previous next
the Categories of Substance, of Quality, and Relation; yet the Absolute,1 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’2; 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,’3 seeing that one and the same definition of man

1 Lit. ‘that which is by itself’.

2 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.

3 Literally ‘so-and-so itself.’

load focus Greek (J. Bywater)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: