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Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Book V

Book V, Chapter 1

Now, therefore, let us direct our attention to justice and injustice; and consider with what kind of actions they are conversant; what kind of medium justice is, and of what things the just is the medium. But let our survey be made according to the same method as the preceding discussions. We see, therefore, that all men are willing to call that kind of habit justice, through which we practise just things, (or are inclined to the works of justice, I and through which we act justly, and wish what is just. And after the same manner injustice is that habit through which men act unjustly, and wish what is unjust. Hence, these things must be first adumbrated by us; since there is not the same mode of subsistence in the sciences, in powers, and in habits. For there is the same power indeed, and the same science of contraries; but there is not the same habit of contraries. Thus, for instance, contrary operations are not performed by health, but those only which are salubrious; for we say that a man walks in a healthy manner, when he walks in such a way as a healthy man walks. Frequently, therefore, a contrary habit is known from a contrary habit; but frequently habits are known from their subjects. For if a good habit of body is apparent, a bad habit of body will also be apparent. And from things which produce a good habit of body, this good habit will be known, and from this good habit its producing causes will be known. For if a good habit of body is a density of the flesh, a bad habit of body will necessarily be a rarity of the flesh; and that which produces a good habit of body, will be productive of density in the flesh. It follows, however, for the most part, that if one contrary is predicated multifariously, the other "also will be multifariously predicated; ' as, if the just, so likewise the unjust. But justice and injustice are predicated multifariously, though, through the proximity of their homonymy, this is latent; nor is it more apparent, as is the case in those “things" which are remote.” For the difference according to idea or form is great. Thus, for instance, xxels, clavis, is predicated homonymously; for it signifies both that part which is under the neck of animals, and that by which gates are shut, (viz, a key.) We must consider, otherefore, in how many ways an unjust man is denominated. But it appears that he is an unjust man who acts illegally, and he who takes to himself more of external goods than he ought, (or who is avaricious, and also he who is unequal (i.e., who takes to himself less of evils than is equitable;) so that it is evident that he will be a just man who acts legally, and he who is equal or equitable. The just, therefore, will be both the legal and the equal; but the unjust will be the illegal and the unequal. Since, – however, the unjust man is avaricious, he will be conversant with good, yet not with every kind of good, but with that in which there is prosperous and adverse for… tune; and which is indeed simply always good, but to a certain person not always. But men pray for and pursue this good, though they ought not. For they should pray, indeed, that things which are simply good (such as riches, &c..) may also be good to them; but they should choose such things as are good to their possessor, (such as virtue and wisdom.) The unjust man, however, does not always choose that which is more, but in things which are simply evil he chooses the less. But because a less evil appears in a certain respect to be good, and of what is good, there is a desire of possessing more of it than is equitable, on this account the unjust man appears to be avaricious. He is also unequal, and acts illegally; for this very thing the acting illegally, or inequality, comprehends all injustice, and is common to all injustice. Since, however, he who acts illegally is unjust, but he who acts legally is just, it is evident that everything which is legal is in a certain respect just. For the things which are defined by the legislative science are legal; and we say that each of these is just; but the laws speak about everything, looking either to that which is advan- . tageous in common to all men, or to the best of men, or to those in authority, and this either according to virtue, or some other mode. Hence, after-one manner we call those things just, which are capable of producing and preserving happiness, and the parts of it, by political communion. The law, however, ordains that the works of the brave man should be done, such as that a soldier shall not leave his rank, nor fly from the enemy, nor. throw away his arms; and likewise that the works of the temperate man shall be done, such as not to commit adultery, nor behave with insolent wantonness; and also those of the mild man, such as not to strike another person, , nor defame any one. And the law ordains similarly with 4 respect to the other virtues and vices, partly commanding, and partly, forbidding; the law indeed, doing this rightly, . which is rightly framed, but that which is rashly framed, erroneously. This justice, therefore, (i.e., legal justice) is indeed a perfect virtue, yet not simply, but with reference to another thing. And on this account justice frequently appears to be the best of the virtues; nor is ei. ther the evening or the morning star so admirable. We likewise say proverbially, Every virtue is comprehended in justice. And legal justice is especially a perfect virtue, because it is the use of perfect virtue. But it is perfect, because he who possesses it, is also able to employ virtue towards another person, and not only towards himself. For many persons are indeed able to employ virtue in their own affairs, but not in the affairs of others. And on this account it appears to have been well said by Bias, that dominion shows the man; for he who governs has relation to another person, and is now conversant with the communion of life. For the very same reason also, justice alone, of all the virtues, appears to be a foreign good, because it has reference to another person; since it performs what is advantageous to another, viz. either to a ruler, or to the community at large. He, therefore, is the worst of characters, who acts depravedly both towards himself and towards his friends; but he is the best of men, not who acts virtuously towards himself, but towards another person; for this is a difficult work. This justice, therefore, is not a part of virtue, but is universal virtue; nor is the injustice which is contrary to it a part of vice, but universal vice. What the difference, however, is between virtue and this justice, is evident from what has been already said; for it is indeed the same with it, but not essentially. For so far, indeed, as it has reference to another person, it is justice; but so far as it is a habit of a certain description, it is simply virtue.

Book V, Chapter 2

We investigate, however, that justice which is a part of virtue; for there is, as we say, such a justice; and in a similar manner we investigate the injustice which is a part of vice. But that there is such a justice is indicated by this, that he who energizes according to other depravities, acts unjustly, indeed, but does not assume to himself more of external good than he ought; such, for instance, as the finan who throws away his shield through timidity, or he who speaks ill of another from asperity, or who does not give pecuniary assistance to another, through illiberality. But when he assumes to himself more than he ought, he frequently is not vicious according to any one of such vices, nor yet according to all the vices, but according to a certain depravity; for we blame him, and for injustice. There is, therefore, a certain other injustice, as being a certain part of universal injustice, and a certain something unjust, which is a part of the whole of the unjust that is contrary to law. Farther still, if one person, indeed, should commit adultery for the sake of gain, and should receive money for so doing, but another should give money and sustain an injury in his property, by doing it, in consequence of being under the influence of (strong) desire, the latter, indeed, will rāther appear to be intemperate, than one who assumes to himself more than he ought, but the former will be unjust, but not intemperate; and it is evident that he will not, because he acts with a view to gain. Again, in all other unjust deeds, there is always a reference to a cer. tain depravity. Thus, if a man commits adultery, the reference is to intemperance; if he abandons his post in battle, the reference is to timidity; but if he strikes another person, to anger. If, however, he obtains money by it, the reference is to no other depravity, than to injustice. Hence, it is evident that there is a certain other injustice which ranks as a part, besides universal injustice, and which is synonymous with it; because the definition of each is in the same genus. For both possess their power in a reference to another person. But the injustice which ranks as a part is conversant with honour, or riches, or safety, or if all these could be comprehended in one name, it is conversant with them; and this on account of the pleasure which results from gain. Universal injustice, however, is conversant with all such things, as a worthy man is conversant with (in the exercise of justice). That there are many kinds of justice, therefore, and that there is a certain justice which is different from universal virtue, is evident. What it is, however, and what kind of a thing it is, must be explained. – * *. The unjust, therefore, has been distinguished by us into the illegal and the unequal; and the just into the le. gal and the equal. But the prior injustice of which we have spoken subsists according to the illegal. Since, however, the illegal and the unequal are not the same, but different, as a part with reference to a whole; for everything unequal is illegal, but not everything which is illegal is unequal; hence, the unjust and injustice are not the same with these, but different from them, in the same manner as parts and wholes. For this injustice is a part of the whole of injustice; and, in a similar manner, this justice is a part of the whole of justice. We must, therefore, speak concerning the justice and injustice which rank as parts, and after the same manner concerning the partially just and unjust.” The justice, therefore, and injustice which are arranged according to universal virtue, and of which the former is the use of the whole of virtue, and the latter of the whole of vice, with reference to another person, we shall omit. It is, likewise, evident how the just and the unjust which are arranged conformably to these, are to be distinguished. For nearly most of those things which are legal are ordained from universal virtue. For the law orders men to live conformably to every virtue, and forbids them from acting conformably to any one of the vices. But the efficient causes of the whole of virtue, are those legal actions which are established by the laws for the purposes of public discipline. Concerning the discipline, however, of an individual, according to which he is simply a good man, whether it pertains to the political, or another science, will be determined hereafter." For perhaps it is not the same thing to be a good man, and a good citizen. But there is one species of the justice which subsists according to a part, and of the just pertaining to it, and which consists in the distributions either of honour, or riches, or such other things as may be divided among those who partake of the same polity. For in these it is possible that one person may share unequally, and equally, with another. But another species of justice, is that which possesses a corrective power in contracts. Of this, however, there are two, parts. For of contracts some are voluntary, but others are involuntary. The voluntary, indeed, are, buying, selling, putting out money at interest, suretyship, lending any thing on hire, pledging, and hiring (a slave or an artificer.). But these contracts are said to be voluntary, because the principle of them is voluntary. And of involuntary contracts, some are clandestine, such as theft, adultery, witchcraft, prostitution, deceiving, the slave of another person, insidious murder, and bearing false witness. But the violent are, such as blows, bonds, death, plunder, mutilation, slander and contumely.

Book V, Chapter 3

Since, however, the unjust man is unequal, and, also, the unjust belongs to the unequal, it is evident that there is a certain medium of the unequal; but this is the equal. For in whatever action there is the more and the less, there is also the equal. If, therefore, the unjust is unequal, the just will be equal; which, indeed, without any reasoning process, is manifest to all men. But since the equal is a medium, the just will be a certain medium. The equal, however, is in two things at least. It is necessary, therefore, that the just, which is a , medium and equal, should be referred to a certain thing, and to certain things. And so far, indeed, as it is a medium, it is referred to certain things; but these are the more and the less. And so far as it is equal, it is referred to two things; but so far as it is the just, it is referred to certain things. Hence, it is necessary that the just should be in four things at least; for the persons to whom the just pertains are two, and the things in which it consists are two. And there will be the same equality between the persons to whom justice pertains, and the things in which it consists; for as is the relation of the former to each other, such, also, is that of the latter. For if the persons are not equal, they will not have equal things. Battles, however, and accusations hence originate, when either equal persons do not obtain equal things, or those that are not equal have an equal distribution of things. This, also, is evident from distribution according to desert; for all men acknowledge, that the just in distributions should be made according to a certain desert. All men, however, do not say that there is the same desert; but democratic men, indeed, say that desert is liberty; and of the oligarchists, some say that it is wealth, but others that it is nobility; but the aristocrats say that it is virtue. The just, therefore, is something analogous; for the analogous is not only the peculiarity of monadic number (or number consisting of units, but of number universally. For analogy or proportion is equality of ratio, and consists in four things at least. That disjunct proportion, therefore, consists in four terms is evident; and this is also the case with continued proportion. For this uses one thing as two things; as, for instance, as A is to B, so is B to C. Hence, B is twice assumed; so that if B is placed twice, the analogous things will be four. But the just, also, consists in four things at least, and the reason is the same; for the persons to whom justice is distributed, and the things which are distributed, are similarly divided. As the term A, therefore, is to B, so will C be to D. And, therefore, alternately, as Ais to C, so is B to D. Hence, the whole will be compared with the whole, which the distribution conjoins; and if they are thus compounded, they will be justly conjoined. The conjunction, there fore, of the term. A with C, and of B with D, forms the justice which is in distribution; and the just is the medium of that which is foreign from the analogous. For the analogous is a medium; and the just is analogous." Mathematicians, however, call such an analogy or proportion as this geometrical; for in geometrical proportion it happens that the whole is to the whole as all the parts to all. But this proportion is not continued; for the same thing is not assumed as the person to whom a distribution is made, and as the thing distributed. This justice, therefore, consists in proportion; but the unjust is foreign from proportion.  And hence, one person has more, but another less (than he ought;) which, also, happens to be the case in actions. For he, indeed, who does an injury has more, but he who is injured has less of good than he ought. The contrary, however, takes place in evil; for a less evil has the relation of good with respect to a greater evil. For a less is more eligible than a greater evil. But the eligible is good; and that which is more eligible is a greater good. This, therefore, is one species of the just.

Book V, Chapter 4

The other remaining species of justice is corrective, which is conversant both with voluntary and involuntary contracts. But the form of this justice is different from the former. For the justice which is distributive of common things, (or things of a public nature, Jalways subsists according to the above-mentioned proportion. For if the distribution is made from common property, it will be according to the same ratio as the things introduced have to each other; and the unjust which is opposed to this justice, is foreign from proportion. The just, however, which is in contracts, is, indeed, a certain equality, and the unjust is inequality; yet not according to geometrical, but arithmetical proportion. For it makes no difference, whether a worthy deprives a bad man of his property, or a bad a worthy man; nor whether a worthy or a bad man commits adultery. But the law only looks to the difference of the injury, and uses the persons as if they were equal, though the one, indeed, should injure, but the other should be injured, and though the one should do, but the other should suffer, harm. Hence, this injustice, since it is unequal, the judge endeavours to equalize. For when one man, indeed, inflicts a blow, but another is struck, or one man kills, but another is killed, the suffering and the action are divided into unequal parts; but the judge, by the punishment which he inflicts, endeavours to produce an equality, by detracting from the gain. For in things of this kind, in short, though to some things the name will not be appropriate, the injury is denominated gain, and the endurance of the injury loss. But when the suffering is measured, the one is called loss but the other gain. Hence, of the more and the less, the equal is the medium. With respect to loss and gain, however, the one is more, but the other less contrarily; for the more of good, but the less of evil is gain, and the contrary is loss; of which the equal is the medium, which we say is the just. Hence, the justice which is corrective will be the medium of loss and gain. Hence, too, when men contend with each other (about legal affairs) they fly to the judge; but to go to a judge is to go to justice. For a judge is nothing else than as it were animated justice. They, also, search for a judge who is a medium; and some persons. call judges mediators, as if they should obtain justice if they obtained the medium. The just, therefore, is a certain medium, since the judge is also. But the judge equalizes, and as if a line were cut into unequal parts, he takes away from the greater section that by which it exceeds the half, and adds it to the less section. When, however, the whole is divided into two equal parts, then men say they have what is their own, when they obtain the equal. But the equal is the middle of the greater and the less according to arithmetical proportion. Hence, also, the just (δικαιον) is denominated, because it is divided into two equal parts (οτι διχα εστιν), just as if it should be said to be δικαιον; and a judge is called δικαστης, as if he were διχαστης, or one who divides a thing into two equal parts. For if when two things are equal, that which is taken from the one, is added to the other, the latter will exceed what the former then becomes, by two such parts. For if what is taken away from one of the equal things were not added to the other, the one would exceed the other by one such part only. The thing, therefore, to which something is added exceeds the medium by one part; and the medium, also, exceeds by one part that from which something is taken away. By this, therefore, we may know, what ought to be taken away from him who has more, and what ought to be added to him who has less. For it is necessary to add to him who has less, that by which the me. dium exceeds, but to take away from the greatest that by which the medium is exceeded. Let there be three lines AA, BB, CC, equal to each other. From AA let AE be taken, and added to CC, and let that part be CD. Hence, the whole line DCC, will exceed the line AE, by the line CD, and the line FC; and, therefore, it will exceed the line BB by the line CD.

A            E           A
B                          B
C            F         CD

This, also, takes place in other arts; for they would be subverted, unless that which suffers, suffers the samein quantity and quality as that which acts. But these appellations, loss and gain, are derived from voluntary contracts. For when a man obtains more than his own, he is said to gain; but when he has less than what he had at first, he is said to have lost; as in buying and selling, and such other things as the law permits. When, however, men have neither more nor less, but give as much as they receive, they are said to have their own, and neither to lose, nor gain. Hence, the just is the medium of a certain gain and loss in things which are not voluntary; so that each of those who form a contract may have as much afterwards as before.

Book V, Chapter 5

To some persons, however, retaliation appears to be simply just, and this also was the opinion of the Pythagoreans; for they defined the just to be simply retaliation. But retaliation is neither adapted to distributive nor to corrective justice; though Rhadamanthus (in AEschylus) appears to assert, that justice is this, “and that the punishment will be equitable when a man suffers the same thing as he has done.” For retaliation is frequently discordant. Thus, for instance, if a magistrate should strike a man, it is not proper that the man should strike him in return; and if any one strikes a magistrate, he ought not only to be struck, but to be punished more severely. Again, there is a great difference between the voluntary and the involuntary. But commercial intercourse is preserved by a justice of this kind, if the retaliation is made according to proportion, and not according to equality. For by analogous retaliation, the union of a city becomes permanent. For men either endeavour to return evil for evil; for it appears to be slavery if they cannot retaliate; or they wish when they benefit others to be themselves benefited in return; since if this does not take place there is no compensation, by which the permanent union of society is effected. Hence, the temple of the Graces is built in a conspicuous part of the city, for the purpose of producing remuneration; for this is the peculiarity of grace or favour. For it is re. quisite to return a favour to him who has conferred one, and he again should begin to confer a favour. But a conjunction according to a diameter, produces the retribution which is according to analogy. Thus for instance, let the builder of a house be A, a shoemaker B, the house C, and the shoe D.

A                                              B
The builder of a house.       A shoemaker.
C                                              D
The house.                             The shoe.

It is necessary, therefore, that the builder of the house should receive from the shoemaker his work, and give his work to him in return. Hence, if the first equality is that which is according to analogy, and afterwards a retaliation is made, it will be that which we have mentioned; but if not, there will neither be equality, nor will the bond of society remain; for nothing hinders but that the work of the one may be more excellent than the work of the other. It is necessary, therefore, that these should be equalized. But this also takes place in the other arts; for they would be subverted, unless that which is passive suffered the same in quantity and quality, as the agent effects. For the communion of society is not produced from two physicians, but from a physician and a husbandman, and in short, from different, and not from equal characters; but it is necessary that these should be equalized. Hence, it is requisite that all things should be capable of being compared with each other of which there is an exchange; and for this purpose money was adopted, and becomes, in a certain respect, a measure. For it measures all things; so that it likewise measures excess and defect; and therefore determines how many shoes are equal to a house, or to nutriment. It is necessary, therefore, that such as the ratio is of the builder of a house to a shoemaker, such should be the ratio of the number of shoes to a house, or to nutriment. For if this does not take place, there will neither be exchange nor communion. And it will not take place, unless the things compared are in a certain respect equal. Hence, it is necessary, as has been before observed, that all things should be measured by, one certain thing; and this is, in reality, indigence, which connects all things. For if mankind were not in want of any thing, or if they were not similarly in want, either there would be no exchange, or not the same. But money was adopted by compact, as a subsidiary exchange for indigence; and on this account money was called (νομισμα), because it is not established by nature, but by law, (νομῳ); and it is in our power to change it, and render it useless. Retaliation, therefore, will then take place, when there is an equalization. Hence, as the husbandman is to the shoemaker, so is the work of the shoemaker to the work of the husbandman. But it is necessary to bring them to the form of proportion, when an exchange takes place; for without this, one of the extremes will have both the excesses. When, however, each person has his own, they will thus be equal, and communicate with each other, because this equality can be produced among them. Let the husbandman be A, the nutriment C, and the work of the shoemaker, equal to the nutriment, be D.

A                                            B
The husbandman.             The shoemaker.
C                                            D
The nutriment.                   The work of the shoemaker equal to the nutriment.

But without this retaliation there would be no communion of society. That indigence, however, connects, as being one certain thing, is evident, because when men are not in want of each other, either both, or one of them, no exchange takes place, as it does when one is in want of what the other possesses; as, for instance, wine, for which an exportation of corn is granted. It is necessary, therefore, that this should be equalized. In order to future exchange, however, if nothing should at present be wanted, that it may be obtained when it is wanted, money becomes as it were a surety to us. For it is requisite that he who brings money, should take what he wants in exchange for it. Money, therefore, also suffers this very same thing; for it does not always possess an equal power, but at the same time it is more permanent. Hence, it is necessary that all things should be estimated; for thus there will always be an exchange; and if there is an exchange, there will be communion. Money, therefore, as a measure having made things commensurate, equalizes them. For there would be no communion without exchange, nor exchange without equality, nor equality without commensuration. In reality, therefore, it is impossible that things which so much differ, should become commensurate; but for the purposes of indigence, this is sufficiently possible. Hence, it is necessary that there should be one certain thing Eas a measure, and this from assumption. Hence, it is called (νομισμα) money. For this causes all things to be commensurate; since all things are measured by money. Let a house be A, ten minae B, and a bed C. A, therefore, will be the half of B, if the house is worth five minae, or is equal to the value of five minae. But let the bed C be the tenth part of B. It is evident, therefore, how many beds are equal in value to the house, viz. five. That such, however, was the exchange before there was money, is manifest; for it makes no difference whether five beds, or as much as the worth of five beds, are given for the house. Thus, therefore, we have shown what the unjust, and also what the just is. But these things being determined, it is evident that a just action is a medium between doing and receiving an injury; for the former is to have more, but the latter less (than is just.) Justice, however, is a medium, not after the same manner with the former virtues, but because it pertains to a medium' (between the more and the less;) but injustice pertains to extremes. And justice, indeed, is that according to which a just man is said to act justly from deliberate choice, and to distribute justice both to himself, in making a compact with another person, and to another who makes a compact with another; yet not so, as to attribute more of what is eligible to himself, and less to his neighbour, and the contrary of that which is hurtful, but so as to distribute the equal (to himself and others) according to analogy. And he adopts the same mode of conduct towards another person who forms a compact with another. Injustice, on the contrary, is that according to which an unjust man is said to act unjustly from deliberate choice, and to distribute injustice both to himself and others; but this is the excess and deficiency of that which is beneficial or hurtful, contrary to the analogous. Hence, injustice is excess and deficiency, because it pertains to excess and deficiency. To the unjust man himself, indeed, it is an excess of that which is simply beneficial, but a deficiency of that which is hurtful; but to others it distributes in a manner wholly similar; and in whatever way the distribution may happen to be made, it is contrary to the analogous. Of an unjust action, however, the less extreme is, to be injured, and the greater, to injure. After this manner, therefore, we have discussed justice and injustice, and have shown what is the nature of each; and similarly we have discussed universally the just and the unjust.

Book V, Chapter 6

Since, however, it is possible that he who acts unjustly may not yet be unjust, from what kind of iniquitous deeds will a man be unjust, according to each species of injustice? For instance, will it be as a thief, or as an adulterer, or as a robber. Or thus, indeed, will the difficulty still remain: For a man may have connexion with a woman knowing who she is, yet not from a principle of deliberate choice, but from passion. Hence, in this case, he acts unjustly, but is not unjust; as neither is a thief, though he may have committed theft; nor an adulterer, though he may have committed adultery; and in a similar manner in other things. In what manner, therefore, retaliation subsists, with reference to justice, has been shown by us before. It is necessary, however, not to be ignorant that what we at present investigate, is the simply just, and the politically just. But this justice takes place among men connected together in society, and these liberal and equal men, either according to analogy, or according to number, with a view to a sufficiency. of the necessaries of life. Hence, those among whom this is not found, have no political justice towards each: other, but a certain justice, and which subsists according to a similitude to political justice. For there is justice among those with whom there is also law; but there is law among those with whom there is injustice. For justice is the judgment of the just and the unjust. But. with those with whom there is injustice, there is also acting unjustly; but with all those with whom there is acting unjustly, there is not injustice. But injustice consists in a man distributing to himself more of what is simply good, and less of what is simply evil (than he ought.) Hence, we do not suffer a man to govern, but reason; because he does this to himself (i.e., distributes to himself more of what is good, and less of what is evil,J and becomes a tyrant. He, however, who governs, is the guardian of justice; but if of justice, he is also the guardian of the equal. But since, if he is a just man, it does not appear that he possesses more of external good than others; for he does not distribute more of what is simply good to himself, unless it belongs to him by analogy; hence, he distributes the simply good to another; and on this account it is said that justice is a foreign good, as we have before observed. A certain reward, therefore, must be given to him; but this is honour and a gift. Those persons, however, to whom these are not sufficient, become tyrants. But despotic and paternal justice (or the justice of a master towards his servants, and of a father towards his children, are not the same with this, but similar to it. For there is no injustice simply of a man towards his own property; but a possession (or a slave), and a child, while he is little and not yet separated from his parents, are as it were a part of the man. …And no one deliberately chooses to injure himself. Hence, there is no injustice of a man towards himself; and consequently neither is there injustice, nor political justice. For justice is conformable to law, and subsists among those with whom law is naturally adapted to exist. But these are persons with whom there is an equality of governing, and being governed. Hence, there is more of political justice between a man and his wife, than between a father and his children, or a master and his servants. For this latter is economical jusfice; but this is different from political justice.

Book V, Chapter 7

With respect, however, to political justice, one kind is natural, but the other legal. And the natural, indeed, is that which has every where the same power, and this not because it appears or does not appear to be justice. But the legal is that respecting which from the first it is of no consequence, whether it is established in this or in that way, but when it is established, is of consequence; such, for instance, as that captives shall be redeemed for a mina; " or that a goat shall be sacrificed, and not two sheep.” And far. ther still, such laws as are promulgated about particulars; such as that sacrifices shall be offered to Brasidas,' and whatever is established by public decrees. To some persons, however, all political justice appears to be of this kind, because that which has a natural subsistence is mutable, and every where possesses the same power; just as fire burns both here and in Persia; but just things are seen to be mutable. This, however, is not entirely, but only partially the case; though perhaps with the gods,' it is by no means to be admitted (that justice is mutable;| but with us there is something which is naturally mutable, though not everything. But at the same time justice is partly from nature and partly not. What, however, the justice is which is from nature is evident from contingencies, and things which have a various subsistence, and also what the justice is which is not from nature, but is legal, and established by compact, since both are similarly mutable. The same distinction, likewise, will be adapted to other things. For the right hand is naturally more excellent, (i.e., is more adapted to motion) than the left; though it is possible that some persons may be ambidexter. The justice, however, which is from compact and utility resembles measures. For the measures of wine and corn are not every where equal; but with those who buy wine and corn they are greater, and with those who sell them less. In a similar manner justice, which is not natural, but human, is not every where the same; since neither are polities, but every where one polity alone is conformable to nature, viz. that which is the most excellent. Everything just, however, and everything legal are, as universals to particulars. For actions are many, but each of them is one thing; for it is a universal. But an unjust action and the just differ, and also a just action and the just. For the unjust subsists either by nature or by order. But the very same thing which when done is an unjust action, is not so before it is done, but is unjust; and in a similar manner with respect to a just action. But that which is common is rather called a deed justly done, (Öixotorpo.7 ozo.); but the correction of an unjust deed, a just deed, (31zaitogo.) With respect to each of these, however, what the quality and number of their species are, and what the particulars are with which they are conversant, we shall hereafter consider.

Book V, Chapter 8

Since, therefore, things just and unjust are those which we have enumerated, a man then indeed does an injury, or acts justly, when he thus acts voluntarily; but when involuntarily, he neither does an injury, nor acts justly, except from accident. For it happens that the things which he does are either just or unjust; but a deed unjustly done, and a just action, are defined by the voluntary and the involuntary; for when an action is voluntary, it is blamed; but at the same time it is then a deed unjustly done. Hence, there will be something unjust, which is not yet a deed unjustly done, unless the voluntary is added to it. But I call the voluntary indeed, as has been before observed, that which a man does of things which it is in his power to do knowingly, and not ignorantly, viz, not being ignorant of the circumstances of the action; as for instance, who it is he strikes, and with what he strikes, and on what account, and when he does this, neither from accident, nor by compulsion; as would be the case, if some one taking his hand, should strike another person with it. For he would then not strike willingly, because it was not in his power to avoid giving the blow. It may happen, however, that he who is struck is a father; but he who strikes him may merely know that he is a man, or some one of those who are present, but may be ignorant that it is his father. A similar distinction also must be made in that for the sake of which a thing is done, and concerning the whole action. Hence, that which is not known, or which is known indeed, but is not in the power of him who acts, or which he is compelled to do, is done involuntarily. For we both do and suffer many things which have a natural subsistence knowingly, no one of which is either voluntary or involuntary; such as to grow old, or to die. That which is accidental, however, similarly takes place in things unjust and just. For if a man returns a deposit unwillingly, and from fear, he cannot be said either to perform a just deed, or to act justly; except from accident. In a similar manner he who, from compulsion and unwillingly, does not return a deposit, must be said to be unjust, and to do an unjust deed from accident. But of voluntary actions, some indeed we perform with previous choice, and others without previous choice; with previous choice, such as have been the subjects of previous deliberation, but without it, such as have not been deliberated on previously.

Since, therefore, there are three kinds of harm in social communion, those which are accompanied with ignorance are errors, when a man neither apprehends who the person that is injured is, nor the mode, nor the instrument, nor that for the sake of which the harm is done. For in this case, he will think either that he has not struck the person, or not with this instrument, or not this person, or not on this account, but something else happened different from what he expected. Thus one man may strike another not for the purpose of wounding, but of stimulating him, and in so doing may accidentally wound him; or he may not strike the person whom he intended to strike, or not in the way he intended. When, therefore, harm is done unintentionally, it is a misfortune; but when it is done not unintentionally, yet without vice, it is an error. For a man then errs, when the principle of the cause is in himself; but he is unfortunate when the principle is external to him. When, however, harm is done knowingly, but without previous deliberation, it is a deed unjustly done; as for instance, whatever happens to men through anger, or other passions which are necessary or natural. For those who injure others, and err through the influence of these passions, act indeed unjustly, and their deeds are unjustly ‘done; nevertheless they are not yet unjust on account of these actions, nor depraved; for the harm which they did was not through depravity. But when a man injures another from deliberate choice, he is unjust and depraved. Hence, those deeds which are the effect of anger are well judged not to be the result of previous design. For the principle of action is not in him who is angry, but in him who excited his anger. Again, (when one man hurts another from anger) there is no controversy about the deed, as to its having been done, but about the justice of it; for anger is excited on account of apparent injustice. For here there is no controversy about the existence of the thing, as there is in contracts, in which it is necessary that one of the contractors should be a depraved character, unless his conduct is the effect of oblivion; but acknowledging the fact, they controvert the justice of it. He, however, who hurts another person deliberately, is not ignorant of the deed. Hence, the one of these thinks he is injured, but the other thinks he is not. But he who does harm to another person from deliberate choice, acts unjustly; and he who injures another, according to those deeds which are done unjustly, is unjust, when he acts contrary to proportion, or to the equal. In a similar manner also, he is just when he acts justly from previous choice; but he acts justly, if he only acts willingly. Of involuntary actions, however, some deserve to be pardoned, but others do not. For such involuntary errors. as are not only committed ignorantly, but also through ignorance, deserve to be pardoned; but such as are not committed through ignorance, but ignorantly, yet from passion neither natural nor human, do not deserve to be pardoned.

Book V, Chapter 9

It may, however, be doubted whether a distinction has been sufficiently made by us, between being injured, and injuring. In the first place, indeed, if the thing is as Euripides asserts it to be, when he absurdly says, “To speak briefly I may kill my mother, both of us being willing; or I being unwilling, and she willing.” For is it true or not, that a person can be willingly injured? Or is every one unwillingly injured, in the same manner as every one who does an injury does it willingly: Or do some persons suffer an injury voluntarily, and others involuntarily And a similar inquiry may also be made with respect to obtaining justice; for to act justly is wholly a voluntary thing. Hence, the being injured and obtaining justice, are deservedly opposed in a similar manner to each other, so that they are either voluntary or involuntary. It may, however, appear to be absurd, that in obtaining justice, the whole should be voluntary; for some persons obtain justice unwillingly. And this also may be doubted, whether every one who suffers something unjust is injured; or whether as it is in acting, so it is in suffering 2 For it is possible in both these to obtain what is just from accident. And it is evident that the like may also take place in things unjust. For it is not the same thing, to do unjust things, and to do an injury; aor is it the same thing to suffer unjust things, and to be injured. The like also takes place in acting justly and obtaining justice. For it is impossible to be injured unless there is some one who does the injury; or to obtain justice, unless there is some one who acts justly. But if to do an injury is simply to hurt some one willingly, and to hurt willingly is to do so knowing the person who is hurt, and the instrument, and the manner in which he is hurt; but the intemperate man willingly hurts himself; if this be the case, he will be voluntarily injured, and it will be possible for a man to injure himself. This, however, is also one of the things which are dubious, whether it is possible for a man to injure himself. Farther still, a man may voluntarily, through intemperance, be injured by another person; so that it will be possible for a man to be injured voluntarily. Or shall we say that the definition (which we have given of doing an injury, viz. that it is to hurt some one voluntarily, is not right, but we must add the words, to hurt, knowing the person who is hurt, and the instrument, and the manner in which he is hurt, contrary to his will? A man, therefore, may be hurt, and suffer unjust things willingly; but no one is willingly injured. For no one wishes to be injured, not even the intemperate man; but he acts contrary to his will. For neither does any one wish for that which he does not fancy to be good; but the intemperate man does that, which he does not think

90 ought to be done. But he who gives what is his own, as Homer says Glaucus gave to Diomed, For Diomed’s brass arms of mean device, For which nine oxen paid, a vulgar price, He gave his own of gold divinely wrought, A hundred beeves the shining purchase bought. is not injured; for it is in his power to give or not to give. But to be injured is not in his power, but it is necessary that the person should exist by whom the injury is done. Concerning the being injured, therefore, it is evident that it is not voluntary. Of those things, however, which we proposed to discuss, two particulars remain to be explained; whether he does an injury who distributes to another person more than he deserves, or the person who receives the distribution. For if what we before observed is possible, and . he who distributes, but not he who possesses more, does the injury, if any one distributes to another more than to himself, knowingly and willingly, he will himself injure himself; which modest men appear to do. For a worthy man distributes less to himself than to others. Or shall we say that neither is this thing simple: For he who distributes less to himself than to others (of certain good things, will vindicate to himself more of some other good, if it should so happen; as for instance, of renown, or of that which is simply beautiful in conduct. Again, the doubt is also dissolved from the definition of doing an injury; for he who does it, suffers nothing contrary to his will. Hence he is not, on this account, injured; but even admitting that he is, he is only hurt. It is also evident that he who distributes (more than the receiver deserves, does an injury, but not the receiver. For it is not the person in whom injustice is inherent who does the injury, but he to whom to do this is voluntary; but this is the man from whom the principle of the action proceeds, which is in the distributor, but not in the receiver. Farther still, since to act is predicated multifariously, and things inanimate in a certain respect kill, the hand as well as the servant by the command of his master; these indeed do not act injuriously, but they do unjust things. Again, if a man being indeed ignorant judges, he does not do an injury according to the legally just, nor is his judgment unjust, yet in a certain respect it is unjust. For the legally just differs from the first justice, (or that which has a natural subsistence.) But if he should judge unjustly knowingly, he will vindicate to himself more either of favour, or of vengeance. As, therefore, if some one should partake of a deed unjustly done, thus also he who on account of these things judges unjustly, will possess more; for in those things he who adjudges a field to another person, receives in return, not a field, but money. Men, however, are of opinion that it is in their power to do an injury, and that on this account it is easy to be just. But it is not so; for to have connexion with the wife of a neighbour, to strike another person, and to give money with the hand, are things easy, and in the power of those who do them; but to do these things with a certain disposition of mind,' is neither easy, nor in the power of those who do them. In a similar manner, also, the multitude fancy that there is no portion of wisdom in knowing what is just, and what is unjust, because it is not difficult to understand those things about which the laws speak. These things, however, are not just, except from accident, but they are then just, when they are performed after a certain manner, and distributed after a certain manner. But this is a greater work than to know things that are salubriotis. For there, indeed, it is easy to know honey and wine, and hellebore, and burning and cutting; but how it is necessary to distribute these, in order to produce health, and to whom, and when they are to be distributed, is as great a work as to be a physician. On this very account the multitude fancy that it is no less the province of a just (than of an unjust) man, to do an injury; because the just man is no less, but is even more able to do each of these, (than the unjust man.) For according to them, a just man may have connexion with the wife of another man, and may strike another person, and a brave man may throw away his shield, and betaking himself to flight may run where he pleases. To act cowardly, however, and to do an injury, is not merely to do these things, except from accident, but it consists in doing them with a certain disoposition of mind (i.e., with promptitude and delight;) just as to perform the office of a physician, and to restore to health, does not merely consist in cutting, or not cutting, in giving or not giving medicine, but in doing these after a certain manner. But just things subsist among those with whom there is a participation of things which are simply good; and in these there is also excess and defect. For to some beings, as perhaps to the gods, ..justice is not a good, because in them there is no excess, (or deficiency; but to others, as to men incurable and vicious, no part of things simply good is beneficial, but all of them are noxious; and to others they are useful to a certain extent; and on this account justice is a human good.

Book V, Chapter 10

It now follows that we should speak concerning equity, and the equitable, and show how equity, indeed, subsists with reference to justice, and the equitable with reference to the just; for to those who consider rightly, the equitable appears to be neither simply the same, nor yet different in genus from the just. And at one time, indeed, we praise the equitable, and the man of equity; so that, also, transferring this name to other things, we praise a man by calling him a more equitable, instead of a good man, manifesting by this, that it is a better appellation. But at another time, to those who follow reason, it appears to be absurd, that the equitable, if it is something different from the just, should be laudable. For either the just is not a worthy thing, or the equitable is not just, if it is different from the just; or if they are both worthy things, both are the same. The doubt, therefore, concerning the equitable, nearly happens through these particulars. All these, however, are after a certain manner right, and there is nothing in them , which is contrary and adverse to itself. For the equitable being something that is just, is a better just thing; and is not better than the just, as if it were some other genus, The just, therefore, and the equitable are the same thing; and both of them being worthy things, the equitable is the more excellent of the two. A doubt, however, still remains, that though the equitable is indeed just, yet it is not the legally just, but is a correction of it. But the cause of this is, that every law, indeed, is universal; but it cannot speak universally with rectitude about certain particulars. In those things, therefore, in which it is necessary to speak universally, but in which this cannot be done rightly, the law assumes that which happens for the most part, not being ignorant of the fault which has been committed. And in thus doing, it acts no less rightly; for the fault is not in the law, nor in the legislator, but in the nature of the thing; for such directly is the matter of the things which pertain to action. When the law, therefore, speaks universally, and something after this should happen besides, then it is right to correct what the legislator has omitted, and the error which he has committed in speaking simply, since the legislator himself would adopt such correction if he were present, and would have legally established this if he had known it. Hence, the equitable is just, and is better than a certain justice. It is not, however, better than what is simply just, but it is better than the justice which errs through speaking simply (and generally..) And this is the nature of the equitable, that it is a correction of law, where law is deficient on account of speaking universally. For this is the cause why all things are not according to law, that concerning certain things it is impossible to establish a law. Hence, a decree is necessary; for of the indefinite the rule also is indefinite, just as of a Lesbian building the rule is leaden; since the rule is bent conformable to the figure of the stone, and does not remain the same. Thus, also, a decree is adapted to things themselves. It is evident, therefore, what the equitable and the just are, and what the justice is which the equitable excels. It is likewise manifest from this who is an equitable man. For he who deliberately chooses and practises things of this kind, and who is not an accurate distributor of justice in the rigid sense of the word, but remits something of the rigour of the law, though the law is favourable to such rigour, is an equitable man. And the habit itself is equity, being a certain justice and not a different habit.

Book V, Chapter 11

From what has been said, also, it is evident whether it is possible for a man to injure himself or not. For there are some just things established by law, which pertain to the whole of virtue. Thus, for instance, the law does not order a man to destroy himself; and it forbids what it does not command. Again, when one man hurts another contrary to law, who has not hurt him, he does an injury willingly; but he does an injury willingly, who does it knowing the person whom he injures, and the instrument, and the manner in which he does it. But he who destroys himself through anger, does this willingly contrary to right reason, which the law does not permit. Hence, he does an injury; but to whom 2 Is it not to the city, but not to himself? For he voluntarily suffers; but no one is voluntarily injured. Hence, also, the city punishes him, and a certain disgrace is attached to him who destroys himself, as one who injures the city. Farther still, it is not possible for a man to injure himself in that way in which he is unjust, who only acts unjustly, and is not entirely depraved; for this character is different from him. For the unjust man is in a certain respect so depraved, as the timid man is; but not as possessing the whole of depravity. Hence, neither according to this improbity does he do himself an injury; for if he did, the same thing might be taken away and added at the same time to the same thing; but this is impossible. It is, however, necessary that the just and the unjust should always existin more than one person. Again, he who does an injury does it voluntarily, and from deliberate choice, and with a precedency in time. For he who injures another because he has been injured by him, does not appear to act unjustly; but he who injures himself, suffers and does the same things at the same time. Farther still, a man would be injured willingly. To which may be added, that no one does an injury without a particular species of injustice; but no one commits adultery with his own wife, nor does any one dig through his own wall, nor commit a theft on his own property. In short, the impossibility that a man should injure himself is evident from the conclusions made by us respecting the being voluntarily injured. It is likewise evident, that both to be injured and to injure are bad things; for the one is to have less, but the other more than the medium; in the same manner as the salubrious in medicine, and that which contributes to a good habit of body in the gymnastic art. At the same time, however, it is worse to injure (than to be injured.) For to do an injury is accompanied with vice, and is blameable; and with vice which is either perfect, and simply vice, or nearly so. For not everything which is voluntary is accompanied with injustice; but to be injured is without vice and injustice. Essentially, therefore, it is less bad to be . injured than to do an injury; but from accident nothing prevents it from being a greater evil. Art, however, pays no attention to this; but it says that the pleurisy is a greater disease than a lame foot, though it may happen that the latter may be a greater evil than the former, if a man, in consequence of being lame, should fall, and thus be taken by enemies, and put to death. Metaphorically speaking, however, and from similitude, the whole man is not just to the whole of himself, but one part of him towards another part; yet not according to every kind of justice, but according to the despotic, or economic; for in these discussions, it must be admitted that the rational differs from the irrational part of the soul. And if we look to these, it appears that there is a certain injustice of a man towards him. self, because it is possible in these parts for a man to suffer something adverse to his own appetites. As, therefore, between a governor and him who is governed, there is a certain justice towards each other, this is also the case between these parts of the soul. After this manner, therefore, we have discussed justice, and the other ethical virtues.