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πλοῦτος, ἀρετὴ κτήσεως] The ἔργον, special office or function, that which it was intended by its nature to do, determines the ἀρετή or special excellence of anything. If wealth is the object of acquisition, and acquisition fulfils its proper function, its destination, the law of its being, in the accumulation of wealth; then the ἀρετή or special excellence of the art of acquiring is manifested in the attainment of that object, or the wealth amassed. Wealth as a ‘good’ seems here to be regarded as an end; if so, this is in contradiction to the more scientific doctrine laid down in the Politics I 8, according to which wealth is only an instrument, see note on p. 79 (c. 5, 7), and note 1 on the same page. However, as some good things are only instrumental and means to an end, we are not obliged to suppose that Aristotle regards wealth here otherwise than as one of those mediate ends, subordinate and subservient to some other and higher end. On the relation of ἔργον and ἀρετή, see notes on c. 2, 12, and 5, 4, and the reff. in the former.
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