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such love. But confining ourselves to cases which Aristotle gives, and where the doctrine of the mean might seem least unsatisfactory, as in the definition of courage, this would seem to imply that there is a certain quality or instinct, which is found existing in three different degrees; a small degree constituting cowardice, a somewhat larger amount courage, a larger still rashness. Whereas the truth is that, while courage and rashness do differ in degree, and spring from the same instinctive root, cowardice differs from them both in kind, and springs from an entirely different instinct. There cannot be less of the natural impulse which, moralized and rationalized, becomes courage, than none at all; yet such a negative state would never give rise to the impulse to run away, which springs from another positive principle, the desire of self-preservation. Aristotle's 'Mean' is in fact an attempt to express two distinct circumstances in regard to the moral constitution of man, one that the several instincts are indeed the raw material of as many virtues, but that, if untrained and unchecked, they run to excess and become vices; and, secondly, that the perfect character is one in which all the various instincts are harmoniously developed, so that the adventurous instinct, for instance, is balanced by the cautious instinct; one giving rise to the virtue of courage, the other to the virtue of prudence. The last point on which I shall touch is the divergence between the Aristotelian and Christian ethics. I have mentioned the absence of benevolence from Aristotle's list of virtues. In this he fails to give a right idea of our relation towards our fellow-men; but the main defects of his system arise from his defective idea of our relation to God. In regard to theology, as in
regard to every thing else, Aristotle seeks to find some confirmation for his own view in the ordinary belief of men. He thinks that the human race is for ever passing through alternate cycles of barbarism and civilization, and that in the traditional beliefs of men we may see, as it were, a ray of earlier light which has not been entirely extinguished in its passage through succeeding darkness. [Such is Aristotle's matter-of-fact rendering of the 'Reminiscence' (åváurnois) of Plato ?.] It is this primaeval tradition which teaches us that all nature is encompassed by Deity, and that the heaven itself and the heavenly bodies are divine. But this original belief has got incrusted with mythological additions, partly owing to man's natural tendency to generalize his own experiences, and attribute to the Gods whatever belongs to himself; and partly to design on the part of legislators with a view to moral or political expediency. While Aristotle considers these fables unworthy of serious attention* he is not roused like Plato, to protest against their immoral tendency. Nor, again, will he accept Plato's idea of God as the Creator and Governor of the world. Such an idea appears to him unworthy of the Deity and inconsistent with the blessedness which we ascribe to Him. The supreme God of Aristotle is the perfection of wisdom, the never-ceasing cause of all the beauty and order of the universe; but we cannot speak of Him as acting, or, as
1 Cf. Zeller, 11. 2. p. 792 with the references, especially Met. XII. 8. 2 See above p. 43.
8 Cf. Pol. Ι. 2, ώσπερ τα είδη εαυτούς αφομοιούσιν οι άνθρωποι, ούτω και τους βίους των θεών.
4 Met. ΙΙ. 4, περί των μυθικώς σοφιζομένων (such as Ηesiod) ουκ άξιον μετά σπουδής σκοπεϊν.
displaying moral virtue; He is not in any sense a moral Governor; no idea of Duty or of Sin arises in us at the thought of the relation in which we stand to Him. The same reason may probably explain why humility is treated as a failing; why nothing is said of purity, as distinct from self-mastery; and why the description of the crowning virtue of magnanimity, presents so much that is offensive to our present feeling. There is a further difference between the Aristotelian and the Christian views as to the immortality of the soul. Aristotle, it is true, allows immortality to vous, the rational element in man, but his statements in regard to the continuance of a separate individual existence after death are extremely vague'. The thought of immortality is far from having the same practical influence with him, as it had with Plato.
I proceed now to the analysis of the Politics, which commences, as is usual in Aristotle's writings, with a broad generalization
Every association aims at some good, and the State, as the highest and most comprehensive association, at the highest and most comprehensive good. The elements of the State, in the ultimate analysis, are male and female, ruler and ruled. Society originates in the instinctive and necessary combination of these elements, for the sake of the preservation and perpetuation of the race. The simplest form of society is the family, consisting of husband, wife, children, slave. Out of a combination of families is produced the village (Kuun), governed by the eldest progenitor; out of a combination of villages is produced the complete and self-sufficing organization of the State (Trócs) still under the government of One. Though later in time, this is essentially prior (Tpótepov Dúoel) to the family or the individual, as every whole is prior to its parts, because man is by nature a political animal, and only attains his perfection in the State. Whoever is unfitted for the State must be either above or below humanity ( deos Onpíor). Without political
1 See Grant, Ethics of Aristotle 1. p. 294 foll.
2 English editions by Eaton, 1855, and Congreve, ed. 2, 1874; a better one of books 1, 3, 4 with translation by Bolland and Lang, 1878. See Oncken Staatslehre des Aristoteles, 1877, and an essay on ‘Aristotle's conception of the State' by A. C. Bradley in Hellenica.
3 It is a great drawback to this interesting and admirable book that it has come down to us in such a confused and fragmentary state. In my analysis I have arranged the topics in the order which seemed to me most natural, disregarding altogether the order of the books after the first two.
(ή ή θηρίον. society man is without justice and law, and becomes the worst of animals, as he is the best armed with courage and craft.
The theory of the Family has to do with persons and with possessions. In regard to the former it embraces the relations of master to slave, of husband to wife, of father to child. To these relations correspond three forms of government, despotism, civil magistracy, monarchy. As to the question whether slavery is natural and lawful or not, it would seem that, if there are any men whose gpyov consists in bodily activity alone, and who can only be said to have a share in reason in so far as, without possessing it themselves, they are capable of receiving it from others, from whom they differ as much as the body differs from the soul,—then slavery is the best condition for them, and they are by nature slaves : but where this difference is not found, as in the case of Greeks enslaved by Greeks, there slavery is unnatural and unlawful. The slave, not possessing the deliberative faculty, is only capable of the inferior virtues, such as temperance, in the degree in which they are needed for his work. There is a corresponding difference between
. the virtue of a man, a woman and a child'.
In treating of wealth we have to distinguish between what is real and what is factitious. In increasing the former we actually increase the general stock of useful things by agriculture, hunting, or otherwise; in increasing the latter we merely add to our own store of money, which is simply a convenient token. The worst and most unnatural form of accumulation is usury.
The Second Book commences with a criticism of Plato's Republic. It is founded on the wrong principle, that unity is the perfection of the State. So far from this being the case, the State, as it approaches unity, loses its character of a community, becoming first a family, then an individual. Even if unity were the perfection of the State, Socrates (Aristotle prefers to make him the nominal opponent) uses the wrong means to attain it.
For (1) as regards community of women, it is impossible for ‘all to have all in common,' if we use the word “all’ distributively; and, if it is used collectively, (affirming a general
1 ο μεν δούλος όλως ουκ έχει το βουλευτικόν, το δε θήλυ έχει μέν, αλλ' άκυρον, ο δε παίς έχει μεν, αλλ' ατελές...ώστε ουχ ή αυτή σωφροσύνη γυναικός και ανδρός, ουδ' ανδρία και δικαιοσύνη, καθάπερ ώετο Σωκράτης, αλλ' ή μεν αρχική, ή δ' υπηρετική. Compare, on the difference of the male and female character, Econ. I. 3, and the very elaborate comparison in the Hist. An. IX. 1, quoted by Zeller II. 2. p. 688,