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[1216b] [1] since that they are connected with happiness is asserted, if not by everybody, at all events by all of mankind who are worthy of consideration.

Accordingly Socrates the senior1 thought that the End is to get to know virtue, and he pursued an inquiry into the nature of justice and courage and each of the divisions of virtue. And this was a reasonable procedure, since he thought that all the virtues are forms of knowledge, so that knowing justice and being just must go together, for as soon as we have learnt geometry and architecture, we are architects and geometricians; owing to which he used to inquire what virtue is, but not how and from what sources it is produced. But although this does happen in the case of the theoretical sciences, inasmuch as astronomy and natural science2 and geometry have no other End except to get to know and to contemplate the nature of the things that are the subjects of the sciences (although it is true that they may quite possibly be useful to us accidentally for many of our necessary requirements), yet the End of the productive sciences is something different from science and knowledge, for example the End of medicine is health and that of political science ordered government, or something of that sort, different from mere knowledge of the science. Although, therefore, it is fine even to attain a knowledge of the various fine things, [20] all the same nevertheless in the case of goodness it is not the knowledge of its essential nature that is most valuable but the ascertainment of the sources that produce it. For our aim is not to know what courage is but to be courageous, not to know what justice is but to be just, in the same way as we want to be healthy rather than to ascertain what health is, and to be in good condition of body rather than to ascertain what good bodily condition is.

And about all these matters the endeavor must be made to seek to convince by means of rational arguments, using observed facts as evidences and examples. For the best thing would be if all mankind were seen to be in agreement with the views that will be stated, but failing that, at any rate that all should agree in some way. And this they will do if led to change their ground,3 for everyone has something relative to contribute to the truth, and we must start from this to give a sort of proof about our views; for from statements that are true but not clearly expressed, as we advance, clearness will also be attained, if at every stage we adopt more scientific positions in exchange for the customary confused statements. And in every investigation arguments stated in philosophical form are different from those that are non-philosophical; hence we must not think that theoretical study of such a sort as to make manifest not only the nature of a thing but also its cause is superfluous even for the political student, since that is the philosophic procedure in every field of inquiry. Nevertheless this requires much caution.

1 A younger Socrates was a pupil of Plato.

2 The Greek term primarily denotes biology, rather than physics in the modern sense (with which contrast the modern limitation of the term 'physiology,' and of 'physic' in the sense of medicine); accordingly it does not here include astronomy.

3 Or perhaps 'led on step by step.'

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