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though no one would pronounce a man living a life of misery to be happy, unless for the sake of maintaining a paradox. But we need not pursue this subject, since it has been sufficiently treated in the ordinary discussions.1 [7]

The third type of life is the Life of Contemplation, which we shall consider in the sequel. [8]

The Life of Money-making is a constrained2 kind of life, and clearly wealth is not the Good we are in search of, for it is only good as being useful, a means to something else. On this score indeed one might conceive the ends before mentioned to have a better claim, for they are approved for their own sakes. But even they do not really seem to be the Supreme Good; however, many arguments against them have been disseminated, so we may dismiss them.6.

But perhaps it is desirable that we should examine the notion of a Universal Good, and review the difficulties that it involves, although such an inquiry goes against the grain because of our friendship for the authors of the Theory of Ideas.3 Still perhaps it would appear desirable, and indeed it would seem to be obligatory, especially for a philosopher, to sacrifice even one's closest personal ties in defense of the truth. Both are dear to us, yet 'tis our duty to prefer the truth.4 [2]

The originators5 of this theory, then, used not to postulate Ideas of groups of things in which they posited6 an order of priority and posteriority7 (for which reason they did not construct an Idea of numbers in general). But Good is predicated alike in the Categories of Substance, of Quality, and Relation; yet the Absolute,8 or Substance, is prior in nature to the Relative, which seems to be a sort of offshoot or ‘accident’ of Substance; so that there cannot be a common Idea corresponding to the absolutely good and the relatively good. [3]

Again, the word ‘good’ is used in as many senses as the word ‘is’; for we may predicate good in the Category of Substance, for instance of God, or intelligence; in that of Quality—the excellences; in that of Quantity—moderate in amount; in that of Relation—useful; in that of Time—a favorable opportunity; in that of Place—a suitable ‘habitat’9; and so on. So clearly good cannot be a single and universal general notion; if it were, it would not be predicable in all the Categories, but only in one. [4]

Again, things that come under a single Idea must be objects of a single science; hence there ought to be a single science dealing with all good things. But as a matter of fact there are a number of sciences even for the goods in one Category: for example, opportunity, for opportunity in war comes under the science of strategy, in disease under that of medicine; and the due amount in diet comes under medicine, in bodily exercise under gymnastics. [5]

One might also raise the question what precisely they mean by their expression the ‘Ideal so and-so,’10 seeing that one and the same definition of man

1 It is not certain whether this phrase refers to written treatises (whether Aristotle's own dialogues and other popular works, now lost, or those of other philosophers), or to philosophical debates like those which Plato's dialogues purport to report (as did doubtless those of Aristotle). Cf. De caelo 279a 30 ἐν τοῖς ἐγκυκλίοις φιλοσοφήμασι, ‘in the ordinary philosophical discussions,’ and De anima 407b 29 τοῖς ἐν κοινῷ γινομένοις λόγοις, ‘the discussions that go on in public’; and see 13.9 note for similar references to ‘extraneous discussions.’

2 Literally ‘violent’; the adjective is applied to the strict diet and and laborious exercises of athletes, and to physical phenomena such as motion, in the sense of ‘constrained’, ‘not natural’. The text here has been suspected.

3 The translation ‘Forms’ is perhaps less misleading: εἶδος is not a psychological term.

4 Probably a verse quotation.

5 Or perhaps ‘importers’ from the Pythagoreans of S. Italy.

6 Perhaps ‘we posit’.

7 A is ‘prior in nature’ (though not necessarily in time) to B, when A can exist without B but not B without A; and they cannot then be on a par as members of one class.

8 Lit. ‘that which is by itself’.

9 δίαιτα is used of the habitat of a species of animals, De mundo 398b 32; though it has been taken here to mean ‘a favorable climate’ for human beings. In Aristoph. Frogs 114 it may mean ‘a lodging’, and later it denotes an apartment or suite of rooms, as in Pliny's descriptions of Italian villas.

10 Literally ‘so-and-so itself.’

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