Aristotle's NE, Book By Book

book 5-

Chapter 5

Three kinds of life are discussed: the life of enjoyment,the life of politics,the life of contemplation

The life of enjoyment is all about the pleasure, the choice of the masses, and isn’t what we really should pursue- it’s vulgar and beastly. Compare this to Plato's take on the producers, those masses at the base of the utopian society with their 'money loving souls'.

The life of Political involvement life stems from an active disposition, and those involved are so because they wish for honor. Not just any kind of honor, but honor for being virtuous. Think the 'honor-loving' folks of the Republic. And, just as for Plato, aristotle doesn't think that these people really just want honor for honor's sake- they want it because they think it's what's most likely to make them happy. Of course, being a bitter ex-platonist, Aristotle can't keep himself from taking a few cheap shots at Plato.

In fact, righ here comes attack1 on plato – virtue for Aristotle is not something possessed (you can’t be virtuous while youre sleeping) and virtue on its own is NOT enough to make you happy. Virtue(justice) may well be necessary for happiness, but it certainly isn’t sufficient. Only “someone narrowly defending some kind of thesis” would argue the contrary (get it, he’s talking about plato –see book2 of the Republic and his argument with Glaucon). Of course, is this is really what plato was saying? Would Socrates just lay down and take such comments laying down. I think not.

Lastly is the life of contemplation. Except we won’t tlak about it right now. Only later.

Book 6.

Truth vs friends. Aristotle goes for attack2 on Plato and company. They're his friend, but they're also ennemies of the truth. And if he's gotta pick, Aristotle's choosing truth every time. In fact, it's his duty as a philosopher. In fact, all of book6 is a tearing apart of the idea of forms as presented by Plato in the republic.

The arguments however, are really interesting. He distinguishes between the category of substance and that of category. Good can be either, but not really both, otherwise it requires a new category that hold those two. Furthermore, the "one Idea", as Aristotle calls it is just obviously not present in all cases. As he see is

"since of the things answering to one Idea there is one science, there would have been one science of all the goods; but as it is there are many sciences even of the things that fall under one category, e.g. of opportunity, for opportunity in war is studied by strategics and in disease by medicine, and the moderate in food is studied by medicine and in exercise by the science of gymnastics"

Also, the forms are eternal for plato, and that makes them truer. But as Aristotle like to note, who cares? White doesn't become any whiter if it stays that way for eternity.

Book 7

Book 8

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