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514
ARISTOTLE


practical science (E.E. Ε = E.N. vi 8). On the other hand, there are still more fundamental points in which the first three books of the Eudemian Ethics are a very inadequate preparation for the common books. Notably its treatment of prudence (φρόνησις) is a chaos. At first, prudence appears as the operation of the philosophical life and connected with the speculative philosophy of Anaxagoras (E.E. Α 1-5): then it is brought into connexion with the practical philosophy of Socrates (ib. 5) and co-ordinated with politics and economics (ib. 8); then it is intruded into the diagram of moral virtues as a mean between villainy (πανουργία) and simplicity (εὐήθεια) (E.E. Β 33, 1221 a 12); finally, a distinction between virtue by nature and virtue with prudence (μετὰ φρονήσεως) is promised (E.E. Τ 7, 1234 a 4). In addition to all this confusion of speculative and practical knowledge, prudence is absent when it ought to be present; e.g. from the division of virtues into moral and intellectual (E.E. Β 1, 1220 a 4-13), and from the definition of moral virtue (ib. 5, 10); while, in a passage (Β 11) anticipating the subsequent discussion of the relation between prudence and moral virtue (E.E. Ε = E.N. vi. 12-13), it is stated that in purpose the end is made right by moral virtue, the means by another power, reason, without this right reason being stated to be prudence. After this, it can never be said that the earlier books of the Eudemian Ethics are so good a preparation as those of the Nicomachean Ethics for the distinction between prudence (φρόνησις) and wisdom (σοφία), which is the main point of the common books, and one of Aristotle’s main points against Plato’s philosophy.

Curiously enough, although little is made of it, this distinction, absent from the earlier books, is present in the final book Η of the Eudemian Ethics (cf. 1246 b 4 seq., 1248 a 35, 1249 b 14); and probably therefore this part was a separate discourse. Meanwhile, however, the truth about the Eudemian Ethics in general is that it was an earlier rudimentary sketch written by Aristotle, when he was still struggling, without quite succeeding, to get over Plato’s view that there is one philosophical knowledge of universal good, by which not only the dialectician and mathematician must explain the being and becoming of the world, but also the individual and the statesman guide the life of man. Indeed, the final proof that the Eudemian Ethics is earlier than the Nicomachean is the very fact that it is more under Platonic influence. In the first place, the reason why the account of prudence begins by confusing the speculative with the practical is that the Eudemian Ethics starts from Plato’s Philebus, where, without differentiating speculative and practical knowledge, Plato asks how far good is prudence (φρόνησις), how far pleasure (ἡδονή); and in the Eudemian Ethics Aristotle asks the same question, adding virtue (ἀρετή) in order to correct the Socratic confusion of virtue with prudence. Secondly, the Eudemian Ethics, while not agreeing with Plato’s Republic that the just can be happy by justice alone, does not assign to the external goods of good fortune (εὐτυχία) the prominence accorded to them in the Nicomachean Ethics as the necessary conditions of all virtue, and the instruments of moral virtue. Thirdly, the emphasis of the Eudemian Ethics on the perfect virtue of gentlemanliness (καλοκἀγαθία) is a decidedly old-fashioned trait, which descended to Aristotle from the Greek notion of a gentleman who does his duty to his state (cf. Herodotus i. 30, Thucydides iv. 40) and to his God (Xenophon, Symp. iv. 49) through Plato, who in the Gorgias (470 E) says that the gentleman is happy, and in the Republic (489 E) imputes to him the love of truth essential to philosophy. Moreover, when Plato goes on (ib. 505 Β) to identify the form of good, without which nothing is good, with the gentlemanly thing (καλὸν καὶ ἀγαθόν), without which any possession is worthless, he inspired into the author of the Eudemian Ethics the very limit (ὅρος) of good fortune and gentlemanliness with which it concludes, only without Plato’s elevation of the good into the form of the good. In the Nicomachean Ethics the old notion, we gladly see, survives (cf. i. 8): virtuous actions are gentlemanly actions, and happiness accordingly is being at our best and noblest and pleasantest (ἄριστον καὶ κάλλιστον καὶ ἤδιστον). But gentlemanliness is no longer called perfect virtue, as in the Eudemian Ethics: its place has been taken by justice, which is perfect virtue to one’s neighbour, by prudence which unites all the moral virtues, and by wisdom which is the highest virtue. Accordingly, in the end the old ideal of gentlemanliness is displaced by the new ideal of the speculative and practical life.

Lastly, the Eudemian Ethics derives from Platonism a strong theological bias, especially in its conclusion (Η 14-15). The opposition of divine good fortune according to impulse to that which is contrary to impulse reminds us of Plato’s point in the Phaedrus that there is a divine as well as a diseased madness. The determination of the limit of good fortune and of gentlemanliness by looking to the ruler, God, who governs as the end for which prudence gives its orders, and the conclusion that the best limit is the most conducive to the service and contemplation of God, presents the Deity and man’s relation to him as a final and objective standard more definitely in the Eudemian than in the Nicomachean Ethics, which only goes so far as to say that man’s highest end is the speculative wisdom which is divine, like God, dearest to God.

Because, then, it is very like, but more rudimentary and more Platonic, we conclude that the Eudemian is an earlier draft of the Nicomachean Ethics, written by Aristotle when he was still in process of transition from Plato’s ethics to his own.

The Magna Moralia contains similar evidence of being earlier than the Nicomachean Ethics. It treats the same subjects, but always in a more rudimentary manner; and its remarks are always such as would precede rather than follow the masterly expositions of the Nicomachean Ethics. This inferiority applies also to its treatment not only of the early part (i. 1-33 corresponding to E.N. i.-iv.), but also of the middle part (i. 34-11. 7 corresponding to E.N. v.-vii. = E.E. Δ-Ζ). In dealing with justice, it does not make it clear, as the Nicomachean Ethics (Book v.) does, that even universal justice is virtue towards another (M.M. i. 34, 1193 b 1-15), and it omits altogether the division into distributive and corrective justice. In dealing with what the Nicomachean Ethics (Book vi.) calls intellectual virtues, but the Magna Moralia (i. 5, 35) virtues of the rational part of the soul, and right reason, it distinguishes (i. 35, 1196 b 34-36) science, prudence, intelligence, wisdom, apprehension (ὑπόληψις), in a rough manner very inferior to the classification of science, art, prudence, intelligence, wisdom, all of which are coordinate states of attaining truth, in the Nicomachean Ethics (vi. 3). It distinguishes prudence (φρόνησις) and wisdom (σοφία) as the respective virtues of deliberative and scientific reason; and on the whole its account of prudence (cf. M.M. i. 5) is more consistent than that of the Eudemian Ethics. In these points it is a better preparation for the Nicomachean Ethics. But it falls into the confusion of first saying that praise is for moral virtues, and not for virtues of the reason, whether prudence or wisdom (M.M. i. 5, 1185 b 8-12), and afterwards arguing that prudence is a virtue, precisely because it is praised (i. 35, 1197 a 16-18). In dealing with continence and incontinence, the same doubts and solutions occur as in the Nicomachean Ethics (Book vii. = E.E. Ζ), but sometimes confusing doubts and solutions together, instead of first proposing all the doubts and then supplying the solutions as in the Nicomachean Ethics. Such rudimentary and imperfect sketches would be quite excusable in a first draft, but inexcusable and incredible after the Nicomachean Ethics had been written.

It has another characteristic which points to its being an early work of Aristotle, when he was still under the influence of Plato’s style; namely its approximation to dialogue. It asks direct questions (e.g. διὰ τί; M.M. i. 1 repeatedly, 12; ii. 6, 7), incorporates direct statements of others (e.g. φησί, i. 12, 13; ii. 3, 6, 7), alternates direct objections and answers (i. 34), and introduces conversations between the author and others, expressed interrogatively, indicatively and even imperatively (ἀλλ᾽ ἐρεῖ μοι, τὰ ποῖα διασάφησον ὑγιεινά ἐστιν. i. 35, 1196 b 10; cf. ii. 10, 1208 a 20-22). The whole treatise inclines to run into dialogue. It is also Platonic, like the Endemian Ethics, in making little of external goods in the account of good fortune (ii. 8), and in emphasizing the perfect virtue of gentlemanliness (ii. 9). Indeed, in some respects it is more like the Eudemian, though in the main more like the Nicomachean Ethics. In the first book, it has the Eudemian distinction between prudence, virtue and pleasure (i. 3, 1184 b 5-6); but does not make so much of it as the distinction between prudence and wisdom blurred in the Eudemian but defined in the Nicomachean Ethics. In the second book, it runs parallel to the Eudemian Ethics in placing good fortune and gentlemanliness (ii. 8-9), where the Nicomachean Ethics places the speculative and the practical life; but it omits the theological element by denying that good fortune is divine grace, and by submitting gentlemanliness to no standard but that of right reason, when the irrational part of the soul does not hinder the rational part, or intellect (νοῦς), from doing its work.

Because, then, the Magna Moralia is very like the Nicomachean Ethics, but more rudimentary, nearer to the Platonic dialogues in style and. to a less degree in matter, and also like the Eudemian Ethics, we conclude that it is also like that treatise in having been written as an earlier draft of the Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle himself.

The hypothesis that the Eudemian Ethics, and by consequence the Magna Moralia, are later than Aristotle has arisen from a simple misconception, continued in a Scholium attributed to Aspasius, who lived in the 2nd century A.D. Nicomachean means “addressed to Nicomachus,” and Eudemian “addressed to Eudemus”; but, as Cicero thought that the Nicomachean Ethics was written by Nicomachus, so the author of the Scholium thought that the Eudemian Ethics, at least so far as the first account of pleasure goes, was written by Eudemus. He only thought so, however, because Aristotle could not have written both accounts of pleasure; and, taking for granted that Aristotle had written the second account of pleasure in the Nicomachean Ethics (Book x.), he concluded that the first account (Book vii.) was not the work of Aristotle, but of Eudemus (Comm. in Ar. (Berlin) xix. p. 151). We have seen reason to reverse this argument: Aristotle did write the first account in Book vii., because it contains his usual theory; and, if we must choose, he did not write the second account in Book x. In this way, too, we get a historical development of the theory of pleasure: Plato and Speusippus said it is generation (cf. Plato’s Philebus): Aristotle said it is psychical activity sometimes requiring bodily generation, sometimes not (E.N. vii. = E.E.Z): Aristotle, or some Aristotelian, afterwards said that it is a supervening end completing an activity (E.N. x.). Secondly, some modern commentators, starting from the false conclusion that the definition of pleasure as activity (E.N. vii. = E.E.Z) is by Eudemus, and supposing without proof that he was also author of