On Aristotle: Nicomachean Ethics 1-4, 7-8 (Ancient Commentators on Aristotle) (Chapters 1-4, 7-8)
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Until the launch of this series nearly twenty years ago, the 15,000 volumes of the ancient Greek commentators on Aristotle, written mainly between 200 and 600 AD, constituted the largest corpus of extant Greek philosophical writings not translated into English or other European languages. Aspasius' commentary on the Nicomachean Ethics, of which six books have come down to us, is the oldest surviving Greek commentary on any of Aristotle's works, dating to the middle of the second century AD. It offers precious insight into the thinking and pedagogical methods of the Peripatetic school in the early Roman Empire, and provides illuminating discussions of numerous technical points in Aristotle's treatise, along with valuable excursuses on such topics as the nature of the emotions. This is the first complete translation of Aspasius' work in any modern language.
great is the power that comes from friends in regard to the protection and preservation of what belongs to those who are wealthy. In poverty too, of course, friends are a refuge and a support. Again, when Aristotle says that friends assist ‘the young as well in not erring’ (1155a12-13) by correcting them, he would seem to be saying that love is something noble rather than necessary. Perhaps correction is indeed a noble thing, but nevertheless a necessary thing as well, for 15 20 159,1 5 10
suppose them to be involuntary. Translation 67 1111b4-1112a13 ‘The voluntary having been distinguished’ to ‘but rather if it is the same as some belief’. Upon the account of the voluntary and involuntary follows that concerning choice. For choice is a kind of species of the voluntary. For virtue and vice are a kind of choice. Further, characters are judged more on the basis of choice than of action. For one might do noble things also by chance [or luck], and by taking care of them for some
deficiencies. He said jointly about both that they are excesses and deficiencies not unreasonably, but did so rather because each of them is both. For profligacy is excessive in giving
whom they make the joke, but on the contrary at leading them to pleasure. This person will both say and hear what one ought292 and will willingly mishear those who make use of what is funny in an uneducated or shameful way. Nor will he say such things among all people, but rather among those to whom it is appropriate. He has the Translation 127 other distinctions relevant to the virtues as well: for he indulges in playfulness when one ought and in the things one ought and as one ought. One
the harm or the shame of the deed to be done and for this reason err than326 those who have foreseen it and, even though they deliberated, err nonetheless. For he says that the person lacking in control is similar to those who get drunk even on a little wine and less than the majority do. Is327 this said about those who have the impetuous kind of lack of control, because they grow drunk on a little wine, or about328 those who have deliberated beforehand and therefore are seized by a small emotion