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τὰ ἐν χρείᾳ...μείζονι χρήσιμα (μείζω ἐστί）] A friend in need is a friend indeed. ‘Auget manifesto vim beneficiorum tempus, angustiaeque eorum qui beneficium accipiunt, quod etiam Demosthenes in Leptinem significavit (p. 471, 1), πάντες μὲν γάρ εἰσιν ἴσως ἄξιοι χάριν ἀνταπολαμβάνειν οἱ προϋπάρχοντες τῷ ποιεῖν ὑμᾶς εὖ, μάλιστα δὲ οἱ παρὰ τὰς χρείας.’ Victorius. Comp. Eth. N. VIII 15, 1163 a 16, in estimating the value of services to a friend, when you wish to make the most of them you say that they are τὰ μέγιστα τῶν παρ᾽ αὑτοῖς (the best you have to give), καὶ ἃ παρ᾽ ἄλλων οὐκ ἦν, καὶ ἐν κινδύνοις ἢ τοιαύταις χρείαις. δυοῖν τὸ ἐγγύτερον τοῦ τέλους] This topic is distinguishable from those in §§ 9 and 16. There the comparison is between end and not-end: here it is between different degrees or orders of means to an end. Top. Γ 1, 116 b 22, quoted on § 9. Alexander, in his Comm. on that passage, illustrates this by the comparison of shaving and exercise as means to the end, health; the active exercise of ἀρετή (this is the definition of εὐδαιμονία in the Eth. Nic.) to the mere ἕξις of it, as nearer to the end, happiness; in practical arts, the higher and more comprehensive are superior to the narrower and subordinate in each department, the latter being mere means to some higher end; so horsemanship is superior to the saddler's art, both being subordinate, but the former nearer, to the end, the military art; the woodman's and carpenter's arts as means to shipbuilding; medicine and gymnastics as both tending to a healthy habit of body. τὸ αὐτῷ καὶ ἁπλῶς] The comparison in the expression of this topic is left to be understood, and the two terms are merely placed in juxtaposition by καί, one and the other are laid before us, in order that we may choose between them. The topic is a comparison of absolute good, or good in general, and relative good. That which is absolutely good, or good in itself, καθ᾽ αὑτό, or good in general, need not be the best for us (‘to a man's own self’), any particular individual, αὐτῷ, though theoretically, from the higher point of view, it is superior to the other. Top. Γ 1, 116 b 8, τὸ ἁπλῶς ἀγαθὸν τοῦ τινὶ αἱρετώτερον1. Alexander, in his Comm. on Top. p. 125 (Top. 116 b 26, τὸ δυνατὸν καὶ ἀδύνατον), illustrates this by the contrast of immortality and long life, which will apply as well to the ἁπλῶς and αὐτῷ as to that for which it is immediately intended: immortality may perhaps be absolutely the best, most desirable in itself, but it is out of our reach; for us therefore a long life, which may possibly be attained, is better: it is of no use to choose or prefer immortality. Another example is supplied by Heraclitus' dictum, quoted in Eth. Nic. x 5, 1176 a 7, that an ass would prefer any rubbish or refuse (σύρματα) to gold; because it is pleasanter to him. Comp. I 15. 12, τὸ ἁπλῶς ἀγαθὸν αἱρεῖται οὐδείς, ἀλλὰ τὸ αὑτῷ. αὐτῷ (al. αὑτῷ) [on p. 146] is the reading of Vict., Buhle, Gaisf., Bekker, Spengel, and Bonitz, Arist. Stud. I p. 88. It is the equivalent of τινί in the familiar antithesis of general and particular good, as in the passage of the Topics above quoted; comp. I 9. 17 αὐτῷ, I 15. 20, II 13. 9, τὸ μὲν γὰρ συμφέρον αὐτῷ ἀγαθόν ἐστι, τὸ δὲ καλὸν ἁπλῶς: and as in the repetition of the antithesis, I 15. 12, it assumes the form of αὑτῷ, ‘good to a man's own self’, i.e. each particular individual, it is quite plain that the one form can in many cases be substituted for the other. On αὐτοῦ for αὑτοῦ and the rest, see Waitz, Org. p. 486, 54 a 14. Rhet. I 1. 12, ἀνάγκη δἰ αὐτῶν ἡττᾶσθαι. Also, Buttm. Excurs. X ad Dem. c. Mid. p. 140, de formis αὑτόν et αὐτόν. ἤ for καί, which is adopted by Vict. and Gaisf., and suggested by Bonitz, l. c., is, as I have above endeavoured to shew, unnecessary. τὸ δυνατὸν τοῦ ἀδυνάτου] Top. Γ 1, 116 b 26. See Alexander's example in the last note but one. Another occurs in II 2. 2, on anger, ἡδὺ μὲν γὰρ τὸ οἴεσθαι τεύξεσθαι ὧν ἐφίεται, οὐδεὶς δὲ τῶν φαινομένων ἀδυνάτων ἐφίεται αὑτῷ, ὁ δ᾽ ὀργίζόμενος ἐφίεται αὑτῷ. We deliberate, with a view to action, and that which is to be preferred of two courses of action, only about things which we believe to be possible, and possible to us; κἂν μὲν ἀδυνάτῳ ἐντύχωσιν, ἀφίστανται...ἐὰν δὲ δυνατὸν φαίνηται ἐγχειροῦσι πράττειν. Eth. Nic. III 5, 1112 b 25. This topic is stated as a consequence from the preceding; the possible is to be preferred to the impossible, because the attainable good is the only good for us, τὸ μὲν γὰρ αὑτῷ, τὸ δ᾽ οὔ. τὰ ἐν τέλει τοῦ βίου] The end in question is not the temporal end, but the final cause. The τέλος is in itself good, 7. 8, 9; 6. 2; the higher or nearer to the end (τὰ πρὸς τῷ τέλει) are any of the means employed for the attainment of it, the more they approximate in their character to the end itself; hence τὰ ἐν τέλει τοῦ βίου, the means included in, or those which subserve, the end of life—happiness, or whatever else the end of life may be—are in so far superior, being nearer to that great and final end, than other means to other and lower ends. Top. Γ 1, 116 b 23, τὸ πρὸς τὸ τοῦ βίου τέλος αἱρετώτερον μᾶλλον ἢ τὸ πρὸς ἄλλο τι, οἷον τὸ πρὸς εὐδαιμονίαν συντεῖνον ἢ τὸ πρὸς φρόνησιν.
1 The comparison of these two topics well illustrates the difference of treatment in dialectical and rhetorical reasoning. In the former that which is generally and theoretically true is put forward: in the latter, looking at this same question from the practical side, we see that there are many exceptions, and that this other side is equally capable of being maintained.
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