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ἔθεσι καὶ ἀσκήσεσιν. Aristotle Nic. Eth. II 1 is in effect a commentary on this text: note in particular δ᾽ ἠθικὴ (ἀρετὴ) ἐξ ἔθους περιγίγνεται (1103^{a} 17)—οὐδεμία τῶν ἠθικῶν ἀρετῶν φύσει ἡμῖν ἐγγίγνεται (ibid. 19)—τὰς δ᾽ ἀρετὰς λαμβάνομεν ἐνεργήσαντες πρότερον (1103^{a} 31).

δὲ τοῦ φρονῆσαι κτλ. The ἀρετή of φρονῆσαι (=νόησις or the exercise of νοῦς) is not merely καλουμένη ψυχῆς, but does in reality belong to (for τυγχάνει οὖσα cf. I 337 B note)—is an essential attribute of—something more divine (than that to which the other virtues belong), viz. νοῦς. The meaning of φρόνησις has changed since IV 433 B (see on IV 428 B) in conformity with the intellectualism of Books VI and VII.

παντὸς μᾶλλον has been suspected, and Madvig proposes ὑφάσματος or πλάσματος μᾶλλον, Richards ὀργάνου μᾶλλον: but the text is indubitably sound. The phrase, like πάντων μάλιστα, means ‘most assuredly,’ and has nothing to do with the comparative θειοτέρου, but emphasises the whole assertion exactly as in Crit. 49 B and Prot. 344 B.

τὴν μὲν δύναμιν κτλ. Plato means that νοῦς can never lose its power or function, which is νόησις. οὐδέποτε should not be limited to this life. The Peripatetic doctrine of “das unsterbliche Attribut der denkenden Function” is here foreshadowed, as Krohn observes (Pl. St. p. 160). See also on 518 C.

ὑπὸ δὲ τῆς περιαγωγῆς is equivalent to ὑπὸ δὲ τῆς περιαγωγῆς τε καὶ μή (‘according as it is or is not turned round’). See on VI 498 A.

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hide References (2 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (2):
    • Plato, Crito, 49b
    • Plato, Protagoras, 344b
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