The Philosophy of Plato and Aristotle

Philosophy of Plato and Aristotle. Trans. Muhsin Mahdi. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1962.


“1. First he investigated the human things that make man enviable as to which of them constitutes the perfection of man as man, for every being has a perfection. Thus he investigated whether man’s perfection consists only in his having his bodily organs unimpaired, a beautiful face, and soft skin; or whether it consists also in his having a distinguished ancestry and tribe, or having a large tribe and many friends and lovers; or whether it consists also in his being prosperous; or being glorified and exalted, ruling over a group or a city in which is command is enforced and which submits to his wish. In order to attain the happiness that gives him his ultimate perfection, is it sufficient for man to have some or all of these? It became evident to him as he investigated these things that either they are themselves not happiness at all but are only believed to be happiness, or they are not themselves sufficient for man to attain happiness without having something else in addition to them or to some of them.

2. Then he investigated what this other thing must be. It became evident to him that this other thing, whose attainment is the attainment of happiness, is a certain knowledge and a certain way of life.”

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