B.C., as we know, elementary reflection on language often supplied arguments to experts in disputation.3 And the very
foundations of teaching, which uses language, were shaken by them. Now, as V. Brochard has written, "from eristic to scepticism, there is but
one step."4 Thus arose doubt whether it is possible to utter anything which is the case and, if it is possible, whether it can be explained to
another person. This is the view defended by Gorgias on the assumption, which he thought improbable, that something intelligible exists.5 As
M. Untersteiner noted, Gorgias' stand was the direct or

< previous page page_100 next page >

< previous page page_101 next page >
Page 101

indirect source of Sextus Empiricus' much later reasoning on the same subject. 6 There are even several texts
of this sort, for example, a passage of the Hypotyposes,7 which shed light on positions contradicted by
Aristotle and whose arguments he seems to refute by way of anticipation. The reason for this apparent
foresight is that the system of proofs worked out by Sextus borrowed quite a few arguments from the period
prior to Aristotle's reflections. We find them roughly sketched, not only in Gorgias, but also in the Meno, the
dialogue in which, as we have seen, Plato tries to describe the conditions under which virtue could be
taught.8 Here we are interested in the consequences derived from the hypothesis that language has only
conventional meaninga theory mentioned at the beginning of the Cratylus9 and presupposed by the treatise
On Interpretation.10 Given that signifiers have only conventional meaning, Sextus claims essentially that
only those will perceive the object signified by a discourse who know in advance the convention linking the
signifiers to what is signified, and for whom, therefore, what is signified is already otherwise known. Thus
discourse seems to be an instrument of recollection for those who know, not a means of knowledge for the
ignorant. The upshot is that nothing can really be taught by language. Plato was certainly aware of this
problem. The theory of recollection sketched in the Meno11 may indicate the elements of a solution devised
for it by Plato, whether or not consciously intended by him as such. For the dialogue accepts the point, made
by thinkers prior to its composition, that the one who is to comprehend a discourse needs prior knowledge of
its object. Whatever may be the case for Plato's Meno, Aristotle, for his part, avoided the sceptical denial of
the possibility of teaching, which contradicts common sense, but he seems to have recognized the correctness
of the basic intuition underlying all these debates, that is, that learning from a discoursea conventional
substitute for realitydoes not, by itself or in itself, produce knowledge (i.e., science) regarding the object
described by the discourse.12

Where the discourse is of the didactic type, the only type which seeks to produce knowledge of the object,
Aristotle says that learners must have conviction , or be convinced, of the truth of statements
which touch on the core of the problem and supply premises for reasoning about it.13 I have already noted
the importance of this requirement for the NE.14 Now, while the nature of the arguments given contributes in
no small way to winning listeners' approval, the fundamental conditions of conviction (which implies the
intelligibility of the discourse) are really inherent in the dispositions of listeners themselves. Speaking of the
intellectual virtues, which for the most part arise and develop through teaching, Aristotle states
unambiguously that they require time and experience.15

First a word on the negative implications of such a statement. The philosopher observes elsewhere: "those
who have begun to learn connect the formulae, but they do not yet know their meaning; for it must become
an integral part of the learners' nature. Now, this is something which requires time."16 A bit

< previous page page_101 next page >

< previous page page_102 next page >
Page 102

further on and in the same context, 17 Aristotle also distinguishes between possession of science
and the ability to speak its language
. Here he uses an illuminating
analogy: that of the drunk man who recites the verses of Empedocles. It is clear, in this extreme case, that
when the drunk man performs his recitation, he understands nothing of the Agrigentine philosopher's
meaning. He knows only the words, like a young child who could be taught to memorize the same discourse.
Learning by means of discourse in this way could pass for the acquisition of a kind of "science," if the signs
composing the discourse were themselves considered to be the essential object of knowledge. And Aristotle
himself refers to the example of actors in a theater,18 whose knowledge, as actors, coincides, so to speak,
with the memorization of a sequence of words. But this is obviously not appropriate for the teaching through
which one aspires to help the learner gain knowledge of what is signified. Now, at this point, as we have just
seen, Aristotle willingly concedes that the acquisition of scientific language is far from implying scientific
knowledge of its object. To adopt terminology used by the philosopher in the context,19 verbal knowledge is
equivalent to a potential knowledge, and this potential knowledge is farther from being actual, the less
known the referents of the words are. Actualization of such knowing is brought about by direct acquaintance
with what is signified, which, when repeated, enables what is signified to become part of the knower.
Moreover, if it is true that one cannot comprehend a discourse without having advance familiarity with its
object, we should declare illusory the belief that one can teach by means of discourse (that is to say, that
discourse alone can supply to persons who have no prior acquaintance with a subject at all the knowledge of
the reality of which they are ignorant).

2. The Experience Required of the Listener

But, from this discovery, the philosopher does not in any way infer the radical impossibility of teaching.1 On
the contrary, he strives constructively to describe the optimal conditions of teaching, that is, the conditions
which must be fulfilled by listeners if they are to comprehend the discourse and so to advance into
knowledge.2 Now, in the philosopher's eyes, these conditions vary according to the object of knowledge. To
convince ourselves of this, it suffices to return to the famous passage of NE vi, where Aristotle tries to
explain why genuine mathematical science but not philosophical science is accessible to learners from
childhood on. "The reason," he prudently suggests, "is that the objects of the one [science] are accessible by
abstraction but the principles [of the other] result from experience; and, in this domain, young people have
no conviction but only words while the essence of mathematical
realities is immediately obvious."3 Presumably, mathematical knowledge does not consist in the ability to
recite a demonstration, as the actor

< previous page page_102 next page >

< previous page page_103 next page >
Page 103

in a theater recites his lines or the drunk man a poem of Empedocles. Of course, mathematical knowledge
depends upon a small amount of experience, from which it is easy to abstract an essence. 4 To take an
extreme case: from a single concrete representation of a triangle, it is possible to conceive the definition of
the triangle. But there are other fields, physics, for instance, in which general concepts, expressed by means
of words, are grasped only in connection with many concrete impressions. And, in such a field, the discourse
of a person who knows has real meaning only for persons able to relate the words to the referents made
known by experience. Lacking such experience, the listener will at most learn a language. Thus Aristotle
describes the condition of youthful "persons of wisdom" or "natural scientists" , who
possess only verbal knowledge, verbally acquired, as indicating deficient experience, that is, a lack of
familiarity with the concrete and peculiar reality of the subject-matter (which, moreover, furnishes the
principles of the science at issue). In these matters, the experience of the listeners constitutes the prior
condition for the intelligibility of the discourse. It is therefore true that if disciples are to be taught, they
must, in a sense, know in advance that of which the master speaks. But only in a sense. For, far from
destroying the claims of teaching, far from rendering useless the discourse of the teacher, the experience of
the disciple is a condition without which the discourse given by the master cannot be meaningful and,
consequently, cannot provide access to general knowledge (in which the transmission of science consists).5

It is still necessary to say that the best-prepared listeners who begin to pick up the words of their teacher do
not acquire a scientific training at a single blow. Presumably, comprehension of the discourse and, with it,
progress towards genuine knowledge become easier, other things being equal, the greater the amount of
experience. But assimilationand thus deep convictiondemands time. In short, between the comprehension of
the discourse and the assimilation of the knowledge expressed in the discourse (up to the point at which
listeners themselves can be said to possess science) there is sometimes a considerable distance. Now, if the
remarks about the listener in the NE prologue gain meaning from the perspective informed by the problems
discussed above, one must admit that their aim is limited to describing the indispensable conditions for
comprehension alone. But is not the comprehension or, if one prefers, the understanding of the discourse
precisely the measure of a true learning as a result of hearing a teacher's words? As Aristotle
observed, "we often actually say that learning is comprehending"

3. The Faculty of "Comprehension"

Let us take a moment to focus more precisely upon the idea of "comprehension." The verb "to comprehend"
,used here to express the act of

< previous page page_103 next page >

< previous page page_104 next page >
Page 104

comprehending a discourse, 1 refers to the notion of "comprehension" . And we find in NE vi,

alongside Aristotle's analysis of prudence ( ), his analysis of a minor intellectual excellence called
comprehension, which here deserves our attention. Probably the use of the word here is, if not an
idiosyncratic use, at the very least a technical refinement of the concept normally expressed by it.2 But the
analysis performed on it by Aristotle has the advantage of bringing to light the constituent elements inherent
in the general notion of "comprehension." In NE vi comprehension is presented as an exclusively critical
capacity : it pertains to those subjects which are governed by prudence; it belongs to
persons who need not possess science; and it consists in the capacity to judge correctly
what is said by another .3 It is therefore easy to conceive a secondary sense of
comprehension, which stands to architectonic prudence as the comprehension of NE vi stands to prudence
and consists in the capacity to judge proposed laws for what they are worth, without oneself being able to
legislate. And it is equally possible to imagine the corresponding capacity of a type of "good judge," who is
able to judge statements which purport to provide general instruction to the lawgiver, though such a person is
unable to teach the legislative art. There is nothing gratuitous about such suppositions. As the primary form
of comprehension, operating on the practical level, permits one knowingly to approve or disapprove of a
statement claiming "this should be done," so another form of comprehension vouches for the adoption or
rejection of legal formulae proposed in a given situation. Indeed, comprehension figures in the NE's final
chapter4 as a capacity permitting the correct selection of laws, applicable to a given city, from
among those furnished by a collection of laws. And here Aristotle establishes a necessary connection
between being a good judge and experience : ''Indeed, persons of experience in each field judge
correctly what is accomplished in it" .5
Now, the NE prologue, in its own right, clearly requires of the listener that he be a good judge: "and every
person judges well the subjects which he learns to know" ;6
and it also requires of listeners that they possess substantial experience (up to the point of rejecting young
people as listeners inasmuch as a youth is "inexperienced in the actions that make up life"
).7 We may infer that, in all probability, the philosopher
meant to rely on an attribute of his listenerscomprehensionwhich, by rendering them able to test the
discourse by reference to reality, ensures their possession of the means of really being persuaded and,
therefore, arms them against acquiring a merely verbal knowledge. For experience of the referents of the
discourse, as we have seen, is a condition without which the listener learns only words.

Aristotle, consequently, was quite concerned to inform his listeners about the prerequisites for being taught,
since, beyond any doubt, demanding a

< previous page page_104 next page >

< previous page page_105 next page >
Page 105

"critical capacity" is equivalent to stating the need for the power of "comprehension," which is itself security
that listeners will actually be able to "learn" .

The interpreter must reach this conclusion on his own, although, or rather because, the requirement for
comprehension remains implicit in the section of the NE prologue (1094b27-1095a4) which touches on the
problem studied above. Indeed, it yields its place to another, more general requirement which probably
subsumes it: the requirement for a kind of education . As it appears from the immediate context,
this characteristic is attributable to the "educated person" of whom Aristotle is thinking
when he says: "Each person judges well the subjects which he learns to know and it is of these subjects that
he is a good judge."
. 8 In other words,
the idea of a good judge formed by experience is linked to the concept of the "educated person"for, let me
emphasize, the formula "subjects which he learns to know" refers, not to the (general) objects
of science but to the concrete and singular realities with which experience alone can acquaint us.9


Education and Critical Aptitude

To grasp Aristotle's thinking on this question, one must first note a point which has occurred to no other
exegete, to my knowledge, namely, that education (as a quality that results from the process called by the
same name) is analyzed, so to speak, in the same terms as comprehension.

Let us in fact note the statements of the final chapter of the NE which teach the dependence of correct
judgment on experience in legislative affairs.

[The Sophists, says Aristotle, pretend] that it is possible to choose the best [laws] as if the choice
were not the result of comprehension and correct judgment not the
greatest quality, just as one sees in the case of musical works. Indeed, people of experience in each
type of thing judge products correctly ; they comprehend by what
means or in what manner their perfection is attained and what types of product are proper for what
clientele. With people lacking experience, on the contrary, one can be content when it does not
escape them completely whether the product has been well or badly executed, as in the matter of
drawing. Now the laws are in a sense the product of politics. How therefore could one, on the basis
of laws alone, acquire a legislative capacity or judge [which laws are] the best? Indeed,
people do not seem to acquire a medical capacity by studying medical doctors' handbooks.1

In this passage the manner in which correct judgment (which, as we have seen, implies comprehension) is
necessarily connected to a kind of personal experience, is explained to us by reference to what happens in
matters of music and drawing. Now, these are educational topics studied in the Politics.

< previous page page_105 next page >

< previous page page_106 next page >
Page 106

And there Aristotle tries to show that the free person's training in music or drawing requires personal practice
of the appropriate art, precisely because this training seeks to form correct judgment. Therefore, in Aristotle's
eyes, the educated person par excellence in such matters is recognizable by the aptitude for correctly judging
the works of other people. We see in this way that there is a resemblance between the concepts of education
and comprehension. Let us take a closer look at it.

1. In Music

For a start, let us consider the discussion of a particular issue touching on musical training. Regardless of
whether one supposes that its purpose is to supply amusement in adulthood 2 or to improve moral
dispositions3 or to provide something to occupy a life of leisure,4 why, asks Aristotle, should children have
to learn the practice of music themselves?5 Would they not have sufficient knowledge if they could
appreciate it when it is performed by others? And the philosopher sets forth various possible reasons for
raising this question. First, such amateurs will always be inferior to professional musicians. "Indeed," says
Aristotle, "it is inevitable that those who make of music itself a vocation and an art perform better than those
who concern themselves with it only long enough to learn."6 Second reason: "From what people say, [the
Lacedaemonians], without having learned [music], are able nevertheless to judge correctly
between good melodies and those which are not."7 Third reason: "In the opinion of the
poets, it is not Zeus himself who sings or plays the cithera; on the contrary, we call people of that sort
mechanics, and practice is not for people who would not be drunk or involved in playing silly games."8

As the first and third reasons suggest, our interpretation should take a clue from the sharp contrast between
the technical training of the professional musician (described as a "mechanic" ) and the training
of the free or liberal person. As for the second reason, it indicates the importance of another criterion: the
formation of correct judgment, which, by itself, is important to us here. This criterion lies at the center of
Aristotle's concerns. And, in fact, it did not take us long to discover that the essential question for him is
whether musical instruction which abstains from teaching the practice of singing and playing musical
instruments could train the judgment of the individuals being instructed. Those who cite the case of the
Lacedaemonians, it would seem, answer yes. But, in fact, when in Politics viii 6 Aristotle definitively solves
the aporia, his first concern is to challenge this view: "It is difficult, if not impossible," we read, "to become
good judges without being initiated into performance."9 And the
philosopher concludes several lines later: "Since, in order to be able to judge , it is
necessary to actively participate, one should, when young, devote

< previous page page_106 next page >

< previous page page_107 next page >
Page 107

oneself to practice; but, when one has become more mature, one should give it up, retaining the ability to
judge and take the proper pleasure in fine things because of the study made of them in one's
youth." 10 Such is the attitude which corresponds best to the central concern of all liberal education. But, it
may be objected, is this approach not exposed to the risk of turning young people into "mechanics"? Aristotle
quickly refutes the objection: "It is not difficult to resolve the problem if one inquires to what extent those
being educated in political excellence should take part in musical activities, what types of melodies and
rhythms should be practiced and what kinds of instruments should be used to fulfill their study."11
Concretely, Aristotle rules out the kind of training which leads to professional competitions
,12 preferring a training which cultivates taste. He excludes the use of
the aulos (a kind of flute), the cithera (a kind of lute) and any other type of instrument restricted to
professionals ,13 preferring instruments capable of cultivating good listeners.

In short, Aristotle disapproves of professional education : "We call professional

the sort of education that prepares for competitions. For, in this education, practitioners do not perform with
a view to their own personal excellence but for the pleasure of their listeners, which is a base pleasure. So let
us deem this activity as appropriate not for free human beings but for hirelings. Its outcome is that its
practitioners become mechanics."14 The claim that the pleasure of listeners at musical competitions is base
may seem surprising. Aristotle understands it, in fact, as applying to most people. He states elsewhere that
there are two types of spectator and, therefore, listeners: (1) "the one free and educated"
and (2) "the other a vulgar crowd composed of mechanics and
laborers and the like"
.15 The notion of
being educated, naturally associated with the notion of being free , here wonderfully condenses
the philosopher's thinking in the several passages I have just cited. The person "educated" in musical matters
could be none other than the person whose good taste has been successfully cultivated. For if he himself is
restricted to practicing certain types of musical worksthose which in no way undermine his condition as a
free human beingit is precisely in order to be able to render an authoritative judgment .

Thus is illustrated the philosopher's view that every kind of good judge requires a (minimal) sort of
experience.16 We also find that, for Aristotle, education in the preeminent sense (i.e., "free or noble
education" )17 in a given subject does not extend to professional
training in the subject. In the philosopher's mind, the educated person (equivalent to the really free
individual) is thus not an expert ; but, because he has undergone the necessary minimum of
personal experience, he possesses the capacity to judge correctly the product of the expert.18

< previous page page_107 next page >

< previous page page_108 next page >
Page 108

2. In Drawing

Aristotle's remarks do not deal only with music. "It also seems," he tells us, "that the study of drawing is
useful for best judgment of the works of artists" . 1 And in
the same passage, personal training in drawing is recommended "because it renders us able to contemplate
the beauty of bodies" .2 In drawing as in
music, liberal education thus pursues an explicit end: forming correctness of judgment. Now, in both areas,
the ideal sought seems impossible to attain, according to Aristotle, without some practice in the art whose
works must be judged at their real value. The philosopher assigns a general significance to his assertion when
he says: "It is difficult if not impossible to become good judges without being initiated into the practice."3

3. In Medicine

This conception of liberal education helps us understand the meaning of the term "educated," which appears
elsewhere in Aristotle's works in specific contexts, including earlier in the Politics, in connection with
medicine. In the course of a famous passage in book iii, the philosopher asserts that the only doctor who can
"judge [is] one who has correctly practiced medicine" .4 There are,
however, different kinds of doctors, for instance, the "workman" and the "architectonic"
doctors, of whom I spoke earlier;5 but there is also a third kind, described as ''the person
who is educated in the art" . And the philosopher adds: "there are,
so to speak, similar people in all the arts; and we attribute judgmental ability quite as much to the educated as
to the experts."6 In this respect, the stand of Aristotle, who, incidentally, appears to do justice to the claims
of Isocrates,7 seems at first sight to break away from the Socratic-Platonic position; for Plato, like Socrates,
denied the capacity for judging to every person who was not an out and out expert.8 And, in the "Platonic"
works, so far as I know, only an apocryphal passage from the (Pseudo-Platonic) Rivals9 (which W. L.
Newman seems to have been the first to point out)10 aligns itself with the view defended by Aristotle. As for
the label "educated" (to describe the person of good judgment who is not an expert), it clearly refers to the
conception of liberal education which rejects the demands of (technical, professional, artistic or scientific)
specialization and aims only at the formation of correct judgment. But as Newman already noted,11 the
principle of such education (understood as the contrary of "technical education") cannot be attributed only to
Aristotle. If one is to believe Xenophon,12 it expresses a concern of Socrates. Isocrates pursued the same
ideal,13 and, although it was attacked by certain Sophists, it nevertheless resembles the ideal of
Protagoras.14 And there is at least one piece of evidence that it was not alien even to Plato.15

< previous page page_108 next page >

< previous page page_109 next page >
Page 109

Whatever the case may be for others, Aristotle defends a very clear position. In his eyes, liberal education, in
any field, must remain within those limits beyond which the person being educated will be inducted into a
type of servitude, as incompatible with the life of leisure as the condition of the paid worker. This is why
Aristotle not only disapproves, as lowering the free person to the base rank of "mechanic," of every activity
, art or instruction which in itself runs counter to the life of leisure; 16 but he
also adds other reservations: "Even with respect to the liberal sciences," he says, ''to apply oneself to them up
to a certain point is not contrary to the status of a free human being, but to devote oneself too assiduously to
them, to focus on their minutiae, exposes a person to the harmful effects already mentioned."17

In short, in every field, education must refrain from trying to educate experts at whatever the cost. Many
scholars, in many contexts, have stressed this Aristotelian view and have tried to determine its
consequences.18 But the essential thing to note is that, within the limits in which he intends to defend it,
Aristotle holds that liberal education is able to shape minds just as capable of correct judgment as the minds
of experts. According to him, as we have seen, this is also a purpose of education in the areas of music and
drawing. Hence his acknowledgment that for every subject (for example, for medicine) the educated person
and the person of good judgment are the same. This is tantamount to saying that in each domain of art or
science (for example, in medicine) there are people who stand to the complete artist or expert in the same
relation as the free individual who has received a musical education stands to the professional musician:
persons able to judge correctly the acts or products of another (for example, a medical operation), as the
latter can judge the melodies or songs performed by a third.

4. Conclusion

This view thus also assumes a kind of personal experience on the part of those involved. But on this point,
some remarks are in order. Personal experience, in fact, although a necessary condition, nevertheless remains
an insufficient condition for correct judgment, seeing that, in Politics iii, the educated person is ranked with
the expert, not the experienced person.19 Moreover, experience, a necessary condition for being educated,
does not suffice to empower such a person to exercise an art himself, medicine, for instance, as the
"workman" does. The educated person could thus have less experience than the "healer," but
in any case he has an experience other than the healer's, since it gives him an authority to judge which has
not necessarily been acquired by the "healer." Finally, although Aristotle nowhere says so explicitly, it is
important to distinguish two things within this power of judgment: (1) the ability to judge whether a given
medical operation should or could be

< previous page page_109 next page >

< previous page page_110 next page >
Page 110

applied to a given subject and (2) the ability to judge, once it has been recognized that a particular operation
has to be performed, whether this operation was adequately executed. The reader will recognize, in the first
case, the capacity for comprehension described earlier. 20 However, both powers of judgment are normally
possessed by the educated person.


The Need to be Educated

The remarks on this subject found in the NE received attention already from the ancient commentators, who
referred to it for explanation of parallel passages in, for instance, Metaphysics a (Alexander of Aphrodisias),1
Rhetoric i (an anonymous commentator)2 and the treatise On the Parts of Animals (Michael of Ephesus).3
Each of these passages, like the NE prologue, bestows a technical meaning on the term "educated." And,
therefore, W. Kullmann, for instance, proceeds to distinguish sharply between the use of the terms
"education" and "educated" in such contexts and the "unreflective use of the
concept 'education"' which appears elsewhere and possesses ''no specific Aristotelian coloration."4 But
perhaps this has the effect, in spite of all the evidence, of masking the unity of intention behind Aristotle's
uses of the term , uses which, in all cases, from the most technical to the most ordinary,
convey the same essential idea. This is the place to reinforce this point by gathering the most important facts
for the interpretation.

1. The Unity of the Concept "Educated"

As we have seen, being educated in the preeminent sense turns out to be associated usually with being free
and, therefore, it is contrasted with whatever may be servile (cf. ) or vulgar
, that is, uncultivated.5 Accordingly, for every field, the ideal education is contrary both to
deficient and to excessive instruction. Of the aptitudes possessed by the expert , in the strict
sense of the term, the educated person has only the aptitude for judging a task performed by others. And this
is an aptitude that he owes for the most part to having devoted a certain period of time himself to the type of
work of which he is a good judge. There is therefore reason to think that being educated in a given subject
and lacking personal experience in the same subject are mutually exclusive characteristics. This is the reason
that Aristotle describes the newly rich as suffering from a lack of education in riches
.6 But the fact that the educated person must possess experience in no way implies
that he is equivalent to the experienced person. We have noticed this distinction in a passage from the
Politics concerning medicine: quite incapable of practicing an art after the fashion of the empiric,
the educated person has the advantage over

< previous page page_110 next page >

< previous page page_111 next page >
Page 111

the experienced person of being able to judge how the works of that art should be performed. In short, he is a
person of good taste; we agree to recognize his excellence of judgment, but no more than that. And therefore,
lack of education , wherever it may be found, is nothing other than a lack of discernment. In
the field of ordinary decorum, for instance, the "uneducated person" will not see that people
should refrain from speaking pompously on a subject of which they have no experience. 7
In the field of literary aesthetics, for instance, the uneducated person will not see that poetic style is
inappropriate for a prose discourse.8 Finally, in the field of scienceand here Aristotle's idea is especially
importantthe uneducated person will not see that certain propositions, that is, principles (especially the
principle of contradiction), do not require demonstration in the strict sense of the term .9 In
light of this evidence, I conclude that the same idea is always indicated by the expression "educated," the
idea of correct evaluation of the manner of speaking or of reasoning or (generally) of conducting oneself.
Moreover, this holds regardless of the subject-matter. Forand this too is worth notingwhen Aristotle speaks
of "éducation'' or of "homme cultivé" (which is how J. Tricot and R. A. Gauthier render the idea in their
translations of the NE),10 he always understands: relative to a particular field. Education, in this sense, is
always "a form of initiation into something."

2. The Deficiencies of the Traditional Interpretation

We must bear in mind all the observations made up to this point in order to grasp the inconsistency of the
commonly accepted interpretation of the NE prologue. This interpretation goes back to the nineteenth
century and, particularly, to J. A. Stewart,1 who made it his business to produce a synthesis of all the facts
regarding the problem. Avowing his debts to A. Grant and G. L. Michelet,2 Stewart tried to establish the
proposition, which R. A. Gauthier regards as secure even today,3 that the educated person is primarily a
logician. At the beginning of the NE, indeed, the educated person appears to be an "arbitrator of method."
Now, a passage from the treatise On the Parts of Animals, which can be invoked as a parallel, precisely
distinguishes between the characteristic disposition of the scientist and the characteristic disposition of the
educated person, in that the former is knowledge of "the object" and the latter is
"capacity to judge wisely what is expressed well or not well by the speaker"
.4 The
cultivated person, Aristotle says, "will approve the way in which things are set out for him, leaving aside the
question of what the truth is"
.5 Of course, to
move from this view to the belief, as Gauthier puts it, that "the basis of his being cultivated is knowledge of
logic,"6 is but one step; more quickly taken inasmuch as, among the passages concerning lack of education

< previous page page_111 next page >

< previous page page_112 next page >
Page 112

(which, for their part, as we have seen, expose faulty ways of operating in discourse or reasoning), we find a passage of the Metaphysics
mentioning a "lack of education concerning things related to analysis" . 7 Misinterpreted by J. Burnet8 and
after him by W. F. R. Hardie,9 this expression (which actually refers to a special case of lacking education, as does the expression "lack of
education in riches"10) might suggest that to become educated one must have received some training as a logician. But a straightforward reading
of the NE prologue refutes this interpretation. For there Aristotle does not defend the idea that the educated person must be able to verify
a systematic argument according to rules of logic (which do not vary with the subjects on which reasoning bears). He merely affirms the capacity
of the educated person, whom he would like to make his listener, to judge the agreement of a mode of expression (or reasoning) with the nature
of the object discussed in the discourse. "It is characteristic of a cultivated person," says Aristotle, "to seek rigor in each type of thing only to
the extent that the nature of the object admits"
And this faculty of discernment obviously owes nothing to training as a logician, but only requires enough familiarity with the object of
discourse that one can recognize the appropriate way to speak about it.12

3. Results Of To Be Avoided

Having seen the facts of the problem assembled up to this point, one may expect that the lack of discernment chastised by Aristotle under the term
"lack of education" ( ) involves, at some level, a form of troublesome (unconscious and involuntary) confusion. And, in fact, the
Rhetoric describes lack of education as one of the human causesalong with "boasting" , which is, incidentally, conscious and
voluntaryof some thinkers' assigning to rhetoric the position which properly belongs to politics, thus disregarding the difference between the two
activities.1 Now, this improper equation which, when asserted in good faith, indicates a regrettable confusion in the minds of its authors, is
attributed to the Sophists by the NE's final chapter.2 And on this occasion Aristotle notices the "ignorance" (cf. ) of the Sophists
about the kind of activity appropriate for politicians and the kind of subject with which they are properly concerned. If
inexperience (attributed to these Sophists, as we have seen, in the passage being discussed) is inseparable from such ignorance, this is just because
a lack of familiarity with the object of politics prevents recognition of the specific nature of this object and, as a result, of the specific kind of
discourse and attitude needed by such an object. Aristotle thus hints that his teaching requires education (itself dependent on personal experience
of political affairs) because education alone permits us to judge the distance that separates a genuine polit-

< previous page page_112 next page >

< previous page page_113 next page >
Page 113

ical teaching from the rhetorical teaching of the Sophists, in spite of the claims of the latter. This education
lets us also escape the trap set by people other than the Sophists. And in EE i 6 we read the following: 3

There are people who, thinking that it is for the philosopher to say nothing by conjecture but
everything with rational support, put forward without realizing it arguments alien to the subject and
empty. They do so sometimes from ignorance, sometimes from braggadocio; and it happens that
even people of experience who are capable of acting [rightly] let themselves fall under the
influence of those who neither have nor can have architectonic or practical understanding. They
submit to this control because of a lack of education. For it is lack of education in each thing which
is unable to judge which arguments are appropriate to it and which are alien to it.

This important passage deserves our attention in several respects. First, it clearly shows that the defect called
"lack of education" and, correspondingly, the characteristic of being educated may pertain to the speaker as
well as to the hearer of a discourse. Of course, in connection with the speaker, it is not expressly an issue of
lack of education but of ignorance . However, the passages from the Rhetoric and the NE to which
I alluded above4 confirm that Aristotle is thinking of the ignorance of an uneducated person, which results in
the very incapacity for judgment displayed by some listeners. Moreover, it appears that possession of
experience in political affairs, even if paired with practical training, does not necessarily suffice for being an
educated person. In other words, and this confirms the analysis I made earlier of a passage from the
Politics,5 experience can train anyone quite well to perform (political) action and yet fail (1) to enable him to
judge whether the way of thinking of those who might speak to him about politics is adequate and (2) to
warn him against accepting illusory philosophical demands maintained by other uneducated persons who
expound to him arguments which are actually "alien to the subject and empty." Indeed, as it emerges in the
context, education in political subjects enables us to see that these subjects are entirely unable to tolerate a
discourse which proceeds exclusively by giving reasons . (In all likelihood, Aristotle directs
this point against the Platonists.6) So, just as education prepares us to deal correctly with those who think
they can reduce the teaching of politics to a rhetorical discourse, it also enables us to expose the illusion of
those who, because they lack education, demand a rational justification for everything

< previous page page_113 next page >

< previous page page_114 next page >
Page 114

which one may utter about political issues. It thus seems to prevent our yielding either to the tendency of the
Sophists or to the tendency of those who preach the universal ideal of mathematical demonstrations, that is,
the Academicians.

A passage from book a of the Metaphysics clearly describes the two tendencies which customarily
accompany two radically different types of listeners and which are characterized respectively by an excessive
predilection and an excessive distaste for precision : "the one group does not respect what you
say if you do not reason mathematically, and the other group if you do not reason with the help of examples;
still others deem it necessary to produce the testimony of a poet. Some people require that everything be
rigorous, while some others have a distaste for rigor." 7 This is exactly the kind of intransigent attitude
castigated by the NE prologue for ignoring the specific nature of the subject-matter with which the discourse
deals: "It comes to the same thing, so to speak, [that is, it is equally inappropriate] to allow a mathematician
to state probable arguments and to require genuine demonstrations of a rhetorician."8 Again according to the
NE, education protects us against this kind of inappropriateness, by letting us see the degree of precision
tolerated by each subject-matter.9

The same conclusion is found in Metaphysics α: "This is why one should have been educated regarding the
way in which one should receive each type of argument"
.10 And the philosopher justifies his claim by
distinguishing between the study of a science properly speaking and the study of the "way" or
"spirit" is the term used at NE i 1.1094b22in which the exposition of the science should proceed.11
Thus, discovering the "right way," that is, the way appropriate to the subject under study, seems to be the
task of education. How is this accomplished? The introduction to the treatise On the Parts of Animals, which
addresses this question, suggests that the discovery of the appropriate way to explain or reason about a
subject coincides with, or rather depends on, the discovery of "a certain kind of rule''
.12 Indeed, Aristotle notes the manifest existence of rules "by reference to
which a hearer shall be able to criticize the method of a professed exposition"

The consistent thrust of Aristotle's ideas in the passages examined up to this point suggests that these
ruleswhich actually operate as methodological principlesare drawn from experience. But, as we have seen,
experience, whether of political or other matters, is not synonymous with education. We now understand
why. It is that extended practice of political affairs could actually reinforce a person's practical disposition
for dealing with such issues, without the person's grasping, for all that, the peculiar character of politics as an
object of discursive teaching and without his possessing the meansthe rulesfor discerning the best way to
speak about it. On the other hand, a small amount of experience which familiarizes a person with the object
of the

< previous page page_114 next page >

< previous page page_115 next page >
Page 115

discourse could supply these means. It is a necessary and sufficient condition for this that the understanding
should be forewarned about the peculiar nature of the subject to be treated and thus that it realize the
methodological conditions required or rejected by this subject. To be educated in relation to instruction
therefore implies only that one's understanding is familiarized with the subject-matter of the discourse, its
problematic, as we would say today. In this sense, education, for Aristotle, protects us against every method
of scientific inquiry or exposition which has been conceived a priorior, what amounts to the same thing under
the circumstances, every method which is supposed to be universally valid. In positive terms, the very idea of
the educated person implies that every subject-matter itself teaches us the procedure
required for the discourse which deals with that subject-matter. Such was the philosopher's view, however
unfamiliar it may be to us.

4. General Education and Politics

Some qualifications are still indispensable. I saidand the analysis presented above confirms this claimthat
education and the lack thereof had to be understood "relative to a particular field." 1 To teach about a
particular kind of issue requires an educated person initiated in these issues; teaching about another kind
requires an educated person different from the first, the experience needed in the one case having nothing in
common with that needed in the other. It therefore seems obvious at first glance that political matters and
experience relative to these matters call for a particular kind of educated person. These persons would be
able to evaluate the procedure of a discourse on politics, and this judging will differ from judging appropriate
to the procedure of a treatise, for instance, on nature in the animal world. But it behooves us to inquire
further and to cast a glance at a distinction made by both the NE prologue and the introduction to On the
Paris of Animals. The two passages seem to present us with the picture of an educated person limited to a
precise domain but taking as a model the person who is "cultivated" in the general sense of the term, as the
following diagram shows:2
NE On the Parts of Animals
1. 1.

2. 2.

1. The person educated (in each field judges 1. (The person educated) about a
his) particular subject-matter (well) definite subject (is able to judge things
that concern it)

< previous page page_115 next page >

< previous page page_116 next page >
Page 116
2. The person educated in everything
(judges well) generally 2. The generally educated person is said to be
able to judge concerning everything

This distinction requires thorough understanding. 3 The primary issue is what Aristotle means by a person
educated in everything or in general, a person capable of judging everything, as it were, or of judging well as
such. If we grant that education and judgment in such a case bear on the totality of particular matters in
which training can be proposed, we can rigorously construct the notion of an initiation (by definition, a
summary one) to all the disciplines, sciences, arts, and techniques, similar to what is involved in well-
rounded education , conceived already by the Sophists, whose purpose was the
formation of individuals adept in all fields.4 But an education which would thus be nothing but the sum of
many particular "educations" is strangely lacking in unity, for the same reason that the mere sum of all
sciences and arts is. Pressing the various "educations" into a more unified conception of general education
seems impossible, on the other hand, since for Aristotle there exists no universal science worthy of the name
into which one could be initiated, as one can be initiated into a particular science. Incidentally, this is one of
the reasons which led P. Aubenque to equate the educated person with the dialectician.5 But W. Kullmann
has shown the inconsistency of this interpretation.6 Obviously, as Kullmann has correctly stated, one can get
oneself out of it by saying that the concept of the person educated "generally" or "in everything"
here captures the current concept of the ''generally well-informed person" [allgemein
Gebildeter].7 This is not false. But, as a result, we are pointed back to the idea of liberal education (a major
concern of the Politics),8 that is, to the education of the citizen, who does not need to be instructed in a
particular science or art, but to be instructed and educated as such. Indeed, the hypothesis cannot be excluded
that the person who emerges from education (and who cannot be equated to the person educated in a
particular field, whatever it may be) tends to correspond ideally to the notion of the person educated in
everything. Neither the training nor the experience of the citizen presupposes one specific domain. I shall
speak, in this connection, of experience, in an absolute and global sense of the term (that supplied by life and
described in the NE with the expression "[of] actions that make up life"
9 and of education in the same sense (that which helps one to live well:
eruditio vitae est peritia [education is the experience of life], as G. Ramsauer puts it).10

Now, if things are as I have said, Aristotle's political discourse requires that the listener be educated, not in
each field, but generally; for the very simple reason that the education of the citizen, in the philosopher's
mind, is equivalent to the formation of the whole person (not reduced to the warrior, the financier, etc.)11
and it trains him to judge every subject-matter, since in virtue of its architectonic position, politics, in a
sense, governs the entire

< previous page page_116 next page >

< previous page page_117 next page >
Page 117

human domain. In this quality, however, the educated citizen differs fundamentally from the true politician
(just as every person educated in a particular field differs from the expert or the scientist in that field). Yet he
possesses the ability to pass intelligent judgment on discourse which claims to teach politics. This leads us to
another consideration.

The judgment of the person educated with respect to the discourse, we have shown, is most applicable when
the time comes to evaluate whether the form of an exposition is adequate for the subject treated: "leaving
aside the question of truth" , as the treatise On the Parts of Animals puts
it. 12 Nevertheless, some interpreters of this treatise (including J. M. Le Blond, W. Werner, and F.
Kühnert13), linking up with the commentary of Michael of Ephesus,14 hesitated to reduce the characteristic
capacity of the educated person to judgment about the formal aspect of scientific discourse and tried to prove
that knowledge of the principles or primary elements of the particular science must be attributed to
the educated person. Kullmann rightly objects that "the rules ,15 which form the content of education
in a particular field, have nothing in common with apodictic principles ... [and] do not represent the primary
propositions on which the science is based."16 It is true; but, having said this, one cannot doubt that the
methodological rules here under discussion and the criteria of truth actually do proceed, although
independently, from the single matrix of experience.17 And in concrete reality, which is just that of
experience, it goes without saying that the educated person, having acquired the wherewithal to evaluate the
adequateness of the form of a discourse on politics"we believe ... that to be educated is to be able to do as
was just said" , in
Aristotle's words18may have also discovered and, usually, has already discovered, at least some factual
reference points which will empower him to check the propositions about politics which relate to his
experience. That is why education tends, if not to include, at least to link up with, a capacity for judgment
relative to the matter of the discourse. And we have already acknowledged this capacity as a form of
comprehension indispensable for being taught.

To sum up, let us now try a brief rereading of the important section of the NE prologue (1094b11-1095a4),
which expresses Aristotle's primary concerns regarding his listener.

1. a) 1094b11-22:

In virtue of a principle (1094b11-14) whose application in each case rests on the education of the person who
attempts an exposition, Aristotle confesses his inability to offer, in a discourse on political issues, anything
other than a schematic outline of the truth and acknowledges that he must be content with conclusions valid
only for the most part.

b) 1094b22-27:

Consequently, he requires that his listeners adopt the same attitude

< previous page page_117 next page >

< previous page page_118 next page >
Page 118

(1094b22-23), that they too should be guided by education. Education will let them see how to adapt the
requirements of the exposition to its object (1094b23-25) and, as a result, why it is inappropriate to use the
same form of argument everywhere and always (1094b25-27).

In saying this, the philosopher's intention is not so much to justify his own procedure as to indicate to his
listeners the special way in which the reasoning will develop. The statement that education is required of his
listeners entails the need to accept this peculiar feature of the discourse.

2. a) 1094b27-1095a2:

Aristotle then follows up with an observation about the primary characteristic of the educated person (both
with respect to a particular field and in general), that is, a capacity for judgment.

b) 1095a2-4:

And he directly infers that young people are incapable of following a political discourse, justifying this
exclusion on the ground of their lack of experience.

This conclusion takes into account defects arising from the fact that young people have lived but little (and
thus have but little familiarity with the subject-matter of political discourse), defects affecting possibilities
both for evaluating the "form" of the discourse (an ability proper to the generally educated person) and for
judging its connections to reality (proper to comprehension, which accompanies education).

The Practical Relevance of Education

1. New Preliminaries for the Discourse

In everything said up to the present point, Aristotle is negatively preoccupied with what handicaps, and
positively preoccupied with what favors, only the understanding which the listener may have of the
discourse. The ideal of education, which seems to sum up the philosopher's requirements in this respect,
apparently offers safeguards only of an intellectual sort. Nevertheless, the idea of the educated person cannot
be reduced to this aspect alone, especially insofar as it remains close to the commonly shared notion of the
educated person to which Aristotle alludes elsewhere (in saying, for instance, that in aristocracies the
distribution of education determines who has access to power). 1 And the qualities that it embodies, although
conceptually different, cannot really be dissociated from other dispositions conferred by correct education
. Following Plato, whom he takes as an authority, Aristotle understands by this term the
condition "of somehow having been led since youth to receive pleasure and pain appropriately."2 Now, seen
from this angle, the (correctly) educated person, whose character is already formed, supplies the guarantees
of a person with disciplined passions, guarantees that he can obey the

< previous page page_118 next page >

< previous page page_119 next page >
Page 119

commands of reason. He thus presents the ideal conditions for responding, with an appropriate act, to the
injunctions of a discourse which tries to reason about acting well. In the NE prologue, in fact, Aristotle relies
a great deal on the presence of such listeners and warns against the illusion that listeners will "benefit" from
his discourses if, on the contrary, they are enslaved by their passions

This warning, let us note, occurs as an afterthought ( : 1095a4) to remarks which exclude young people
from the audience. Moreover, it stresses the instrumental aspect of the discourse and of the knowledge
contained in it ("without benefit" : 1095a5; cf. "useless" : a9; "of great benefit"
:all), an aspect which went unmentioned before this point and for which Aristotle invokes a
final cause ("the end is not knowledge but action" : a4-5).
It is as if, after having described the conditions under which listeners would be able intellectually to follow
his discourse and in order to parry the charge that an attempt to provide only (theoretical) instruction in these
matters risks uselessness, the philosopher wished to display his intention also to fulfill the desire some might
have to hear a discourse directly useful in action and, at the same time, to clarify the indispensable moral
qualities which must be possessed by listeners who wish to benefit from this aspect of his teaching. Would
Aristotle therefore be disposed to leave room in his discourse for certain facts or problems directly involving
the action of virtuous listeners alongside facts and problems required for the instruction of the "architectonic''
politician, that is, of the lawgiver?4 Before answering this question, we should consider just how, according
to Aristotle, a discourse can contribute directly to the virtuous action of the persons to whom it is addressed.

2. "Good Moral Habits" and Practical Education

The possibilities offered by the discourse in this respect also depend upon the listener. And, as the NE
prologue essentially affirms, it is to be feared that, for the majority of people (who live at the mercy of their
passions), the knowledge expressed in the discourse remains useless . To help us
understand this phenomenon, Aristotle compares such listeners to incontinent people
.1 Indeed, the discussion of incontinent conduct in NE vii sheds considerable
light on this phenomenon.2 For Aristotle, the author of an incontinent act knows in general that a given class
of things is pleasant but should be avoided as evil; nevertheless, placed before a concrete singular of the
class, his practical understanding, which is dominated by an irascible or concupiscible inclination, sees only
the pleasure and fails to grasp the evil at the very moment which decides the act.3 In that precise instant,
genuine knowledge of the good (to be pursued) or the evil (to be avoided) disappears, or rather no longer
exists in act; a state of affairs which, from the practi-

< previous page page_119 next page >

< previous page page_120 next page >
Page 120

cal point of view, is equivalent to ignorance. This moment of aberration 4 (responsible for the incontinent
act) which stands out from the preceding instants (where, since understanding sees the evil to be avoided,
action is suspended) and from the following instants (where, since understanding sees the evil which should
have been avoided, the subject is seized with remorse), this moment, I say, can be extended, by analogy, to
the, so to speak, permanent situation of those who live at the mercy of their passions. In young people, whose
passions overwhelm their practical understanding, if not constantly at least frequently, this aberration would
condemn their general knowledge to remain useless, because ineffective for conduct. The idea is that
knowledge acquired by people dominated by their passions will remain ignorance on the practical level. For
although from the theoretical or cognitive point of view alone, the person "who lives in accord with passion"
could be grouped alongside the person "who lives in accord with reason"
(as the incontinent person can be grouped alongside the prudent person
), from the practical point of view, on the other hand, the person who lives in accord with
passion is hardly distinguished from the animal (as the act of the incontinent person no longer differs from
the act of the intemperate person ). A chart can clarify these analogies:

1. Those who live in Those who live in The child/

accord with reason/ accord with passion/ the animal
the well (/rightly) young people
educated (in general)
2. The prudent person The incontinent person The intemperate/
the bad/the ignorant

Seeking to provide his listeners with knowledge from which they can benefit, the philosopher therefore
insists that they must already live in such a way that their appetitive tendencies are subordinated to a rational
rule. This insistence reflects a specific doctrine regarding education. As we know, Aristotle requires of
education that it remedy the weaknesses of nature, that it concern itself first of all with the appetitive
tendencies of human beings: for children,

< previous page page_120 next page >

< previous page page_121 next page >
Page 121

whose understanding is small or nonexistent, the task is to bring conduct into line with the rational norm expressed in the law. 5 The first
quality obtained through educationthe first quality of the educated personwill thus be the capacity, acquired by habituation, to act in accord with
the law (= ) and not in accord with the caprices of one's own passions. In a word, it is the acquisition of an "excellence resulting from
habituation" .6 Now, such an excellence presupposes a substantial number of virtuous actions or, if one prefers, an
experience of virtue practiced. Possessing this experience also guarantees that the discourse will be intelligible, in other words, that listeners
will be able to actually derive some benefit from the discourse by obeying the injunctions implicitly or explicitly contained in it.

That being so, we can hardly separate, in reality, the habituation of conduct in accord with right reason (required of the listener if he is to
benefit from the discourse in his actions) and experience of actions characteristic of life (needed by the listener if he is to comprehend the
discourse and pass judgment on its "form"). Usually the two go together. And the proof of this fact is that the requirement of character formation
by means of habituation, in Aristotle's view, not only offers a safeguard on the practical level but also provides, on the theoretical or cognitive
level, the necessary condition for the listener's ability to judge the starting points chosen for the discourse. Indeed, in NE i 2, after having said
that "we must take our starting points from what is familiar to us" , Aristotle adds: "This is why those
who wish to listen satisfactorily to a discourse on matters relating to the noble, the just and in general, to politics, should have been rightly
directed by habituation"

The implication of all this seems indeed to be that only the politician, to whom, in my opinion, Aristotle addresses his discourses, will be able to
derive from them some benefit for his own conduct. The very people for whom the philosopher intends his teaching, then, because he relies on
them to establish, as laws, the genuine norms of the good for the city, will also be the ones who, from another perspective, will be able to find, in
this teaching, something that illuminates their conduct.

I have taken great pains up to now to distinguish conceptually between legislative prudence (or architectonic understanding) and prudence
as habitual disposition for action (or practical understanding).8 We can now observe and comprehend that, in real life, they usually have to
go together. Aristotle himself remarks that they are, in the eyes of most people, the lot of one and the same individual: "the reason," he says,
"why we believe that Pericles and people like him are prudent9 is that they can see what things are good for themselves and what things are good
for other people"

< previous page page_121 next page >

< previous page page_122 next page >
Page 122

Indeed, training in virtue under the aegis and constraint of laws or other coercive powers which conform to
the good, above all to the extent that it takes place in the arena of political life, as it does according to
Aristotle, 11 prepares for both prudence as a practical disposition and legislative
prudence. Because the operations of the latter are more purely theoretical, it has to draw more on teaching of
a philosophical type. But the former can also derive some benefit from the same type of teaching, not for the
acquisition of principles of conduct, which owes nothing to teaching by means of discourse, but for better
understanding of the actions which accord with the good. For only the prudent person or the person who is,
to all intents and purposes, already virtuous will possess the disposition needed to understand what is
required by the good and to obey the imperatives, explicit and implicit, which are contained in a discourse
whose subject-matter is this good. Therefore, Aristotle, whose teaching is presented as a contribution to the
formation of the judgment of the politician-lawgiver, could only note once and for all the additional interest
which this teaching has for praxis, that is, the personal conduct of those to whom it entrusts the task of
defining the laws.12

Finally, it is important to add that this properly ethical instruction, which Aristotle addresses to the politician
in the hope that it will be of use to him in his action, does not refer to a kind of action alien to legislative
work itself. For this work includes, as such, an ethical dimension, given that the lawgiver is not primarily the
one who knows what the norm of the good should be but the one who decides to derive from this norm a law
for others and for himself. Now such a decision requires that the person who knows the good possess the
moral virtue which commits him to legislate in accord with what he knows the good to be. Thus, there is a
risk at the point of decision that the lawgiver fall prey to the defects of the incontinent person ,
who fails to carry out the good which he knows, or to the defects of the youth, who obey their passions rather
than the demands of reason which they do not understand. Therefore, the lawgiver requires a moral
education, not only because he must know the good to be prescribed in the law, but, also and especially,
because he must decide to derive a law from the good, and this is an action in the strictly moral sense of the

< previous page page_122 next page >

< previous page page_123 next page >
Page 123

Conclusion: Education, Ethics and Politics

The preceding investigations have shown that Aristotle's discussion of ethical problems corresponded to his
most important concern, the instruction of the lawgiver. This concern will not seem peculiar if one
remembers that the thinking of our philosopher places itself in the tradition of Plato, whose last important
work is the Laws. Indeed, for Aristotle, as for Plato, legislation is the tool required for the realization of the
ends pursued by life in the city, that is, not only political life but life in general as lived in the framework
constituted by political organization.

Put into perspective in this way, Aristotelian ethics, far from describing an individual ethics alien to politics,
presents, on the contrary, the essential body of learning with which the lawgiver must fortify himself when
legislating. Conversely, one might say that the main body of political issues discussed by the philosopher
also presents learning which is to provide direction for heads of household, who are often responsible for the
education of children and thus need to act, in a restricted context, as if they were lawgivers.

If this is the case, one cannot conclude without bringing to light the three problems which seem to have led
Aristotle to defend the unity of ethics with politics.

1. The first of these problems is that of education itself. The eighth book of the Politics, which, in many
respects, appears to be a treatise on education, opens with these words: "Nobody will challenge the statement
that the lawgiver must above all concern himself with the education of young people. And, moreover, cities
in which nothing of the sort occurs injure their political regimes. Indeed, education should accord with each
regime; for the character type appropriate to each constitution usually preserves the constitution." 1 Aristotle
insists elsewhere2 that one should always legislate with reference to the constitutional regime in effect in the
city. This requirement applies also to arrangements made by the lawgiver in the field of education. He should
train the future citizens required by the political regime to which he belongs, given that each regime
necessarily implies a particular type of citizen.3 Before indicating how the lawgiver should operate in order
to educate, such considerations point out that he must accomplish it to avoid injuries or, at the very least,
grave risks of injury to the constitution. Experience bequeathed by the tumultuous history of political
regimes here guides the philosopher's position and dictates to him a demand which he addresses to those
responsible for the laws. One may puzzle over the nature of this requirement when one compares passages of
Politics viii with those of NE x. The fact that the legislator must be

< previous page page_123 next page >

< previous page page_124 next page >
Page 124

involved with education does not necessarily imply that the law must set up a system of public education
governed by civic officials. But it does surely imply that the lawgiver is required to put the principles of
education into the law, even if private persons are in charge of that education. In the absence of such explicit
principles, Aristotle thinks it necessary that such private persons take into account the implicit premises
provided for them by the nature of the political regime under which they have to exist.

2. The second problem which Aristotle seems to have had to face is that posed by the existence of several
correct political regimes. For these regimes justify differences at the level of principles of education and even
require such differences. Therefore, he does not impose on the lawgiver the task of applying everywhere and
always the rules of education which are described by Politics viii as conforming to the ideal, or as he says,
, 4 constitutional regime. Besides, in admitting, in NE x 10, that education can be left in the
hands of private persons, as it already is in most cities,5 Aristotle presumably understands that this situation
could not lead to the promotion of virtues radically different from those imposed by the particular character
of the political regime under consideration, without the latter being destroyed as a result.

This attitude implies a somewhat relativistic position, in the sense that it is incompatible with belief in an
immutable and absolute good which is applicable everywhere. The consideration of existing realities and
historical contingencies led Aristotle to the view that "good lawgivers" and "genuine politicians" themselves
should consider which constitution best fits each type of population, which is most adequately adapted to
situations as they already exist, and which can fit all cities in general;6 in short, he required that lawgivers
also understand that which is possible, even easy, to realize or generally accessible.7 Not that it was his view
that they should endorse every state of affairs as a good one, but, he says, "the reform of an existing regime
is not a smaller task than the establishment of a new one."8 And the value that Aristotle attributes to the
preservation of political constitutions, even imperfect ones,9 shows clearly enough his distrust of revolutions
which brutally interrupt the continuity of the order of things which is indispensable for training in virtuous
habits.10 From this perspective, the requirement that the lawgiver study constitutions and thus come to
possess knowledge is imposed not only because of the possibility that, in an exceptional
situation, he will have to set up an entirely new political regime, but because of the need to know, first, that
which every kind of regime must try to produce (the excellence which is essential to happiness) and, second,
that which each regime, given its kind, must provide (the type of excellence appropriate to the human beings
who compose it). It is the lawgiver's universal task to "see the best laws and those which accord with each
type of constitution"11 precisely in order to reform and preserve the regime which he will recognize as
preferable in the situation where he must legislate. If therefore, as the NE states, "politics

< previous page page_124 next page >

< previous page page_125 next page >
Page 125

has for its most important mission to produce a certain human quality and to render the citizens good and
capable of fine actions," 12 this can only occur in the precise limits set by the existing constitution.

3. But a final problem preoccupies the philosopher and leads him, without contradiction, to avoid
surrendering to radical relativism. It is the problem posed by the belief in absolute principles governing the
good, principles with which the lawgiver must come to terms when determining which differences between
political regimes are legitimate. According to what has just been shown, one could reasonably think that the
requirement imposed upon lawgivers for instruction on ethical questions aims at furnishing them the means
to correct the imperfections or mitigate the defects of a system of laws which is insufficient to guarantee that
the education of future citizens harmonizes with the political regime. This means of securing moral virtue
(and, thereby, happiness) of individuals is not at all directed towards conduct which is alien to the political
order or subversive of this political order. But this does not imply that the moral reforms which Aristotle
expects from the lawgiver must refrain from modifying the principles of certain regimes, when they seem in
some way badly constructed. Here one should mention a single remarkable example, which shows this
clearly and which lets us grasp the more general scope of Aristotle's ethics.

In the Nicomachean and Eudemian Ethics,13 Aristotle takes considerable pains to define courage and
examine the problems posed by this moral virtue, the first in his list of virtues. Yet he demonstrates in the
Politics how far constitutions which try to promote courage by military education (Sparta's, for instance)
distance themselves from the principles which should ground a good regime. For the good constitution
pursues a final cause diametrically opposed to war and thus promotes "virtues which contribute to leisure"
,14 that is, as it is expressly put in what follows, temperance
and justice (which are needed everywhere), but most importantly philosophy
.15 These statements permit us to establish exactly the purpose of the Aristotelian ethics. If it
had been addressed to the particular individual, rather than to the lawgiver, the "philosophy" and
"speculative" excellence which Aristotle as a moralist locates above the level of action16 would appear to be
an ideal which the human being must reach apart from the city and apart from every form of political life.
But nothing of the sort is being proposed. This ideal is the goal borne in mind by rightly oriented lawgivers,
practicioners of political activity in its higher aspect. For the lawgiver to whom the Aristotelian ethics is
addressed and upon whom it above all enjoins the care for moral excellence is thus urged, at the end of the
NE, not to ignore the fact that the conduct whose rules he prescribes serves, in the last analysis, a goal other
than itself.

< previous page page_125 next page >

< previous page page_127 next page >
Page 127



1. On one of the panels in bas-relief which decorates the base of the cathedral of Florence, Luca della
Robbia, almost a century earlier, depicted an analogous encounter between Aristotle and the master of the
Academy; the latter, as on Raphael's fresco, invites us to raise our gaze towards heaven, in spite of the
objections with which an obstinate disciple seems to resist him. A reproduction of this panel is found in
Grenet 1962, 32.

2. For the elements of chronology, see Düring 1957, 249ff.

3. Aristotle's departure for Atarneus, in the spring of this year, seems to me to be a result of the accession to
power of Demosthenes' anti-Macedonian party, rather than the effect of a crisis in Aristotle's relations with
the Academy (or even with Plato, on the hypothesis that Plato was still alive). For a similar view, see Düring
1966, 10.

4. Gomperz 1910, chapters VI and VII. E. Frank's excellent article (1940,34-53, 166-85) remains to this day
very suggestive for understanding the tensions inherent in Aristotelian thought itself.

5. Jaeger 1923. I refer here to R. Robinson's English translation of this work (Jaeger 1948). Jaeger brought to
this translation additions and corrections which were incorporated into the second German edition of his
work (Jaeger 1955, 435-41).

6. In a 1939 thesis (entitled Ontwikkelingsmomenten in de zielkunde van Aristoteles), F. Nuyens thought he

could identify a third phase in Aristotle's development, one intermediate between the anthropological
dualism of the philosopher's origins and the hylomorphism of his full maturity. Cf. Nuyens 1948. Even
among the most faithful partisans of "Entwicklung," this thesis is seriously questioned. Cf. Lefèvre 1972.

7. Cf. Berti 1975, 11-12: "Not having understood this intent (of Jaeger) and being stuck on the problem of
the succession of the different phases of Aristotelian reflection, or even of the chronological stratification of
single treatises by Aristotle, its result has been that many studies marked by historico-genetic method in the
wake of Jaeger have made no contribution to understanding the philosophical value of Aristotle's work and
finished on the contrary by distracting philosophers from the problems of interpreting the Stagirite's
thought." (Bodéüs' emphasis; translated from Italian by tr.)

8. Aubenque 1962,12.

9. I use the term "synthesis" here, with respect to Aristotle, to describe the project of unifying, in a coherent
whole, different studies, often from different periods,

< previous page page_127 next page >

< previous page page_128 next page >
Page 128

which concern the same type of questions: the major works of the Corpus testify to this project, even if
they do not always realize it adequately.

10. I am thinking, particularly, of the fragments of On Philosophy and of the Protrepticus (this being
primarily known to us through Iamblichus' work of the same name). Cf., on this subject, Dumoulin's recent
work (1981), chap. II and III.

11. One will understand the different concerns which motivate their authors if one compares Chroust 1964
and Düring 1961, as well as Untersteiner 1963 and Wilpert 1957. For a good attempt at synthesis from an
original perspective, see Bignone 1936.

12. Düring 1966; 1968.

13. Düring 1966, 29; cf. Berti 1975, 13.

14. Düring 1966, 24. The most subtle contradictions between certain texts of Aristotle are explained,
according to Düring, by the continuous dispute conducted by the philosopher against his colleagues of the
Academy on controverted questions. Still it is necessary to exaggerate neither the number nor the
significance of these contradictions; Düring himself writes (1966, 24): "The numerous, and for the most part
small, contradictions in his writings are explained by the principle that in different writings he discusses the
same questions from different angles." Among the examples of purely apparent contradictions to which he
refers (24n137), Düring mentions the different accounts of the soul and, in this connection, he later criticizes
F. Nuyens' mechanical application of the criterion to determine the periods of Aristotle's career.

15. Cf. Bodéüs 1981,45-46.

16. Düring 1966,23.

17. See, in this vein: Aubenque 1962, passim, and likewise Aubenque 1961. Düring (1966, 29), for his part,
holds that Aristotle was not ultimately able to overcome the dilemma which Plato posed for him: cf.
Brémond 1933 (a work to which he explicitly refers). On the problems posed by the axiomatic method, see
Berka 1963; Mignucci 1965; and Kullmann 1965. Cf., more generally, Reidemeister 1949, rather than Loria
1914 (an obsolete work, which neglects philosophical issues). Concerning more particularly the method
followed by Aristotle in the Ethics, see Eucken 1870 and, finally, Barnes 1980.

18. Cf. for Plato, Paisse 1969.

19. Cf. Demosthenes, Olynth. iii 10. "Although they are not mentioned by Aristotle in the Constitution of
Athens, their existence is not in doubt." (P. Lavedan, Dictionnaire illustré de la mythologie et des antiquités
grecques et romaines, s.v.).

< previous page page_128 next page >

< previous page page_129 next page >
Page 129

20. This interpretation, defended especially by Gauthier in his commentary on the NE, has been severely
criticized by M. De Corte in his penetrating article "L' Éthique à Nicomaque': introduction à la politique."
See De Corte 1977.

21. Ricoeur 1974, 328.

22. This is the well-known position held by Gauthier. But see (contra): Guthrie 1981,346-47.

23. Cf. Hardie 1968, 31.

24. See, however, EE i 6.1216b36-39 (according to Richards' correction: b37). The

authenticity of the MM remains very unreliable. Therefore we cannot here consider the testimony of this text
as being on the same level as that of the NE and the EE (despite the arguments of von Arnim 1927; F.
Dirlmeier 1958, followed by Düring 1966, 438ff; Gohlke 1944; Cooper 1973; Vicol Ionescu 1973; .. ).

25. "Rather today's discussions bear on the question of the temporal priority or posteriority . . . of the
Eudemian Ethics in relation to the Nicomachean Ethics" (Decarie in Decarie 1978, 11).

26. D. J. Allan, G. Bien, C. Vicol Ionescu, . . . (Cf., on this subject, my chapter 4.)

27. A. Kenny, "A Stylometric Study of the Aristotelian Corpus," in CIRPHO [Cercle International de
Recherches Philosophiques par Ordinateur] (1976) and Kenny 1978.

28. Rowe 1971.

29. The prologue of the NE (i 1094b19ff.) actually describes principles of method which recall-indeed clarify-
several other passages belonging to the same Ethics: i 2.1095a30-b13; 7.1098a20-b8; 8.1098b9-12;
11.1101a24-28; 12.1101b34-1102a1; 13.1102a23-27; ii 2.1103b26-1104a11 (cf. 7.1107a28-33; b14-16;
1108a1-4; b7-10; 1109a23-24; iv 13.1127a14-17). Accounts contained in the first four books thus preserve a
trace of Aristotle's concern about the "listener" whom he tries to instruct about the prerequisites for the
studies which he is communicating to him; his concern, most often, is to recall the need to be content with an
"outline" and to give up the demand for "precision." Books viii through x show an analogous concern: in viii
1-2, for example, Aristotle criticizes a bad way of posing the problem of friendship, which does not
correspond to the subject-matter of "ethics" as the prologue has described it; at ix 2.1164b27-30, as at
1165a12-14, he sets forth considerations which he has already maintained at several points in books i-iv
( , we read at 1165a12); and at x 1.1172a34-b8, he recalls the conditions
under which, according to the prologue, discourses on action are useful; cf. 8.1178a22-23; 9.1179a16-22;
10.1179a33ff. (which refers to the prologue and to the introduction to the account of virtue.) In the "common
books,'' on the other hand, there is no question

< previous page page_129 next page >

< previous page page_130 next page >
Page 130

of any of this: at v 1.1129a5-6, Aristotle asks us to follow a method applied earlier, which seems indeed
to be that which is sanctioned at EE i 6.1216b26ff; at vi 1.1138b25-26, he recalls a principle which only
EE i 6.1216b32-33 explicitly invokes; and at vii 1.1145b2-7 (cf. 1146a22-27), he describes the rules of
aporematic method (applied also in the study of pleasure: chapter 12 et seq.), which the EE
conspicuously uses from the introduction on (i 4.1215a20ff.). All this tends to group the "common
books" with the EE. More especially as, generally, the methodological concerns of the latter stand out
rather clearly from those which preoccupy the author of the NE. Of course, one discovers common
traits, as the following comparisons illustrate: (1) NE i 2.1095a28-30 and EE i 3.1214b28-1215a7; (2)
NE i 2.1095a30-b13 and EE i 6.1216b36ff.; and (3) NE i 4.1096b30-31 and EE i 8.1217b16-20. But the
EE, unlike the NE, nowhere addresses a "listener" in order to acquaint him with the requirements for a
discourse on action, which, given its subject-matter, rejects the demand for precision and asks rather for
a description which has the form of an "outline." This difference is significant. Moreover, the EE, unlike
the NE, gives a preponderant place to the aporematic method. In this connection, a passage at EE vii
2.1235b13-18 corresponds perfectly to the description of the rules of NE vii ("a common book") of
which I have spoken. Given the respective methodological profiles of the NE and the EE, there is
therefore no doubt that the "common books'' correspond to the latter rather than to the former.

30. In trying to show Aristotle's alleged evolution from the EE to the NE, Jaeger based his argument
essentially on the account of expressed in the second common book, which, he believed,
belonged to the NE; he claimed that this account was incompatible with the view of the books proper to the
EE but in accord with the view of the books proper to the NE. Can one today reasonably try to prove that this
same account, set forth in a book which one considers to belong to the EE, conforms more to the view of the
books proper to EE than to the view of the books proper to the NE, whose temporal priority one thus
verifies? Cf. Kenny 1978, 189: "Aristotle's teaching on wisdom ... provides a number of arguments to
confirm the conclusion that the disputed books belong with the Eudemian rather than the Nicomachean
Ethics." The author, however, does not draw any positive conclusion regarding relative chronology from his
analysis of and limits himself to refuting Jaeger's argument.

31. For a contrary view, see Vander Waerdt 1985,79.

Chapter 1. In Search of Aristotle's Project

Section I

1. Duveroy 1974, 3.

2. Voss 1974, 482.

3. On this subject, see my chapter 4.

4. Düring 1957,422.

< previous page page_130 next page >

< previous page page_131 next page >
Page 131

5. Jaeger 1948, 368.

6. Praechter 1926, 373.

7. Even if Aristotle's thought is coherently organized in accord with definite principles and thus reflects an
effort at systematization, nevertheless, the exposition of theories in his texts does not possess the form of a
system. On this distinction, see Pucelle 1948, 256 and 263.

Section II

1. Cf. Düring 1966, 35ff.

2. F. Wehrli 1959, 96. On this subject, see my remarks in Bodéüs 1975, 186.

3. Cf. Moraux 1973, 58-94.

4. Cf. Littig 1890, 34ff., and Diels 1882,2-3. "It was actually Andronicus' edition which laid the basis for the
view that Aristotle was striving for a closed philosophical system." (Düring 1966,42).

5. Diogenes Laërtius v 22-27 (cf. Düring 1957,41-51,67-69) and Vita Menagiana = Vita Hesychii, published
in Düring 1957, 83-89. As P. Moraux notes (1973, 60n5), the hypothesis that the lists go back to Andronicus
himself (V. Rose, J. Bernays, H. Diels, A. Gerke, . . . ) is today explicitly contradicted by what we know
about the Rhodian.

6. Plutarch, Life of Sulla 26 (Düring 1957,414 [74 b]): .

7. Porphyry, Life of Plotinus 24 (Düring 1957,414 [75 g]). Cf. H.-R. Schwyzer 1951, col. 486-87.

8. On this individual, see: Diehle 1957,314-25; Moraux 1973, 60n6 (with discussion and bibliography); and
Düring 1957,208-210.

9. Probabilities established in Lippert 1894; cf. Littig 1890, 22-23.

10. Müller 1875, no. 34-35. With this scholar, the Arabic text is preceded (pp. 18-22) by a reconstruction of
Ptolemy's Greek ; a similar attempt working from Ibn Abï Usaibi'a is found in Düring 1957, 221-31.
Cf. Moraux 1951, 289ff. and less recently: Baumstark 1898, 61-70; Plezia 1946, 26ff., and Littig 1890, 38-
42. A Latin translation by M. Steinschneider is found in Aristotelis Opera Omnia, t. V (Berlin, 1870), 1469
(cf. Rose, Ar. frag. 2).

11. These are nos. 29-56 in Düring 1957, 224-26 (cf. 242, 244-45: commentary).

< previous page page_131 next page >

< previous page page_132 next page >
Page 132

12. This problem arises from the comparison between (a) the titles listed in the catalog of Andronicus and (b) the titles enumerated in the earlier
lists preserved by Diogenes Laërtius and the anonymous author of the Vita Menagiana. The construction of each of Aristotle's "treatises," as we
can understand it with the aid of this comparison, appears to involve grouping by species. See, on this subject, Moraux 1951, 104ff. and, more
generally, Düring 1950, 8ff., and, more recently, C. Lord 1986.

13. Cf. Kenny 1978, 12ff. and Bodéüs 1973,461-67.

14. The parallel lists of Diogenes Laërtius (no. 75) and of the anonymous author of the Vita Menagiana (no. 70) already mention "eight books of
a " (Düring 1957, 45, 85). It is hardly likely that the two books of listed earlier (Diogenes L. no. 74; cf. author of
Vita Menagiana, no. 69) are part of the same Cursus Politicorum, as Düring supposes (ad loc.: "Eundem esse atque librum , i.e.
Pol. HΘ, suspicor."). In any case, the Politics of our Corpus was constituted, in its essentials, by the end of the third century B.C. (on the origin
of the catalog: cf. Moraux 1973, 4n2). For the way in which Diogenes Laërtius presents the work under discussion
, see the critical discussion of various hypotheses in Moraux 1951,95-96, and Lord
1986, 157 and 159.

15. Moraux 1973, I:62.

1. I leave aside here the fact, probable but of little significance (for it concerns minor details only), that Ptolemy, to whom the Arabs refer,
corrected, here and there, the order of the works promoted by Andronicus. It remains a fact that "Ptolemy followed Andronicus very
closely" (Düring 1957,244).

2. Cf. Moraux 1973,64: "it is obvious that pinax and edition . . . depend closely upon one another. One cannot rightly imagine that his pains at
classification and regrouping of the treatises would have left no traces in his catalog. Rather one will be able to assume that the perspectives
which were decisive in the structuring of the edition also made themselves felt in the pinax."

3. Cf. note 7 in the preceding section and Bodéüs 1973,453-54.

4. Düring 1957, 242-44. The same author, referring particularly to the section which interests us, adds (245): "This excellent Index generalis
of Andronicus' Edition has been unduly neglected by the edition of the Corpus Aristotelicum."

5. As is attested by entry no. 97 in Ptolemy's catalog (Düring 1957, 230):

On this subject, see: Moraux 1973, 64ff.

6. Nos. 35-39 (Düring 1957, 224-25).

< previous page page_132 next page >

< previous page page_133 next page >
Page 133

7. Ammonius, In Cat. Ar. in Commentaria in Aristotelem Graeca (CIAG), IV.4: pp. 5, 31-6, 8; Simplicius, In
Cat. Ar. in CIAG, VIII: pp. 5, 3-6, 5; Olympiodorus, In Cat. Ar. in CIAG, XII.1: pp. 8, 29-9, 15; Philoponus,
In Cat. Ar. in CIAG, XIII.1: p. 5, 15-34; and Elias, In Cat. Ar. in CIAG, XVIII.1: pp. 117, 15-119, 24. The
last two works cited state (p. 5, 18-25 and p. 117, 22-24, respectively) that their predecessor Andronicus of
Rhodes recommended beginning the study of Aristotle's philosophical disciplines with logic. "From this
information it follows that [Andronicus] had posed the question [i.e., at least implicitly]
, and that the vast majority of the later tradition . . . answered
this question following Andronicus" (Moraux 1973,79).

8. These are respectively nos. 29-34, 35-39 and 40-56 in Düring 1957, 224-26.

9. Cf. Stoicorum Veterum Fragmenta (SVF), ed. J. von Arnim, v. II (1903), fragment 35-44 (pp. 15-17);
Diogenes Laërtius vii (in connection with Zeno, Chrysippus, Apollodorus, Syllus, Eudromus, Diogenes of
Babylon and Posidonius).

10. Topics (T) i 14.105b19-30.

11. Diogenes Laërtius v 28-34 (Düring 1957, 50-56).

12. Diogenes Laërtius at first (v 28) proposes that Aristotle followed a different division of philosophy; but,
for his account of Aristotle's doctrines, "we see him abandon this scheme without regret . . . to recur to the
well-known Stoic division" (Moraux 1949, 7). Simplicius, Olympiodorus and Elias, as well as Philoponus,
prefer to distribute Aristotle's acroamatic writings into , and , in
accord with terminology which in effect makes the same classification; but the categories "ethical,"
"physical" and "logical'' reappeared in their writings in the general introduction to philosophy which they
located at the beginning of their Commentary on the Categories (cf. above, passages cited in note 7).

13. Cf. above, note 7.

14. Ammonius, op. cit., pp. 4, 30-5,4; Simplicius, op. cit., p. 4, 23; Olympiodorus, op. cit., p. 7, 26-28;
Philoponus, op. cit., p. 4, 27-36 and Elias, op. cit., p. 117, 9-13.

15. Cf. Moraux 1973,77.

16. No evidence guarantees this explicitly, but one can hardly doubt that this view, echoed by the
Neoplatonist commentators, goes back to the earliest days of Aristotelianism (and was shared by
Andronicus). See already: C. Prantl [1855] 1957, 532, followed by H. Usener 1892, 589 and Moraux

17. Diogenes Laërtius v 28.

< previous page page_133 next page >

< previous page page_134 next page >
Page 134

18. These categories are used by Aristotle not only to distinguish types of understanding, reason, thought and
science (cf. below, note 20), but also to distinguish kinds of life (NE i 3.1094b17ff.; P vii 2.1324a27-28 and

19. For example: EE i 8.1217b23.

20. In speaking of : P vii 14.1333a25. In speaking of : EE i 6.1217a7; NE vi 2.1139a27,36; P

vii 3.1325b17-18; De Anima (DA) iii 10.433a18-19 (cf. ii 3.415a11-12); Metaphysics (M) E 1.1025b6. In
speaking of : M a 1.993b19-23; E 1.1025b5ff.; K 7.1064a10ff.; T vi 6.145a13-18; viii 1.157a8-
11. In speaking of : NE vi 2.1139a29; DA iii 10.433a14-18 (cf. i 3.407a23: ).

21. It is to two categories of Aristotle's "acroamatic" writings, as we shall see, that the Neoplatonist
commentators apply the labels and .

22. Cf. above, note 10.

1. Aspasius, In Eth. Nic. in CIAG, XIX: p. 1, 14-16. This explanation is obviously suggested by the
reflections of NE x 7-9 on the (divine) contemplative life, which surpasses the bounds of the human
"composite" .

2. Eustratius, In Eth. Nic. in CIAG, XX: p. 1, 3-6.

3. Stephanus, In Rhet. in CIAG, XXI.2, p. 270, 4-6.

4. While explaining:
op. cit. in CIAG, XIII.1, p. 4,24-25).

5. Philoponus, In Meteor. in CIAG, XIV. , p. 1,5-6.

6. Ibid., p. 1,7-8.

7. Dicearchus, fr. 25 Wehrli (cf. fr. 8 and 27).

8. Wehrli 1944, 50.

9. DA iii 5.430a17ff.

10. On this subject, see Regenbogen 1940, col. 1398, 1497. Cf. Jaeger 1948, appendix. The opposition of
these ideals flows from a situation peculiar to Plato's Academy; on this subject, see Isnardi 1956,401-33.

11. NE i 3.1095b14-1096a5; 6.1097b33-1098a18 (cf. x 7-8); EE i4.1215a26-1215b14; P vii 14.1333a24-36.

< previous page page_134 next page >

< previous page page_135 next page >
Page 135

12. ME 1.1025b5-7 (cf. K 7.1064a10ff.).

13. Mariétan 1901, 15-18. The author is also concerned especially (19-25) to meet Zeller's objection (that this division mistakenly made no room
for logic) and insists, as the Neoplatonic commentators always did, on the propaedeutic character of logic; but the way in which Mariétan
understands the concept of is itself subject to question. On this topic, see chapter 5, sections IV.2-3.

14. DA iii 4-5 (429a10-430a25).

15. NE x 7-8 (1177a12-1178b32).

16. Ammonius, In Porphyrii Isagogen in CIAG, IV.3, p. 1, 2ff.

17. Ibid., p. 3 (1-2 and 6).

18. Ibid., p. 3,4-5:


19. Cf. Plato, Crito 46e; Parmenides 134e; Sophist 266a, 268d; Republic vii 517d; Laws v 732e; viii 836a; x 886e; Apology 20d; Symposium
186b; Phaedrus 259d; Critias 107d. Cf. E. Des Places 1964, 246-48, s.v. , no. 1 and 5.

20. Cf. above, sect. 111.2.

21. Plato, Theaetetus 176a-b.

22. Ammonius, op. cit., p. 3,8-9.

23. Ibid., p. 3, 16-19.

24. Ibid., p. 4, 8-9: .

25. Ibid., p. 5, 28ff. Cf. p. 11, 6-15. The adjectives and are metaphorically applied to incorruptible (eternal) and
corruptible realities, respectively, or, as the scholastics will say, to "necessary" and to "contingent" phenomena.

26. ME 1.1025b3-4 (cf. Ammonius, op. cit., p. 5, 29-30).

27. Plato, Phaedo 64a, 67e (cf. Ammonius, op. cit., p. 6, 6-25).

Section III

1. T i 14.105b19-30.

2. A Post. i 33.89b7-9.

< previous page page_135 next page >

< previous page page_136 next page >
Page 136

3. In fact, in the DA (cf. Aristoteles De Anima, edited by W. D. Ross [Oxford, 1956], p. 102, s.v. ), the issue is one
of "science" and the perspective employed is that of the physicist, who examines there a type of "assumption"
. But the specific nature of this assumption does not interest the author of the DA: (iii
3.427b26). On the other hand, it interests the author of the NE, who is essentially concerned with determining how
is distinguished from dispositions such as , , , , etc. (vi 3.1139b18ff.). Nevertheless, in the
perspective adopted by ethical inquiry, there is no opportunity to linger for the examination of the principles of scientific
method or the study of the demonstrative qualities of science; and the NE (ibid., b27, 32) refers us to the accounts devoted to
this subject .-I could make analogous remarks concerning and (studied especially in DA
iii 3.427b11-16; 4-7; 10.433a17-20; cf. NE vi 6) or , , and (studied especially in NE vi 4; 5; 7.1141a9-

4. The different parts of philosophy indeed receive from philosophers the titles of "places," "forms" or "kinds"; but each part
in turn is subdivided into two or more "sciences'' ; for example, "logic" into "rhetoric" and "dialectic." Cf.
Virieux-Reymond 1949, 181 and 132.

5. The origin of this distinction can be sought for within the Academy, either in Plato's teaching, as Cicero asserts (Acad.
Post. i 5, 19; cf. Atticus apud Eusebius, Prep. evang. xi 2; Diogenes Laërtius iii 56; cf. Apuleius, De Platone i 3, 186;
Augustine, Contra Academ. 3, 17, 37), or, more probably, in the immediate wake of Plato (Xenocrates?): cf. Sextus
Empiricus, Adv. math. vii 16. Alas, all these belated witnesses show clear traces of Stoic influence. Cf. Mariétan 1901, 14
and n2.

6. EE i 8.1217b21; cf. NE ii 7.1107a28; De la géneration des animaux (GA)ii 8.748a8. In this connection, see Hadot 1979,

7. DA i 1.403a29
and the
following discussion. The "ethicist," in his turn, discusses anger in yet another language than the "physicist" (cf. NE ii
4.1105b22; 7.1108a4-6).

8. NE viii 2.1155b8-13 (cf. EE vii 1.1235a4ff.).

9. Cf. Bonitz, 315b12-16 and 835b9-15 .

10. ME 1.1025b18-26.

11. These two categories were already used during the Hellenistic period to classify the works (written in dialogue form) of
the Peripatetic Heraclides Ponticus (cf. fragment 22 Wehrli). Cf. Diogenes L. iv 11ff. (in connection with Xenocrates).

12. Concerning the rupture which, according to Aristotle, Socrates introduced into the history of philosophy, see M A
6.987b1-2 (cf. T. Deman 1942, 73); M 4.1078b19-20 and Physics (Ph)ii 194a20. (Cf. E. Howald 1927, 26: "History of phi-

< previous page page_136 next page >

< previous page page_137 next page >
Page 137

losophy may begin the ethical period of ancient philosophy with Socrates (d. 399).") In Aristotle's view,
there was no doubt that from the beginning of the fourth century, philosophical activity was oriented in
two primary directions.

1. Newman 1887-1902,1:2 and n1.

2. Xenophon, Memorabilia i 1, 11.

3. M A 6.987b1-2. The synonymy between the terms and is perhaps not complete,
although, in practice, the two seem to have been regarded as virtual equivalents; the points of similarity
outweigh the points of difference and the latter need not concern us here.

4. Plato, Apology 26 b.

5. Gauthier II, 1:303 and II, 2:718.

6. Cf. Bodéüs 1975a, 9 (and n30), 16-31.

7. Which we must distinguish from unqualified becoming, which, for Plato, is not an object of science.

8. Plato, Republic vii 517d.

9. The distinction corresponds to the two methods of dialectic, the one ascending , the other
descending .

10. Plato, Letters vii 322e.

11. Plato, Epinomis 974b.

12. Cf. Pépin 1971, 208ff.

13. NE x 4.1175a4-5.

14. ME 5; A 7.1072b12; cf. PA i 2.641b18-20; 5.644b22-31; cf. Düring 1966, 533. For the permanence of the
same conception of the necessary in the Platonic tradition, see Chevalier 1915, 18, 24, 37, etc. and A.
Mansion 1946, chap. VIII. NE iii 5.1112a21-23 enumerates the possible objects of knowledge in a list which
one can diagram as follows:

< previous page page_137 next page >

< previous page page_138 next page >
Page 138

Such a systematic classification of the sciences, listed in accord with their (material or formal) objects, is found in A.
Goedeckemeyer 1922, 18.

15. If one puts this fact together with the hypothesis that the categories "ethical," "physical" and "logical" had been borrowed by Aristotle
from the Academy, one could perhaps reconstruct a "division" (in the Platonic style) as follows:

A. Human things ethical problems

B. [a. Sensible becoming physical problems (not the object of science)]

b. Divine things logical problems.

16. Léonard 1948, 144n4; cf. Gauthier II, 2:912.

17. NE x 10.1181 b 15. Here, like Bywater, I follow the reading of mss. Kb and Mb in preference to the reading of Lb
. For the meaning of the expression, see chap. 3, sect. III.

18. PA i 5.645a4.

19. Ibid., 645a4-6:


20. Similarly, the expression no longer has with Aristotle exactly the same meaning which it presumably
had with the Academicians: not only does it not refer to a study conforming to Plato's dialectic, but it probably also designates an inquiry
about the divine stars, like the one expounded in the treatise On the Heavens, rather than a "theological" inquiry about immovable and
separate beings, like the one mentioned by the Metaphysics: cf. Natali 1974, 15-44.

21. Cf. chap. 3, sect. IV.

1. Cf., particularly, M E 1.1025b3-28; K 7.1063b36-1064b14; T vi 6.145a13-18; viii 1.157a8-11; NE vi 2.1139a27-28.

2. Already with the ancients (see particularly: Philoponus, In Cat. Ar. in CIAG, XIII.1, p. 3, 16-17 and Ammonius, In Cat. Ar. in CIAG,
IV.4, p. 4, 28-29; the most common opinion among modern scholars (an opinion prompted by O. Hamelin 1920, 86-88; cf. Mansion 1946,
40-42) tends to make out the classification of Aristotelian sciences according to the following schema, reproduced by J. Tricot 1953,

< previous page page_138 next page >

< previous page page_139 next page >
Page 139

Hadot writes on this subject (1979,204): "One need not . . . read the classification presented in book E
as a program of study which Aristotle defined once and for all in order to organize his teaching and
establish the basic plan of his work."

3. Besides, the distinction is applied indifferently, in the same context, to "science" ( , understood
as a : cf. NE vi 3.1139b31-32: ) and to "discursive
thought" ( , understood as exercise of the intellectual faculty). The famous first chapter of M E, which
lists the three types of science, in fact states (1025b25-26):

4. This is the expression of T vi 6.145a17-18, where "science" is given as an example of "relation"

. The distinction under discussion shows therefore that science is relative, either to something
which can be contemplated, or to something which can be produced, or to something (some action) which
one can do.

5. As is shown clearly by ME 1.1025b18-28 and by NE vi 4.1040a1-2.

6. Cf. PA i 1.640a3: .

7. Seeing that (i.e. ) (M E 1.1025b23-24).

8. Joachim 1951, introduction (particularly, 13-18).

9. M A 2.982b11-21 (cf. De Vogel 1955, 315); Λ 9.1074b38-1075a3 (cf. 1046b2); EE i 5.1216b10-19; ii

3.1221b5-7; 11.1227b28-30 (cf. Du ciel (DC) iii 7.306a16-17). All these passages, to which the genetic
perspective assigns an early date (near that of the Prot., which only recognizes the distinction
: fr. 13 Walzer, in fine = B 51 Düring), leave the specific nature of
in the background, as if the notion of "poetic" intelligence covers every type of noncontemplative noetic
activity (cf. NE vii 5.1147a28: ). Cf. Burnet 1900, XXI;
Gauthier II, 2:458 and Greenwood 1909, 182. From another perspective, there is no doubt that "practical
science," for Aristotle as for Plato, was always understood, in part, with the help of the model presented by
the (whose study had been so decisive for Socratic reasoning: cf. Schaerer 1930 and Caramella 1925,
699ff.); on this subject, see: Bartels 1965, 275-87 and Ortega 1965,61-83.

< previous page page_139 next page >

< previous page page_140 next page >
Page 140

10. The basic passage on this subject is M α 1.993b20-21. The contrast , confirmed by various pieces of evidence (cited
in note 18 of section 11.2), in connection with , , , and ... warrants the authentic Aristotelian character of this
distinction, which neglects science which is specifically productive. This is obviously a privileged distinction in the view of ancient
commentators (Alexander, Comm. in Ar. An. in CIAG, II.1, p. 1, 14; Ammonius, op. cit. in CIAG, IV.3, p. 11,6; Albinus, Epitome, III, 1-5, [ed.
P. Louis, Paris, 1945], pp. 9-10; Julian, Discourses, 6, p. 190 A). Cf. De Pater 1965, 1.

11. PA i 2.642b5ff.

12. Cf. note 1 of this section;

13. This does not necessarily imply that at that time Aristotle had not yet conceived the distinction between the immanent activity called
and the transitive activity called (a distinction which NE vi 4.1140a2-3 tends to portray as quite widespread, seeing that it refers to the
in this connection), nor the way in which is distinguished from , which is, in fact,
subordinated to it (NE vi 2.1139b1: [i.e. ] ).

14. NE vi 2.1139a26-29.

15. Ibid., 4.1140a3-5: .

16. Ibid., 2.1139a15-16 ( [i.e. ] )

and 12.1143b14-17
( ).
Cf. 5.1140b25-26. In short, we find here too the basic dual approach that Aristotle seems to assign elsewhere to philosophy.

1. M A 6.987b1-2.

Section IV

1. Cf. Philoponus, Comm. in Ar. Cat. in CIAG, XIII.1, pp. 3, 18-19; 5,6-7; Simplicius, In Cat. in CIAG, VIII, p. 4, 26-28; Olympiodorus, In Cat.
in CIAG, XII.1, pp. 7, 34-8, 2; Elias, In Cat. in CIAG, XVIII.1, pp. 115, 19-116, 18.

2. Diogenes Laërtius v 28: , .

Cf. Düring 1957,50-51.

3. P i 3.1253b1-3ff. .

< previous page page_140 next page >

< previous page page_141 next page >
Page 141

4. On this subject see B. A. Van Groningen's attempts at dating the different books in the introduction to Van
Groningen 1968, xii-xiii, xix-xxi.

5. Cf. Piat 1912, 287.

6. Nos. 35-39 in Düring 1957,224-25. The Economics is not mentioned in this list, nor in the parallel lists of
Diogenes Laërtius and the anonymous author of the Vita Menagiana-which, however, record a book entitled
(respectively, no. 23 and no. 17: Düring 1957,42 and 83), a work which, later, Olympiodorus
(in CIAG, XII.1, p. 7, 36) and Elias in CIAG, XVIII.1, p. 116,23) will insist upon distinguishing from the
treatise of our Corpus-but, unlike the Greek catalogs, the list transmitted by the Arabs also omits the NE!
Perhaps the difference merely reflects an accident in the transmission (cf. Baumstark 1898, 76). As I have
pointed out elsewhere (Bodéüs 1973, 455n13), memory of the NE is perhaps preserved in al Nadim; for a
contrary view, see Kenny 1978, 18. This is the place to add that the work of Ptolemy (known by the Arabs)
reproduces the list of Andronicus in a form probably corrected as a result of studies by Adrastus of
Aphrodisias (first half of the second century) concerning the arrangement of the treatises of the Corpus (cf.
Moraux 1970, 24); it is impossible to determine the share which each of these intermediaries had in the
classification which shows up as the end result of the transmission.

7. There is of course room to exercise caution concerning the immediate influence of Alexander's conquests
in this domain, but it is undebatable that the questions addressed in the Politics gradually disappeared as a
philosophical preoccupation (the lack of interest in these issues on the part of Aristotle's first disciples is
already evidence for this) under the effect of a new historical situation: "they were not reading the Politics,
perhaps because it reflected an historical situation forever vanished and, therefore, it no longer interested
anyone." (Moraux 1970, 32).

8. For the Stoics, see the summary but nuanced accounts of Rodis-Lewis 1970, 55-58 ("Morale personnelle
et morale sociale"), and 119-22 ("Détachement et engagement"). As for Epicurus, his recommendation in the
first book of the (cited by Diogenes Laërtius x 119) is as explicit as one can make it: "The wise person
will have nothing to do with politics."

9. Arius Didymus apud Stobaeus, Eclogae II, pp. 116, 19-147, 25; pp. 148, 5-149,24; pp. 150, 1-152,25. On
this subject, see: Moraux 1973,418-34, particularly 423ff. and 419n319 (bibliography). Besides, nothing in
the summary of Aristotelian theories reproduced by Diogenes Laërtius has to do with the Politics.

10. NE x 1181b12-23. Cf. above, chap. 3, sect. V.

11. As I have said, this is not the result of an accident in the transmission, which has deprived us of works
relating to the Politics; such works were not undertaken. Arius Didymus, in the time of Augustus, was no
longer using Aristotle's text: "He owed his information rather to a late Hellenistic manual in which
'Aristotelian' poli-

< previous page page_141 next page >

< previous page page_142 next page >
Page 142

tics was presented not only according to the writings of the Stagirite but also as reconciled with later
thinking about political theory" (Moraux 1973, 419). A manuscript of the fifteenth or sixteenth century
(Berolinensis 397, formerly known as Hamiltonianus 41) has preserved for us some notes prompted by
the commentary of Michael of Ephesus (eleventh century): cf. Immisch 1929, xvi-xx, 294-329.

12. Cf. above, note 1.

13. Alexander, Comm. in Ar. An. Pr. in CIAG, II.1, pp. 8, 30-9, 2.

14. NE i 1.1094b11.

15. Probably, Alexander, whose careless expression here is obvious, refers to the simple fact that human
beings are, for Aristotle, the primary parts of the city: cf. P iii 1274b38-41. If Aristotle precedes his account
of constitutions with an account in ten books devoted to ethical problems, the reason, as Alexander tells us
(loc. cit.), is that "in his mind, it is necessary first to speak of human character traits and to say of what sort
the character traits of the people who are going to stock the city should be."

16. Abstracting from any other consideration, I can say that Alexander's opinion has the merit of being
faithful to one of the most constant principles of Aristotelian thought, seeing that he does not consider human
beings at all independently of the issue of their moral development. I shall have occasion to insist upon this
point (chapter 1, sections V-VI, especially VI.2).

1. Höffe 1971, 15: "Practical philosophy means thinking which studies praxis or human conduct starting
from, and in reference to, praxis." This definition, according to its author, does not apply to the procedure of
the NE in all its aspects: "It is Aristotle . . who in the introductory chapter of his Nicomachean Ethics has
posed both problemsi.e., first: how is ethics as practical philosophy possible? and, second: how is practical
philosophy as science possible?For him ethics is a kind of practical philosophy." (ibid.)

2. The radical opinion of Van Steenberghen (1947, 256) reflects an extreme position: "the distinction
between speculative philosophy and practical philosophy is deprived of foundation and scientific interest;
every science is speculative, even if it has 'practice,' i.e., human activity, for its subject-matter." See the more
subtle opinion of M. M. Labourdette 1948, 143ff. and, for the status of the problem now, Noulas 1977, 18ff.

3. Although the expression (used in M E 1.1026a28-29) might suggest

the existence of the expression . One might reason similarly starting from M α
1.993b19-23. That which G. Bien calls Aristotle's "practical philosophy" is "politics" in the broad sense, that
is, the part of the "encyclopedic system" which includes the "ethics" and the ''politics" in the narrow

< previous page page_142 next page >

< previous page page_143 next page >
Page 143

sense (Bien [1973], 1980, 195-96); this terminology does not exactly conform to Aristotle's usage, but it expresses an interpretation which has
the advantage of uniting (under the label of "politics") the teaching of both the Politics and the Ethics. Cf. chap. 1, sect. VI and Ritter's studies
cited below, note 5.

4. Allan 1952, 163: "Aristotle does not speak, as do some later members of his school, of a practical branch of philosophy, and would regard
this expression [i.e., "practical philosophy," used to denote the inquiry set out in the Ethics and the Politics] as self-contradictory."

5. Ritter 1960, 179-80. Cf. likewise Ritter 1966-1967, 235-53.

6. Burnet 1900, xx ff.

7. "The subject of both works is equally 'Politics.' . . . It is quite true that Aristotle himself . . . refers to this first part of his course of Politics as
and the like . . .; but it is none the less a part of Aristotle's system of Politics. . . . The whole forms one or ,
and there is no word anywhere of as a separate branch of study." Burnet 1900, xxvi-xxvii.

8. Susemihl 1900,1512.

9. Burnet 1900, xxvi: "There is not a single word . . . which could be interpreted as setting up any such science as in distinction to
"; and note 1: "The word as a substantive does not occur once in Aristotle."

10. See, for example: NE i 1.1094a27; b15; 1095a2; 2.1095a16; 10.1099b29; 13.1102a12, 25; ii 2.1105a12; v 5.1130b28; vi 7.1141a20,
29; 8.1141b23, 32; 13.1145a10; vii 12.1152b1; x 7.1177b15; 10.1180b31; 1181a10-11,23.

11. Cf. Höffe 1971, 15 (which distinguishes "moral knowledge," "ethical knowledge," and "metaethical knowledge").

12. NE vii 12.1152b1-2. Cf. Rhétorique (R) i 2.1356a26-27:

. Aristotle's terms refer clearly to a "study" of character
traits, virtues and passions, as it appears from the immediate context (a23-25):
The expression should be compared to the passage from M A 6.987b1-2 , where the subject is Socrates.

13. Cf. Barreau 1972, 65.

14. Joachim 1951,14.

< previous page page_143 next page >

< previous page page_144 next page >
Page 144

15. T vi 6.145a18 (loc. cit.). Science as such has as its aim only the action which the knowing subject
proposes to perform.

16. Anscombe 1965, 157. Cf. NE vi 2.1139a26ff.

17. R i 8.1366a22.

18. Owens 1964,206.

19. Bien 1968-69,275.

20. Bien 1968-69,275-80.

21. Bien 1968-69,281-84. The issue, for Bien, is one of essential difference (cf. Burnet 1900,20). To study
"human things" as a philosopher is equivalent, according to Aristotle (who is situated in the tradition of
Socrates), to trying to bring to light the rationality immanent in human conduct.

22. PA i 1.640a3.

23. P ii 9.1269a29-1271b19.

24. Cf. Gauthier II, 2:463-69 (general introduction to the study of ). For the precise question
which concerns us one will find useful: Lottin 1955, 343-64; Cathrein 1931,75-83; Jackson 1942, 343-60,
and Despotopoulos 1963, 63-91.

Section V

1. Aubenque 1963, 28n3.

2. Trendelenburg 1855, 377-78,381; Teichmüller 1879, 210ff.

3. Walter 1874 (and Walter Diss. 1873, 259-76,305-35).

4. Walter 1874, 275: "One can only say that Aristotle's ethical principles are insufficient; and they are so to
the same extent as the principles of his philosophy . . . Only Kant's philosophy completely grasps Aristotle's
basic idea, the concept of practical reason, and makes of this concept what ultimately can be made out of it,
an independent and therefore truly practical reason." Cf. the evaluation of Höffe 1971, 20n21.

5. Zeller 1879, 648ff., especially 653n3.

6. Teichmüller 1879, 210ff.

7. Loening 1903, 16ff., 27ff., 40ff.

8. Kress 1921.

< previous page page_144 next page >

< previous page page_145 next page >
Page 145

9. Gauthier II, 2: 563-78.

10. NE vi 13.1143b18-1145a11; cf. 5.1140a24-b30; 7 (starting from 1141a20); 8-9 (1141b8-1142a30) and

11. Wittmann 1921, 57ff.

12. Jaeger 1948, 82-83 (cf. 236).

13. Gadamer 1928, 147-50.

14. Wagner 1928, 90-97.

15. Allan 1952; French trans. from 1957 reprint by Ch. Lefèvre = Allan 1962. The Italian translation by F. C.
Caizzi (Allan 1973) makes no changes in the part with which I am concerned; cf. the review by H. J. Padron

16. Allan 1952, 163: "practical wisdom (phronesis) and politics (politike)it does not matter which term we
use, since it is held that they are identicalare to be seen embodied not in the university lecturer but in the wise
man or moral agent."

17. Allan 1952, 168; Allan 1962, 177.

18. Allan 1952, 168.

19. Allan 1952, 178: "[T]he man of practical wisdom . . . is equally competent in formulating general rules of
action and in applying them to the swiftly changing situations of life." Allan 1962, 184. Cf. Allan 1955, 325-
40; Akrill 1973, 28-30.

20. Allan 1952, 178; Allan 1962, 184.

21. Allan furnishes us with a detailed argument on this subject in Allan 1953, 120-27, especially 125 and n6.

22. NE vi 2.1139a21ff.; 5.1140b11ff.; vii 9.1151a15.

23. NE vi 10.1142b32-33. The reading , warranted only by manuscript Kb, is also that of the author
of the Antiqua Traductio published in Paris in 1497; cf. Gauthier II, 2:518; like Bywater and Burnet 1900, I
prefer it to the prevailing reading (which bears witness, in my opinion, to an ancient
reinterpretation on this point).

24. Cf. Gauthier 1973, 100: "It is the task of wisdom (i.e., phronesis) to know the end, as Aristotle supposes
everywhere and says explicitly on occasion (E.N., VI 10.1142 b 32-33)."

< previous page page_145 next page >

< previous page page_146 next page >
Page 146

25. "Good deliberation is a correctness with respect to what is useful for the realization of an end, usefulness
whose true conception is prudence itself" (English trans. of J. Tricot's French trans.: Tricot 1967, 301); for a
similar understanding of the relative pronoun, see Rackham 1982, 356.

26. Aubenque 1965a, 40-51.

27. Ando 1958, 284ff. and 295ff.

28. The updated version of the commentary in the second ed. of 1970 includes almost no basic changes of
interpretation with respect to NE vi or any other book of the NE; therefore, when citing R. A. Gauthier, I
shall continue, here as elsewhere, to refer to the second ed. of his commentary, whose main arguments were
acquired before 1958.

29. Gauthier II, 2:567-68.

30. Gauthier , 1:279.

31. Gauthier II, 2:463: "the meaning of the word prudence in our language has undergone a change so drastic
and its meaning has become so narrowly restricted that it no longer corresponds to the full meaning of the
Greek phronesis. . . . Since Aristotlelian phronesis is wisdom that directs the whole of life, to call it prudence
is to deny oneself any understanding of it."

32. Gauthier I, 1:275-79.

33. Michelakis 1961, 23, 28-31, 34-46. This work (undertaken during the author's study with W. Jaeger at
Harvard) focuses especially on interpretation of . However, Michelakis admits (61) an
important difference between properly speaking and : the latter is given the job
of discovering first principles which the former then grasps for purposes of reasoning. Cf. 13 in connection
with NE vi 9.1142a23-24: . .

34. Walsh 1963, 128-50. Pages 135-44, however, reintroduce the distinction between the formal perspective
and the efficient perspective attributed to Aristotle by Gauthier.

35. Hardie 1968, 212ff. But the author concedes only that is not alien to knowledge of the end
(226): "the truth which it is the job of practical reason to find includes true conceptions of what ends are
good." This is an important nuance, to say the least.

36. Monan 1968, 93. The work reproduces, virtually unchanged, a doctoral thesis defended ten years earlier
at the Catholic University of Louvain. Father Gauthier

< previous page page_146 next page >

< previous page page_147 next page >
Page 147

has criticized its superficial character (I.1: 328) and P. Druet its deficient documentation (Revue
Philosophique de Louvain 73 [1975]: 193-94).

Section V

1. NE ii 1.1103a15-16. Cf. Allan 1952, 168.

2. The verb is also used when the topic is strictly practical instruction, for example, that given by
a teacher in horsemanship (Plato, Meno 94b: ).

3. NE (loc. cit., 16-17): .

4. NE vii 9.1151a17-18 (cf. vi 13.1144a29-b1; EE ii 10.1227a8-9; 11.1227b23-36).

5. Cf. chap. 1, sect. IV.2 (in connection with the interpretation of J. Burnet). This difficulty is not brought to
light in the otherwise excellent study of Pfeiffer 1943.

6. St. Thomas, Summa Theologiae (ST), IIa-IIae, qu. 48 (art. unicus) ad 2.

7. Cf. Janssens 1920, 1-2; Stelzenberger 1960, 5; Hare 1963, iii and Höffe 1971, 15.

8. The distinction, however, surfaces in the occurrence of the terms

and (i.e.,
). Cf. above, chap. 1, sect. IV.

9. Which turns out to be assigned, on the one hand, to the philosophical study and discovery of the end of
action and, on the other hand, to the study and discovery of means relating to this end.

10. Gauthier I, :278n105.

11. Gauthier I, 1:277-79.

12. Gauthier I, 1:280.

13. Gauthier I, 1:279 (cf. 276: [Saint Thomas] "developed a notion of 'prudence' which is the negation of
Aristotle's phronesis").

14. St. Thomas, ST, IIa-IIae, qu. 4, art. 7 (conclusio): "Of its nature faith is first of all the virtues. The reason:
because . . . in all matters of action, the end has primacy, the theological virtues, having the final end as
object, are necessarily prior to other virtues. The end itself, in turn, must first be present in the mind before it
is present in the will. . . . Since, therefore, the ultimate end is . . . present to the mind ... through faith, it
necessarily follows that faith is absolutely the first of the virtues." (English

< previous page page_147 next page >

< previous page page_148 next page >
Page 148

translation, Summa Theologiae [Blackfriars, 1974], v. 31). Cf. ST, Ia-IIae, qu. 13, art. 3 and qu. 24, art.

15. St. Thomas, ST, IIa-IIae, qu. 47, art. 15 (conclusio); cf. art. 3 (conclusio): "The prudent character must
needs know both the general moral principles of reason and the individual situation in which human actions
take place." (ET, ST [Blackfriars, 1974], v. 36.)

16. St. Thomas, ST, IIa-IIae, qu. 47, art. 16 (ad 3).

17. St. Thomas, ST, IIa-IIae, qu. 47, art. 6 (conclusio) and art. 15 (conclusio).

18. St. Thomas, ibid. (ad 1): "natural reason determines beforehand (praestituit) the ends of moral virtue by
what is called synderesis, . . . not by prudence." (ET, Blackfriars, v. 36.)

19. St. Thomas, ST, IIa-IIIae, qu. 47, art. 15 (conclusio).

20. St. Thomas, ST, IIa-IIIae, qu. 49, art. 3.

21. See the bibliography on the topic in Gauthier I, 1:277n104.

22. NE vi 5.1140b5-6 ; 20-21

; cf. 4.1140a3-4

23. Cf. Demos 1961-62, 153-54, 156-57.

24. NE vi 11.1143a6-10. That implies that any (true) judgment produced by the understanding of the
automatically corresponds to a correct tendency of his appetite (cf. 2.1139a29-31) and is
therefore an order that a particular action be performed. Cf. vii 11.1152a8-9:

25. NE vi 5.1140b28. In other words, is on a par with moral virtue (cf. 13.1144a36-b1); it is the
intellectual obverse of the characteristic quality of the good person, whose reverse is moral excellence.

26. NE vi 12.1143a28-29; b2-3. Cf. Hardie 1968, 233.

27. NE vi 2.1139a35-36.

28. DA iii 10.433a15-20.

29. NE vi 5.1140a25-28. Deliberation obviously also exists outside the framework of moral conduct, even in
the theoretical sciences (iii 5.1112a34-b9). Cf. Aubenque 1963, 108.

< previous page page_148 next page >

< previous page page_149 next page >
Page 149

30. Allan 1962, 328.

31. St. Thomas, ST, IIa-IIae, qu. 47, art. 8 (conclusio). Of the three successive acts which make up the activity of
the prudent person (1. consilari [taking counsel, inquiry in order to discover]; 2. iudicare de inventis [forming a
judgment on what has been discovered]; 3. praecipere [commanding, bringing into execution what has been
thought out]) only the last displays practica ratio. (Trans. and explanation of Thomas' three terms based on ET,
ST [Blackfriars, 1974], v. 36.)

32. Monan 1968,70.

33. Besides, Monan corrects himself immediately (p. 70): "But because of the peculiarity of its object and of its
manner of reaching that object, it is truth of a special type."

34. NE vi 2.1139a29-31 (passage also cited by Monan at the same place); cf. a21-22.

35. Anscombe 1965, 143-58. Of course, we conceptually distinguish affirmation of the good and
the pursuit of the good; but in reality the two operations are strictly indissociable, like the . . .
and the (virtuosus), who do not exist separately (NE vi 13.1144b31-32:
); cf.
Aubenque 1963, 124 and 139.

36. NE vi 13.1144a6-9 and 1145a4-6. Cf. 2.1139a23-25


37. Ibid., a34-36: .

Cf. vi 5.1140b11-20 and vii 9.1151a15-16.

38. Cf. Plato, Republic vii 518c and 533d.

39. NE vi 13.1144a29-34.

40. Ibid., a23-29. "Cleverness" is independent of the goodness or badness of the end pursued and,
moreover, is a mere , in contrast with , which is always oriented towards the same goal (the
good according to the circumstances) and constitutes a genuine . On this distinction, see NE v 1.1129a11-15.

41. Allan 1952, 182; Allan 1962, 187.

42. Allan 1953, 125.

< previous page page_149 next page >

< previous page page_150 next page >
Page 150

43. NE vii 9.1151a17-18.

44. Gauthier I, 1:557.

45. Gauthier I, 1:565,568.

46. Allan 1952, 181: "the words quoted (i.e. 1145a2) do not say that practical wisdom has no other function
than the choice of means"; Allan 1962, 187.

47. Engberg-Pedersen (1983, 223-24) distinguishes, in the phronimos, between deliberative capacity and "a
rational grasp of the end as a result of epagoge." He also supposes that the phronimos "is able to justify his
insight," but admits that "that level is neglected by Aristotle in NE, vi."

48. NE vi 2.1139a32-35.

49. NE vi 5.1140b11-20.

50. NE vi 10.1142b32-33.

51. St. Thomas 1949, 335. English translation: St. Thomas Aquinas 1964,11:584.

52. Gauthier II, 2:519.

53. NE vi 5.1140a25-28. Nevertheless, it remains that the is essentially the one who knows how to
deliberate well (a30-31: ).

54. NE vi 13.1144a34.

55. Ibid., a24-25.

56. NE vii 9.1151a18-19.

57. NE vi 5.1140b10-16.

58. Just as the vicious person's understanding, oriented towards evil, can only regard this evil as good (NE vii
9.1150b36: ). The conviction of the vicious person, who acts
(Ibid., 1151a7), actually comes, Aristotle says, "from the fact that he is so constituted
that he pursues [bodily pleasures]" (ibid., 13-14:

59. This is my understanding in view of expressions such as

(NE vi 5.1140b17-18)and (i.e.,
the supreme end) (NE vi 13.1144a34). It is also suggested by the noun
used at this location by Aristotle (ibid., b9, 12) to refer to that

< previous page page_150 next page >

< previous page page_151 next page >
Page 151

by which the can attain knowledge of the good. Finally, this interpretation is hinted at by the reduction, in certain cases, of to
a true "assumption" regarding the principle of conduct ( : NE vi 5.1140b12-13; 10.1142b33). Cf. Baumrin 1968, 1-17 and Boutroux 1899-
1900, 197-198. Against this view, A. J. Voelke mistakenly writes (1985, 229): "it seems doubtful to me that Aristotle makes such a strong contrast
between the intuitive grasp of first principles of conduct and their rational determination by discursive intelligence."

60. Cf. NE vi 6.1140b31-1141a8.

61. The virtue constituted by (cf. NE vi 12.1143b15) uniting simultaneously (inductive) knowledge of principles and (deductive)
knowing which works from these principles: (NE vi 7.1141a19).

62. Cf. Hardie 1968, 227-28.

63. Cf. St. Thomas 1949, no. 1247ff.

64. Cf. St. Thomas, ST, IIa-IIae, qu. 47, art. 6 (ad 3).

65. Likewise, understanding which errs regarding principles of action cannot always be blamed: the error has its source in the immorality of the
acting subject. But the subject, nevertheless, is responsible for his immorality: cf. NE iii 7.1114a19-21:
And to the extent that such liberty turns out to be guaranteed by an understanding able to distinguish good action (to be performed) from bad
action (to be avoided), vice, established as a result of repeated bad actions, implies the existence, at the outset, of an error of understanding. Cf.
Gauthier 1973, 87: "Vice is the perversion of understanding."

66. Gauthier II, 2:553.

67. Although it corresponds to another context, a claim similar to this, found at EE i 6.1216b30-31, might be evidence for such a
view: .

68. NE vi 13.1144b3, 15; vii 9.1151a18.

69. Whence Aristotle's comparison (NE vi 13.1144b10-12):


70. Cf. St. Thomas 1949, 383: "Just as in mathematics principles are not taught by reason, so with respect to matters of conduct the end is not
taught by reason. But the human being, because of a disposition of virtue either natural or acquired by practice, arrives at correct belief about
the principle of what can be done, which is the end."

< previous page page_151 next page >

< previous page page_152 next page >
Page 152

71. About all this, see NE vi 13.1144b12-17.

72. Aubenque 1963,40-51.

73. The importance of the political community in the eyes of a philosopher who regards the (or
the ) as a ''rule" or a "measure" (NE iii 6.1113a33: ), it seems to me,
escaped P. Aubenque when he sought to penetrate the meaning of the expression just cited and concluded by
saying (1963, 47): "For the humanist relativism of Protagoras as well as for the Platonic absolutism of the
Good, Aristotle is tempted to substitute a new absolutism, which to us today appears quite relative: that
which takes as criterion the physical superiority of the 'healthy' man and the social superiority of the 'free'
man." In fact, Aristotle's apparent relativism is equivalent to stating the importance of the perfection of the
political community; for only the model which is expressed by a perfect society can claim to incarnate the
good absolutely.

1. Cf. above, n. 4 to sect. V.2.

2. Cf. NE v 3.1129b4-6.

Section VI

1. In this respect natural factors are of less importance than the help received from others (Cf. NE x
10.1179b7ff.). The urgent need for educators reveals the inability of the great majority to follow naturally the
instructions of right reason. Cf. P vii 17.1337a1-3:
and Prot., fr.
B 13 Düring.

2. Cf. NE x 10.1180a21-22.

3. NE vi 8.1141b25.

4. NE i 1.1094a23-b2.

5. Ibid., 1094b10-11.

6. Burnet 1900, xxviin1.

7. Burnet 1900, xxvi.

8. Gauthier II, 1:1.

9. A Post. i 33.89b9.

10. Gauthier II, 1:2.

< previous page page_152 next page >

< previous page page_153 next page >
Page 153

11. NE i 13.1102a26-27; vi 4.1140a3; EE i 8.1217b22-23; ii 1.1218b33-34; P iii 6.1278b31-32; vii

1.1323a22-23. Cf. M M 1.1076a27-29; Ph iv 10.217b30-31.

12. P i 5.1254a33-34.

13. NE viii 2.1155b9-10.

14. NE ii 7.1107a29-30.

15. NE ii 2.1104a1.

16. NE ix 2.1165a12-13.

17. NE x 1.1172a34-35.

18. Beyond terminology, which is the issue here, there is the question of the autonomy of the so-called
"ethical" study whose results are expounded in the . S. E. Cashdollar's thesis on this subject
("An Inquiry into Aristotle's Ethics and Politics: Is there an Autonomous Science of Morals?" Diss.,
University of Illinois, 1969) was not accessible to me. However, according to the abstract in Diss. Abstracts
30 (1970), 2984 A-2985 A, his conclusions furnish a categorically negative response to the question
formulated in the title. A summary account of the question is found in Vancourt 1977, 8-42; but the author
neglects several relevant facts of which his documentation leaves him unaware.

19. Cf. Voegelin 1957,303.

20. R i 2.1356a26-27.

21. NE i 1.1094b11; 13.1102a12. See, on this subject, the remarks of Venturi-Ferriolo 1976,281-90.

22. Cf. Gauthier I, 1:3 and 9.

23. To demonstrate that this vocabulary inherited from Plato is no longer appropriate for describing
Aristotle's enterprise would require proving, if not that Aristotle believed it inadequate, at least that he could
not, from his perspective, include ethical inquiry in an account rightly called "political." And this seems to
me indemonstrable.

24. The impression is correct only to the extent that the content of the NE is not identified with the object of
a political inquiry conceived as "Staatslehre" (science of government). Cf. O. Gigon 1973, 65-87 and 145-67.

25. Cf. Voegelin 1957, 294, 296 (who goes so far as ask why Aristotle restricted politics to the subjects of
the Politics!).

< previous page page_153 next page >

< previous page page_154 next page >
Page 154

26. McKeon 1941,266. The author took care to note earlier (264): "Ethics and politics are not separate
sciences treating of independent subject matters, but are dialectically distinct approaches to common
problems, and in each approach the effect of the other must be taken into account."

27. Schwan 1963, 77-78. While for Schwan politics in the broad sense constitutes the consummation of
practical philosophy, politics in the narrow sense is located "alongside and behind ethics."

28. Bien 1968-69,277n30, who also distinguishes a third conception of politics: "within the 'Politics' (as a
whole), the so-called 'political part' (books iii-vi especially), which is political in a narrower sense, deals with
the problem of the arrangement of political-public life as a constitutional question ( . . . in contrast with the
economic part of politics)." Cf. Bien 1980, 195-96.

29. Hardie 1968, 28: "It would be unprofitable to discuss how far Aristotle moved towards separating ethics
from politics, or how, within politics, the province of 'Ethical discourses' is demarcated. There is no sharp or
fixed boundary." EE (i 1.1218b13-14) and NE (vi 8.1141b31-33) show that Aristotle distinguished a broad
and a narrow sense of the word , but understood as a form of , not as a type of study

30. Hardie 1968,28 (against Ross, The Works of Aristotle trans. into English, IX, who translates NE i
1.1094b11 by "political science in one sense of that term").

31. Cf. Burnet 1900, xxvii, n1 (in connection with MM i 1.1181a24: .

32. MM i 1.1181b25-1182a1. I would be tempted to see here a stand taken by a strict follower of Aristotle
against Stoicism, which really does set up an independent ethical science; the notion of moral duty will be
posed in different terms for the Stoics, who wish to remove the individual from the vicissitudes of the city
(precisely what Aristotle did not wish to do: cf. Radermacher 1973, 38-49.)

33. Cristi 1969-70, 387.

34. Bien 1968-69, 313, who, for his part, adds: "Aristotle was as much the founder of ethics as of a general
theory of (good) human conduct."

35. Do we know, for instance, if for Aristotle the separation between inquiry and inquiry
was much more pronounced than the separation, within the latter, between the inquiry
and the inquiry ? The hypothesis that NE viii-ix may have at
one point constituted an independent unit does not have, it is true, any positive warrant. But in addition, as
Dirlmeier noted (1964, 508), a study of these books conducted in ignorance of the rest of the NE would give
a superficial and truncated idea of Aristotle's thought;

< previous page page_154 next page >

< previous page page_155 next page >
Page 155

similarly, we may acknowledge that study of the Politics by itself offers an impoverished and truncated
idea to anyone who is unaware of the Ethics, and vice versa.

36. Voegelin 1957, 303.

37. Cf. above, chap. 1, sect. VI.1.

38. NE i 5.1097b11; ix 9.1169b18; viii 14.1162a17-18; EE vii 10.1242a22-23; P i 2.1253a7-8. Cf. Dufour
1928, 35-37.

39. Cristi 1969-70, 382-83; Ritter 1969, 452 and Ritter 1960, 192; Schwan 1963, 80; and Habermas 1963, 14.

40. Which are, respectively, (NE v 3.1129b26-27) and

(P ii 4.1262b7-8). Cf. NE viii 11.1159b26-27:

41. Either because their respective "matters" do not exist without society or, more simply, because they
cannot be exercised by a human being who is alien to all social interaction. Moreover, for the historical
contingencies which compelled Aristotle to select certain ethical virtues as primary subjects for analysis, see
the end of this section.

42. Betbeder 1970, 453. This article apparently summarizes a thesis defended at the Facultés du Saulchoir,
but I have not found any trace of its publication. Using a genetic perspective, it tries to determine the
principal stages which led to the divorce (allegedly consummated at the end of Aristotle's evolution) between
the studies of the Ethics and those of the Politics.

43. Modern thinkers prefer to stress the irreducible originality which attaches to every individual person (cf.
Paulhan 1909, 8: " . . . the individual, this structure of unique synthesis, comparable in some ways to all
concrete beings, and in more ways to beings of its species, its race, its nation, its time and family, remains
absolutely original in its own existence, in its concrete totality"). And it appeared that this originality had to
always be protected against threats posed by different types of collectivism sustained by egalitarian myth.
But such a badly conceived aim helps to establish an opposition between the human individual and society
and to maintain the idyllic and illusory idea of individuals' attaining happiness in and through the most
complete indifference to their society. Aristotle's project is throughly at odds with such an extreme position.

44. Gauthier II, 1:2.

45. Cf. Düring 1966, 435: "Today we distinguish between personal and social ethics, according to whether
the ethics under consideration relates to the individual alone or to human society. But for Aristotle the goal
for the individual and for society

< previous page page_155 next page >

< previous page page_156 next page >
Page 156

is identical. . . . His ethics is therefore a social ethics, a philosophy of the common human life."

46. Cf. Burnet 1900, xxv-xxxi. In particular, xxv-


A modern writer who wished to draw a distinction between Ethics and Politics would probably rest
his case on the view that the good of the individual is something different from the good of the
state. It is significant that the only objection foreseen by Aristotle to his use of the name Politics
for the science of human good is the objection that the good of the individual is the same as that of
the state. . . . His reason is that a science which deals with the good of the individual alone would
be incomplete, a mere makeshift . . . It will be seen from this that it is quite wrong to say that the
Ethics studies the good for man from the point of view of the individual.

Cf. Robin 1931,472-75 (which expounds the metaphysician's point of view).

47. Thus P (i 3.1253b1ff.) first clarifies , then it distinguishes the

(cf. 2.1253a26-29). In his otherwise nuanced study, D. J. Allan
(Allan 1965) pushes too hard, in the direction of individualistic theories, Aristotle's recognition that the city
is established primarily for the sake of human "living well." Besides, according to Aristotle the human being
is not only part of a whole, but the realization of his very being, even in the exercise of his highest faculties
(those of the contemplative kind), remains dependent on the favorable conditions which the city procures for

48. P ii 5.1264b17-19 (against Plato, Republic iv 419a-420e, who ends up sacrificing the happiness of the
guardians while claiming to secure the happiness of the entire city).

49. Cf. Cashdollar 1969, acc. to Dissert. Abstracts 30 (1970): 2985 A; Defourny 1935, 83-113; M. Simon
1976, 337-60.

50. P vii 1.1323b40-41.

51. Cf. P i 2.1253a4-5.

52. P vii 14.1333a33-39 (cf. NE x 7.1177b12-15).

53. Lerner 1969, 147. Cf. Werner 1931, 5-11.

54. Hence, for example, Allan's hesitations (1952, 166-67): "It was Aristotle who gave the name ethics to
that part of [practical inquiry] which is specially concerned with the happiness of the individual. He has in
view a double inquiry, wherein either part must involve the other. If we ask which mode of organization is
the best, it will be found that the only measure is the well-being of individual men. If we start by considering
what is the best life for the individual, we shall in turn be obliged to take notice of his need for permanent
association with others." One cannot subscribe, on the other hand, to the following conclusions drawn by the
author (Allan, 1952, 183):

< previous page page_156 next page >

< previous page page_157 next page >
Page 157

"A 'public' education does not necessarily mean training the young to regard themselves as mere ciphers and to prefer the general welfare to their
own: Aristotle believes this to be psychologically impossible; and I think there is an element of uncompromising individualism in his system, at
least as stated in the Ethics, to which expositors have failed to do justice."

55. Cf. Burnet 1900, xxviii.

56. Schwan 1963, 85.

57. P i 3.1253a25-26 (cf. a20-22:


58. P iii 4.1276b16-1277b32. On this question, see Kahlenberg 1934, 24ff.; Braun 1961; Braun 1965, 35-52; and Develin 1973, 71-79.

59. Ibid., 1277a12-13.

60. Ibid., 1276b30-35.

61. Ibid., 5.1278a40-b3.

62. Ibid., 4.1277a13-23. For lines 15-16 I prefer the reading of the mss. attested
by the translation of G. de Moerbecke to the correction by Congreve adopted by Ross, Dreizehnter and Immisch. In this I agree
with Aubonnet.

63. Cf. NE vi 5.1140b7-10 and Aubenque 1963,51.

64. P iii 5.1278b3-5:6 .

65. P iii 18.1288a38-39.

66. "Aristotle never regards virtue as a matter of private morality and for him it is so far from being something outside or prior to politics that he
says of it that it reaches its perfection precisely in the exercise of the leading office in the state." (Bien 1980,262-63).

67. NE vi 9.1142a1-10.

68. See the list at NE ii 7.1107a33-1108b10 and the table at EE ii 3.1220b38-1221a12, along with the remarks of Nolet de Brauwere 1953. See
also the virtues which Plotinus (Enneads i 2, 3) calls "political" and to which Macrobius (In Somnium Scipionis i 8) systematically connects all
the virtues labeled "moral virtues" in Aristotle.

< previous page page_157 next page >

< previous page page_158 next page >
Page 158

69. NE iii 9.1115a29-31.

70. NE iv 4.1122a18-25.

71. NE iv 9.1125a34-10.1125b8.

72. NE ii 7.1108a11.

73. Certain historical contingencies, namely, the sui generis character of Greek society and the Greek city-state, probably explain the choice
and relative importance of the different moral virtues analyzed here by the philosopher.

74. At P vii 2.1324a19-21 Aristotle writes that "the task of political thought and study" is to ask what is the best regime, not "what is desirable for
each person" . Some commentators have believed that this statement excluded from the scope of political reflection
the consideration of individual happiness, which would then be the task of ethics. This is a complete mistake. For the question of "what is
desirable for each person" is not the question posed by Aristotle in his Ethics, even when he is studying perfect happiness (NE x 6-9). In fact, as
he has just said explicitly (1324a14-17), it is the question which each person poses by asking: "What type of life is the most desirable, that which
associates us with fellow citizens and makes us members of the political community, or that of an alien who has broken every link to it?'' This
inquiry is not the task of political reflection, because it is already solved for the politician who inquires about the best type of life (regime) for
those who have already chosen to live in a city.

Chapter 2. The Justification For A Political Teaching

Section I

1. Aristophanes, Clouds, v. 88ff.

2. Cf. Ehrenberg 1951, particularly, 360-73; Ehrenberg 1965, 112-14.

3. Plato, Apology 20a (cf. 33d-34a: lists of young Athenians entrusted to Socrates by their fathers); Laches
Euthydemus 272b. The Apology (23e) indicates that of Socrates' accusers, Meletus made himself the spokesman for the hatred of the poets,
Anytus for that of the political men and Lycon for that of the orators, as if these different categories of people had a bone to pick with the
accused. Indeed, one can say that all of them had been exposed to Socrates' reproaches, for having failed in their mission as educators of the city.

4. Cf. Plato, Hippias Major 282b-d (in connection with Hippias, Gorgias, Prodicus and Protagoras).

< previous page page_158 next page >

< previous page page_159 next page >
Page 159

5. Cf. Brun 1963, 32ff.

6. The Hippias Major (281 c) notes that the sages of the archaic period (Pittacus, Bias, Thales and even Anaxagoras) refrained from all
political activity. Cf. Calabri 1977a.

7. And such a project must be located at the opposite pole from, say, L. Lévy-Bruhl's "science des moeurs," regarding which Cantecor uneasily
asked if it answered to our practical needs: "Clearly not," retorted Lévy-Bruhl, "it does not answer to them. But, in my view, it does not have to.
Any science, if it is truly science, answers to our need to know, which is quite different. . . . As for our 'practical needs,' presumably they ought
to find satisfaction. But it is not through science that they can directly obtain it.'' (Lévy-Bruhl 1902, v). Lévy-Bruhl is therefore wrong to regard
Socrates, Plato and Aristotle indistinctly as having proclaimed, at least by their method, the ideal of science in human affairs (Lévy-Bruhl 1902,
III, 291-92).

8. NE x 10.1181b13-14.

9. Cf. Doent 1967, 93-102. From another perspective, NE x, which, especially in comparison with the EE (and the MM), seems to us an
appendix, deals with three sharply distinct problems: (1) concerning pleasure (chap. 1-6); (2) concerning contemplative happiness (chap. 7-9);
and (3) concerning education and politics (chap. 10). It is difficult not to note the connection between the choice of such topics and the
recognition elsewhere of three basic goods (cf. EE i 1.1214a32-33: , , ) and three types of life (NE i 3.1095b17-19:
, ). The content of NE x, therefore, seems to indicate that, by composing it, its author meant to respond to a
need for synthesis. Moreover, chapter 10 seems a piece required for the synthesis, especially as it forms its conclusion.

1. These are (a) 1179a33-b31; (b) 1179b31-1180b28; and (c) 1180b28-1181b12.

2. Plato, Meno 70a: ,

; This
question, applied to happiness, was the very root of Aristotle's reflections: cf. EE i 1.1214a14ff.; NE i 1099b9-11. We are going to have a new
indication of it here.

3. P iii 4.1276b16ff.

4. It seems likely that the Meno'sarguments had become by that time obligatory usage in all discussion about the origins of virtue.

5. Compare lines 1180a5 and 1180a12 with Plato, Laws iv 722a ff. and ix 854e ff., respectively.

< previous page page_159 next page >

< previous page page_160 next page >
Page 160
6. Dirlmeier 1964,600.

7. The reference to the opposition between and (1179b26-29) expresses the same idea as Plato at Laws i 644d (that the human being
is like a puppet on two strings which pull in opposite directions).

8. NE ii 2.1104b11-
13: .
Cf. ii 1.1103b24; i 2.1095b4 and Plato, Laws i 643b; ii 653a-c.

9. Prot., B 38 Düring (cf. NE x 10.1180a21-22).

10. This discovery of deficiency (1180a24ff.), which, however, makes an exception of Lacedaemonia, is also at the source of Plato's reflection,
from the time of the first dialogues, which portray for us the distress of the Athenian heads of household who appeal to Socrates.

11. It is the object of the first part (1179a33-b31). On this subject, see Biehl 1877, 14-15 (which concerns the final chapter of the NE) and
Braun 1974, 47ff. (which presents a translation of NE x 10 and NE vi under the heading "Logos as Paideia's second field of activity").

12. Plato, Republic x 619c.

13. In fact, the dialogue excludes from rewards connected to supreme happiness those who have acquired ,
that is, (Plato, Phaedo 82b).

14. Plato, Laws vi 770d ff.

15. Ibid., vii 792e. To describe the "work" which thus needs to be performed upon the soul or the character of small children, Plato uses virtually
the same verb ( : 791d, 792b) as Aristotle does in our chapter ( : 1179b24).

16. Ibid., ii 653b: (in the sense of "the characteristic quality of the educated
person") (cf. i 643c-d).

17. Plato, Laws ii 653b.

18. Plato, Laws ii 659d.

19. Ibid.

< previous page page_160 next page >

< previous page page_161 next page >
Page 161

20. P vii 15.1334b6ff.

21. NE x 10.1179b34-35, 1180a14-22.

22. Plato, Laws iii 689a. Plato's statement here applies both to individual human beings and to cities.

23. NE vii 9.1151a17-20; vi 5.1140b12-20.

24. Plato, Laws v 741d.

Section I

1. Theognis, Elegies i 434: (= Plato, Meno 95e). The

manuscript tradition of the NE seems to have added an interlinear gloss: (between and
); annoyed by the break which this extra word causes in the pentameter rhythm, the copyist of
manuscript Kb has therefore cut out !

2. NE i 10.1099b9ff.; EE i 1.1214a14ff.; P vii 13.1332a38-b11.

3. Cf. note 2 to sect. 1.2.

4. 1179b20-21.

5. Plato, Meno 99e-100a. This virtue, in the politician a result of divine dispensation, does not imply
understanding on the part of the person affected . This is not
Plato's last word on the question, seeing that this conclusion is proposed with the reservation that it may be
altered when we know what virtue as such is. As the interlocutors of the Protagoras already affirmed (361c-
e), at the moment of taking leave of each other: it is necessary to know the nature of virtue in order to decide
whether or not it can be taught. If the qualities of renowned political men (Themistocles, Aristides, Pericles,
Thucydides, etc.) effectively depend on and, therefore, cannot be transmitted by teaching (for
only science is the object of teaching), nothing demonstrates that Plato actually regarded the qualities of
these politicians as perfect virtues. The Gorgias (515e ff.) has stated the contrary, sparing only Aristides in
its judgment of Athenian politicians. If, on the other hand, the Meno seems less severe and if, as some think,
it marks an improvement in Plato's evaluation of the facts, so that he now recognizes the real virtues of
Pericles and those like him, the meaning of the conclusion still remains to be determined: the which
actually explains the moral quality of these politicians falls to them as an entirely irrational divine
dispensation. To the "illogicality" of this solution, it is perhaps fitting to invoke, in the name of Plato himself,
the judgment made by EE viii 2.1247a28 about the idea that a divine favor could explain the success of
madmen: .

< previous page page_161 next page >

< previous page page_162 next page >
Page 162

6. NE i 10.1099b10, 11-14; EE i 1.1214a23-24 .

7. Loc. cit. preceding note and EE viii 2.1246b37-1248b7.

8. Plato, Meno 99a. Cf. Joos 1955, 18, 24, 55ff. and Kube 1969 (passim).

9. Antiphon, fr. B 60 Diels-Kranz. Cf. Bignone 1974, 59ff.

10. Cf. Plato, Gorgias 449c and Levi 1966, 195ff.

11. Mathieu 1966 [1925],77-181.

12. Protagoras, fr. B 3 and 10 Diels-Kranz. Cf. Plato, Protagoras 318d ff., 323c; Levi 1940; and Kucharski

13. Cf. Plato, Gorgias 519c.

14. Levi 1932, 470-74; and Raeder 1905, 139ff.

15. EE i 5.1216b3ff.; NE vi 13.1144b28-30.

16. Plato, Sophist 231 b.

17. NE ii 1.1103a23ff.; vi 13.1144b4-16.

18. P vii 13.1332a40-42.

19. P i 13.1260a7ff.

20. Critias, fr. B 10 Diels-Kranz.

21. See on this subject: Dumont 1969, 225.

22. Plato, Meno 87e ff. (cf. NE i 1.1094b16-18).

23. NE vi 13.1144b19; EE i 5.1216b6-8.

24. Plato, Laws ii 655d.

25. NE ii 1.1103a15-17.

26. NE vi 13.1144a34ff. (cf. chap. 1, sect. V).

27. Cf. NE vii 9.1151a17-20.

28. Cf. NE vi 13.1144b12-25.

< previous page page_162 next page >

< previous page page_163 next page >
Page 163

Section II

1. 1179a33-35. The word at a35 has the same meaning as it does in the sentence which opens the NE (i
1.1094a2), with this exception, that the emphasis now is placed, not on intention, but on the concrete proceedings which
express it. The "project" at issue here amounts to a series of expositions which correspond, in their main lines, to the
content of the NE, whose order is vouched for by x 6.1176a30-31.

2. NE ii 2.1103b26-30 (cf. EE i 1.1214a9-14; 5.1216b3-25).

3. 1179a35-b2:
. My
translation tries to respect the inceptive aspect indicated in the two aorist infinitives, in contrast to the use of the present
infinitive which follows: cf. Humbert 1960, 160.

4. 1179b2-3: .

5. These are lines 1179b4-20 and 1179b20-21. To the question posed at the beginning: . . .
; (1179b3-4), the passage introduced by
(1179b20ff.) seems to be a response. This view of things makes the
passage situated in between (1179b4-20) seem like a piece added after the fact.

6. Rassow 1888, 594-96.

7. Gauthier II, 2:900. The only argument is based on the impression left by the evidence I mentioned in note 5.

8. The account up to 1179b31 actually corresponds exactly to what we should expect given the three questions posed in the
introduction to the chapter: (1) (1179a33-35), (2) (1179a35-b3), (3)
; (1179b3-4). Aristotle first resolves the choice posed by the first two questions
(1179b4-20); then he examines the possibility mentioned in the third question (1179b20-31).

9. 1179b7.

10. 1179b24.

11. 1179b30. Cf. Buchner 1963-64.

12. 1179b26-27: . . . (cf. i 1.1095a5: ).

13. i 1.1095a9: .

< previous page page_163 next page >

< previous page page_164 next page >
Page 164

14. 1179b13-16 ;b17-18 ; cf. i 1.1095a4 ,

a8 .

15. i 1.1095a10-11.

16. 1179b24-26.

17. 1179b29-31.

18. 1178b28-29.

19. On this subject, see the important passage in P i 2.1253a9-18.

20. (1179b27-28)

21. i 1.1095a2.

22. i 1.1095a1.

23. 1179b7: .

24. 1179b28.

(1179b11-13). (1179b28-29).

1. 1179b31ff.

2. In other words, by a discipline of the passions in favor of reason.

3. 1180a4-5: Cf. passages cited above in note 25 of sect. II.1.

4. Jaeger 1964,29.

5. P vii 15.1334b8-9.

6. Plato, Laws ii 653e ff., where the goal is between the inclinations deriving from character and the objectives of reason. Aristotle
expresses himself similarly here (1334b9-10): .

< previous page page_164 next page >

< previous page page_165 next page >
Page 165
7. The principle of the final cause, which governs the union of parents with respect to the birth of children, corporeal existence with respect to
mental life, and appetite with respect to understanding, is expressed at PA ii 1.646a30ff. This principle is minimized in Clark 1975.

8. Cf. Plato, Laws vii 791b-792e.

9. P vii 15.1334b24-25.

10. To acknowledge the political nature of human beings is to acknowledge that they require others for their development, that is, the need for
and for . This acknowledgment is not the result of a speculation on the essence of human beings (cf. Joja 1968); it derives
from observation of human conduct. Cf. Kullmann 1980.

11. Lacordaire 1893, 25-26.

12. 1180a1-

13. 1180a18.

14. That is, at the beginning of the second part of our chapter (1179b31-32).

15. 1180a21-22.

16. 1180b25.

17. 1180a26-27: .

18. NE i 1.1094b5-7.

19. The laws of Sparta are cited (1180a25) as rare examples of public concern for matters of and . The same point is made at
P viii 1.1337a31. It is the mere fact that the Lacedaemonian lawgiver had such a concern which earns Aristotle's praise; for he nevertheless
regards the particular direction which this lawgiver gave education as deserving of severe criticism (P vii 14.1333b1 1-35; 15.1334a40-b5;
2.1324b5-9; ii 9.1271a41-b7). In spite of everything, the Spartan regime represents an ideal in his eyes insofar as it responds to the need for a
genuine education.

20. 1180a27-29: (Homer, Odyssey ix, 114-15); cf. P viii 1.1337a24-

26: , .

< previous page page_165 next page >

< previous page page_166 next page >
Page 166
21. This is the extreme case; for the situation already becomes critical from the moment when education begins to follow principles other than
those whose application is recommended by the political regime actually in power, as Aristotle states elsewhere (P viii 1.1337a14):

22. 1180b5-13. These advantages include the fact that father and son already possess connections of kinship and mutual benefit and the fact
that paternal education allows the best possibility for adaptation to particular individuals. It is to be noted that in Aristotle's mind the
instruments of private education do not differ from the instruments of public education either in their
purpose (to promote the acquisition of good habits) or in their source (rational rules).

23. 1180a32-34: . The justification for

this recommendation will be given later (1180b13-25).

24. Which is absolutely not the case, as is clearly noted by P viii 1.1337a27-29,

25. Cf. the prologue of the NE (i 1.1094a27-b7).

26. Let us understand this well: the point, in this context, is to remedy the deficiencies of the lawgiver and not to enact rules of conduct
allegedly better than the norms implicitly recommended by the laws, in contradiction with the ends of the constitutional regime in force.
Aristotle, who loathes situations of conflict, requires on the contrary that education should always conform to the type of political
regime: . (P v 9.1310a12-14); cf.
Plato, Republic vii 522e ff.; v 457c-d; 460b; and Laws vii 793ff.

27. Aristotle hints at this distinction at 1180b24, when he describes it as the lawgiver's wish to make others better,

28. The (analogical) reasoning of section 1180b13-28 establishes that the capacity to provide a good moral training to others is not within the
range of just anyone, but only of the person who knows , i.e., who possesses a general knowledge of the human good.

29. 1180b14.

1. 1180b29.

2. 1181a11-12.

< previous page page_166 next page >

< previous page page_167 next page >
Page 167

3. Plato, Meno 89d ff.

4. 1181a19-23; cf. NE i 1.1094b27-1095a4.

5. A suggestion reproduced and criticized by Aristotle at 1181a12ff. As I shall have occasion to repeat (chapter 3), he refers mainly to
Isocrates; here he cites word for word a passage from Isocrates' Antidosis (60).

6. 1181b1.

7. Cf. above, note 4.

8. NE i 1.1095a10-1.

9. 1180b30-31: . It is possible, as J. Tricot, for example, thinks (Tricot 1967, 529n2), that
these words make reference to NE vi 8.1141b24.

10. 1180b30-1181a9.

11. This reasoning is borrowed from Plato's Meno (91a, 99b-e). Cf. Protagoras, 319b ff.

12. The observation has less historical significance inasmuch as it virtually reproduces Plato's judgment of Themistocles, Aristides,
Pericles, and Thucydides (Meno 93c-94c; cf. Gorgias 515e).

13. And the following passage demonstrates the contrary (1181a10ff.).

14. Plato, for his part, had already emphasized that, unlike other subjects, political subjects lack a corresponding class of specialists
(Laches 184d-187b).


16. 1180b35.

17. (1181a12-13).

18. 1181a14-15.

19. 1180b20-21 .

20. Which cross-checks quite accurately with the famous doctrine stated in M A 1.981a5ff.

< previous page page_167 next page >

< previous page page_168 next page >
Page 168

21. The reason for this approach, modeled on the aporematic discussion of the Meno, is linked to Aristotle's
wish (in this respect shared by Plato) to spare his listeners the futile search for help from "teachers" who do
not know what they claim to teach. The discrediting of pseudo- clearly corresponds to a scarcely
hidden desire to turn their hopes for a genuine teaching towards himself.

22. 1181a11-12.

23. NE i 1.1094b27-1095a4.

24. M A 1.981b7-9.

Section III

1. By "teaching" here, I understand the instruction of other persons by means of discourse.

2. 1179b6-7.

3. NE i 1.1094b11 (cf. 15), 1095a2-3.

4. Burnet 1900, xviii-xix (and notes to I.1).

5. Diels 1888.

6. For an example of this view, see Gauthier II, 3 and 8.

7. Cf. 1180b30-31; 1181a23 .

8. Let it be said in passing that the priority of the Ethics to the Politics and, within the Ethics, the absolute
priority of the problem can be explained in the same way.

9. NE i 1.1094a6-9. The relations between means and end are examined in detail in Ganter 1974 (see
particularly chapters 1 and 2).

10. One might be tempted to say that the examples cited in this passage do not prove much, that they have
been chosen by analogy (because they are easier to grasp) to show the order of subordination of individual
activities to a supreme end. But if this were Aristotle's aim in describing to us the hierarchy of the arts and
sciences crowned by politics, could he, at the same time, confer on politics the task of realizing "the human
good," adding: "although this [good] is identical for a single being and for a city, the greatest and most
complete task would seem to be to attain and preserve that of the city"? (1094b6-7) In Aristotle's view, the
city represents the superior moral authority; for it secures the happiness of all or of the majority and imposes
conditions, and even sacrifices, on individuals, so that this happiness may exist.

< previous page page_168 next page >

< previous page page_169 next page >
Page 169
11. Ibid., a26.

12. If one translates this ''Of which of the sciences or capacities is it the object" (Gauthier) or even "to which particular science or potentiality
does it correspond" (Tricot), one almost certainly suggests that the word "science" ought to be understood as "theoretical science" and one then
risks seeing a contradiction between the answer supplied here and the answer which the Metaphysics (A 2.982b4), working from a different
perspective, furnishes to the same question. J. Tricot is quite aware of this point (34n6): "Reconciliation between the two ideas is difficult."

13. 1094a26-28.

14. Aubenque 1962, 266. In light of similar reflections found in Plato (for example, Euthydemus 291c in connection with the royal art),
Aubenque concludes ultimately that we are in the presence of a traditional response, which barely connects with the personal views of Aristotle.
Cf. Gauthier II, 1:9: "Let us not forget that we are always here in the framework supplied by Plato's Statesman, i.e., that the sciences whose
classification is at issue are really techniques; theoretical sciences are not under discussion and it is to raise a false problem to ask if Aristotle
here wished to place politics above metaphysics." This interpretation is correct, except, obviously, in that it considers the view just expressed to
be different from Aristotle's.

15. NE i 10.1099b29-32: ,
Cf. 13.1102a7-10; vi 5.1140b7-11; 9.1142a2; x 7.1177b12-14:

16. 1094b10-11, 1095a1-2.

17. Cf. NE iii 5.1112b11-14: (cf. EE i


18. See the hypotheses on this topic in Gauthier I, 1:63-89.

19. NE i 13.1102a7-13.

20. NE ii 1.1103b2-6; iii 7.1113b21-26; iv 14.1128a30-31 (cf. v 14.1137b28); viii 1.1155a28-29; 11.1160a12-14. These are remarks which
enable Aristotle to provide his listener with evidence for general legislative concerns or particular legislation which attests to the importance or
the cogency of arguments which he himself wants to introduce.

21. NE i 13.1102a18-19. The justification for Aristotle's statements must therefore be sought in a demonstrable need on the part of
the politician.

< previous page page_169 next page >

< previous page page_170 next page >
Page 170

22. NE iii 1.1109b32-35. When Aristotle claims that the analyses to which he is introducing the lawgiver will
be useful to him, his reason is that, in order to determine the rules for distribution of rewards and
punishments (according to a need also noted in x 10.1180a1-4), it is important to have a precise knowledge
of the boundaries between the voluntary and the involuntary. Aristotle thus reveals his sense that his
addresses could contribute to the training of those responsible for penal law.

23. NE vii 12.1152b1-3.

24. NE i 1.1094a27ff.

25. However, it is absolutely necessary not to misapprehend the significance of the term in our
passage. It does not imply anything like "philosopher-king" in the Platonic sense; it merely suggests the
importance of study for the in his role as . For other similar uses of the word, see: P
vii 10.1329a41; 11.1331a16; viii 7.1341b28, 33.

1. Plato, Statesman 259e. It appears from what follows (260b-c) that the notion of the is
essentially connected to the idea of the person who orders (cf. ) another to execute his plans. Cf.
Gorgias 455b.

2. The comparison is found in P i 4.1253b38-1254a1. Cf. MM i 34.1198a34-b2 and P i 13.1260a5-24.

3. Plato, Laws i 644d.

4. P iii 11.1282a3-14.

5. These are considered to be "principles" by M ∆ 1.1013a10-14.

6. NE i 1.1094a14ff.

7. Zeller 1879, 180-81.

8. The horseman, of course, is the user of the product of the bridlemaker and, for this reason, he is better able
to evaluate the quality of the product than the one who made it, just as the pilot is a better judge of the quality
of a rudder than the carpenter who built it.

9. NE i 1.1094b4.

10. P iv 14.1297b40 and the passage cited in note 13.

11. But the distinction is already present at NE i 1.1094a4-6 and 16-18.

< previous page page_170 next page >

< previous page page_171 next page >
Page 171

12. Cf. NE v 1.1129a13ff.

13. NE vi 8.1141b23ff.

14. EE i 8.1218b12-14. This passage saves for later ( : b16) the explanation of the way in which
these three differ from each other. But only the NE passage mentioned in the previous note deals with this

15. NE vi 9.1142a9-10: .

16. (NE vi 8.1141b26-28). The term

here seems to be synonymous with and Plato's Statesman (259c-d) uses the two words without
distinction to designate an activity of mere execution, as is, indeed, the activity which occurs when the enunciation of
a particular decree is required as an application of a general law.

(ibid., b28-29). There is of course a pejorative note in this comparison; as for the status of legislative activity, it is
correspondingly enhanced. Cf. MA 1.98 b31-33.

18. P vii 3.1325b21-23. This passage does not explicitly refer to the lawgiver, but it cannot be doubted that Aristotle
has him in mind. Besides, the same passage reinterprets the notion of practical activity, which is clearly attributed
more to those who direct than those who execute.

19. EE i 6.1217a6-7. This passage mentions, while distinguishing, a and a

(i.e., ).

20. NE x 10.1181b1-3.

21. Plato, Statesman 259b-


Section IV

1. Let us remember, however, that in the political regimes of the democratic type which Aristotle primarily had in
mind (because they were, along with oligarchical regimes, the most common in the world of Greek city-states during
his time), the term "lawgiver" describes all the citizens to the extent that they have access to the Assembly. In these
circumstances, therefore, the terms "lawgiver" and ''head of household" are little short of being coextensive and apply
to the same individuals, considered as public and private persons, respectively.

2. Concretely, the account of inquiries (after preliminary considerations: P vii 1-3), is

presented in two parts. The first part aims to state the necessary preconditions for the establishment of an
ideal regime: number

< previous page page_171 next page >

< previous page page_172 next page >
Page 172

of the population, geographical situation, etc. (vii 4-12). As for the second part, which tackles only the issues really internal to the subject (cf.
vii 13.1331b23-24: ), it turns essentially on the organization of , which devolves upon
the lawgiver (vii 13 to viii 7). Far from being something extra, as, say, J. Tricot (1962, II, 482n3) would have us believe, these discussions
constitute the core of the inquiry.

3. NE v 3.1129b12-19. While also agreeing with P. Moraux (1957, chap. I) that this conception of general justice reflects the content of a
dialogue composed early in Aristotle's career, we must acknowledge nevertheless that this conception remains basic at the time of NE v.

4. Ibid., 1129b19-
23: .

5. Plato, Statesman 260a-b.

6. This is section 1094b22-1095a11. Cf. above, chap. 5, sect. 11.3.

Chapter 3. The Development of Aristotle's Philosophy

Section I

1. Except, perhaps, in i 6.1216b37, where the philosopher describes his method, which he says is one adapted "to the political domain"
. According to an ancient conjecture by Victorinus, these two final words might be the corruption of . In this
case, which cannot be ruled out, the passage would mean: "the politician must not think superfluous the sort of studies which (etc.)." We would
then have, in the EE proper, an invaluable parallel with the NE.

2. EE vii 2.1236b39-1237a3.

3. Ibid., 1237a2-3. Here, as in the NE, the reservations which he makes refer to those who are naturally inclined to seek the objective good.

4. Besides, when it conceives "action" as the preferred terrain for the realization of the self, the EE does not think that "the actions which derive
from virtue" could be those of isolated individuals or restricted to the private domain; it links them to the
political man and describes the true politician thus: (i

5. On this subject, see, finally, Kenny 1978, chap. 8.

6. Rutten 1981.

< previous page page_172 next page >

< previous page page_173 next page >
Page 173

7. Whether one adopts Jaeger's viewpoint (1948, 228-58) or Kenny's (1978, 161ff.), this account, in fact, is
an ultimate outcome of Aristotle's reflections. Moreover, the text of the prologue (i 1) to which I refer
constitutes, according to Gauthier (II, 2:12-18), Aristotle's final "version" on the subject. Lastly, the fact that
NE x 10 and NE vi rest on the same account is acknowledged by E. Braun (1974, 47ff.).

8. NE x 10.1179a35-b3.

9. NE i 1.1095a5-6.

10. NE ii 2.1103b27-28. Cf. EE i 5.1216b9ff.

11. This conclusion applies both to the first and the last part of NE x 10; see chapter 2, sections II.1 and 11.3,

12. Which must be recognized in certain explicit allusions or references. For example,
(1180a6ff.: cf. Plato, Laws iv 718c-723b), a definition of law (1180a21-22: cf. Laws i 644d and iv 714a) or
an allusion to the life of the Cyclops (1180a27-29: cf. Laws iii 680b; 682a).

13. Cf. above, chapter 2, sections 1.2-3.

14. NE x 10.1180b13-23.

15. M A 1.981a1-12.

16. Jaeger 1948, 68-72 (for the introductory pages of book A) and 171-76 (for the criticism of Plato's
doctrine of Ideas). Cf. Düring 1966, 260-61.

17. Dirlmeier 1964,603.

18. In his edition of the Metaphysics, Jaeger placed this reference (981b25) between two double brackets; he
holds that it was inserted in the original text when the text was revised by Aristotle himself.

1. The early date of the two books which come last in the traditional order of the Politics was demonstrated
definitively by Jaeger (1948,259-92). Düring expresses the opinion which is now most widely held on this
issue when he writes (1966, 474-75):

It seems to me not to be excluded that this text derives from Aristotle's time at the Academy: in
favor of this are the close connections to the Protrepticus and to the EE and the discussion, which
often loses itself in details, of Plato's thinking in the Laws. The introduction shows that the NE did
not yet exist. . . . In the NE the close relationship between ethics and political philosophy is self-
evident from the beginning and is strongly emphasized in the final part. Without doubt the
introduction to book vii represents an earlier stage of his thinking on this question.

< previous page page_173 next page >

< previous page page_174 next page >
Page 174

Besides, Politics vii (1-3) affirms the superiority of the contemplative life with the same vigor as NE x (7-9), a passage about which we know that
it agrees with the basic stand of the Protrepticus. The fact that Aristotle, here and there, remains faithful to a doctrine expounded in a youthful
work is especially significant for the permanence of certain beliefs held by the philosopher. NE x is perhaps relatively early, like Politics vii; but
the ideas which it develops concerning contemplative happiness were not disavowed later.

2. Cf. above, chapter 2, note 21 to sect. 1.2.

3. The allusions to the Laws which one finds in this passage are innumerable. Ultimately, it is the central problem of the Laws which
Aristotle addresses here: Hentschke 1971,390-92.

4. This chapter, in other words, is more than an introduction to Politics vii and viii, as is attested by the appendix (1181b12-23), which I
shall analyze later (chap. 3, sect. IV), and contrary to the opinion of R. Stark (cf. above, chap. 3, sect. 111.2).

5. NE i 10.1099b9-
11: . EE
i 1.1214a15-
25: ;

6. NE x 10.1179b20-21: ; P vii 13.1332a38-40:

. One will notice that, in
the last two passages, Aristotle expresses himself positively while in the two preceding passages he sets outs the terms of an aporia.

7. Cf. above, chapter 2, section 1.2.

8. Plato, Meno 70a, 99e-100a.

9. P viii 1.1337a12-32.

10. NE x 10.1180a24ff.

11. Gauthier II, 2:907 (where one will find a very just criticism of Defourny 1932, 192-95).

12. Aristotle continues to acknowledge without reservation that ( 1180a29-

30), even if the context contains the implicit admission that there are difficulties in realizing this ideal everywhere and always. The nuance is
not negligible. In any case it is false to claim that here Aristotle sets out the ideological justification for a private education which he would
recommend as superior to an education by the state.

< previous page page_174 next page >

< previous page page_175 next page >
Page 175

13. The assertion (1180a30ff.) should

not be understood as recording the failure of an ideal proclaimed earlier, but as entertaining an alternate
supposition. Aristotle does not say "since the public powers neglect it" but "when the public powers neglect

14. P iv 1.1288b37-38. In relation to the aims of P vii-viii, we can observe here a considerable expansion of
Aristotle's concerns, an expansion which expresses his intention to deal with the needs of states situated in
conditions which prevent the functioning of a perfect regime.

15. In order to describe the perfect constitutional regime, Aristotle occasionally uses the adjective
instead of (cf. P ii 1.1260b28-29:
= iv 1.1288b22-
23: and ibid., b25-
26: ). Now, it is the very
adjective which NE x 10.1180a29 uses to describe the existence of a .

1. Following von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff 1893,360; cf. Bignone 1936, I:98.

2. Immisch 1935,56-58.

3. Isocrates, Antidosis 56-58 and 60.

4. In the same direction: Dirlmeier 1964,605 and Gauthier II, 2:905.

5. Stark 1954, 15-16. The author otherwise defends the unity of Aristotle's ethical and political writings: cf.
Stark 1969.

6. (cf. Prot., fr. B 38 Düring:


7. Fr. 13 Walzer (= Iamblichus, Protrepticus 10, pp. 54, 10-56, 12 Pistelli) corresponds to fr. B 46-51 Düring.

8. 1180b14: cf. Prot. B 46. The NE, however, appeals to the examples of the doctor and the master of
gymnastics to emphasize the need for general knowledge, the Prot. only to emphasize the requirement of a
certain .

9. 1180b16-22; cf. Prot. B 46-47.

10. 1181a15-b12: cf. Prot. B 49-50.

11. Gauthier II, 2:903.

12. Prot. fr. 13 Walzer (= B 46-51 Düring) makes it a duty of the lawgiver (who

< previous page page_175 next page >

< previous page page_176 next page >
Page 176
aspires to teach happiness) to be a "philosopher" and to derive from "nature itself" the unchanging standards of the good, the only models
really worthy of being imitated.

13. In particular: fr. 46 and 49 Düring.

14. That is, the "pseudo-wise." Aristotle alludes to their most illustrious representative still alive (Isocrates) and the NE calls them

15. 1180b14-15 (cf. b20-21: ).

16. M A 1.981a5ff.

17. 1180b23-25:
Cf. Prot. fr. B 34.

18. 1180b21.

19. Stark 1972, 18.

20. The latter text suggests, in fact, an operation of the metaphysical sort, when it comes to apprehending the supreme model. Nature in
this sense appears to be the immanent or efficient aspect of God. On this subject and for a comparison with M ∆ 7-9, see Verdenius 1960, 61
and Pépin 1971,241. See also the notes which Düring devotes to this subject in Düring 1960.

21. I do not dare to say "thinks"; I prefer to say "expresses himself"; for we discover that Aristotle casts his thought in the moulds offered him
by Plato's vocabulary of transcendence. But we cannot be sure that he subscribes to the philosophical implications which such vocabulary had
for Plato. Cf. EE ii 5.1222b7; vii 9.1241b35; viii 3.1249a21, b17, 19, 22 (passages cited by Walzer, Ar. dial. frag., 55n3 ad loc.).

22. Prot. fr. B 51.

23. P vii 3.1325b21-23.

24. Cf. above, chap. 2, sect. 111.2 (end).

25. NE vi
13: ,

26. Prot. fr. B 49.

< previous page page_176 next page >

< previous page page_177 next page >
Page 177

27. Let us note that here the and the are yet another time given the same treatment.

28. The Platonic character of this text is expressed not only by the idea of a but also by the very
sharp contrast between the divine (model) and the human (which should be a copy of it). Cf. Goldschmidt
1947, 81-82.

29. The imitative approach is therefore not essentially condemned. But the object to be imitated must be
chosen as the end result of thorough critical evaluation.

30. Isocrates, who is not cited by name in this context but turns out to be the primary object of the allusion, is
treated here as the most recent of the great Sophists.

31. Stark (1972, 78), who thinks he discovers here an argument by Aristotle against the usefulness of
collecting existing laws, deems that the endeavors of the Peripatetics to construct such collections must be
credited to Theophrastus.

32. 1181a16.

33. Stark denies this view (1972, 14) and strives to confirm the opinion of Von der Mühll (1940-1941) that
NE x 10 is a direct rejoinder to the Antidosis of Isocrates, which itself was written as a rejoinder to Aristotle's

Section III

1. Stark 1972, 76ff.

2. Düring 1956,149.

3. PA i 5.645a4.

4. Cf. above, chap. 1, sect. II.

5. NE x 10.1181b12-15.

6. Rodier 1897, 148ff.

7. Cf. Plato, Hippias Major 298c; Cratylus 421d (cf. F. Ast 1908, 170, s.v.).

8. With the exception of the Traductio antiqua (Paris, 1497), the is preserved only in manuscript Lb
(Paris, 1854).

9. Spengel 1843, 174ff.; cf. Ramsauer 1878, 728n14.

10. According to Rodier, Ramsauer, Stewart and even Susumihl (in Susemihl-Hicks 1894, 68-69).

< previous page page_177 next page >

< previous page page_178 next page >
Page 178

11. Cf. von Fritz-Kapp 1950, 43.

12. Jaeger 1948,264-


13. The expression is found in Gauthier II, 2:912 (who defends the interpretation summarized above).

14. Meteorology (Me) i 1.338a20-339a10 (a chapter which the partisans of inauthenticity were able to regard as a model for the forger of
the appendix of the
NE): .

15. PA i 5.645a 4-
7: .

16. The following translations thus involve an interpretation which is, to my mind, erroneous: "de façon à parachever dans la mesure du
possible notre philosophie des choses humaines [in order to complete so far as possible our philosophy of human affairs]" (Tricot); "in order
to complete . . . our philosophy of human nature" (Ross); "so that our survey of social philosophy may be brought to a due completion" (W.
M. Hatch); "onze wijsgerige beschouwing over de menselijke dingen [our philosophical view of human affairs]'' (L. R. W. Thuijs).

17. This "problem of legislation" of which Aristotle speaks is the one which is mentioned in the passage immediately preceding and which I
have discussed in chapter 2.

18. The figure of speech is one used by Aristotle himself: Ph v 4.228a28-29.

19. Besides the passage cited in the preceding note, see: Prot. B 55 Düring (cf. C 52, 2); P ii 8.1268b35-36; M α 1.993b11-19;
Sophistical Refutations (SR) 34.183b16ff. "Aristotle understands his philosophizing from the outset as a (decisive) stage in the progress
of philosophical knowledge generally" (O. Gigon 114 in Düring ed. 1969). Cf. Calabri 1977b, 169-200; Dodds 19742, 15ff.; Edelstein
1967,69-70,98, 118-30; McKeon 1947.

20. P ii 1.1260b33-36.

21. Relative to the first category, Aristotle examines the constitutions of Sparta, Crete and Carthage, and relative to the second, the theories of
Plato, Phaleas of Chalcedon and Hippodamus of Miletus. Cf. P ii 7.1266a31-32:

22. P ii 10.1272a22ff.

< previous page page_178 next page >

< previous page page_179 next page >
Page 179

23. P vii 11.1331a16ff.

24. P viii 7.1341b28ff.

25. P vii 10.1329a40ff.

26. P vii 10.1329b33-35. This claim happens to express a corollary of the belief that "everything is old" in political
affairs; a belief which is itself supported by an historical observation:

27. P ii 5.1264a3-5: .

28. 1181b7-9.

29. P ii 6.1265a1-2.

Chapter 4. The Public Character of Aristotle's Discourses

1. Cf. Jaeger 1948,4.

2. SR 34.183b16-22.

3. SR 34.184a9-b2.

4. SR 34.184b2-8.

Section I

1. NE i 1.1095a12-13.

2. A collection of the most important studies devoted to the subject by various authors (Wilamowitz, Jackson, Jaeger, Wehrli, Düring, Lynch
and Gottschalk) has been published under the editorship of C. Natali as Wilamowitz-Moellendorff et al. 1981.

3. Jaeger 1912, 131-63 (which I summarize in what follows).

4. Cf. section 1.5 of this chapter.

5. Dirlmeier 1962, 12. Cf. also Dirlmeier 1969b, 55.

6. E. Gilson, Preface to Owens 1951, vi.

Section I.2

1. NE i 1.1095a2.

2. No. 75 (Diogenes Laërtius) and no. 70 (Hesychius) in Düring 1957,45 and 85.

< previous page page_179 next page >

< previous page page_180 next page >
Page 180

3. No. 148 (Hesychius) in Düring 1957, 87 and 91 (commentary); cf. Moraux 1951, ad loc.

4. Von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff 1893, I:355 (cf. 66n37).

5. Robin 1944, 42. Cf. Manquat 1932,13.

6. Burnet 1900, xviii.

7. Susemihl 1900, col. 1508-9.

8. Prélot 1950, xxv ff.

9. Newman 1887-1902, II, xxxv-xxxviii.

10. Dufour 1932, 17.

11. Weil 1960,55.

12. NE i,moreover, suggests that the appropriate attitude of the involves being a (1094b27ff.).

13. Even if the exposition is sometimes addressed to a wider audience or to incipientes [beginners]. Cf. Jaeger 1912, 131-63, n2.

14. A. Mansion 1927,308-10.

15. Gauthier I, 1:67-70.

16. The emphasis is mine.

17. "The Aristotelian school-literature represents, if I am allowed to express myself paradoxically, an oral tradition in written form.
Aristotle and his fellow scholars were continually working with this material. Their contributions take the form of additions or
amplifications. Theophrastus and Eudemus may use the same wording as Aristotle, because all of them, as a matter of course, draw from
the same source: the common school literature. This fact explains the fundamental problems in the history of the Aristotelian text. . . .
Aristotle's are thus to be regarded as a special kind of school literature, written entirely without literary ambitions,
which . . . does not at all mean that they from our point of view lack literary quality. Unlike Plato's or Aristotle's own dialogues they
were not protected by any literary proprietorship." (Düring 1950, 58 and 59).

18. , etc.
See: nos. 29, 33, 34, 42, 43, 45, 46, 47, 51, 55a, 57, 62, 64, 65, 66, 67, 70, 71, 72, 73, 86, 118, 119, 121, 124 (Diogenes

< previous page page_180 next page >

< previous page page_181 next page >
Page 181

Laërtius); 31, 33, 42, 44, 48, 61,65, 66, 67, 68, 69,78, 106, 107, 112, 116, 143, 144, 145, 147
(Hesychius) in Düring 1957, 43-49 and 82-87.

19. De Respiratione 12.477a5. Cf. Bonitz 103a45ff.

20. Cf. Bonitz 96b54ff. and Louis 1964, ix-x.

21. Dirlmeier 1962,12-13.

22. : NE ii 7.1107a33; Historia animalium (HA) i 17.497a32; iv 1.525a9; EE iii 1.1228a28; T i

14.105b13. : EE ii 3.1220b37; De interpretatione (DI) 13.22a22; Me i 8.346a32; ii 6.363a26; HA
iii 1.510a30; PA iii 5.668a17. For , see: De somn. 3.456b2; De respir. 8.474b9; 16.478b1; HA iii
1.509b21; 11.511a13; vi 10.565a12; PA ii 3.650a31; iii 4.666a9; 5.668b29; 14.674b16; iv 5.680a1; 8.684b4;
10.689a18; 13.696b14; GA i 11.719a10; ii 4.740a23; cf. no. 103-4 (Diogenes Laërtius); 93-94 (Hesychius).
Nos. 77, 82, 89 (Diogenes Laërtius) and 71, 74 (Hesychius) mention the other than the
collections of the Constitutions; for the latter see: Weil 1960, 97-116. Cf. Dirlmeier 1964, 312-13. On the
notion of "history" and its implication for "research" in Aristotle, see Louis 1955 and Gastaldi 1973.

23. References in Bonitz, 598a23-599a17.

24. For example, NE ii 2.1104b12 (which probably refers us back to Plato, Laws ii 653a-c).

25. P ii 1.1261a6-7 (i.e., Plato, Republic v 457a-466d; cf. iv 423e).

26. P ii 4.1262b1 1-12 (i.e., Plato, Symposium 191a-b).

1. I refer to the word as used to describe secret doctrines in Lucian, Vitarum auctio, 26 (=Düring 1957,430-
31 [T 76 e]).

2. On this subject, see Dirlmeier 1969b (who defends what is, in this respect, the least suspect interpretation

3. Aulus Gellius, The Attic Nights of Aulus Gellius (Cambridge, 1967), xx 5; Plutarchus, "Alexander," in his
Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans (New York, 1962), 805-6; Syrianus, Schol. in Hermogenem, IV, 297

4. Cf. Philoponus, Comm. in Ar. Cat., in CIAG, XIII.1, p. 6,18

, 22 .

5. Clement of Alexandria, Stromata v 9, p. 58, 3.

< previous page page_181 next page >

< previous page page_182 next page >
Page 182

6. Boas 1953,79-62.

7. One should probably challenge also the too simplistic view that all the Aristotelian dialogues are works of
popularization in the modern sense of the term.

1. See, in particular: Philoponus, Comm. in Ar. Cat., in CIAG, XIII.1, p. 3, 14-16 and Simplicius, Comm. in
Ar. Cat., in CIAG, VIII, p. 4, 10ff. In relation to this distinction, Aulus Gellius (The Attic Nights, xx 5) states
that at the Lyceum Aristotle gave lectures strictly reserved for initiates in the morning and lectures described
as "exoteric" vulgo juvenibus sine dilectu [in the popular fashion for youths without special qualification] in
the evening. J. P. Lynch takes this evidence seriously (Von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff et al. 1981, 123).

2. Ammonius, Comm. in Ar. Cat., in CIAG, IV.4, p. 4, 21-27. This interpretation was directed against the
view some had expressed that Aristotle did not state his own views in the dialogues or exoteric writings
(Ibid., p. 4, 19-22).

3. H. Diels 1883, 477. This idea, in fact, was not new, seeing that, as I just said in the preceding note, it had
already been attacked by Ammonius.

4. EE i 8.1217b22-23.

5. Diels 1888,492-97.

6. Such would be the case, according to Diels, for NE i, beginning from 1094a22, for "The Ethics begins
with a strictly logical demonstration" (Diels 1888, 495).

7. Burnet 1900, xviii, xxiv-xxv (concerning the beginning of the NE). Burnet's primary idea, that the NE
addresses ethical problems with an unqualifiedly dialectical approach conforming to the practices sanctioned
by the Topics, is a view decisively abandoned today.

8. Diels 1888, 497: "But it should be clear by now that it is dangerous to try to infer the developmental stages
of Aristotelian philosophy from terminological distinctions in the treatises, to say nothing of the dialogues."

9. H. Flashar 1965. Flashar relies as much on the choice of different arguments as on the different ways in
which these arguments are set forth in the two texts: NE i 4.1096a9-1097a14 and EE i 8.1217b1-1218a32.

10. Jaeger (1948, 171ff.) thought that the peculiar differences between the criticism of the Ideas in M A 9 and
the criticism of the Ideas developed by M M 4-5 indicated that the first was temporally prior to the second.

< previous page page_182 next page >

< previous page page_183 next page >
Page 183

11. Flashar 1965, 240. Following Dirlmeier, Flashar also holds that close relations between an Aristotelian
text and the dialogues of Plato cannot always automatically constitute, in themselves, genuine evidence for
purposes of dating.

12. Vicol Ionescu 1973,1:131-267 (EE), 271-399 (NE).

13. Instead of attempting, as might have been wished, to develop a dialectical synthesis of studies about the
three Ethics of the Corpus, C. Vicol Ionescu willingly makes a blank slate of everything written on the
subject since Jaeger, and devotes himself, at the length of more than a thousand pages, to the exposition of an
allegedly new global solution of all the problems of "Entwicklung," using for this end weak, if not deceptive,
arguments, such as the one furnished by chronological interpretation of Aristotle's references to himself. He
thinks, moreover, that the "common books" (NE v-vii = EE iv-vi) and the MM (!) belong to the final stage of
Aristotle's evolution and are in harmony with the later theory of the soul (hylomorphism) stated in the DA.

14. Allan 1961.

15. The corollary would be, according to C. Vicol Ionescu, that, in order really to locate the philosopher's
thought, the interpreter must simultanteously take into consideration both accounts of ethics: "only by
considering together the two writings can one obtain the genuine treatise on ethics belonging to Aristotle's
systematic philosophy" (1973, 1:388).

16. Nos. 1-19 refer to the works (dialogues or not) made public by Aristotle and distributed to the public in
the Hellenistic era; concerning nos. 20-24, "Here we recognize Aristotle's synopsis of Plato's dialogues and
oral teaching" (Düring 1957, 68).

17. Bien 1968-69,264-314.

18. Bien 1968-69,290.

19. A convincing example, according to Bien, is provided by Aristotle's criticism of Plato's views. In P ii,
which tackles practical questions, Aristotle is not at all concerned with what falls under the jurisdiction of
philosophy in the strict sense, namely, the cogency of Plato's equation of theoretical excellence and practical
excellence in the mind of the philosopher-king; for "such an assertion is not for him (Aristotle) a specifically
political problem or issue."

20. Bien 1968-69, 298.

21. Bien 1968-69, 304.

22. In the sense understood by the prologue of the NE.

23. Cf. Flashar 1965.

< previous page page_183 next page >

< previous page page_184 next page >
Page 184

24. EE i, for example, can seem focused upon the concept of less completely than the first book
of the NE.

25. However, from this way of regarding the EE, there is a danger of treating it as a perfectly homogeneous
whole. Its prologue (i 1-6), especially, seems to have another style, more carefully wrought, more "literary"
than that of the texts to which it is an introduction (cf. Gigon 1971, 133 and Dirlmeier 1969a, note on
passage under discussion); it opens, after all, with citation of a Delphic maxim (EE i 1.1214a5-6: cf. NE i
9.1099a27-28; Plato, Gorgias 451e; Meno 87e; Euthydemus 279a; Philebus 48d; Gigon 1971, 95), following
a procedure used in written work intended for publication (cf. Sur la philosophie, fr. 1 Walzer, which refers
to the maxim ). As for the fragments which make up book viii, they have suffered too much in
transmission for scholars to be able to compare them validly, from the point of view of form, with the
remainder of the texts which belong to the EE.

1. Krämer 1967. On the subject that concerns us here, cf. Marten 1977.

2. Cherniss 1944 and Cherniss 1962. See Krämer's criticisms with respect to these works (1967, 380ff.).

3. Krämer 1967,479.

4. Whose "axiological meaning" is developed by the dialogues (Krämer 1967, 454).

5. Solmsen 1929,92-135.

6. Krämer 1967,380-454.

7. Krämer 1967,454-86.

8. Krämer 1967,480.

9. In the ordinary sense of the term, i.e., according to the rules of an established literary genre (in a
publication for common use).

10. On this subject cf. Aubenque 1967, 17.

Section II

1. Cf. above, chap. 4, sect. II.2.

2. Diogenes Laërtius v 3. Cf. other testimonies in Düring 1957, 299-314 (especially: Quintilian, Inst. Or. iii
1, who teaches us that Aristotle gave lectures in the afternoon). These testimonies obviously involve a good
deal of imagination: cf. Chroust 1973, : 105ff.

< previous page page_184 next page >

< previous page page_185 next page >
Page 185

3. Vita Marciana, 7 in Düring 1957, 98 and 108-9 (commentary); cf. Philoponus, De Aeternitate Mundi vi 27.

4. Vita Marciana, 6: .

5. Düring (1966, 8 = Düring 1957, 108) thinks that Aristotle did not have the (servile) status of an
and that this nickname was given to him because of his propensity to read much. He refers us
to the evidence of T i 14.105b12: .

6. Jackson 1920,191-200.

7. Düring 1954,61-77.

8. Usener 1884, 1ff.

9. Howald, 1921. Cf. Capelle 1930, pp. 34ff. and Herter 1946, 29ff. Lynch's study (1972) was not accessible
when this chapter was written; I do not feel that I am obliged to modify its text after consulting Lynch's
work; Lynch takes the bearings of our information on the subject and compares the two "brotherhoods"
which the Lyceum and the Academy were, but without bringing the reader any real discoveries. In this area
negative conclusions ("the ancient philosophical schools had no direct similarity with our university"C.
Natali, 27 in von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff et al. 1981) take precedence over positive ones.

10. See: Theopompus i, 737 Kock; Alexis ii, 386, 353 Kock; Cratinus ii, 292 Kock (cf. Philemon ii, 496
Kock; Amphis ii, 237 Kock and Philippides iii, 303 Kock).

1. Fr. 1 and 2 Wehrli II:9.

2. Aristoxenus, Elementa Harm. ii 30-31. Cf. Gaiser 1980, 5-37.

3. Brunschwig 1971, 209.

4. Contrary to what Brunschwig states (1971, 209): "One may . . . be surprised that this professorial 'tic' of
the Stagirite left no direct traces in the Corpus."

5. According to Aristotle, a "prologue," as a rule, is to the prose discourse of orators what a "prelude" is to
poetic compositions: an introduction to the subject (R iii 14.1414b19-20). But the two terms are, in practice,
equivalent and interchangeable.

6. Elias, Comm. in Ar. Cat., in CIAG, XVIII, p. 114, 9-11.

7. P vii 1.1323a14-21.

< previous page page_185 next page >

< previous page page_186 next page >
Page 186
8. Gigon 1971, 132.

9. This derives from R iii 14.1415a23-26.

1. Cf. Kurz 1970, 88ff. and Buchheit 1960, 18,39-51 and passim.

2. For the ideal of , proclaimed a priori for every kind of knowledge, Aristotle substitutes the ideal of (adequateness),
described as consideration for the irreducible peculiarities involved in the facts of each given science (cf. M α 3.994b32ff.). From the fact that one
is often obliged to restrict oneself to giving an "outline," (cf. von Blumenthal 1928, 391-414 and Heyde 1941), the philosopher never infers
that the inquirer remains at most within the bounds of the probable, i.e. short of truth. On the contrary, it is precisely because Aristotle is
convinced that an approximate description of the phenomena truly reveals the reality, that he judges that we not only can, but must, content
ourselves with it. For this reason, a scientific proof which one might claim to adduce in addition, by recourse to a principle drawn from
somewhere else, would be inappropriate and, therefore, illusory. Cf. NE i 11.1101a24-28; 7.1098a26-29; ii 2.1104a7-9; 7.1107a30-31; 9.1109b14-
16, 20-23; iii 5.1112a34-b9; iv 11.1126a31-35,b2-4; ix 9.1169b27-30; P vii 7.1328a17-21.

3. Aristoxenus, Elementa Harmonica ii 1.

Chapter 5. The Audience of the Political Discourses

Section I

1. R i 1.1355a26.

2. In the same work, a little later (i 2.1356a2-4), Aristotle lists three kinds of which he describes as

(cf. 3.1358a37-b1). This famous inventory, set up for discourse which cannot be assimilated to scientific exposition, is not without some relevance
to the latter.

3. NE x 2.1172b15-16. The topic is the hedonist theory defended by the philosopher from Cnidos, who cannot ever be suspected of wishing to
rationalize a personal lack of control with respect to pleasure. Eudoxus' reasoning, stated in NE x 2.1172b9ff., is allied very closely to that used
by Aristotle himself at the beginning of the NE, relative to the supreme good (i 1.1094a ff.).

4. R i 1.1356a6-
8: .

< previous page page_186 next page >

< previous page page_187 next page >
Page 187

5. Cf. above, note 29 of Introduction.

6. If this is correct, this "lack of attention" on the part of the EE's author needs to be explained. I favor the
hypothesis that he felt that he did not have to emphasize such problems for the readers of a study-aid not intended
for .

7. EE i 6.1216b26-28.

8. The (or : cf. and ) and above all the , which belong to the
arsenal of the employed by the orator, are carefully considered from this perspective in the Rhetoric. See,
in particular, i 2.1356b5; 1357b1ff.; 15.1375b26-1376a32; ii 20.1393a28.

9. In this connection, cf. Verhaeghe 1965, 30ff.

10. The use and justification of this procedure appear in the EE (ii 1.1219a40-b1) and in the NE (i 8.1098b9-12) in
connection with the same topics, at first and most prominently in connection with happiness.

11. NE vii 15.1154a22-25. The translation closely follows T. Irwin (1985).Tr.

12. 1154a25-26.

13. NE x 1.1172a34-35. Speaking, then, of the partisans of hedonism, Aristotle adds (a35-b1):
. The
(observable facts), mentioned by the philosopher in the passage reproduced above, can be distinguished from
the (mentioned at EE i 6.1216b28, cited above, note 7) insofar as the latter can be assimilated to
opinions regarding facts; NE vii, for instance, uses (1.1145b3) and (12.1152b23)
with equivalent meaning.-It is difficult, on the other hand, to determine whether the term , in our passage,
refers to discourses properly so called or the reasoning expressed in them.

14. NE x 9.1179a17-20.

15. 1179a20-22.

16. The difference between the NE here and the EE (passage cited in note 7) seems to be that the NE passage
conveys a greater distrust of .

17. NE i 1.1095a2-4.

18. NE x 1.1172b3-7.

19. The idea derives from the participle (line 6).

< previous page page_187 next page >

< previous page page_188 next page >
Page 188

20. NE x 10.1179b23-28. A modified version of the Ross-Urmson translation (Barnes 1984) has been used.Tr.

21. NE i 1.1095a4-6.

22. For a general summary of Aristotle's argument, see Salman 1955, 9ff.

Sections II, II.1

1. The two words are often used together by Aristotle: cf. A Post. i 1.71a1-2; T vi 4.141a30; etc.

2. Drechsler 1935,7-13.

3. Cf. L. Méridier 1964. I know Jackson 1973 only through the brief summary found in Diss. Abstracts 34 (1974): 4325 A.

4. Brochard 1923, 6.

5. Cf. Pseudo-Aristotle, Melissus, Xenophanes, Gorgias 979a12-13; Plato, Gorgias 454e-455a; 462c; 521e; Levi 1966, 204-6; and
Buchheit 1960, 12ff.

6. Untersteiner 1967, 273n105. Cf. Levi 1966, 205.

7. Sextus Emp., Hypotyposes iii 267-268 (cf. 254); Contra Log. 1; Contra Dog. 1.

8. Plato, Meno 80d-e and 70a (cf. Protagoras 323c); 89d; 98d-99e. Cf. Phaedrus 244a; 245b; 269d; Ion 533d; Protagoras 320b; Laches
182dff.; Euthydemus 274c.

9. Plato, Cratylus 383a.

10. De Interpretatione (DI)2.16a19 and 4.16b29. Cf. Aubenque 1967,86 and n3.

11. Plato, Meno 81 a ff. (in response to the question how one can find a thing of which one knows nothing).

12. On this subject, see especially T viii 11.161a25ff.

13. SR 2.165b3.

14. Cf. above, sect. I of this chapter.

15. NE ii 1.1103a15-17. Cf. Gaudron 1947.

16. NE vii 5.1147a21-22:


< previous page page_188 next page >

< previous page page_189 next page >
Page 189

17. NE vii 1147b11-12. Cf. 1147a18-19 (the passage discussing the drunkard's recitation of Empedocles).

18. NE vii 1147a24.

19. NE vii 1147a11-13. Cf. Tricot 1967, 331n1.

1. Cf., for instance, SR 34 (which criticizes the Sophists' approach to the subject).

2. The idea that every type of intellectual apprenticeship derives from prior knowledge is
formulated in the NE (vi 3.1139b26), which refers to passages (probably A Post. i 1.71a1-11; cf. T vi 4.141a28-30 and M
A 9.992b24-33).

3. NE vi
20: .
The terminology of this passage is fully explained in Mansion 1946, 147-50. Aristotle bases himself here on the obvious point that it is easier
to picture mathematical objects for oneself than to infer the first principles of a science from the observed facts which those principles
explain, because of the complexity of those observed facts.

4. Cf. M K 1 (in its entirety).

5. Cf. M A 1.981b7-10.

6. NE vi 11.1143a17-18.

1. Particularly at NE x 10.1179b27.

2. Cf. Gauthier II, 2:519ff., which tries to justify, in the context, the translation of the word by ''conscience." For the origin of the word,
see Snell 1924, 45ff.

3. NE vi 11.1142b34-1143a18. This kind of distinction seems to go back to a famous passage of Plato's Statesman (260a-b), which divides
"gnostic" science into two species, the one having only a "critical" function, the other having also an "epitactic" function; it is the latter which
Plato identifies with "architectonic" science. In a similar fashion, Aristotle posits, alongside the science of the lawgiver
, an exclusively "critical" form of knowing, which, as such, does not seek to formulate any prescriptive rule (law) for
the organization of cities or the conduct of human beings, but consists in the ability to evaluate correctly formulations of such rules.

4. NE x 10.1181a17-18.

< previous page page_189 next page >

< previous page page_190 next page >
Page 190

5. NE x 10.1181a19.

6. NE i 1.1094b27-28. The verb used here is one of those redoubled presents whose primitive meaning
(preserved here by Aristotle) is revealed by Chantraine 1964, 224: "it seems to express an action that one repeats in order
to succeed: 'learn to know bit by bit."'

7. NE i 1.1095a3.

8. NE i 1.1094b27-28.

9. The neuter plural seems to me indeed to designate concrete realities rather than the general formulae of the discourse
which refers to them, although both are involved in the context.

Sections III, III.1

1. NE x 10.1181a17-b3.

2. A hypothesis considered in P viii 5.1339a31-

33: .

3. A hypothesis considered at P viii 5.1339a41-42: . In this connection, see

Anderson 1966, 17, 49, etc.

4. A hypothesis considered at P viii 5.1339b4-5: .

5. P viii 5.1339b5-6.

6. P viii 5.1339a36-38.

7. P viii 5.1339b2-4. The expression , which I translate "as people say," could perhaps also mean "as they (the
Lacedaemonians) claim." But, in this case, the argument presented would obviously lose its force.

8. P viii 5.1339b7-10. Aristotle refers here to evidence supplied by the notions inherent in mythopoetic images of Zeus;
this evidence is confirmed, in ordinary language, by the way the word is used.

9. P viii 6.1340b24-25.

10. P viii 6.1340b35-39.

11. P viii 6.1340b41-1341a3.

12. P viii 6.1341a10-11.

< previous page page_190 next page >

< previous page page_191 next page >
Page 191

13. P viii 6.1341a18-


14. P viii 6.1341b9-14. Cf. viii 3.1338a32 (where Aristotle sets forth the positive ideal of an

15. P viii 7.1342a19-21. The B. Jowett translation (Barnes 1984) has been used here, though one word has
been changed.Tr.

16. We should understand here as practice of the art, belonging to the sphere of musical
production, not an empirical knowledge of things, belonging to the sphere of understanding.

17. P viii

18. This consideration is equally valid on the practical and theoretical levels. For its relevance to moral
judgment, see P viii 5.1340a14-18:

2, 3, 4

1. P viii 3.1338a17-

2. P viii 3.1338b1-

3. Cf. above, note 8 to sections III,


4. P iii

5. P iii 11.1282a3-4. Cf. chap. I, sect. VI, first


6. P iii 11.1282a4-

7. Cf. Isocrates, Antidosis


8. See particularly Plato, Charmides 171 b-c and Protagoras


9. Pseudo-Plato, Rivals 135c-


10. Newman 1887-1902,


11. Newman 1887-

1902, :354n3.
12. Xenophon, Memorabilia i 4, 7.

< previous page page_191 next page >

< previous page page_192 next page >
Page 192
13. Newman 1887-1902, :354n4.

14. According to Plato, Protagoras 318e-319a.

15. Plato, Laws vii 810b. The difficulty of interpreting all these passages and reconstructing the definitive thought of their authors, who seem, at
first glance, hesitant to express their opinions, relates to the fact that their judgment actually varies with the subject-matters considered, some of
them deserving in-depth discussion, others not.

16. P viii 2.1337b8-11.

17. P viii 2.1337b15-

Avoidance of the extremes, and preservation of the proper middle point, constitutes an ideal often emphasized by Aristotle in connection
with physical exercise or the games of early childhood: P viii 4.1338b32-36; vii 17.1336a28-30 (cf. 16.1335b5-8). On this subject, see Tracy
1969, 222-333 and my review of this study in Bodéüs 1975b.

18. See, finally, Kullmann 1974, 100n16 (for the earlier bibliographical references) and 107ff.

19. Cf. note I to section 111.2.

20. Cf. above, chap. 5, sect. 11.3. The second case is the only one which a "person of experience" in the field is competent to evaluate; he judges
not the appropriateness of the act relative to the situation but the quality of the performance.

Sections IV, IV.1

1. M α 3.994b32ff. Alexander in CIAG, I, p. 168, 13-20.

2. R i 2.1356a29ff. Anonymous in CIAG, XXI.2, on the R passage under discussion.

3. PA i 1.639a4ff. Michael in CIAG, XXII.2, p. 1, 13.

4. Kullmann 1974, 107-8.

5. Cf., on this subject, the passages from the Politics cited in chap. 5, sects. III.1-3.

6. R ii 17.1391a17.

7. R ii 21.1395a2-5.

< previous page page_192 next page >

< previous page page_193 next page >
Page 193

8. R iii 1.1404a24-29.

9. M Γ 4.1005b35ff.

10. Tricot 1967, 38; Gauthier I, 2:3.

1. Stewart 1892, I:34-37.

2. Grant 1885, I:8ff. and Michelet 1848, 12.

3. Gauthier II, 1:15.

4. PA i 1.639a3-6. Cf. Düring 1943,22-23.

5. PA i 1.639a13-14.

6. Gauthier II, 1:15.

7. M Γ 3.1005b2ff. and 1006a5-7.

8. Burnet 1900, xxxiii.

9. Hardie 1968,31.

10. Cf. passage cited in note 6 of sections IV, IV.1.

11. NE i 1.1094b25.

12. Cf. Le Blond 1945, 130n4 and Torraca 1961, 237n3.

1. R i 2.1356a27-30.

2. NE x 10.1181a11ff.

3. EE i 6.1216b40-1217a10.

4. Cf. notes 1 and 2.

5. Cf. above, sect. 111.2 of this chapter.

6. Dirlmeier 1969a, 127ff. and Flashar 1965, 223ff.

7. M α 3.995a6-8.

< previous page page_193 next page >

< previous page page_194 next page >
Page 194

8. NE i 1.1094b25-27.

9. NE i 1.1094b19ff.

10. M α 3.995a12-13.

11. M α3.995a13-15.

12. PA i 1.639a13.

13. PA i 1.639a13-14; English tr. by W. Ogle in Barnes 1984.

1. Cf. the end of sect. IV. 1 of chap. 5.

2. NE i 1.1094b28-1095a2 and PA i 1.639a4-12.

3. Souilhé (Souilhé and Cruchon 1930, 8) thought he recognized there the contrast between the generally
educated person and the specialist; but this view cannot be sustained, since, in every field, being a
is precisely contrasted to being or man of science. Cf. Balme 1970, 12-21.

4. Cf. Kuhnert 1961, 14ff.

5. Aubenque 1962,282-86.

6. Kullmann 1974, 96-97. The activity of the is not testing the validity of the
reasoning, but judging its suitability.

7. Kullmann 1974,109-11.

8. Cf. above, sect. III of chap. 5.

9. NE i 1.1095a3. here should be understood in the broad sense; see, on this subject, De Vogel 1955,

10. Ramsauer 1878,8 (note on NE i 1.1095a3).

11. Whose capacities are useful only in a single domain (cf. P viii 4.1338b34-35:

12. PA i 1.639a8-11 and 13-14.

13. Le Blond 1945, 130; Werner 1912, 42ff.; Kühnert 1961, 127.

14. Michael of Ephesus, in CIAG,XXII.2, p. 1, 13.

< previous page page_194 next page >

< previous page page_195 next page >
Page 195

15. The author has in mind the sense which the term has in PA i 1.639a5 and 11.

16. Kullmann 1974,98.

17. Cf. NE x 9.1179a18-19: .

18. PA i 1.639a7-8.

Section V

1. Cf. P iv 15.1299b25; vi 2.1317b39; iii 16.1287b25-26; and EE i 2.1214b8.

2. NE ii 2.1104b11-12:
. Cf.
Plato, Laws ii 653a.

3. NE i 1.1095a4ff.

4. It is to be noted that, for similar reasons, P vii 14.1332b41-1333a16 also reserves to mature persons the exercise
of power in the state, with the younger persons constituting the .

1. NE i 1.1095a9.

2. On this subject, see particularly Grant 1956; Kenny 1966, 163-64; Ritchie 1897; and Robinson 1955.

3. NE vii 5.1147a25-35.

4. NE vii 5.1147b5-6.

5. Cf. NE x 10.1179b31-32.

6. Cf. NE vii 9.1151a18-19.

7. NE i 2.1095b2; 4-6. I agree with Bywater that the reading is preferable to the reading followed by
Aspasius .

8. Cf. NE vi 8.1141b24ff.; EE i 6.1217a6-7.

9. The adjective in this passage seems to me to defy translation, insofar as it describes a characteristic
with implications for both practical understanding, in the strict sense of the term, and architectonic understanding.

10. NE vi 5.1140b7-10.

< previous page page_195 next page >

< previous page page_196 next page >
Page 196

11. For Aristotle the "practical life" is synonymous with the "political life": NE i 3.1095b22-23; EE i 4.1215b3.

12. Let us note, in concluding, how much Aristotle's concern with the listener in the NE (particularly in the prologue) contrasts with what we find
in the EE. Without a doubt, although the EE does not explicitly draw the positive implications of this fact for the , it is well aware of the
ill consequences of (EE i 6.1216b40ff.; cf. Kullmann 1974, 117-22). But the notion appears there only as part of a refutation of the
requirement that every type of proposition receive a reasoned justification. It is not used to support the recommendation to restrict the discourse to
approximate (or nonrigorous) demonstration or to accept conclusions valid only for the most part-points which seem essential to the NE. Besides,
the EE never alludes to the fact that an , or more precisely, "experience of the actions characteristic of life," is required for
comprehending the discourse and for judging its conformity to reality, and this requirement, found only in the NE, excludes young people from
the class of possible listeners. Finally, although it recognizes in principle the distinction between an inquiry for theoretical purposes and an
inquiry for practical purposes and although it criticizes Socratic intellectualism (because it neglects the most important question
concerning how virtue is produced: EE i 5.1216b3-25), the EE totally ignores the prior requirement of an without which
knowledge acquired from the discourse remains useless. Are these differences evidence that the EE is not composed of texts which were
conceived for the purpose of ? It is not impossible.


1. P viii 1.1337a11-15; cf. v 9.1310a12ff.:


2. P iii 11.1282b10-11; iv 1.1289a13-15: .

3. P iii 1.1275b4-5: (cf. 13.1283b42ff.).

4. P iv 1.1288b23; vii 4.1325b36; 13.1332a29.

5. And no longer necessarily entrusted to the city, as P viii 1.1337a21-26 wished.

6. P iv 2.1289b14-16; 1.1288b24, 28, 35.

7. P iv 1.1288b37-39.

8. P iv 1.1289a3-4.

< previous page page_196 next page >

< previous page page_197 next page >
Page 197

9. It is the aim of P v (where the causes of political revolution are studied in order to find ways to ward off
revolutions wherever and whenever they might be possible).

10. A superficial reading of the texts leads easily to the charge that Aristotle is a "machiavel" (cf. Mulgan
1977, 130); one can get beyond this impression just as easily by bearing in mind Aristotle's recognition that
laws (constitutional and otherwise) must endure if the power of law itself is not to be destroyed; cf. Blasucci
1977, 148-51 and Contogiorgis 1978, 250, which refers to P ii 8.1269a19-24: "Change in a technique and
change in the law are not the same thing. For law has no persuasive force apart from habit, which does not
emerge without a considerable length of time, so that frequent transformation of existing laws into new laws
weakens the power of the law."

11. P iv 1.1289a12-13.

12. NE i 10.1099b30-32.

13. NE iii 9-12; EE iii 1; cf. MM i 20.

14. P vii 15.1334a14.

15. P vii 15.1334a22-25.

16. NE x 7-9.

< previous page page_197 next page >

< previous page page_199 next page >
Page 199


I. Editions of Ancient Authors

A. Editions of Aristotle

1831. Aristotelis opera omnia. I-II. Edited by I. Bekker. Berlin.

1870. Aristotelis opera omnia V Index Aristotelicus. Edited by H. Bonitz. Berlin: Academy of Prussia.

1886. Aristotelis qui ferebantur librorum fragmenta. Edited by V. Rose. Leipzig: Teubner.

1955. Aristotelis fragmenta selecta. Edited by W. D. Ross. Oxford.

1963. Aristotelis dialogorum fragmenta . . . Edited by R. Walzer. Hildesheim, Germany [Florence, 1934].

1984. The Complete Works of Aristotle: The Revised Oxford Translation. Edited by J. Barnes. Princeton.
(This work has been consulted in the process of translation.)

For various particular works, see the table of initials and abbreviations. Commentaries on and translations of
the Ethics and the Politics for which I have not used abbreviations are included in the bibliography of the
works of modem authors.

B. Other Principal Authors

For the Presocratics

Diels, H. 19583. Doxographi Graeci. Berlin.

and W. Kranz. 19568. Die Fragmente der Vorsokratiker. 3 vols. Berlin.

For Plato

1920-1964. Platon: Oeuvres Complètes. 14 vols. Paris: Les Belles Lettres. (Des Places, E. 1964. Lexique de
la langue philosophique et religieuse de Platon = vol. xiv.)

< previous page page_199 next page >

< previous page page_200 next page >
Page 200

1899-1907. Platonis Opera Omnia. 5 vols. Edited by J. Burnet. Oxford. (1905-1909.3 vols. 2nd ed.)

For Aristotle's School

Wehrli, F. 1944-1959. Die Schule von Aristoteles, Text und Kommentar. 10 vols. Basle.

For the Stoics

Von Arnim, J. 1903-1924. Stoicorum Veterum Fragmenta (= SVF). 4 vols. Leipzig.

For the Greek Commentators on Aristotle

1882-1909. Commentaria in Aristotelem Graeca (= CIAG). 23 vols. Berlin.

II. Works of Modern Authors

With respect to the NE, the EE and the Politics, one will find concise bibliographical indexes in:

Dirlmeier, F. 1969a. 121ff.

Gauthier, R. A. 1970. I, 1:315-34 (bibliography from 1958-1968); II, 2: 917-40 (bibliography from 1912-

Long, H. S. 1957. ''A Bibliographical Survey of Recent Works on Aristotle (1945- )." The Classical World
51: 57,69-76, 160-61, and 206ff.

Susemihl-Apelt. 1912. Aristotelis Ethica Nicomachea, pp. xiii-xxix. Leipzig.

Totok, W. (in collaboration with H. Schröer) 1966. Handbuch der Geschichte der Philosophie I, pp. 229ff.

Weil, R. 1960. Bibliography.

Ackrill, J. L. 1965. "Aristotle's Distinction between 'Energeia' and 'Kinesis."' In R. Bambrough 1965,12-41.

. 1973. Aristotle's Ethics. London.

Allan, D. J. 1952. The Philosophy of Aristotle. London-New York.

. 1953. "Aristotle's Account of the Origin of Moral Principles." Proc. of the XIth International Congress of
Philosophy XII, 120-27. Louvain.

< previous page page_200 next page >

< previous page page_201 next page >
Page 201

. 1955. "The Practical Syllogism." In Autour d'Aristote, 325-40.

. 1961. "Quasi-Mathematical Method in the 'Eudemian Ethics."' In S. Mansion, ed. 1961,303-18.

. 1962. Aristote le Philosophe. Trans. of Allan 1952 by Ch. Lefèvre. Louvain-Paris.

. 1965. "Individual and State in the Ethics and Politics." In Fondation Hardt 1965,58-85.

. 1973. La filosofia di Aristotele. Trans. F. C. Caizzi. Milan.

Anderson, W. D. 1966. Ethos and Education in Greek Music: The Evidence of Poetry and Philosophy.
Cambridge, Mass.

Anderson, W. 1964. Man's Quest for Political Knowledge: The Study and Teaching of Politics in Ancient
Times. Minneapolis.

Ando, T. 1958. Aristotle's Theory of Practical Cognition. Kyoto.

Anscombe, G. E. M. 1965. "Thought and Action in Aristotle. 'What is Practical Truth?'" In R. Bambrough,
ed. 1965, 143-58.

Antweiler, A. 1936. Der Begriff der Wissenschaft bei Aristoteles. Bonn.

von Arnim, H. 1927. "Die Echtheit der Grossen Ethik des Aristoteles." Rheinisches Museum, 76.

Ast, F. 1956. Lexicon Platonicum sive Vocum Platonicarum Index. 3 vols. [Berlin 19082] Darmstadt, 19562.

Aubenque, P. 1961. "Sur la notion aristotélicienne d'aporie." In S. Mansion ed. 1961,3-19.

. 1962. Le problème de l'être chez Aristote. Essai sur la problématique aristotélicienne. Paris.

. 1963. La prudence chez Aristote. Paris.

. 1965a. "La prudence aristotélicienne porte-t-elle sur la fin ou sur les moyens? (A propos de l'Eth. Nic., VI,
10, 1142 b 31-33)." Revue des Etudes Grecques 78: 40-51.

< previous page page_201 next page >

< previous page page_202 next page >
Page 202

. 1965b. "Théorie et pratique politique chez Aristote." In Fondation Hardt, 1965,99-


. 1967. "Aristote et le langage." Etudes classiques 43:85-105.

. 1970. "La dialectique chez Aristote." In Convegno Franco-Italiano su Aristotele, 1970, 85-105. Padua.

Aubonnet, J. 1960-. Aristote, La Politique. 4 vols. Paris: Les Belles Lettres.

Autour d'Aristote. 1955. Collection of studies on ancient and medieval philosophy presented to Mgr. A.
Mansion. Louvain.

Balme, D. M. 1970. "Aristotle: 'P. A.' I.2-3: Argument and Text." Proceedings of the Cambridge
Philological Society 196:12-21.

Bambrough, R. ed. 1965. New Essays on Plato and Aristotle (International Library of Philol. and Scient.
Method). London-New York.

Barker, E. 1946. The Politics of Aristotle. Trans. with introduction, notes and appendices. Oxford.

Barnes, J. 1980. "Aristotle and the Methods of Ethics." Revue Internationale de Philosophie 133-134:490-

Barreau, H. 1972. Aristote et l'analyse du savoir. Bibliogr. by G. Rocca-Serra. Paris.

Bartels, K. 1965 "Der Begriff Techne bei Aristoteles." In Flashar and Gaiser 1965,275-87.

Baumrin, B. H. 1968. "Aristotle's Ethical Intuitionism." New Scholasticism 42:1-17.

Baumstark, A. 1898. Syrisch-Arabische Biographieen des Aristoteles. Leipzig.

Berka, K. 1963. "Aristoteles und die axiomatische Methode." Das Altertum 9:200-5.

Berti, E. 1975. Studi aristotelici. L'Aquila.

Betbeder, P. 1970. "Ethique et Politique selon Aristote." Revue des Sciences Philosophiques et Théologiques

< previous page page_202 next page >

< previous page page_203 next page >
Page 203

Biehl, W. 1877. Der Erziehungslehre des Aristoteles. Innsbruck.

Bien, G. 1968-69. "Das Theorie-Praxis-Problem und die politische Philosophie bei Plato und Aristoteles."
Philosophisches Jahrbuch 76:264-314.

. [1973] 1980. Die Grundlegung der politischen Philosophie bei Aristoteles. Munich.

Bignone, E. 1936. L'Aristotele perduto e la formazione filosofica di Epicuro. 2 vols. Florence.

. 1974. Antifone oratore e Antifone sofista. Urbino.

Blasucci, S. 1977. Il pensiero politico di Aristotele. Bari.

Blumenthal, A. 1928. "ΤΥΠΟΣ und ΠΑΡΑ∆ΕΙΓΑ." Hermes 63:391-414.

Boas, G. 1953. "Ancient Testimony to Secret Doctrines." The Philos. Rev. 62:79-92.

Bodéüs, R. 1973. "Contribution à l'histoire des morales d'Aristote." Revue Philosophique de

Louvain 71:451-67.

. 1975a. "En marge de la théologie aristotélicienne." Revue Philosophique de Louvain 73.

. 1975b. Review of Tracy 1969. Revue Philosophique de Louvain 73:159-61.

. 1981. "Dieu et la chance à travers les énigmes du 'Corpus' aristotélicien." L'Antiquité Classique 50:45-56.

Boutroux, E. 1899-1900. "L'induction chez Socrate et Aristote." Rev. des Cours et Conf. 8:433-41.

Brandt, R. 1974. "Untersuchungen zur politischen Philosophie des Aristoteles." Hermes 102:191-200.

Braun, E. 1961. Aristoteles über Bürger- und Menschentugend. Zu Politica III 4 u. 5. Vienna.

. 1965. Das dritte Buch der Aristotelischen "Politik. " Vienna.

< previous page page_203 next page >

< previous page page_204 next page >
Page 204

.1974. Aristoteles und die Paideia. Besorgt und übersetzt von E. B. Paderborn.

Bremond, A. 1933. Le dilemme aristotélicien. Paris.

Brochard, V. 1923. Les Sceptiques grecs. 2nd ed. Paris.

Browne, R. W. 1853. The Nicomachean Ethics of Aristotle. Trans. by R. W. Browne. London.

Brun, J. 1963. Socrate. Paris.

Brunschwig, J. 1971. "EE, I, 8, 1218 a 15-32 and the ." In Moraux and Harlfinger, eds.

Brzoska, K. 1943. Die Formen des aristotelischen Denkens und die Eudemische Ethik. Frankfurt-on-Main.

Buchheit, V. 1960. Untersuchungen zur Theorie des Genos Epideiktikon von Gorgias bis Aristoteles. Munich.

Buchner, H. 1963-64. "Grundzüge der aristotelischen Ethik." Philosophisches Jahrbuch 71:230-42.

Burnet, J. 1900. The Ethics of Aristotle. Ed. with introduction and notes by J. Burnet. London.

Bywater, I. 1869. "On a Lost Dialogue of Aristotle." Journal of Philology 2:55-59.

Calabri, F. 1977a. "Il teorico e il politico in Aristotele." In Aristotele e la crisi della politica: Forme
materiali e ideologie del mondo antico. Vol. II, 61-81. Naples.

. 1977b. "La crescita del sapere scientifico secondo Aristotele." Atti della Accademia delle Scienze di Torino

Capelle, W. 1930. "Organisation der wissenschaftlicher Forschung in der Antike." In Forschungsinstitute, I.


Caramella, S. 1925. "Sul concetto di TEXNH nella sofistica." Rendiconti della R. Accademia Nazionale dei
Lincei. Classe di scienze morali, storiche e filologiche, ser. 7, vol. I, 699ff.

< previous page page_204 next page >

< previous page page_205 next page >
Page 205

Cashdollar, S. E. 1969. An Inquiry into Aristotle's Ethics and Politics: Is There an Autonomous Science of
Morals? Diss., University of Illinois.

Cathrein, V. 1931. "Der Zusammenhang der Klugheit und der sittlichen Tugenden nach Aristoteles."
Scholastik 6:75-83.

Chantraine, P. 1964. Morphologie historique du grec. 2nd ed. Paris.

Cherniss, H. 1944. Aristotle's Criticism of Plato and the Academy. Vol. I. Baltimore.

. 1962. The Riddle of the Early Academy. 2nd ed. New York.

Chevalier, J. 1915. La notion du nécessaire chez Aristote et chez ses prédécesseurs particulièrement chez
Platon. Paris.

Chroust, A. H. 1963. "The First Thirty Years of Modern Aristotelian Scholarship (1912-1942)." Class. et
Med. 24:27-57.

. 1964. Aristotle's Protrepticus: A Reconstruction. Notre Dame, Ind.

. 1967. "Plato's Academy: The First Organised School of Political Science in Antiquity." The Review of
Politics 29:25-40.

. 1973. Aristotle: New Light on His Life and on Some of His Lost Works. 2 vols. London.

Clark, S. R. L. 1975. Aristotle's Man: Speculations upon Aristotelian Anthropology. Oxford.

Contogiorgis, G. D. 1978. La theorie des révolutions chez Aristote. Paris.

Christi, R. 1969-1970. "The Aristotelian Ethics: Ethics or ?" The Modern Schoolman 47:381-89.

Convegno Franco-Italiano su Aristotele. 1970. L'attualità della problematica aristotelica. Atti del Convegno
Franco-Italiano su Aristotele (Padua, 6-8 April 1967). Padua.

Cooper, J. M. 1973. "The Magna Moralia and Aristotle's Moral Philosophy." American Journal of Philology

Daniel, P. J. Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics: The Notion of Praxis. Diss., University of Pittsburgh.

< previous page page_205 next page >

< previous page page_206 next page >
Page 206

Decarie, V. 1978. Aristote. Ethique à Eudème. Introduction, translation, notes and indices by V. Decarie, with
the collaboration of R. Houde-Sauvé. Paris-Montreal.

De Corte, M. 1977. "L''Ethique à Nicomaque': Introduction à la politique." In Permenance de la philosophie.

Mélanges offerts à Joseph Moreau, 37-62. Neuchâtel.

Defourny, M. 1932. Aristote. Etudes sur la Politique. Paris.

Deman, T. 1942. Le témoignage d'Aristote sur Socrate. Paris.

Demos, R. 1961-1962. "Some Remarks on Aristotle's Doctrine of Practical Reason." Philosophy and
Phenomenological Research 22:153-62.

Dempf, A. 1922. Der Wertgedanke in der Aristotelischen Ethik und Politik. Munich.

De Pater, W. A. 1965. Les "Topiques" d'Aristote et la dialectique platonicienne. La méthodologie de la

définition. Freiburg.

Des Places, E. 1964. Lexique de la langue philosophique et religieuse de Platon. Tome I. Paris.

Despotopoulos, C. L. 1963.
. Vol. II.

Develin, R. 1973. "The Good Man and the Good Citizen in Aristotle's 'Politics."' Phronesis 18:71-79.

De Vogel, C. J. 1955. "Quelques remarques à propos du premier chapitre de l'Ethique de Nicomaque." In

Autour d'Aristote, 307-23.

Diels, H. 1882. "Zur Textgeschichte der Aristotelischen Physik." Berichte der Berliner Akademie der
Wissenschaften, 1-42.

. 1883. "Über die exoterischen Reden des Aristoteles." Berichte der Berliner Akademie der Wissenschaften,

. 1888. "Zu Aristoteles' Protreptikos und Ciceros Hortensius." Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 1:494-97.

Dihle, A. 1957. "Der Platoniker Ptolemaios." Hermes 85:314-25.

< previous page page_206 next page >

< previous page page_207 next page >
Page 207

Dirlmeier, F. 1958. Magna Moralia. Berlin.

. 1962. Merkwürdige Zitate in der Eudemischen Ethik des Aristoteles. Sitzungsber. d. Heid. Akad. d. Wiss.,
philos.-hist. K1. (2 Abh.).

. 1964. Nikomachische Ethik. Trans. by F. Dirlmeier. 3rd ed. Berlin.

.1969a. Eudemische Ethik. Trans. by F. Dirlmeier. 2nd ed. Berlin.

. 1969b. "Physik IV 10 ( = EL)." In Düring ed. 1969,51-58.

Dodds, E. R. 1973 [19742]. The Ancient Concept of Progress and Other Essays on Greek Literature and
Belief. Oxford.

Doent, E. 1967. "Die Schlusskapitel der Nikomachischen Ethik." In Antidosis Kranz, 93-102. Berlin.

Drechsler, J. 1935. Die erkenntnistheoretischen Grundlagen und Prinzipien der Aristotelischen Didaktik.

Dufour, M. 1928. "L'Homme animal politique." Bulletin de l'Association G. Budé 18:35-37.

. 1932. Aristote. Rhétorique. Vol. I. Paris.

Dumont, J. P. 1969. Les Sophistes, fragments et témoignages. Paris.

Dumoulin, B. 1981. Recherches sur le premier Aristote (Eudème, De la philosophie, Protreptique). Paris.

Düring, I. 1943. Aristotle's De Partibus Animalium. Göteborg.

. 1950. Notes on the History of the Transmission of Aristotle's Writings. Göteborg.

.1954. "Aristotle the Scholar." Arctos 1:61-77.

. 1956. Review of R. Stark's Aristotelesstudien (cited below), Gymnasium 63:147-49.

. 1957. Aristotle in the Ancient Biographical Tradition. Göteborg.

< previous page page_207 next page >

< previous page page_208 next page >
Page 208

. 1960. "Aristotle on Ultimate Principles from Nature and Reality." In Düring and Owen eds. 1960,35-55.

. 1961. Aristotle's Protrepticus: An Attempt at Reconstruction. Göteborg.

. 1966. Aristoteles. Darstellung und Interpretation seines Denkens. Heidelberg.

. 1968. "Aristoteles." Paulys Real-Encyclopädie der classischen Altertumswissenschaft. Suppl. XI, col. 159-

, ed. 1969. Naturphilosophie bei Aristoteles und Theophrast. Verhandlungen des 4. Symposium
Aristotelicum veranstaltet in Göteborg, August 1966. Heidelberg.

and G. E. L. Owen, eds. 1960. Aristotle and Plato in the Mid-Fourth Century. Göteborg (Studia Graeca et
Latina Gothoburgensia).

Duvernoy, J. F. 1974. La pensée de Machiavel. Paris-Brussels-Madrid.

Edelstein, L. 1967. The Idea of Progress in Classical Antiquity. Ed. H. Cherniss. Baltimore.

Ehrenberg, V. 1951. The People of Aristophanes: A Sociology of Old Attic Comedy. 2nd. ed. Oxford.

. 1965. Der Staat der Griechen. 2nd ed. Leipzig-Stuttgart.

Engberg-Pedersen, T. 1983. Aristotle's Theory of Moral Insight. Oxford.

Eucken R. 1870. Über die Methode und die Grundlagen der Aristotelischen Ethik. Berlin.

Flashar, H. 1965. "Die Kritik der platonischen Ideenlehre." In Flashar and Gaiser eds. 1965.

and K. Gaiser, eds. 1965. Synusia. Festgabe f. W. Schadewalt zum 15. März 1965. Pfullingen.

Fondation Hardt. 1965. La "Politique" d'Aristote (Entretiens sur l'Antiquité Classique, 31 August-5
September 1964). Vandæuvres-Genève: Fondation Hardt. Vol. 11.

< previous page page_208 next page >

< previous page page_209 next page >
Page 209

Frank, E. 1940. "The Fundamental Opposition of Plato and Aristotle." American Journal of Philology 61:34-
53, 166-85.

von Fritz, K. and E. Kapp. 1950. Aristotle's Constitution of Athens and Related Texts. New York.

Fritzsche, A. T. H. 1851. Aristotelis Ethica Eudemia. With Latin translation and commentary. Regensburg,

Gadamer, H. G. 1928. "Der aristotelische Protreptikos und die entwicklungsgeschichtliche Betrachtung der
Aristotelischen Ethik." Hermes 63:138-64.

Gaiser, K. 1968. Platons ungeschriebene Lehre. Studien zur systematischen und geschichtlichen Begründung
der Wissenschaften in der Platonischen Schule. 2nd ed. Stuttgart.

. 1980. "Plato's Enigmatic Lecture 'On the Good."' Phronesis 25:5-37.

Ganter, M. 1974. Mittel und Ziel in der praktischen Philosophie des Aristoteles. Freiburg-Munich.

Gastaldi, S. 1973. "Poesia e historia nella Poetica aristotelica." Rendiconti dell'Instituto Lombardo 107:202-

Gaudron, E. 1947. "L'expérience dans la morale aristotélicienne." Laval Théologique et Philosophique 3:243-

Gauthier, R. A. 1973. La morale d'Aristote. 3rd ed. Paris.

. and Y. A. Jolif. 1970. L'Ethique à Nicomaque. Introduction, translation and commentary by R. A. Gauthier
and Y. A. Jolif. 2nd ed. 2 tomes, 4 vols. Louvain-Paris. (This work is identified in the notes as "Gauthier.")

Gigon, O. 1958. "Interpretationen zu den antiken Aristoteles-Viten." Museum Helveticum 15:147-93.

. 1961. Les grandes problèmes de la philosophie antique. Trans. from the German by M. Lefèvre. Paris.

. 1969. "Zwei Interpretationen zur Eudemischen Ethik des Aristoteles." Museum Helveticum 26:204-16.

< previous page page_209 next page >

< previous page page_210 next page >
Page 210

. 1971. ''Das Prooimium der Eudemischen Ethik." In Moraux and Harlfinger eds.

. 1973. "Theorie und Praxis bei Platon und Aristoteles." Museum Helveticum 30:65-87,144-65.

Goedeckemeyer, A. 1922. Aristoteles' praktische Philosophie (Ethik und Politik). Leipzig.

Gohlke, P. 1944. "Die Entstehung der aristotelischen Ethik, Politik, Rhetorik." SB Wien 223.

Goldschmidt, V. 1947. Le paradigme dans la dialectique platonicienne. Paris.

Gomperz, H. 1912. Sophistik und Rhetorik. Das Bildungsideal desΕΥ ΛΕΓΕΙΝin seinem Verhältnis zur
Philosophie des V. Jahrhunderts. Leipzig-Berlin.

Gomperz, T. 1910. Les penseurs de la Grèce. Histoire de la philosophie antique III (trans. A. Reymond).
Paris. English translation: Gomperz, T. 1964. Greek Thinkers: A History of Ancient Philosophy. New York:
Humanities Press.

Grant, A. 1885. The Ethics of Aristotle. Illustrated with essays and notes by A. Grant. 4th ed. 2 vols. London.

Grant, C. K. 1956. "Akrasia and the Criteria of Assent to Practical Principles." Mind 65:400-7.

Greenwood, L. H. G. 1909. Aristotle. Nicomachean Ethics Book Six with Essays, Notes and Translation.

Grenet, P. 1962. Aristote et la raison sans démesure. Paris.

Guthrie, W. K. C. 1957. "Aristotle as a Historian of Philosophy: Some Preliminaries." Journal of Hellenic

Studies 77:35-41.

. 1981. A History of Greek Philosophy. VI: Aristotle: An Encounter. Cambridge.

Habermas, J. 1963. Theorie und Praxis. Sozialphilosophische Studien. Neuwied am Rhein-Berlin.

< previous page page_210 next page >

< previous page page_211 next page >
Page 211

Hadot, P. 1979. "Les divisions des parties de la philosophie dans l'Antiquité." Museum Helveticum 36: 201-

Hamelin, O. 1920. Le système d'Aristote. L. Robin ed. Paris.

Hardie, W. F. R. 1968. Aristotle's Ethical Theory. Oxford.

Hare, R. M. 1963. The Language of Morals. 3rd ed. Oxford.

Heinze, R. 1965. Xenokrates. Darstellung der Lehre und Sammlung der Fragmente. Hildesheim. Reprint of
1892 Leipzig ed.

Hentschke, A. B. 1971. Politik und Philosophie bei Plato und Aristoteles. Die Stellung der NOMOI im
Platonischen Gesamtwerk und die politische Theorie des Aristoteles. Frankfurt-on-Main.

Herter, H. 1946. Platons Akademie. Bonn.

Hess, W. 1970. "Erfahrung und Intuition bei Aristoteles." Phronesis 15:48-82.

Heyde, J. E. 1941. "Typus. Ein Beitrag zur Bedeutungsgeschichte des Wortes Typus." Forschungen und
Fortschritte 17:220-23.

Hicks, R. D. 1894. The Politics of Aristotle, Books I-IV. London.

Höffe, O. 1971. Praktische Philosophie. Das Modell des Aristoteles. Munich-Salzburg.

. 1972. "Wissenschaft 'in sittlicher Absicht.' Zu Aristoteles' Modell einer eminent praktischen Philosophie."
Philosophisches Jahrbuch 79: 288-319.

Houlihan, T. 1970. "A Point of Rapport between Piaget and Aristotle. From Vagueness and Confusion to
Clarity and Distinctness in the Acquisition of Human Knowledge." Laval Theologique et Philosophique

Howald, E. 1921. Die Platonische Akademie und die moderne Universitas Litterarum. Berne.

. 1927. Ethik des Altertums. Munich-Berlin.

< previous page page_211 next page >

< previous page page_212 next page >
Page 212

Humbert, J. 1960. Syntaxe grecque. 3rd ed. revised and augmented.


Immisch, O. ed. 1929. Aristotelis Politica. Leipzig:


. 1935. "Der Epilog der Nikomachischen Ethik." Rheinisches Museum 84:54-61.

Isnardi, M. 1956. "Teoria e Prassi nel Pensiero dell' Academia Antica." La Parola del Passato 51:401-33.

Jackson, A. F. 1973. "Can One Man Teach Another? A Comparative Analysis of Treatments in Plato,
Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, Buber and Lonergan." Diss., Boston College.

Jackson, H. 1920. "Aristotle's Lecture Room and Lectures." Journal of Philology 35:191-200.

Jackson, R. 1942. "Rationalism and Intellectualism in the Ethics of Aristotle." Mind 51:343-60.

Jaeger, W. 1912. Studien zur Entstehungsgeschichte der Metaphysik des Aristoteles. Berlin.

. 1923. Aristoteles. Grundlegung einer Geschichte seiner Entwicklung. Berlin. (2nd. ed. Berlin 1955.)

. 1928. "Über Ursprung und Kreislauf des Philosophischen Lebensideals." Sitzungsber. d. Preuss. Ak. d.
Wiss., Philos.-histor. Kl.: 390-429.

. 1948. Aristotle: Fundamentals of the History of His Development. Trans. by R. Robinson of Jaeger 1923,
with the author's corrections and additions. 2nd. ed. Oxford.

. 1964. Paideia. La formation de l'homme grec I. Trans. by A. and S. Devyver authorized and reviewed by
the author. Paris.

Janssens, E. 1920. Cours de philosophie morale. 2nd ed. Liège.

Joachim, H. H. 1951. Aristotle. The Nicomachean Ethics. A Commentary by the late H. H. Joachim. Ed. by
D. A. Rees. Oxford.

Joja, A. 1968. "L'essence de l'homme selon Aristote." Revue Roumaine des Sciences Sociales (Ser. de Philos.
et Log.) 12:449-54.

< previous page page_212 next page >

< previous page page_213 next page >
Page 213

Joly, R. 1953. Le thème philosophique des Genres de Vie dans l'Antiquité Classique. Brussels.

Joos, P. 1955. . Studien zur Thematik frühgriechischen Lebensbetrachtung. Zürich.

Kahlenberg, K. 1934. Beitrag zur Interpretation des III. Buch der aristotelischen Politik. Berlin.

Kapp, E. 1912. Das Verhältnis der eudemischen zur nikomachischen Ethik. Freiburg.

. 1938. "Theorie und Praxis bei Aristoteles und Platon," Mnemosyne 6:179-94.

Kenny, A. 1966. "The Practical Syllogism and Incontinence." Phronesis 11:163-84.

. 1978. The Aristotelian Ethics: A Study of the Relationships between the "Eudemian" and "Nicomachean
Ethics" of Aristotle. Oxford.

Krämer, H. J. 1967. Arete bei Platon und Aristoteles. Zum Wesen und zur Geschichte der platonischen
Ontologie. Amsterdam. Reprint of 1959 Heidelberg ed.

Kress, E. 1921. Die aristotelische Lehre vom und die Polemik Walters und
Teichmüllers. Bonn.

Kube, J. 1969. und . Sophistisches und platonisches Tugendwissen. Berlin.

Kucharski, P. 1970. "Protagoras et la morale d'Aristote." Revue philosophique de la France et de l'Etranger


Kuhn, H. 1963. "Wissenschaft der Praxis und praktische Wissenschaft." In Werden und Handeln. Festschrift
für V. E. F. von Gebsattel, ed. by E. Wiesenhütter, 157-90. Stuttgart.

. 1967. "Aristoteles und die Methode der politischen Wissenschaft." In Methoden der Politologie, ed. R. H.
Schmidt (Wege der Forschung, 86), 521-53. Darmstadt.

Kühnert, F. 1961. Allgemeinbildung und Fachbildung in der Antike. Berlin.

< previous page page_213 next page >

< previous page page_214 next page >
Page 214

Kullmann, W. 1965. "Zur wissenschaftlichen Methode des Aristoteles." In H. Flashar and K. Gaiser eds.,

. 1974. Wissenschaft und Methode. Interpretation zur aristotelischen Theorie der Naturwissenschaft. Berlin-
New York.

. 1980. "Der Mensch als politisches Lebewesen bei Aristoteles." Hermes 108:419-43.

Kurz, D. 1970. AKPIBEIA. Das Ideal der Exaktheit bei den Griechen bis Aristoteles. Göppingen.

Labourdette, M. M. 1948. "Connaissance pratique et savoir moral." Revue Thomiste 48:143-54.

Lacordaire, H.-D. 1893. Oeuvres complètes. Vol. II. Paris.

Le Blond, J. M. 1945. Aristote, philosophie de la vie. Le premier livre du traité sur les Parties des animaux.
Texte et traduction, avec introduction et commentaire. Paris.

Lefèvre, C. 1972. Sur l'évolution d'Aristote en psychologie. Preface by S. Mansion. Louvain.

Leonard, J. 1948. Le bonheur chez Aristote. Brussels.

Lerner, M. P. 1969. Recherches sur la notion de finalité chez Aristote. Paris.

Levi, A. 1932. Le dottrine filosfice della scuola di Megara. Rendiconti della R. Acc. Naz. dei Lincei, Cl. di
Sc. mor., stor. e filol., ser. 6, vol. 8.

. 1940. "The Ethical and Social Thought of Protagoras." Mind 49: 284ff.

. 1966. Storia della Sofistica. D. Pesce ed. Naples.

Levy-Bruhl, L. 1902. La morale et la science des moeurs. Paris.

Lippert, J. 1894. Studien auf dem Gebiete der Griechisch-Arabischen Übersetzungsliteratur. Braunschweig.

Littig, F. 1890. Andronikos von Rhodos. I: Das Leben des Andronikos und seine Anordnung der
aristotelischen Schriften. Munich.

< previous page page_214 next page >

< previous page page_215 next page >
Page 215

Loening, R. 1903. Die Zurechnungslehre des Aristoteles. Jena.

Lord, C. 1986. "On the Early History of the Aristotelian Corpus." American Journal of Philology 107:137-61.

Loria, G. 1914. Le scienze essatte nell'antica Grecia. Milan.

Lottin, Dom O. 1955. "Aristote et la connexion des vertus morales." In Autour d'Aristote 1955,343-64.

Louis, P. 1955. "Le mot chez Aristote." Revue de Philosophie 29:39-44.

. 1964. Aristote. Histoire des animaux. Text established and translated by P. Louis. Paris.

Lugarini, L. 1961. Aristotele e l'idea della filosofia. Florence.

Lynch, J. P. 1972. Aristotle's School: A Study of a Greek Educational Institution. Berkeley.

McKeon, R. 1941. "Aristotle's Conception of Moral and Political Philosophy." Ethics 51:253-90.

. 1947. "Aristotle's Conception of the Development and the Nature of Scientific Method." Journal of the
History of Ideas 8:3-44.

Malingrey, A. M. 1961. "Philosophia." Etude d'un groupe de mots dans la littérature grecque, des
Présocratiques au IVe siècle après J.-C. Paris.

Manquat, M. 1932. Aristote naturaliste. Paris.

Mansion, A. 1927. "La genèse de l'oeuvre d'Aristote d'après les travaux recents." Revue Néoscolastique de
Philosophie 29:307-41,423-66.

. 1946. Introduction à la Physique Aristotélicienne. 2nd ed. Louvain-Paris.

Mansion, S. 1947. "Quelques réflexions sur le réalisme d'Aristote." Algemeen Nederl. Tijdschr. voor Wijsb.
en Psych. 39:129-35.

. 1960. "Contemplation and Action in Aristotle's 'Protrepticus."' In Düring and Owen eds., 1960,56-75.

< previous page page_215 next page >

< previous page page_216 next page >
Page 216

. 1961. "Le rôle de 1'exposé et de la critique des philosophies antérieures chez Aristote." In S. Mansion ed.,

. ed. 1961 (2nd. ed., 1980). Aristote et les problèmes de méthode. Proceedings of the Symposium
Aristotelicum held at Louvain from 24 August to 1 September 1960. Louvain-Paris.

Marietan, J. 1901. Problème de la classification des sciences d'Aristote à Saint Thomas. Saint-Maurice-Paris.

Marten, R. 1977. "Esoterik und Exoterik bei Platon und Aristoteles." In Festschrift R. W. Meyer, ed. by H.
Holzhey and W. C. Zimmerli. Basle.

Mathieu, G. 1966 [1925]. Les idées politiques d'Isocrate. Paris.

Méridier, L. 1964. Introduction to the Euthydemus of Plato (Platon, Oeuvres complètes. Paris. I: 126-31).

Michelakis, E. M. 1961. Aristotle's Theory of Practical Principles. Athens.

Michelet, C. L. 1848. Aristotelis Ethicorum Nicomachorum libri decem. 2nd ed. 2 vols. Berlin.

Mignucci, M. 1965. La teoria Aristotelica della scienza. Florence.

Monan, J. D. 1968. Moral Knowledge and its Methodology in Aristotle. Oxford.

Moraux, P. 1949. "L'exposé de la philosophie d'Aristote chez Diogène Laërce (V, 28-34)." Revue
Philosophique de Louvain 47:5-43.

. 1951. Les listes anciennes des ouvrages d'Aristote. Preface by A. Mansion. Louvain.

. 1957. A la recherche de l'Aristote perdu. Le dialogue "Sur la Justice." Louvain-Paris.

. 1970. D'Aristote à Bessarion. Trois exposés sur la histoire et la transmission de l'aristotélisme grec. Laval.

. 1973. Der Aristotelismus bei den Griechen von Andronikos bis Alexander von Aphrodisias. I: Die
Renaissance des Aristotelismus im I. Jh. v. Chr. Berlin-New York.

< previous page page_216 next page >

< previous page page_217 next page >
Page 217

. and D. Harlfinger, eds. 1971. Untersuchungen zur Eudemischen Ethik. Akten des 5. Symposium
Aristotelicum (Osterbeek, Netherlands, 21-29 August 1969). Berlin-New York (Peripatoi, Band I).

Moreau, J. 1959. "L'éloge de la biologie chez Aristote." Revue des Études Grecques 41:57-64.

Mulgan, R. G. 1977. Aristotle's Political Theory: An Introduction for Students of Political Theory. Oxford.

Müller, A. 1875. "Das arabische Verzeichniss der Aristotelischen Schriften." In Morgenländische

Forschungen. Festschrift H. L. Fleischer, 1-32. Leipzig.

Natali, C. 1974. Cosmo e divinitá. La struttura logica della teologia aristotelica. L'Aquila.

Newman, W. L. 1887-1902. The Politics of Aristotle. With introduction, prefatory essays and notes. 4 vols.

Nolet de Brauwere, Y. 1953. "Les Tableaux Aristotéliciens des Vertus et des Vices." Annuaire de l'Institut
de Philologie et d'Histoire Orientale de l'Université Libre de Bruxelles 22 (Mélanges H. Grégoire IV):345-
60. Brussels.

Noulas, V. 1977. Ethik und Politik bei Aristoteles. Ein Beitrag zur rehabilitierung der aristotelischen
praktischen Philosophie. Lollar.

Nuyens, F. 1948. L'évolution de la psychologie d'Aristote. Preface by A. Mansion. Louvain-The Hague-Paris.

Olle-Laprune, L. 1886. Aristote, Morale à Nicomaque, livre VIII. Paris.

Ortega, A. 1965. "Aspectos del concepto de en Aristoteles." Helmántica 16:61-83.

Owen, G. E. L. ed. 1968. Aristotle on Dialectic: The Topics. Proceedings of the Third Symposium
Aristotelicum. Oxford.

Owens, J. 1951. The Doctrine of Being in the Aristotelian Metaphysics: A Study of the Greek Background of
Medieval Thought. Toronto.

. 1964. "The Aristotelian Conception of the Sciences." International Philosophical Quarterly 4:200-16.

< previous page page_217 next page >

< previous page page_218 next page >
Page 218

Padron, H. J. 1975. Review of Allan 1973. Revue Philosophique de Louvain 73:171-72.

Paisse, J. M. 1969. "Le platonisme, une philosophie problématique." Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale

Paulhan, F. 1909. La morale de l'ironie. Paris.

Pearson, L. 1962. Popular Ethics in Ancient Greece. Stanford.

Pepin, J. 1971. Idées grecques sur l'homme et sur Dieu. Paris.

Pfeiffer, N. 1943. Die Klugheit in der Ethik von Aristoteles und Thomas von Aquin. 2nd ed. Freiburg.

Piat, C. 1912. Aristote. 2nd ed. Paris.

Plezia, B. M. 1946. De Andronici Rhodii studiis Aristotelicis. Cracow.

Praechter, K. 1926. Die Philosophie des Altertums. Berlin.

Prantl, C. 1957. Geschichte der Logik im Abendlande. Vol. I. Darmstadt. Reprint of 1855 ed.

Preiswerk, A. 1939. Das Einzelne bei Platon und Aristoteles. Leipzig.

Prelot, M. 1950. La politique d'Aristote. Paris.

Pucelle, J. 1948. "Note sur l'idée de système." Les Études Philosophiques 3:254-67.

Rackham, H. 1982. Aristotle. Nicomachean Ethics. Introduction, translation and notes by H. Rackham.
Cambridge, Mass. Reprint of 1934 ed.

Raeder, H. 1905. Platonische Entwicklung. Leipzig.

Radermacher, H. 1973. "Die politische Ethik des Aristoteles. Ein Beitrag zur deontischen Logik."
Philosophisches Jahrbuch 80:38-49.

Ramsauer, G. 1878. Aristotelis Ethica Nicomachea. Edited with running commentary by G. Ramsauer.

Rassow, H. 1888. "Zu Aristoteles." Rheinisches Museum 43:594-96.

< previous page page_218 next page >

< previous page page_219 next page >
Page 219

Regenbogen, O. 1940. "Theophrastos von Eresos." Paulys Real-Encyclopädie der klassischen

Altertumswissenschaft. Suppl. VII, col. 1353-1562.

Regis, L. M. 1935. L'opinion selon Aristote. Paris-Ottawa.

Reidemeister, K. 1949. Das exakte Denken der Griechen. Beiträge zur Deutung von Euklid, Plato,
Aristoteles. Hamburg.

Ricoeur, P. 1974. "Science et idéologie." Revue Philosophique de Louvain 72:328-56.

Ritschie, D. G. 1897. "Aristotle's Explanation of ." Mind 6:536-41.

Ritter, J. 1960. "Zur Grundlegung der praktischen Philosophie bei Aristoteles." Archiv für Rechts- und
Sozialphilosophie 46:179-99.

. 1966-67. "'Politik' und 'Ethik' in der praktischen Philosophie des Aristoteles." Philosophisches Jahrbuch

. 1969. "Le droit naturel chez Aristote. Contribution au renouveau du droit naturel." Archives de Philosophie

Robin, L. 1931. "Sur la notion de l'individu chez Aristote." Revue des Sciences Philosophiques et
Théologiques 20:472-75.

. 1944. Aristote. Paris.

Robinson, R. 1955. "L'acrasie selon Aristote." Revue Philosophique 80:261-80.

Rodier, G. 1897. Aristote. Ethique à Nicomaque. Livre X. Accompagné d'éclaircissements. Paris.

Rodis-Lewis, G. 1970. La morale stoicienne. Paris.

Rolfes, E. 1922. Aristoteles Politik. Neu übersetzt und mit einer Einleitung und erklärenden Anmerkungen
versehen. 3rd ed. Leipzig.

Ross, W. D. 1957. "The Development of Aristotle's Thought." Proceedings of the British Academy 43:63-78.

Rowe, C. J. 1971a. "The Meaning of in the Eudemian Ethics." In P. Moraux and D. Harlfinger,

< previous page page_219 next page >

< previous page page_220 next page >
Page 220

. 1971b. The Eudemian and Nicomachean Ethics: A Study In the Development of Aristotle's Thought.

Rutten, C. 1981. ''Aristote, Ethique à Nicomaque, X et Métaphysique, AB et ΖΗΘ. Essai de chronologie

relative." Informatique et sciences humaines. Actes du Congrès de Liège (L.A.S.L.A., Nov. 1981).

Ryan, E. E. 1972. "Aristotle's Rhetoric and Ethics and the Ethos of Society." Greek, Roman and Byzantine
Studies 13:290-308.

Mère Saint-Edouard. 1959. "La division aristotélicienne des sciences selon le professeur A. Mansion." Laval
Théologique et Philosophique 15:215-35.

Salman, D. H. 1955. "L'enseignement de la philosophie aux jeunes gens d'après Aristote, Saint Thomas et M.
E. Gilson." Laval Théologique et Philosophique 11:9-24.

Schächer, E. J. 1940. Studien zu den Ethiken des Corpus Aristotelicum. 2 vols. Paderhorn.

Schaerer, R. 1930. et . Etude sur les notions de Connaissance et d'Art d'Homère à

Platon. Mâcon.

Schwan, A. 1963. "Politik als 'Werk der Wahrheit.' Einheit und Differenz von Ethik und Politik bei
Aristoteles." In Sein und Ethos, 69-110. Mainz.

Schwyzer, H.-R. 1951. "Plotinos." In Paulys Real-Encyclopädie der klassischen Altertumswissenschaft XXI,
1, col. 486-87.

Simon, M. 1976. "Die aristotelische Gesellschaftstheorie." In Der Mensch als Mass aller Dinge. Studien zum
griechischen Menschenbild in der Zeit der Blüte und Krise der Polis. R. Müller ed., 337-60. Berlin.

Smith, J. A. and W. D. Ross, 1908-1913. The Works of Aristotle. Transl. into English under the editorship of
J. A. Smith and W. D. Ross. 13 vols. Oxford.

Snell, B. 1924. Die Ausdrücke für Begriff des Wissens in der vorplatonischen
Philosophie . Berlin.

< previous page page_220 next page >

< previous page page_221 next page >
Page 221

Solmsen, F. 1929. Die Entwicklung der aristotelischen Logik und Rhetorik. Berlin.

Souilhe, J. and G. Cruchon. 1930. Aristote: L'éthique nicomachéenne. Livres I et Il. Traduction et
commentaire (Archives de Philosophie, 7). Paris.

Spengel, L. 1843. Aristotelische Studien, I. Munich.

Stark, R. 1969. "Die Einheit von Ethik und Politik im griechischen Staatsdenken bis Aristoteles." Antike und
Abendland 15:24-28.

. 1972 [19541]. Aristotelesstudien. 2nd ed. Munich.

Stelzenberger, J. 1960. Précis de morale chrétienne. Trans. H. Liefooghe and J. Alzin. Tournai.

Stewart, J. A. 1892. Notes on the Nicomachean Ethics. 2 vols. Oxford.

Susemihl, F. and R. D. Hicks. 1894. The Politics of Aristotle. Books I-IV. London.

Susemihl, F. 1900. Review of J. Burnet, The Ethics of Aristotle. In Berliner Philologische Wochenschrift

Teichmüller, G. 1879. Neue Studien zur Geschichte der Begriffe. III: Die praktische Vernunft bei Aristoteles.

Saint Thomas D'Aquin. 1949. In decem libros Ethicorum Aristotelis ad Nicomachum expositio. P. Fr. R. M.
Spiazzi ed. Turin-Rome.

St. Thomas Aquinas. 1964. Commentary on the "Nicomachean Ethics." C. I. Litzinger, O. P., trans. Chicago.

Thielscher, P. 1948. "Die relative Chronologie der erhaltenen Schriften des Aristoteles nach den bestimmten
Selbstzitaten." Philologus 97:231-65.

Torraca, L. 1961. Le parti degli animali. Testo critico, introduzione, traduzione e note. Padua.

Tracy, T. J. 1969. Physiological Theory and the Doctrine of the Mean in Plato and Aristotle. The Hague-

Trendelenburg, F. A. 1855. Historische Beiträge. Vol. II. Berlin.

< previous page page_221 next page >

< previous page page_222 next page >
Page 222

Tricot, J. 1953. Aristote. La Métaphysique. Tome 1.


. 1962. Aristote. La Politique. New trans., with introduction, notes and index. 2 vols. Paris.

. 1966. Aristote. La Métaphysique. New ed. with commentary. 2 vols. Paris.

. 1967. Aristote. Ethique à Nicomaque. Introduction, notes and index by J. Tricot. 2nd ed. Paris.

Untersteiner, M. 1963. Aristotele. Della filosofia. Introduzione, testo, traduzione e commento esegetico.

. 1967. I Sofisti. Vol. I. 2nd ed. Milan.

Usener, H. 1884. "Organisation der wissenschaftlichen Arbeit." Preussisches Jahrbuch 53:1-27.

. 1892. "Ein alter Lehrgebände der Philologie." Sitzungs-Berichten der Bayerischen Akademie der

Vancourt, R. 1977. "Politique et Morale. Le point de vue d'Aristote." Mélanges de Science Religieuse 34:8-

Vander Waerdt, P. A. 1985. "The Political Intention of Aristotle's Moral Philosophy." Ancient Philosophy

Van Groningen, B. A. 1968. [Ps.-] Aristote. Economique. Paris: Les Belles Lettres.

Vanier, J. 1965. Le bonheur, principe et fin de la morale aristotélicienne. Paris-Bruges.

Van Steenberghen, F. 1947. Epistémologie. 2nd ed. Louvain.

Venturi Ferriolo, M. 1976. "Note su etica e politica nella Nicomachea aristotelica." Studi Urbinati di Storia,
Filosofia e Letteratura 50:281-90.

Verdenius, W. J. 1960. "Traditional and Personal Elements in Aristotle's Religion." Phronesis 5:56-70.

Verhaeghe, J. 1965. "De methode in de Eudemische Ethiek van Aristoteles." Typescript. Louvain.

< previous page page_222 next page >

< previous page page_223 next page >
Page 223

Vicol Ionescu, C. 1973. La filosofia moral de Aristoteles en sus etapas evolutivas. 2 vols. Madrid.

Virieux-Reymond, A. 1949. La logique et l'épistémologie des Stoïciens. Leurs rapports avec a) la logique
d'Aristote et b) la logique et la pensée contemporaine. Chambery.

Voegelin, E. 1957. Order and History. Vol. III: Plato and Aristotle. Baton Rouge, La.

Volksmann-Schluck, K. H. "Ethos und Wissen in der Nikomachischen Ethik des Aristoteles." In Sein und
Ethos. Untersuchungen zur Grundlegung der Ethik. P. Engelhardt, ed., 56-68. Mainz.

Von der Mühll, P. 1940-41. "Isokrates und der Protreptikos des Aristoteles." Philologus 94:259-65.

Voss, J. 1974. "Aristote et la théorie énergétique du langage de Wilhelm von Humboldt." Revue
Philosophique de Louvain 72:482-508.

Wagner, F. 1928. Geschichte des Sittlichkeitsbegriffes. Vol. I. Munster.

Walsh, J. J. 1963. Aristotle's Conception of Moral Weakness. New York-London.

Walter, J. 1873. Über eine falsche Auffassung des . Vorbemerkungen zur Einleitung in
das sechste Buch der Nikomachischen Ethik des Aristoteles. Jena.

. 1874. Die Lehre von der praktischen Vernunft in der griechischen Philosophie. Jena.

Weil, E. 1946. "L'anthropologie d'Aristote." Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale 51:7-36.

Weil, R. 1960. Aristote et l'histoire. Essai sur la "Politique." Paris.

. 1978. "Isocrate et le Protreptique d'Aristote." Revue des Études Grecques 111:xviii.

Werner, C. 1931. "La finalité d'après Aristote." Revue de Théologie et de Philosophie 19:5-16.

< previous page page_223 next page >

< previous page page_224 next page >
Page 224

Werner, W. 1912. Die Anterastis dialogo pseudoplatonico.


Von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff, U. 1893. Aristoteles und Athen. 2 vols. Berlin.

. and H. Jackson, W. Jaeger, F. Wehrli, I. Düring, J. P. Lynch and H. B. Gottschalk. 1981. La scuola dei
filosofi. Scienza ed organizzazione istituzionale della scuola di Aristotele. Carlo Natali ed. L'Aquila.

Wilpert, P. 1957. "Die Stellung der Schrift 'Über die Philosophie' in der Gedankenentwicklung des
Aristoteles." Journal of Hellenic Studies 77:165ff.

Wiplinger, F. 1975. "Die philosophischen Probleme der Aristotelischen Ethik." Grazer Beiträge 3:389-94.

Wittmann, M. 1921. Die Ethik des Aristoteles in ihrer systematischen Einheit und in ihrer geschichtlichen
Stellung untersucht. Regensburg.

Zell, C. 1820. Aristotelis Ethicorum Nicomachorum libri decem. 2 vols. Heidelberg.

Zeller, E. 1876. "Über den Zusammenhang der platonischen und aristotelischen Schriften mit der
persönlichen Lehrthätigkeit ihrer Verfasser." Hermes 11:84-96.

. 19635. Die Philosophie der Griechen in ihrer geschichtlichen Entwicklung dargestellt. II, 2: Aristoteles und
die alten Peripatetiker. Leipzig. 18793. 19214.

. and R. Mondolfo. 1966. La filosofia dei Greci nel suo sviluppo storico. 2nd part, vol. VI, A. Plebe, ed.

Zürcher, J. 1952. Aristoteles' Werk und Geist. Paderborn.

< previous page page_224 next page >

< previous page page_225 next page >
Page 225

Index of Passages from Plato and Aristotle

Data for most references are given in the endnotes. For the reader's convenience, this index lists, for every
such reference, the page in the main text on which the note number occurs and the page on which the
corresponding endnote occurs, together with the note number itself. Thus, the first Aristotle passage listed
below, De interpretatione chapter 2, (Bekker location) 16a9, is referenced in note 10 on page 188; the note
number occurs in the main text on page 101.


De interpretatione

2.16a9, 101, 188n10

4.16b29, 101, 188n10

13.22a22, 87, 181n22

Analytica Posteriora

i 1.71a1-2, 100, 188n1

i 1.71a1-11, 102, 189n2

i 33.89b7-9, 17, 135n2

i 33.89b9, 40, 152n9


i 14.105b12, 93, 185n5

i 14.105b13, 87, 181n22

i 14.105b19-30, 16, 135n1

vi 4.141a28-30, 102, 189n2

vi 4.141a30, 100, 188n1

vi 6.145a13-18, 13, 134n20; 20, 138n1

vi 6.145a17-18, 20, 139n4

vi 6.145a18, 25, 144n15

viii 1.157a8-11, 13, 134n20; 20, 138n1

viii 11.161a25ff., 101, 188n12

Sophistical Refutations

2.165b3, 101, 188n13

34, 102, 189n1

34.183b16ff., 79, 178n19

34.183b16-22, 83, 179n2

34.184a9-b2, 83, 179n3

34.184b2-8, 83, 179n4


ii 2.194a20, 18, 136n12

iv 10.217b30-31, 40, 153n11

v 4.228a28-29, 79, 178n18

De coelo

19, 138n20

iii 7.306a16-17, 21, 139n9


i 1.338a20-339a10, 78, 178n14

i 8.346a32, 87, 181n22

ii 6.363a26, 87, 181n22

De anima

90, 183n13

i 1.403a29, 17, 136n7

i 3.407a23, 13, 134n20

ii 3.415a11-12, 13, 134n20

iii 3.427b11-16, 17, 136n3

iii 3.427b26, 17, 136n3

iii 4-7, 17, 136n3

iii 4-5, 15, 135n14

< previous page page_225 next page >

< previous page page_226 next page >
Page 226

iii 5.430a17ff., 14, 134n9

iii 10.433a14-18, 13, 134n20

iii 10.433a15-20, 32, 148n28

iii 10.433a17-20, 17, 136n3

iii 10.433a18-19, 13, 134n20

De somniis

3.456b2, 87, 181n22

De respiratione

8.474b9, 87, 181n22

12.477a5, 87, 181n19

16.478b1, 87, 181n22

Historia animalium

i 17.497a32, 87, 181n22

iii 1.509b21, 87, 181n22

iii 1.510a30, 87, 181n22

iii 1.511a13, 87, 181n22

iv 1.525a9, 87, 181n22

vi 10.565a12, 87, 181n22

Partes animalium

i 1.639a3-6, 111, 193n4

i 1.639a4ff., 110, 192n3

i 1.639a4-12, 115, 194n2

i 1.639a5, 117, 195n15

i 1.639a7-8, 117, 195n18

i 1.639a8-11, 117, 194n12

i 1.639a11, 117, 195n15

i 1.639a13, 114, 194n12

i 1.639a13-14, 111, 193n5; 114, 194n13; 117, 194n12

i 1.640a3, 21, 139n6; 26, 144n22

i 2.641b18-20, 19, 137n14

i 2.642b5ff., 21, 140n11

i 5.644b22-31, 19, 137n14

i 5.645a4-7, 78, 178n15

i 5.645a4-6, 19, 138n19

i 5.645a4, 19, 138n18; 77, 177n3

ii 1.646a30ff., 54, 165n7

ii 3.650a31, 87, 181n22

iii 4.666a9, 87, 181n22

iii 5.668a17, 87, 181n22

iii 5.668b29, 87, 181n22

iii 14.674b16, 87, 181n22

iv 5.680a1, 87, 181n22

iv 8.684b4, 87, 181n22

iv 10.689a18, 87, 181n22

iv 13.696b14, 87, 181n22

Generatio animalium

i 11.719a10, 87, 181n22

ii 4.740a23, 87, 181n22

ii 8.748a8, 17, 136n6

Melissus, Xenophanes, Gorgias

979a12-13, 100, 188n5


19, 138n20

i (A), 71, 173n16

i 1-2, 94

i 1.981a1-12, 71, 173n15

i 1.981a5ff., 58, 167n20; 74, 176n16

i 1.981b7-9, 59, 168n24

i 1.981b7-10, 103, 189n5

i 1.981b25, 71, 173n18

i 1.981b31-33, 65, 171n17

i 2.982b4, 61, 169n12

i 2.982b11-21, 21, 139n9

i 6.987b1-2, 18, 136n12, 137n3; 22, 140n1; 25, 143n12

i 9, 90, 182n10

i 9.992b24-33, 102, 189n2

ii (α) 1.993b11-19, 79, 178n19

ii 1.993b19-23, 13, 134n20; 24, 142n3

ii 1.993b20-21, 21, 140n10

ii 1.994b32ff., 95, 186n2; 110, 192n1

ii 3.995a6-8, 114, 193n7

ii 3.995a12-13, 114, 194n10

ii 3.995a13-15, 114, 194n11

iii (B) 1.995b5, 94

iv (Γ) 3.1005b2ff., 112, 193n7

iv 4.1005b35ff., 111, 193n9

iv 4.1006a5-7, 112, 193n7

v (∆) 1.1013a10-14, 63, 170n5

v 7-9, 75, 176n20

vi (E) 1.1025b3-4, 16, 135n26

< previous page page_226 next page >

< previous page page_227 next page >
Page 227

vi 1.1025b3-28, 20, 138n1

vi 1.1025b5ff., 13, 134n20

vi 1.1025b5-7, 14, 135n12

vi 1.1025b6, 13, 134n20

vi 1.1025b18-26, 18, 136n10

vi 1.1025b18-28, 21, 139n5

vi 1.1025b23-24, 21, 139n7

vi 1.1025b25-26, 20, 139n3

vi 1.1026a28-29, 24, 142n3

vi 5, 19, 137n14

ix (Θ) 2.1046b2, 21, 139n9

xi (K) 1, 103, 189n4

xi 7.1063b36-1064b14, 20, 138n1

xi 7.1064a10ff., 13, 134n20; 14, 135n12

xii (Λ) 7.1072b12, 19, 137n14

xii 9.1074b38-1075a3, 21, 139n9

xiii (M) 1.1076a27-29, 40, 153n11

xiii 4-5, 90, 182n10

xiii 4.1078b19-20, 18, 136n12

Nicomachean Ethics

i-iv, 6, 129n29

i, 91, 184n24

i 1, 5; 94; 70, 173n7; 91, 183n22

i 1.1094a1ff., 97, 186n3

i .1094a2, 52, 163n1

i 1.1094a4-6, 63, 170n11

i 1.1094a6-9, 61, 168n9

i 1.1094a14ff., 63, 170n6

i 1.1094a16-18, 63, 170n11

i 1.1094a22ff., 90, 182n6

i 1.1094a23-b2, 39, 152n4

i 1.1094a26, 61, 169n11

i 1.1094a27ff., 63, 170n24

i 1.1094a27-b7, 56, 166n25

i 1.1094a27, 25, 143n10

i 1.1094b4, 63, 170n9

i 1.1094b5-7, 55, 165n18

i 1.1094b6-7, 61, 168n10

i 1.1094b10-11, 39, 152n5; 62, 169n16

i 1.1094b11-1095a4, 117

i 1.1094b11-22, 117

i 1.1094b11-14, 95; 117

i 1.1094b11, 3; 27; 24, 142n14; 41, 153n21; 41, 154n30; 60, 168n3

i 1.1094b14-19, 95

i 1.1094b15, 25, 143n10; 60, 168n3

i 1.1094b16-18, 51, 162n22

i 1.1094b17ff., 13, 134n18

i 1.1094b19ff., 6, 129n29; 114, 194n9

i 1.1094b19-22, 95

i 1.1094b22ff., 95

i 1.1094b22-1095a11, 67, 172n6

i 1.1094b22-27, 117

i 1.1094b22-23, 118

i 1.1094b22, 114

i 1.1094b23-25, 118

i 1.1094b25, 112, 193n11

i 1.1094b25-27, 118; 114, 194n8

i 1.1094b27ff., 87, 180n12

i 1.1094b27-1095a4, 105; 57, 167n4; 59, 168n23

i 1.1094b27-1095a2, 118
i 1.1094b27-28, 104, 190n6; 105, 190n8

i 1.1094b28-1095a2, 115, 194n2

i 1.1095a1-2, 62, 169n16

i 1.1095a1, 53, 164n22

i 1.1095a2-4, 118; 99, 187n17

i 1.1095a2-3, 4; 60, 168n3

i 1.1095a2, 25, 143n10; 53, 164n21; 85, 179n1

i 1.1095a3, 104, 190n7; 116, 194n9

i 1.1095a4ff., 5; 119, 195n3

i 1.1095a4-6, 100, 188n21

i 1.1095a4-5, 119

i 1.1095a4, 119; 52, 164n14

i 1.1095a5-6, 71, 173n9

i 1.1095a5, 119; 52, 163n12

i 1.1095a8, 52, 164n14

i 1.1095a9, 52, 163n13; 119, 195n1

i 1.1095a10-11, 53, 164n15; 57, 167n8

i 1.1095a11, 119

i 1.1095a12, 94

i 1.1095a12-13, 84, 179n1

i 2.1095a16, 25, 143n10

i 2.1095a28-30, 6, 130n29

i 2.1095a30-b13, 6, 129-130n29

i 2.1095b2, 121, 195n7

i 2.1095b4, 48, 160n8

i 2.1095b5-6, 3

i 3.1095b14-1096a5, 14, 134n11

i 3.1095b17-19, 48, 159n9

< previous page page_227 next page >

< previous page page_228 next page >
Page 228

i 3.1095b22-23, 122, 196n11

i 4.1096a9-1097a14, 90, 182n9

i 4.1096b30-31, 6, 130n29

i 5.1097b11, 42, 155n38

i 6.1097b33-1098a18, 14, 134n11

i 7.1098a20-b8, 6, 129n29

i 7.1098a26-29, 95, 186n2

i 8.1098b9-12, 6, 129n29; 98, 187n10

i 9.1099a27-28, 91, 184n25

i 10.1099b9ff., 49, 161n2

i 10.1099b9-11, 48, 159n2; 72, 174n5

i 10.1099b0, 49, 162nn6-7

i 10.1099b11-14, 49, 162nn6-7

i 10.1099b29-32, 62, 169n15

i 10.1099b29, 25, 143n10

i 10.1099b30-32, 125, 197n12

i 11.1101a24-28, 6, 129n29; 95, 186n2

i 12.1101b34-1102a1, 6, 129n29

i 13.1102a7-13, 62, 169n19

i 13.1102a7-10, 62, 169n15

i 13.1102a12, 25, 143n10; 41, 153n21

i 13.1102a18-19, 62, 169n21

i 13.1102a23-27, 6, 129n29

i 13.1102a25, 25, 143n10

i 13.1102a26-27, 40, 153n11

ii 1.1103a15-17, 51, 162n25; 101, 188n15

ii 1.1103a15-16, 30, 147n1

ii 1.1103a16-17, 30, 147n3

ii 1.1103a23ff., 50, 162n17

ii 1.1103b2-6, 62, 169n20

ii 1.1103b24, 48, 160n8

ii 2.1103b26-1104a11, 6, 129n29

ii 2.1103b26-30, 52, 163n2

ii 2.1103b27-28, 71, 173n10

ii 2.1104a1, 40, 153n15

ii 2.1104a7-9, 95, 186n2

ii 2.1104b1-13, 48, 160n8

ii 2.1104b11-12, 118, 195n2

ii 2.1104b12, 87, 181n24

ii 2.1105a12, 25, 143n10

ii 4.1105b22, 17, 136n7

ii 7.1107a28-33, 6, 129n29

ii 7.1107a28, 17, 136n6

ii 7.1107a29-30, 40, 153n14

ii 7.1107a30-31, 95, 186n2

ii 7.1107a33-1108b10, 44, 157n68

ii 7.1107a33, 87, 181n22

ii 7.1107b14-16, 6, 129n29

ii 7.1108a1-4, 6, 129n29

ii 7.1108a4-6, 17, 136n7

ii 7.1108a11, 45, 158n72

ii 7.1108b7-10, 6, 129n29

ii 9.1109a23-24, 6, 129n29

ii 9.1109b14-16, 95, 186n2

ii 9.1109b20-23, 95, 186n2

iii 1.1109b32-35, 62, 170n22

iii 5.1112a21-23, 19, 137n14

iii 5.1112a34-b9, 32, 148n29; 95, 186n2

iii 5.1112b 1-14, 62, 169n17

iii 6.1113a33, 36, 152n73

iii 7.1113b21-26, 62, 169n20

iii 7.1114a19-21, 35, 151n65

iii 9-12, 125, 197n13

iii 9.1115a29-31, 44, 158n69

iv 4.1122a18-25, 45, 158n70

iv 9.1125a34-10.1125b8, 45, 158n71

iv 11.1126a31-35, 95, 186n2

iv 11.1126b2-4, 95, 186n2

iv 13.1127a14-17, 6, 129n29

iv 14.1128a30-31, 62, 169n20

v-vii (= EE iv-vi), 6, 129n29; 90, 183n13

v, 66, 172n3

v 1.1129a5-6, 6, 130n29

v 1.1129a11-15, 33, 149n40

v 1.1129a13ff., 64, 171n12

v 3.1129b4-6, 37, 152n2

v 3.1129b12-19, 66, 172n3

v 3.1129b19-23, 66, 172n4

v 3.1129b26-27, 42, 155n40

v 5.1130b28, 25, 143n10

v 14.1137b28, 62, 169n20

vi, 29, 146n28; 34, 150n47; 48, 160n11; 70, 173n7

vi 1.1138b25-26, 6, 130n29

vi 2.1139a15-16, 22, 140n16

vi 2.1139a21ff., 28, 1145n22

vi 2.1139a21-22, 33, 149n34

vi 2.1139a23-25, 33, 149n36

vi 2.1139a26ff., 25, 144n16

vi 2.1139a26-29, 22, 140n14

< previous page page_228 next page >

< previous page page_229 next page >
Page 229

vi 2.1139a27, 13, 134n20

vi 2.1139a27-28, 20, 138n1

vi 2.1139a29, 13, 134n20

vi 2.1139a29-31, 32, 148n24; 33, 149n34

vi 2.1139a32-35, 34, 150n48

vi 2.1139a35-36, 32, 148n27

vi 2.1139a36, 13, 134n20

vi 2.1139b1, 21, 140n13

vi 3.1139b18ff., 17, 136n3

vi 3.1139b26, 102, 189n2

vi 3.1139b27, 17, 136n3

vi 3.1139b31-32, 20, 139n3

vi 3.1139b32, 17, 136n3

vi 4, 17, 136n3

vi 4.1140a1-2, 21, 139n5

vi 4.1140a2-3, 21, 140n13

vi 4.1140a3-5, 22, 140n15

vi 4.1140a3-4, 32, 148n22

vi 4.1140a3, 40, 153n11

vi 5, 17, 136n3

vi 5.1140a24-b30, 28, 145n10

vi 5.1140a25-28, 32, 148n29; 34, 150n53

vi 5.1140a30-31, 34, 150n53

vi 5.1140b5-6, 32, 148n22

vi 5.1140b7-11, 62, 169n15

vi 5.1140b7-10, 44, 157n63; 121, 195n10

vi 5.1140b10-16, 35, 150n57

vi 5.1140b11ff., 28, 145n22

vi 5.1140b11-20, 33, 149n37; 34, 150n49

vi 5.1140b12-20, 49, 161n23

vi 5.1140b12-13, 35, 151n59

vi 5.1140b17-18, 35, 150n59

vi 5.1140b20-21, 32, 148n22

vi 5.1140b25-26, 22, 140n16

vi 5.1140b28, 32, 148n25

vi 6, 17, 136n3

vi 6.1140b31-1141a8, 35, 151n60

vi 7.1141a9-20, 17, 136n3

vi 7.1141a19, 35, 151n61

vi 7.1141a20ff., 28, 145n10

vi 7.1141a20, a29, 25, 143n10

vi 8.1141b8-9.1142a30, 28, 145n10

vi 8.1141b23ff., 64, 171n13

vi 8.1141b23, 25, 143n10

vi 8.1141b24ff., 121, 195n8

vi 8.1141b24, 58, 167n9

vi 8.1141b25, 39, 152n3

vi 8.1141b26-28, 65, 171n16

vi 8.1141b28-29, 65, 171n17

vi 8.1141b31-33, 41, 154n29

vi 8.1141b32, 25, 143n10

vi 9.1142a1-10, 44, 157n67

vi 9.1142a2, 62, 169n15

vi 9.1142a9-10, 64, 171n15

vi 9.1142a18-20, 102, 189n3

vi 9.1142a23-24, 29, 146n33

vi 10.1142b31-33, 28, 145n10

vi 10.1142b32-33, 29, 145nn23-24; 34, 150n50

vi 10.1142b33, 35, 151n59

vi 11.1142b34-1143a18, 104, 189n3

vi 11.1143a6-10, 32, 148n24

vi 11.1143a17-18, 103, 189n6

vi 12.1143a28-29, 32, 148n26

vi 12.1143b2-3, 32, 148n26

vi 12.1143b14-17, 22, 140n16

vi 12.1143b11, 35, 151n61

vi 13.1143b18-1145a1, 28, 145n10

vi 13.1144a2-3, 33, 149n36

vi 13.1144a6-9, 33, 149n36

vi 13.1144a23-29, 33, 149n40

vi 13.1144a24-25, 35, 150n55

vi 13.1144a29-b1, 30, 147n4

vi 13.1144a29-34, 33, 149n39

vi 13.1144a34ff., 51, 162n26

vi 13.1144a34-36, 33, 149n37

vi 13.1144a34, 35, 150nn54, 59

vi 13.1144a36-b1, 32, 148n25

vi 13.11443, 35, 151n68

vi 13.1144b4-16, 50, 162n17

vi 13.1144b8-13, 76, 176n25

vi 13.1144b9, 35, 150n59

vi 13.1144b0-12, 35, 151n69

vi 13.1144b12, 35, 150n59

vi 13.1144b12-17, 36, 152n71

vi 13.1144b12-25, 51, 162n28

vi 13.1144b15, 35, 151n68

vi 13.1144b19, 51, 162n23

< previous page page_229 next page >

< previous page page_230 next page >
Page 230

vi 13.1144b28-30, 50, 162n15

vi 13.1144b31-32, 33, 149n35

vi 13.1145a2, 34, 150n46

vi 13.1145a4-6, 33, 149n36

vi 13.1145a10, 25, 143n10

vii, 6, 130n29

vii 1.1145b2-7, 6, 130n29

vii 1.1145b3, 98, 187n13

vii 5.1146a22-27, 6, 130n29

vii 5.1147a11-13, 102, 189n19

vii 5.1147a18-19, 102, 189n17

vii 5.1147a21-22, 101, 188n16

vii 5.1147a24, 102, 189n18

vii 5.1147a25-35, 119, 195n3

vii 5.1147a28, 21, 139n9

vii 5.1147b5-6, 120, 195n4

vii 5.1147b11-12, 102, 189n17

vii 9.1150b36, 35, 150n58

vii 9.1151a7, 35, 150n58

vii 9.1151a13-14, 35, 150n58

vii 9.1151a15, 28, 145n22

vii 9.1151a15-16, 33, 149n37

vii 9.1151a17-20, 49, 161n23; 51, 162n27

vii 9.1151a17-18, 30, 147n4; 34, 150n43

vii 9.1151a18-19, 35, 150n56; 121, 195n6

vii 9.1151a18, 35, 151n68

vii 11.1152a8-9, 32, 148n24

vii 12ff., 6, 130n29

vii 12.1152b1-3, 63, 170n23

vii 12.1152b1-2, 25, 143n12; 27

vii 12.1152b1, 25, 143n10

vii 12.1152b23, 98, 187n13

vii 15.1154a22-25, 98, 187n1

vii 15.1154a25-26, 98, 187n12

viii-ix, 42, 154n35

viii 1-2, 6, 129n29

viii 1.1155a28-29, 62, 169n20

viii 2.1155b8-13, 17, 136n8

viii 2.1155b9-10, 40, 153n13

viii 11.1159b26-27, 42, 155n40

viii 11.1160a12-14, 62, 169n20

viii 14.1162a17-18, 42, 155n38

ix 2.1164b27-30, 6, 129n29

ix 2.1165a12-14, 6, 129n29

ix 2.1165a12-13, 40, 153n16

ix 9.1169b18, 42, 155n38

ix 9.1169b27-30, 95, 186n2

x 1-6, 48, 159n9

x 1.1172a34-b8, 6, 129n29

x 1.1172a34-35, 40, 153n17; 98, 187n13

x 1.1172a35-b1, 98, 187n13

x 1.1172b3-7, 99, 187n18

x 1.1172b6, 99, 187n19

x 2.1172b9ff., 97, 186n3

x 2.1172b15-16, 97, 186n3

x 4.1175a4-5, 19, 137n13

x 6-9, 91; 45, 158n74

x 6.1176a30-31, 52, 163n1

x 7-9, 48, 159n9; 71, 174n1; 125, 197n16

x 7.1177a12-8.1178b32, 14, 134n11; 15, 135n15

x 7.1177b12-15, 43, 156n52

x 7.1177b12-14, 62, 169n15

x 7.1177b15, 25, 143n10

x 8.1178a22-23, 6, 129n29

x 9.1179a16-22, 6, 129n29

x 9.1179a17-20, 98, 187n14

x 9.1179a18-19, 117, 195n17

x 9.1179a20-22, 98, 187n15

x 10, 4; 67; 48, 159n9, 160n11; 70, 173n7; 71, 173n11; 77, 177n33

x 10.1179a33ff., 6, 129n29

x 10.1179a33-b31, 48, 159n1, 160n1

x 10.1179a33-35, 52, 163nn1, 8

x 10.1179a35-b3, 52, 163n8; 70, 173n8

x 10.1179a35-b2, 52, 163n3

x 10.1179a35, 52, 163n1

x 10.1179b2-3, 52, 163n4

x 10.1179b3-4, 52, 163nn5, 8

x 10.1179b4-20, 52, 163nn5, 8

x 10.1179b6-7, 60, 168n2

x 10.1179b7ff., 38, 152n1

x 10.1179b7, 52, 163n9; 53, 164n23

x 10.1179b11-13, 53, 164n25

x 10.1179b13-16, 52, 164n14

x 10.1179b17-18, 52, 164n14

x 10.1179b20ff., 52, 163n5

x 10.1179b20-31, 52, 163n8

< previous page page_230 next page >

< previous page page_231 next page >
Page 231

x 10.1179b20-21, 49, 161n4; 52, 163n5; 72, 174n6

x 10.1179b23-28, 100, 188n20

x 10.1179b24-26, 53, 164n16

x 10.1179b24, 48, 160n15; 52, 163n10

x 10.1179b26-29, 48, 160n7

x 10.1179b26-27, 52, 163n12

x 10.1179b27-28, 53, 164n20

x 10.1179b27, 104, 189n1

x 10.1179b28-29, 53, 164n25

x 10.1179b28, 53, 164n24

x 10.1179b29-31, 53, 164n17

x 10.1179b30, 52, 163n11

x 10.1179b31ff., 54, 164n1

x 10.1179b31-1180b28, 48, 159n1

x 10.1179b31-32, 55, 165n14; 121, 195n5

x 10.1179b31, 52, 163n8

x 10.1179b34-35, 49, 161n21

x 10.1180a1-4, 54, 165n12; 62, 170n22

x 10.1180a4-5, 54, 164n3

x 10.1180a5, 48, 159n5

x 10.1180a6ff., 71, 173n12

x 10.1180a12, 48, 159n5

x 10.1180a14-22, 49, 161n21

x 10.1180a18, 55, 165n13

x 10.1180a21-22, 73; 38, 152n2; 48, 160n9; 55, 165n15; 71, 173n12

x 10.1180a24ff., 48, 160n10; 72, 174n10

x 10.1180a25, 56, 165n19

x 10.1180a26-27, 55, 165n17

x 10.1180a27-29, 56, 165n20; 71, 173n12

x 10.1180a29-30, 72, 174n12

x 10.1180a29, 73, 175n15

x 10.1180a30ff., 72, 175n13

x 10.1180a32-34, 56, 166n23

x 10.1180b5-13, 56, 166n22

x 10.1180b12, 73

x 10.1180b13-28, 57, 166n28

x 10.1180b13-25, 56, 166n23

x 10.1180b13-23, 71, 173n14

x 10.1180b14-15, 74, 176n15

x 10.1180b14, 57, 166n29; 73, 175n8

x 10.1180b16-22, 73, 175n9

x 10.1180b20-23, 74

x 10.1180b20-21, 58, 167n19; 74, 176n15

x 10.1180b21, 74, 176n18

x 10.1180b23-25, 74, 176n17

x 10.1180b24, 56, 166n27

x 10.1180b25, 55, 165n16

x 10.1180b28-1181b12, 48, 159n1

x 10.1180b29, 57, 166n1

x 10.1180b30-1181a9, 58, 167n10

x 10.1180b30-31, 58, 167n9; 61, 168n7

x 10.1180b31, 25, 143n10

x 10.1180b35, 58, 167n16

x 10.1181a5-6, 58, 167n15

x 10.1181a10ff., 58, 167n13

x 10.1181a10-11, 25, 143n10

x 10.1181a11ff., 112, 193n2

x 10.1181a11-12, 57, 166n2; 59, 168n22

x 10.1181a12ff., 57, 167n5

x 10.1181a12-b12, 73
x 10.1181a12-13, 58, 167n17

x 10.1181a12, 74, 176n14

x 10.1181a14-15, 58, 167n18

x 10.1181a15-b12, 73, 175n10

x 10.1181a16-17, 73

x 10.1181a16, 76, 177n32

x 10.1181a17-b3, 105, 190n1

x 10.1181a17-18, 104, 189n4

x 10.1181a19-23, 57, 167n4

x 10.1181a19, 104, 190n5

x 10.1181a23, 25, 143n10; 61, 168n7

x 10.1181b1-3, 65, 171n20

x 10.1181b1, 57, 167n6

x 10.1181b7-9, 80, 179n28

x 10.1181b12-23, 23, 141n1; 72, 174n4

x 10.1181b13-14, 47, 159n8

x 10.1181b15-23, 73

x 10.1181b15, 19, 138n17

Magna moralia

48, 159n9; 90, 183n13

i 1.1181a24, 41, 154n31

i 1.1181b25-1182a1, 41, 154n32

i 20, 125, 197n13

i 34.1198a34-b2, 63, 170n2

< previous page page_231 next page >

< previous page page_232 next page >
Page 232

Ethica Eudemia

71, 173n1

i, 91, 184n24

i 1-6, 90, 184n25

i 1.1214a5-6, 91, 184n25

i 1.1214a9-14, 52, 163n2

i 1.1214a14ff., 48, 159n2; 49, 161n2

i 1.1214a15-25, 72, 174n5

i 1.1214a23-24, 49, 162nn6-7

i 1.1214a24-26, 70, 172n4

i 1.1214a32-33, 48, 159n9

i 2.1214b8, 118, 195n1

i 3.1214b28-1215a7, 6, 130n29

i 4.1215a20ff., 6, 130n29

i 4.1215a26-b14, 14, 134n11

i 4.1215b3, 122, 196n11

i 5.1216a24-26, 70, 172n4

i 5.1216b3ff., 50, 162n15

i 5.1216b3-25, 52, 163n2; 122, 196n12

i 5.1216b6-8, 51, 162n23

i 5.1216b9ff., 71, 173n10

i 5.1216b10-19, 21, 139n9

i 5.1216b18, 62, 169n17

i 6.1216b26ff., 6, 130n29

i 6.1216b26-28, 98, 187n7

i 6.1216b30-31, 35, 151n67

i 6.1216b32-33, 6, 130n29

i 6.1216b36ff., 6, 130n29

i 6.1216b36-39, 5, 129n24
i 6.1216b37, 5, 129n24; 69, 172n1

i 6.1216b40ff., 122, 196n12

i 6.1216b40-1217a10, 112, 193n3

i 6.1217a6-7, 65, 171n19; 121, 195n8

i 6.1217a7, 13, 134n20

i 7.1217a18, 94

i 8.1217b1-1218a32, 90, 182n9

i 8.1217b16-20, 6, 130n29

i 8.1217b21, 17, 136n6

i 8.1217b22-23, 40, 153n11; 90, 182n4

i 8.1217b23, 13, 134n19

i 8.1218b12-14, 64, 171n14

i 8.1218b13-14, 41, 154n29

i 8.1218b16, 64, 171n14

ii 1.1218b33-34, 40, 153n11

ii 1.1219a40-b1, 98, 187n10

ii 3.1220b37, 87, 181n22

ii 3.1220b38-1221a12, 44, 157n68

ii 3.1221b5-7, 21, 139n9

ii 5.1222b7, 75, 176n21

ii 10.1227a8-9, 30, 147n4

ii 11.1227b23-36, 30, 147n4

ii 11.1227b28-30, 21, 139n9

iii 1, 125, 197n13

iii 1.1228a28, 87, 181n22

vii 1.1235a4ff., 17, 136n8

vii 2.1235b13-18, 6, 130n29

vii 2.1236b39-1237a3, 69, 172n2

vii 2.1237a2-3, 70, 172n3

vii 9.1241b35, 75, 176n21

vii 10.1242a22-23, 42, 155n38

viii, 91, 184n25

viii 2.1246b37-1248b7, 49, 162n7

viii 2.1247a28, 49, 161n5

viii 3.1249a21, 75, 176n21

viii 3.1249b17, b19, b22, 75, 176n21


i 2.1253a4-5, 43, 156n51

i 2.1253a7-8, 42, 155n38

i 2.1253a9-18, 53, 164n19

i 3.1253a20-22, a25-26, 43, 157n57

i 3.1253a26-29, 43, 156n47

i 3.1253b1-3, 23, 140n3; 43, 156n47

i 4.1253b38-1254a1, 63, 170n2

i 5.1254a33-34, 40, 153n12

i 13.1260a5-24, 63, 170n2

i 13.1260a7ff., 50, 162n19

ii, 91, 183n19

ii 1.1260b28-29, 73, 175n15

ii 1.1260b33-36, 79, 178n20

ii 1.1261a6-7, 88, 181n25

ii 2.1261a30, 6

ii 4.1262b7-8, 42, 155n40

ii 4.1262b11-12, 88, 181n26

ii 5.1264a3-5, 80, 179n27

ii 5.1264b17-19, 43, 156n48

ii 6.1265a1-2, 81, 179n29

ii 7.1266a31-32, 79, 178n21

ii 8.1268b35-36, 79, 178n19

ii 8.1269a19-24, 124, 197n10

ii 9.1269a29-1271b19, 26, 144n23

ii 9.1271a41-b7, 56, 165n19

< previous page page_232 next page >
< previous page page_233 next page >
Page 233

ii 10.1272a22ff., 79, 178n22

iii-vi, 41, 154n28

iii 1.1274b38-41, 24, 142n15

iii 1.1275b4-5, 123, 196n3

iii 4.1276b16ff., 48, 159n3

iii 4.1276b16-1277b32, 44, 157n58

iii 4.1276b30-35, 44, 157n60

iii 4.1277a12-13, 44, 157n59

iii 4.1277a13-23, 44, 157n62

iii 4.1277a15-16, 44, 157n62

iii 5.1278a40-b3, 44, 157n61

iii 5.1278b3-5, 44, 157n64

iii 6.1278b31-32, 40, 153n11

iii 9.1280a18, 6

iii 11.1281b40, 108, 191n4

iii 11.1282a3-14, 63, 170n4

iii 11.1282a3-4, 108, 191n5

iii 11.1282a4-5, 108, 191n6

iii 11.1282b10-11, 123, 196n2

iii 12.1282b14-16, 27

iii 12.1282b20, 6

iii 12.1282b23, 27

iii 13.1283b42ff., 123, 196n3

iii 16.1287b25-26, 118, 195n1

iii 18.1288a38-39, 44, 157n65

iv 1.1288b22-23, 73, 175n15

iv 1.1288b23, 124, 196n4

iv 1.1288b24, b28, b35, 124, 196n6

iv 1.1288b25-26, 73, 175n15

iv 1.1288b37-38, 73, 175n14

iv 1.1288b37-39, 124, 196n7

iv 1.1289a3-4, 124, 196n8

iv 1.1289a12-13, 124, 197n11

iv 1.1289a13-15, 123, 196n2

iv 2.1289b14-16, 124, 196n6

iv 11.1295a36, 6

iv 14.1297b40, 63, 170n10

iv 15.1299b25, 118, 195n1

v, 124, 197n9

v 8.1308b20-24, 123, 196n1

v 9.1310a12ff., 123, 196n1

v 9.1310a12-14, 56, 166n26

vi 2.1317b39, 118, 195n1

vii-viii, 72, 174n4; 73, 175n14

vii 1-3, 66, 171n2; 71, 174n1

vii 1.1323a14-21, 94, 185n7

vii 1.1323a22-23, 40, 153n11

vii 1.1323b37, 94

vii 1.1323b40-41, 43, 156n50

vii 2.1324a14-17, 45, 158n74

vii 2.1324a19-21, 45, 158n74

vii 2.1324a27-28, 13, 134n18

vii 2.1324b5-9, 56, 165n19

vii 3.1325b16, 13, 134n18

vii 3.1325b17-18, 13, 134n20

vii 3.1325b21-23, 65, 171n18; 75, 176n23

vii 4-12, 66, 172n2

vii 4.1325b33, 94

vii 4.1325b36, 124, 196n4

vii 7.1328a17-21, 95, 186n2

vii 10.1329a40ff., 80, 179n25

vii 10.1329a41, 63, 170n25

vii 10.1329b31-35, 80, 179n26

vii 11.1331a16ff., 79, 179n23

vii 11.1331a16, 63, 170n25

vii 13-viii 7, 66, 172n2

vii 13.1331b23-24, 66, 172n2

vii 13.1332a8, 6

vii 13.1332a22, 6

vii 13.1332a29, 124, 196n4

vii 13.1332a38-b11, 49, 161n2

vii 13.1332a3840, 72, 174n6

vii 13.1332a40-42, 50, 162n18

vii 14.1332b41-1333a16, 119, 195n4

vii 14.1333a24-36, 14, 134n11

vii 14.1333a25, 13, 134n20

vii 14.1333a33-39, 43, 156n52

vii 14.1333b11-35, 56, 165n19

vii 15.1334a14, 125, 197n14

vii 15.1334a22-25, 125, 197n15

vii 15.1334a40-b5, 56, 165n19

vii 15.1334b6ff., 49, 161n20

vii 15.1334b8-9, 54, 164n5

vii 15.1334b9-10, 54, 164n6

vii 15.1334b24-25, 54, 165n9

vii 16.1335b5-8, 109, 192n17

vii 17.1336a28-30, 109, 192n17

vii 17.1337a1-3, 38, 152n1

viii 1.1337a11-15, 123, 196n1

viii 1.1337a12-32, 72, 174n9

viii 1.1337a14, 56, 166n21

< previous page page_233 next page >
< previous page page_234 next page >
Page 234

viii 1.1337a21-26, 124, 196n5

viii 1.1337a24-26, 56, 165n20

viii 1.1337a27-29, 56, 166n24

viii 1.1337a31, 56, 165n19

viii 2.1337b8-11, 109, 192n16

viii 2.1337b15-17, 109, 192n17

viii 3.1338a17-19, 108, 191n1

viii 3.1338a32, 107, 191nn14, 17

viii 3.1338b1-2, 108, 191n2

viii 4.1338b32-36, 109, 192n17

viii 4.1338b34-35, 116, 194n11

viii 5.1339a31-33, 106, 190n2

viii 5.1339a36-38, 106, 190n6

viii 5.1339a41-42, 106, 190n3

viii 5.1339b2-4, 106, 190n7

viii 5.1339b4-5, 106, 190n4

viii 5.1339b5-6, 106, 190n5

viii 5.1339b7-10, 106, 190n8

viii 5.1340a14-18, 107, 191n18

viii 6.1340b24-25, 106, 190n9

viii 6.1340b35-39, 107, 190n10

viii 6.1340b41-1341a3, 107, 190n11

viii 6.1341a10-11, 107, 190n12

viii 6.1341a18-19, 107, 191n13

viii 6.1341b9-14, 107, 191n14

viii 7.1341b28ff., 79, 179n24

viii 7.1341b28, b33, 63, 170n25

viii 7.1342a19-21, 107, 191n15

i 1.1355a26, 97, 186n1

i 2.1356a2-4, 97, 186n2

i 2.1356a6-8, 97, 186n4

i 2.1356a23-25, 25, 143n12

i 2.1356a26-27, 25, 143n12; 41, 153n20

i 2.1356a26, 27

i 2.1356a27-30, 112, 193n1

i 2.1356a29ff., 110, 192n2

i 2.1356b5, 98, 187n8

i 2.1357b1ff., 98, 187n8

i 3.1358a37-b1, 97, 186n2

i 8.1366a22, 27; 25, 144n17

i 15.1375b26-1376a32, 98, 187n8

ii 17.1391a17, 110, 192n6; 112, 193n10

ii 20.1393a28, 98, 187n8

ii 21.1395a2-5, 111, 192n7

iii 1.1404a24-29, 111, 193n8

iii 14.1414b19-20, 94, 185n5

iii 14.1415a23-26, 95, 186n9

De philosophia

fr. 1 Walzer, 91, 184n25


71, 173n1

fr. B 13 Düring, 74; 21, 139n9; 38, 152n1; 73, 175n7; 74, 175n12

B 34, 74, 176n17

B 38, 48, 160n9; 73, 175n6

B 46-51, 73, 175n7

B 46-47, 73, 175n9

B 46, 73, 175n8; 74, 176n13

B 49-50, 74; 73, 175n10; 73, 175n10

B 49, 74, 176n13; 76, 176n26

B 51, 75, 176n22

B 55, 79, 178n19

C 52, 2, 79, 178n19



20a, 47, 158n3

20d, 15, 135n19

23e, 47, 158n3

26b, 18, 137n4

33d-34a, 47, 158n3


171b-c, 108, 191n8


383a, 101, 188n9

421d, 78, 177n7


107d, 15, 135n19

< previous page page_234 next page >

< previous page page_235 next page >
Page 235


46e, 15, 135n19

50a ff., 6-7


974b, 19, 137n11


272b, 47, 158n3

274c, 101, 188n8

279a, 91, 184n25

291c, 61, 169n14


449c, 50, 162n10

451e, 91, 184n25

454e-455a, 100, 188n5

455b, 63, 170n1

462c, 100, 188n5

515e ff., 49, 161n5

515e, 58, 167n12

519c, 50, 162n13

521e, 100, 188n5

Hippias Major

281c, 47, 159n6

282b-d, 47, 158n4

298c, 78, 177n7


533d, 101, 188n8


179a, 47, 158n3

182d ff., 101, 188n8

184d-187b, 58, 167n14


71, 173n1; 72, 174n3

i 643b, 48, 160n8

i 643c-d, 48, 160n16

i 644d, 48, 160n7; 63, 170n3; 71, 173n12

ii 653a-c, 48, 160n8; 87, 181n24

ii 653a, 118, 195n2

ii 653b, 48, 160n16; 49, 160n17

ii 653e ff., 54, 164n6

ii 655d, 51, 162n24

ii 659d, 49, 160n8; 49, 160n19

iii 680b, 682a, 71, 173n12

iii 689a, 49, 161n22

iv 714a, 71, 173n12

iv 718c-723b, 71, 173n12

iv 722a ff., 48, 159n5

v 732e, 15, 135n19

v 741d, 49, 161n24

vi 770d ff., 48, 160n14

vii 791b-792e, 54, 165n8

vii 791d, 48, 160n15

vii 792b, e, 48, 160n15

vii 793 ff., 56, 166n26

vii 810b, 108, 192n15

viii 836a, 15, 135n19

ix 854e ff., 48, 159n5

x 886e, 15, 135n19


vii 322e, 19, 137n10

48, 159n4; 58, 168n21

70a, 48, 159n2; 72, 174n8; 101, 188n8

80d-e, 101, 188n8

81a ff., 101, 188n11

87e ff., 51, 162n22

87e, 91, 184n25

89d ff., 57, 167n3

89d, 101, 188n8

91a, 58, 167n11

93c-94c, 58, 167n12

94b, 30, 147n2

95e, 49, 161n1

98d-99e, 101, 188n8

99a, 49, 162n8

99b-e, 58, 167n11

99e-100a, 49, 161n5; 72, 174n8

< previous page page_235 next page >

< previous page page_236 next page >
Page 236


134e, 15, 135n19


64a, 16, 135n27

67e, 16, 135n27

82b, 48, 160n13


244a, 101, 188n8

245b, 101, 188n8

259d, 15, 135n19

269d, 101, 188n8


48d, 91, 184n25


318dff., 50, 162n12

318e-319a, 6; 108, 192n14

319bff., 58, 167n11

319c, 108, 191n8

320b, 101, 188n8

323c, 50, 162n12; 101, 188n8

361c-e, 49, 161n5


iv 419a-420e, 43, 156n48

iv 423e, 88, 181n25

v 457a-466d, 88, 181n25

v 457c-d, 56, 166n26

v 460b, 56, 166n26

vii 517d, 15, 135n19; 19, 137n8

vii 518c, 33, 149n38

vii 522e ff., 56, 166n26

vii 533d, 33, 149n38

x 619c, 48, 160n12


135c-d, 108, 191n9


231b, 50, 162n16

266a, 15, 135n19

268d, 15, 135n19

Statesman 61, 169n14

259b-260e, 65, 171n21

259c-d, 65, 171n16

259e, 63, 170n1

260a-b, 66, 172n5; 104, 189n3

260b-c, 63, 170n1


186b, 15, 135n19

191a-b, 88, 181n26


176a-b, 15, 135n21

< previous page page_236 next page >

< previous page page_237 next page >
Page 237

Index of Ancient and Medieval Names

Adrastus of Aphrodisias, 141n6

Albertus Magnus, 32

Albinus, 140n10

Alexander of Aphrodisias, 23-24, 110, 140n10, 142nn15, 16

Alexis, 185n10

Ammonius, 12, 15-16, 89, 94, 138n2, 140n10, 182nn2, 3

Amphis, 185n10

Anaxagoras, 98, 159n6

Andronicus of Rhodes, 9-13, 23, 131nn4, 5, 132nn12, 1, 4, 133nn7, 16, 141n6

Anonymous of Iamblichus, 50

Anonymous author, Vita Menagiana, 10, 132nn12, 14, 141n6

Antiphon the Sophist, 50

Antisthenes, 50

Apollodorus, 133n9

Apuleius, 136n5:

Aristophanes, 47

Aristoxenus, 93-95

Arius Didymus, 23, 141n11

Aspasius, 14, 195n7

Atticus, 136n5

Augustine, 136n5

Aulus Gellius, 88, 182n1

Bias, 159n6

Chrysippus, 133n9

Cicero, 136n5

Clement of Alexandria, 88

Commentator (anonymous) on Aristotle's Rhetoric, 192n2

Cratinus, 185n10

Critias, 50

Dicearchus, 14

Diogenes of Babylon, 133n9

Diogenes Laërtius, 10, 12-13, 23, 91, 132nn12, 14, 133n12, 141nn6, 9, 181n22

Elias, 94, 133n12, 141n6

Epicurus, 141n8

Eudemus, 180n17

Eudoxus, 97, 186n3

Eudromus, 133n9

Eusebius, 136n5

Eustratius, 14

Gorgias, 50, 100-101, 158n4

Heraclides of Pontus, 136n11

Hesychius, 181n22

Hippias, 158n4

Hippodamus, 178n21

Homer, 165n20

Ibn Abi Usaibia, 11

Ibn al-Qifti, 11

Isocrates, 76, 108, 167n5, 176n14, 177n33


Julian, 140n10

Lucian, 181n1

Macrobius, 157n68

Michael of Ephesus, 110, 142n11

Olympiodorus, 133n12, 141n6

Phaleas of Chalcedon, 178n21

Philemon, 185n10

Philip of Opus, 48

Philippides, 185n10

< previous page page_237 next page >

< previous page page_238 next page >
Page 238

Philoponus, 14, 138n2, 185n3

Pittacus, 159n6

Plotinus, 11, 157n68

Plutarch, 11, 88

Porphyry, 11

Posidonius of Apameia, 133n9

Prodicus, 158n4

Protagoras, 47, 50, 108, 152n73, 158n4

Ptolemy, 11, 131n10, 132n1, 141n6

Quintilian, 184n2

Sextus Empiricus, 101

Simplicius, 133n12

Socrates, 6, 18, 22, 46-48, 50-51, 108, 136-37n12, 139n9, 158n3, 160n10, 196n12

Stephanus, 14

Syllus, 133n9

Syrianus, 88

Thales, 159n6

Theognis, 49

Theophrastus, 11, 14, 177n31, 180n17

Theopompus, 185n10

Thomas Aquinas, 31-35, 147n13, 149n31, 151n70

Vita Marciana, 93

Xenocrates, 136n11
Xenophon, 18, 108

Zeno of Citium, 133n9

< previous page page_238 next page >

< previous page page_239 next page >
Page 239

Index of More Important Greek Terms

, 49, 120

, 119-20, 122

, 95, 114, 186n2

, 84-88,


, 60, 84-88, 95, 97, 180n12, 196n12

, 112

, 55

, 44, 152n73, 177n27

, 18-19, 22, 137n9,



, 18

, 18, 135nn18, 25, 138nn14, 17

, 110-15, 196n12

, 43

, 88

, 62,

, 36,


, 36

, 26, 30, 34, 38

, 63-64, 108, 171n19, 189n3

, 106-7, 190n8

, 65

, 91, 159n9;

, 159n9;

, 14, 91

, 32

, 64-65

, 65

, 33, 35

, 36, 149n40

, 63, 108-9

, 87, 181n22

, 13

, 13-14, 20, 22, 134n20, 136n3, 139n3, 140n10



, 30, 97, 100, 189n2

, 64

, 48-50, 54,

See and

, 104

, 49, 58-59, 71, 73-74, 104, 175n8, 191n6, 196n12

, 20;

, 20-22;

, 22, 32, 64-65, 122

, 88-89, 140n13

, 13, 16, 20, 22, 40, 61, 102, 134n20, 136nn3, 4, 139nn2, 3,


, 32

, 180n18

, 180n18

, 65

, 86, 88

, 29, 34

, 50

, 62

, 18, 22

, 40

, 17-18, 22, 40

, 17, 23, 25, 39-40, 71, 143n7, 153n18

, 48, 54. See and

, 18, 135nn18, 25,



, 19

, 49

, 180n18

, 14, 20-21, 75, 139nn2, 9

, 58, 73, 75,


, 154n29

, 99, 105-10, 180n12



< previous page page_239 next page >

< previous page page_240 next page >
Page 240

, 12

, 17

, 13, 21, 53-54, 60, 72, 97, 120-21, 134n20, 140n10, 160n7, 164n6, 187nn13, 16;

, 30, 50,





See and

, 24, 41,


, 49

, 43

, 3, 177n27

, 39, 57, 64, 66

, 54-55, 134n20, 150n59, 151n61;

, 27,

, 14

, 23, 64
, 12

, 32, 53-


, 114, 117, 180n18

, 71-72, 110, 165n10,




, 107

, 53, 120,


, 180n18

, 53, 105-18, 194nn3, 6

, 98, 100-102, 186n2

, 20-22, 139nn2, 9

, 44

, 58

, 14, 25, 27, 39, 64, 70, 154n29,



, 42, 54

, 14, 24, 39-40, 143n12,



, 16, 18, 20-21, 25, 40, 65, 139n2, 140n10, 171nn16,


See and

, 21, 34, 40
, 12, 180n18

, 12

, 22, 35, 136n3, 151n61

. See and

, 13, 23

, 49,


, 32, 99, 104, 117.


, 125

, 58-59, 74-75

, 55, 165nn10, 19

, 87, 181n22

, 29, 34-35, 136n3

, 180n18

, 15, 48, 125;

, 19, 77-81,

, 19,

See and

, 4, 6-7, 22, 26-38, 44, 64, 104, 120, 136n3, 146nn33, 35, 148nn24-25, 149nn35, 40, 150nn46-47,
53, 151n59, 152n73, 154n29, 159n9;

, 39

, 16-17;

, 17

, 72,

See and

, 65, 171nn16, 19

< previous page page_240 next page >

< previous page page_241 next page >
Page 241

Subject Index


end for writings and science, 26;

philosophical study insufficient for, 37;

and reason-passion antagonism, 53.

See Discursive teaching; Practice


and catalog of Andronicus, 10;

and didactic precaution, 94-95;

vs. literature, 93; and Neoplatonist commentators, 134n21

adequateness (appropriateness) of discursive


and educated persons,


vs. precision, 186n2


See Eudemian Ethics; Problematic perspective

apperception (hupolepsis) of the end:

and practical principles,


preserved by temperance, 34-


and prudence, 29, 34-35, 150-51n59


and prudence,

and rule of law, 120-21

appropriate method, and educated person, 113-15

approximation, and revealing reality, 186n2

archaic sages, as refraining from politics, 159n6

architectonic art (science, capacity):

form of prudence, 64-


and hierarchy of sciences,


and human good,


as legislative prudence,

and practical understanding, 121-22

Aristotle and

ongoing dialogue, 1;

on law and habit in childrearing, 48-


on resolution of moral development problems,


See Laws of Plato; Plato and Platonists, criticisms


arts, as ''principles," 170n5

audience (of NE lectures), chapters 4-5;

and didactic precaution, 4,


and facts of life,


lawgivers, 45-46;

and NE prologue,

See Listener; Youth

autonomy of sciences, and esoteric doctrine, 92

becoming good, the question how, 49

brevity, virtue of prologues, 92

catalogs (lists, pinakes) of Aristotle's writings, 131nn5, 10-11, 132nn12, 14, 1-2, 4-

and acroamatic writings, 10-11

categories (divisions), interpretive, 11-16, 18-23, 133n12, 135n25, 127n9, 137-38n14, 138-39n2, 139nn4, 9,
140nn10, 13, 16

chance (tuche), 49

character (ethos; character traits [ethel]):

and correct education,


determined by habit at earliest age (Plato),


improvement as aim of lawgiver,


and need for laws,


See Inquiry; Virtue


education of,

and habituation,

as indirect participants in regime,


and proper mean,


rearing of, a political issue, 55


as audience for political reflections,


training of, and general education, 116-17

city-state (city,

happiness of, and good legislation,


imperfect conditions,

membership in, assumed by political inquiry, 158n74;

as superior moral authority, 168n10

classification. See Categories

cleverness (deinotes), 33, 35-36, 149n40

collections, in general, 87

< previous page page_241 next page >

< previous page page_242 next page >
Page 242

collections of laws (and constitutions):

advocated by Sophists,

Aristotle defends use of, 80-


and comprehension,

and formation of lawgiver,


and use by lawgiver, 77;

use requires discernment, 80-81

command (prescription), 32-33, 149n31


and political nature of NE, 23-


and systematizing perspective, 9-


See Neoplatonist commentators

common books. See Eudemian Ethics; Nicomachean Ethics, final chapter

common interest (public good), 43, 66

common opinions, 187n10


a critical faculty, 32, 104-5,


and discipline of passions,


and discursive teaching,


and educated person, 105,


and persuasion, 99; compared with prudence,


vs. science, 103

compulsive rules
and childrearing, 55-

and lawgiver, 3,

See Law


philosophical study insufficient for,


and practical science, 25-26

constitutions (constitutional regimes,


and education, 123-124;

critical evaluation of,


and lawgiver's practical science,


and problem of relativism, 124-25;

reforms of, 124-


and revolutions, 124,


See Education; Ideal regime; Inquiry; Sparta

Constitutions, only a "written" work, 87

contemplative (theoretical) life (bios


and defense of separable mind,


vs. practical life, 91

conventional meaning, 101