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τὸ ἐναντίον μεῖζον] ‘And one thing is greater than another when the opposite of the former is greater than that of the latter’. ‘Exemplum accommodatum erit valetudo ac divitiae; quae ambo sunt bona: contraria eorum morbus et paupertas: maius autem malum corporis morbus quam paupertas; praestat igitur valetudo divitiis.’ Victorius. On this, and the next topic, στέρησις, comp. supr. c. 6, 4, and § 18; and the passages of the Topics (Γ 2, 117 b 2,) and the Categories there referred to.

οὗ στέρησις μείζων] On the various applications of στέρησις in Aristotle's philosophy, see Met. Δ c. 22, and Bonitz's Commentary: Categ. c. 10, p. 12 a 26, and Waitz, ad loc. Trendel. Kategorienlehre, p. 103 seq.

The following illustration of the topic is given by Schrader. ‘Peius est caecum esse quam surdum: ergo visus auditu praestantior est. Gravius malum est fama quam pecunia privari; ergo bona existimatio praestat divitiis.’ ‘Things of which the privation is greater’ or more deeply felt, are those which are most necessary, essential to our existence or comfort; as air and water again, in this point of view.

καὶ ἀρετὴ μὴ ἀρετῆςτέλη] ‘and virtue is superior to non-virtue, and vice to non-vice; because the one is an end, and the other not’. The application of this seems to be to things compared as positive and negative: positive virtue and positive vice, which can be ends or objects to aim at, are in so far superior to mere negatives which can not1. Moral considerations are altogether laid aside, and Rhetoric is here permitted (not recommended) to take the immoral side of the question: vice may be regarded as an ‘end’ of human desire and exertion.

Bonitz, Arist. Stud. I. p. 87, proposes an ingenious alteration, which no one who is satisfied with the preceding explanation will consider necessary. It is to substitute for the existing text, καὶ ἀρετὴ μὴ κακίας καὶ κακία μὴ ἀρετῆς μείζων, ‘positive, downright, virtue is greater (better or worse) than mere absence of vice, and downright vice than mere absence of virtue’: which he neither translates nor explains; but, it is to be presumed, it means that the superiority of the one to the other still rests upon its positive character. The morality remains constant; for vice is still represented as the object of men's aims: it is therefore no improvement in that respect. His reason for the change is, ‘that it never could occur to any one to institute a comparison in respect of magnitude (Grösse) between ἀρετή and μὴ ἀρετή, and κακία and μὴ κακία.’ Not perhaps if μείζων implied nothing but mere magnitude or quantity; but when it is extended to the general notion of superiority the comparison may very well be made between them. And besides, Bonitz's altered comparison appears to rest upon the very same distinction of the positive and negative; for in what other sense can vice be regarded as superior to nonvirtue?

1 Victorius, perhaps rightly, explains μὴ ἀρετή and μὴ κακία as states of growth and development, which have not yet reached their ‘end’, the formed ἕξις, but are mere διαθέσεις, transient dispositions, and so far inferior.

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