Alexander of Aphrodisias : ethical problems by Alexander of Aphrodisias, R.W. Sharples

By Alexander of Aphrodisias, R.W. Sharples

Alexander of Aphrodisias - the top historical commentator on Aristotle - bargains interpretations to do with ethical advantage, the factors for judging activities voluntary, etc. Translation of textual content with statement and notes

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23 above. 64 "before" presumably in the sense of logical, not temporal priority; the pleasure supervenes on the activities. Problem 5 27 For it comes about by its affinity to them, as being a sort of end for 30 them; but distress is a sign of alienation55 from the things on which it supervenes. Or rather: [distress] which supervenes on good activities is evil because it is [a sign of] alienation56 from what is good. Because of this* it is reasonable that [distress] which supervenes on evil [activities] should be good, because it is some alienation from what is evil, and because the person who says that such distress is good is not supposing that it is the activities on which it supervenes that are 35 good, but that [what is good is] the alienation from such activities or circumstances and chances.

66 This title really only applies to the section extending as far as 126,19, what follows being concerned with the goodness of some, but not all pleasures; cf. P. Eth. ; 16 137,10ff. 67 For this contrast between ponos in the body and lupe in the soul cf. above, P. Eth. 5 125,32ff. It is made clear there that lupe includes distress in the soul occasioned by bodily pain; the position of the present Problem is the same, as is shown by 126,11-13. A different view of the relation between ponos and lupe is taken at P.

L. Owen, Logic, Science and Dialectic, London 1986,180-99. Professor Sorabji observes: 'To put the point in a more linguistic way than Aristotle himself does, when an expression is ambiguous (the thing spoken of is "said in many ways"), one of the different uses of the expression may be a primary one on which the other uses depend (the things spoken of start from or relate to the primary thing, pros hen or aph' henos), in ways that Owen brings out. ' 90 Wisdom (phronesis) is the first virtue in the series, so that removing it involves both removing all the other particular virtues that come after it and removing it as a genus.

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