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Moral Vision And Legislating For The Good In Aristotle

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Chapter Summary

Take, on the one hand, Plato and Aristotle and, on the other, a collection of fundamental oppositions: can a neat arrangement be produced aligning the oppositions in a hierarchy and mapping them on to the philosophers? The first opposition is ontological. To identify Platonic Forms with the universal, their participants with the particular, would, of course, be an egregious error: democracy is a kind which just about manages to instantiate Justice Itself. The second opposition is epistemological: knowledge and perception. The third opposition is modal: necessary and contingent; and here, at least, the matter seems relatively clear-cut. For both philosophers, to revert to the ontological, necessary beings take pride of place before contingent ones, as do constant states and recurrences before temporary conditions and variable change. The fourth and final opposition is normative: rule and exception.

Keywords: Aristotle; Plato



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