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‘And bashful, sensitive to shame; because they have not yet acquired the notion of (ὑπολαμβάνειν) any other standard of honour and light, but have been trained (schooled) by the conventional law alone’. ὁ νόμος is here the law established by society, the conventional usages in respect of honour and conduct, the traditions and customary observances of good breeding, any violation of these calls a blush to the cheek of youth. Old age, the opposite, has lost this quick sense of shame; διὰ γὰρ τὸ μὴ φροντίζειν ὁμοίως τοῦ καλοῦ καὶ τοῦ συμφέροντος ὀλιγωροῦσι τοῦ δοκεῖν, c. 13. 10. πρεσβύτερον δ᾽ οὐδεὶς ἂν ἐπαινέσειεν ὅτι αἰσχυντηλός, Eth. N. IV 15, 1128 b 20. Νόμος in this sense is opposed to φύσις, as in the famous antithesis, the abuse of which is one of the principal sources of paradox and sophistry (πλεῖστος τόπος τοῦ ποιεῖν παράδοξα λέγειν), τὸ κατὰ φύσιν καὶ κατὰ τὸν νόμον. ἦν δὲ τὸ μὲν κατὰ φύσιν αὐτοῖς τὸ ἀληθές, τὸ δὲ κατὰ νόμον τὸ τοῖς πολλοῖς δοκοῦν. Topic. IX (de Soph. El.) 12, 173 a 7 seq. In this more comprehensive application of the term, however, the positive laws, of human origin, enacted in the various states and cities, are included amongst the ‘social conventions’. On the similar antithesis of πρὸς δόξαν and πρὸς ἀλήθειαν, see note on II 4. 23, comp. c. 6. 23. In the former case truth or reality is opposed to popular opinion and its results; in the latter reality and right are represented as the ‘natural’ law or order of things. In this passage the ἀλήθεια has a moral character; τὸ καλόν, the ‘true’ is here the ‘right’ or ‘noble’, the ultimate end of the moral action. On this sense of καλόν, see my Review of Aristotle's System of Ethics, 1867, p. 14.
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