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or the other parts of the body1 must know their anatomy. Indeed a foundation of science is even more requisite for the statesman, inasmuch as politics is a higher and more honorable art than medicine; but physicians of the better class devote much attention to the study of the human body. [8] The student of politics2 therefore as well as the psychologist must study the nature of the soul, though he will do so as an aid to politics, and only so far as is requisite for the objects of enquiry that he has in view: to pursue the subject in further detail would doubtless be more laborious than is necessary for his purpose. [9]

Now on the subject of psychology some of the teaching current in extraneous discourses3 is satisfactory, and may be adopted here: namely that the soul consists of two parts, one irrational and the other capable of reason.4 [10] (Whether these two parts are really distinct in the sense that the parts of the body or of any other divisible whole are distinct, or whether though distinguishable in thought as two they are inseparable in reality, like the convex and concave sides of a curve, is a question of no importance for the matter in hand.) [11] Of the irrational part of the soul again one division appears to be common to all living things, and of a vegetative nature: I refer to the part that causes nutrition and growth; for we must assume that a vital faculty of this nature exists in all things that assimilate nourishment,

1 The context seems to disprove the alternative rendering ‘just as to cure eyes the oculist must have a general of the structure of the whole of the body as well.’ The illustration is a reminiscence of Plat. Charm. 156b-e, but does not follow that passage exactly.

2 πολιτικός means for Aristotle both “political scientist” and “statesman”: for him they are the same thing, since πολιτική is a practical science.

3 These ἐξωτερικοὶ λόγοι are also mentioned in 6.4.2 and six other places in Aristotle (see Ross on Aristot. Met. 1076a 28). In Aristot. Pol. 1323a 22 they are appealed to for the tripartite classification of goods which in 8.2 above is ascribed to current opinion ‘of long standing and generally accepted by students of philosophy.’ The phrase therefore seems to denote arguments or doctrines (whether familiar in philosophic debates, for which see note on 5.6, or actually recorded in books), that were not peculiar to the Peripatetic school; in some cases, as here, it may refer specially to the tenets of the Academy.

4 Literally “having a plan or principle.”

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