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τὸ ἔργον αὐτῆς] The proper office, the special function, business, ‘work’, ἔργον, of Rhetoric, is exercised in such things as we are obliged to take advice about, where there are no definite rules of art ready laid down to guide us. The ἔργον of anything is that which it is specially appointed (by nature) to do, its proper special work. It is in the execution, the carrying out or fulfilment of this ἔργον, that this ἀρετή, this special excellence of everything, resides. Nature always works intelligently with a purpose in view, πρὸς τέλος τι, everything has its own special ἔργον. This is especially manifest in all ‘instruments’, ὄργανα (things in which the purpose is apparent); as of an axe or knife the office or purpose is to cut (large and small things), of a horse to run, of an eye to see, of the <*>ind to think, and so on; and the purpose or office being the same in kind and differing only in degree, in doing a thing at all and in doing it well, the ἀρετή is shewn in and measured by the performance of this special work; sharpness in the knife to cut well, swiftness in the horse to run well, is the due fulfilment of its ἔργον. Eth. N. VI 2, 1139 a 16, ἡ <*>᾿ ἀρετὴ πρὸς τὸ ἔργον τὸ οἰκεῖον. This doctrine is first laid down by Plato, Rep. 1 352 E seq. and borrowed by Aristotle, Eth. Nic. I 6, and II 5, where the theory of moral virtue is based upon it. Hence Pol. I 2, 1253 a 23, πάντα δὲ τῷ ἔργῳ ὥρισται καὶ τῇ δυνάμει. Eth. Eud. II 1, 1218 b 38, περὶ ἀρετῆς, ὅτι ἐστὶν ἡ βελτίστη διάθεσις ἢ ἕξις ἢ δύναμις ἑκάστων, ὅσων ἐστί τις χρῆσις ἢ ἔργον, which is there illustrated at length. διὰ πολλῶν συνορᾷν] ‘to take in at a glance through the medium, or along the line, of many steps of proof or syllogisms’, ‘to take in a long chain of arguments at one view’. λογίζεσθαι πόῤῥωθεν] expresses much the same thing as διὰ πολλῶν συνορᾷν, to deduce or string together syllogisms in a chain from a long way off or back, ‘to string together a long chain of connected syllogisms’. With πόῤῥωθεν here, compare the similar use of it in II 22, 3, and Top. A 11, 105 a 8 οὐδὲ δὴ ὧν σύνεγγυς ἡ ἀπόδειξις, οὐδ᾽ ὧν λίαν πόῤῥω. βουλευόμεθα δέ] On the proper objects of deliberation compare Eth. Nic. III 5, VI 2 λεγέσθω δὲ τούτων (τῶν τῆς ψυχῆς μορίων) τὸ μὲν ἐπιστημονικὸν τὸ δὲ λογιστικόν, τὸ γὰρ βουλεύεσθαι καὶ λογίζεσθαι ταὐτόν, οὐθεὶς δὲ βουλεύεται περὶ τῶν μὴ ἐνδεχομένων ἄλλως ἔχειν. c. 5, 1140 a 32, βουλεύεται δ᾽ οὐθεὶς περὶ τῶν ἀδυνάτων ἄλλως ἔχειν, οὐδὲ τῶν μὴ ἐνδεχομένων αὐτῷ πρᾶξαι. de Anima III 10, 4, 433 a 29, πρακτὸν δ᾽ ἐστὶ τὸ ἐνδεχόμενον καὶ ἄλλως ἔχειν. We deliberate and act only in cases where the event or issue is uncertain (may be in either of two ways, ἀμφοτέρως); where the event is necessarily this or that, i. e. certainly one way, and not the other, or where it is not in our own power, where we have no control over it, no one either deliberates whether or no anything is to be done or tries to do it. τὰ ἐνδεχόμενα ἀμφότερως ἔχειν is usually expressed by τὰ ἐνδεχόμενα ἄλλως ἔχειν, things contingent and uncertain in their issue; opposed to τὰ μὴ ἐνδεχόμενα ἄλλως ἔχειν, things certain and necessary, which can be only in one way, which have only one possible issue, and cannot be in one way or another, indifferently. οὕτως ὑπολαμβάνων] ‘on that supposition’, i. e. if he actually supposes them to be necessary and unalterable: because it is possible that he may have deliberated or even attempted in action things which he did not know were beyond his control, in mere ignorance. οὐδὲν πλέον] ‘there is nothing to be gained by it, no advantage in it’. Valckenaer, Diatr. in Eur. Fragm. p. 150 (156), supplies numerous examples. In three MSS (Bekker) the words οὐδὲν γαρ πλεον are followed immediately by ἢ οὕτως ἐνδέχεται συμβουλεύειν. They were first omitted by Bekker, though previously suspected by Muretus. The origin of this interpolation, for such it seems to be, may be thus accounted for. The words συλλογίζεσθαι and συνάγειν being very nearly synonymous, some one may have added in the margin ἢ οὕτως: ἐνδέχεται δὲ συμβουλεύειν— meaning that we might read συμβουλεὑειν in place of συλλογίζεσθαι to avoid the tautology, συμβουλεύειν referring to the deliberative branch of Rhetoric, or public speaking: ἢ οὕτως, ‘or thus’, merely expressing the possibility of a various reading, ἐνδέχεται δὲ συμβουλεύειν. The essential stop after οὕτως was then omitted or overlooked, and the words finally introduced into the text as an appendage to πλέον, with the sense, as rendered by Gaisford, ‘nihil enim amplius profici potest, quam quod sic deliberatur: i. e. incassum enim instituitur ista (altera) consultatio’.
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