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but it would not seem to make any difference whether these laws are written or unwritten, or whether they are to regulate the education of a single person or of a number of people, any more than in the case of music or athletics or any other form of training. Paternal exhortations and family habits have authority in the household, just as legal enactments and national customs have authority in the state, and the more so on account of the ties of relationship and of benefits conferred that unite the head of the household to its other members: he can count on their natural affection and obedience at the outset. [15] Moreover individual treatment is better than a common system, in education as in medicine. As a general rule rest and fasting are good for a fever, but they may not be best for a particular case; and presumably a professor of boxing does not impose the same style of fighting on all his pupils. It would appear then that private attention gives more accurate results in particular cases, for the particular subject is more likely to get the treatment that suits him. But a physician or trainer or any other director can best treat a particular person if he has a general knowledge of what is good for everybody, or for other people of the same kind: for the sciences deal with what is universal, as their names1 imply. [16] Not but what it is possible no doubt for a particular individual to be successfully treated by someone who is not a scientific expert, but has an empirical knowledge based on careful observation of the effects of various forms of treatment upon the person in question; just as some people appear to be their own best doctors, though they could not do any good to someone else. But nevertheless it would doubtless be agreed that anyone who wishes to make himself a professional and a man of science must advance to general principles, and acquaint himself with these by the proper method: for science, as we said, deals with the universal. [17] So presumably a man who wishes to make other people better (whether few or many) by discipline, must endeavor to acquire the science of legislation—assuming that it is possible to make us good by laws. For to mold aright the character of any and every person that presents himself is not a task that can be done by anybody, but only (if at all) by the man with scientific knowledge, just as is the case in medicine and the other professions involving a system of treatment and the exercise of prudence. [18]

Is not then the next question to consider from whom or how the science of legislation can be learnt? Perhaps, like other subjects, from the experts, namely the politicians; for we saw2 that legislation who is a branch of political science. But possibly it may seem that political science is unlike the other sciences and faculties. In these the persons who impart a knowledge of the faculty are the same as those who practice it, for instance physicians and painters; but in politics the sophists, who profess to teach the science,

1 e.g., medicine is ‘the science of healing,’ not the ‘science of healing Brown or Jones.’

2 See 6.8.2.

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