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καὶ ὃ κρίνειαν ἂν κ.τ.λ.] ‘the judgment or decision, upon any dis puted question, of...’ Top. Γ I, 116 a 14, καὶ ὃ μᾶλλον ἂν ἕλοιτο ὁ φρόνιμος ἢ ὁ ἀγαθὸς ἀνήρ, ἢ ὁ νόμος ὁ ὀρθός, ἢ οἱ σπουδαῖοι περὶ ἕκαστα αἱρούμενοι ᾗ τοιοῦτοί (σπουδαῖοι) εἰσιν, ἢ οἱ ἐν ἑκάστῳ γένει ἐπιστήμονες, ἢ ὅσα οἱ πλείους ἢ πάντες, οἷον ἐν ἰατρικῇ ἢ τεκτονικῇ ἃ οἱ πλείους τῶν ἰατρῶν ἢ πάντες, ἢ ὅσα ὅλως οἱ πλείους ἢ πάντες ἢ πάντα, οἷον τἀγαθόν: πάντα γὰρ τἀγαθοῦ ἐφίεται. This passage will serve as a commentary on the topic of the Rhetoric. It describes the authority of φρόνησις (practical wisdom, the intellectual virtue which selects the proper means and directs them to the end, Eth. N. VI), and the impersonation of it in the φρόνιμος. In the definition of ἀρετή, Eth. N. II 6, init. the φρόνιμος is the measure or standard, which fixes the variable mean, in which virtue resides, for each individual character. In all arts and sciences it is the professional man, the expert, who has to decide, each in his own department. The ἀγαθός decides in moral questions, which is his special province. Comp. note on 6. 25. ἢ πάντες—οἱ κράτιστοι] a descending scale of the φρόνιμοι, those who are competent to decide; all, or most (the many, the great mass of them, οἱ πλεῖστοι), or the (bare) majority, or the best and ablest amongst them (in point of judgment, and professional skill). ἀγαθὸν ἢ μεῖζον] So the MSS and Edd., with the exception of one MS and Buhle's Ed., which omit ἢ, as does Muretus in his Transl. The omission certainly improves the sense; but Vater with some reason objects to this order of the two words, which he says should have been inverted, μεῖζον ἀγαθόν. ἀγαθόν, which Vater proposes to omit, is certainly wanted to explain κατὰ τῶν ἄλλων in the following clause. ἢ ἁπλῶς ἢ ᾗ κατὰ τὴν φρόνησιν] ‘either absolutely, universally, or in respect of their practical wisdom’, specially and alone. κατὰ τὴν φρόνησιν corresponds to ᾗ τοιοῦτοι in the passage of the Topics, ‘in so far as they are such’ (φρόνιμοι), and in no other respect. καὶ κατὰ τῶν ἄλλων] ‘of everything else as well’, as good. κατά with the genit. is very common in Arist. in the sense of ‘of’, ‘in the case of’; derived from its proper and primary sense ‘down upon’, and hence, ‘applying to’, ‘of’. This use of it seems to come through the intermediate sense of ‘predication’, κατηγορεῖν, κατηγορεῖσθαί τινος, ‘to predicate, be predicated, of something’.—ἐπί, ‘upon’, ‘applying to’, ‘in the case of’, so and so, is similarly used (ἐπ᾽ ἀγαθῶν) in the same section. τί, ποσόν, ποιόν] are the first three categories; (1) the substance or true nature of a thing, (2) quantity and (3) quality. These, though properly falling under the domain of science or exact knowledge, may yet be dealt with by the ‘practical judgment’ which may convey a popular and practical acquaintance with them, sufficient for the purposes of the Rhetorician. εἰρήκαμεν: ὥρισται γάρ] supr. § 3. ὃ μᾶλλον ἡ φρόνησις λέγει] If that is good in genera which is pronounced to be so by the man of practical sagacity, then that must be a greater good which is pronounced by the same authority to be more so, to be so in a higher degree.
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