Aristotle. About the soul. Politics - Reader on philosophy

Aristotle. About the soul. Policy

About the soul

The second book. Chapter first. This is what should be said about the previous opinions of the former philosophers about the soul. And now back to where we started, and try to find out what the soul is and what its most general definition is.

So, by essence we mean one of the genera of being; to the essence refers, first, matter, which in itself is not a definite thing; second, the form or image through which it is already called a certain something, and, thirdly, what consists of matter and form. Matter is an opportunity, form is an entelechy, and it is in a dual sense - in such as knowledge, and in such as the activity of contemplation.

Apparently, mainly bodies, and natural ones, are essence, for they are the origin of all other bodies. Of natural bodies, some are endowed with life, others - no. By life we ​​call all food, growth and decay of the body, having a basis in itself (di'aytoy). Thus, every natural body involved in life is an entity, and the essence is composite.

But although it is such a body, i.e. endowed with life, it can not be a soul. After all, the body is not something belonging to the substrate (hypokeimenon), but rather itself is the substrate and matter. Thus, the soul is necessary to have an essence in the sense of the form of a natural body possessing in life the possibility. The essence [as a form] is an entelechy; Therefore, the soul is the entelechy of such a body. Ententhechia has a double meaning: either such as knowledge, or such as the activity of contemplation; it is quite obvious that the soul is an entelechy in the sense that knowledge is. Indeed, because of the presence of the soul, there are both sleep and wakefulness, wakefulness being similar to the activity of contemplation, and dreaming with possession, but without acting. For one and the same person, knowledge of its origin precedes the activity of contemplation.

That is why the soul is the first entelechy of a natural body that possesses life in an opportunity. And such a body can only be a body that has organs. Meanwhile, parts of plants are also organs, the truth is quite simple, for example, a leaf is a cover for the shell, and the shell is a cover for the fruit, the roots are similar to the mouth: after all, both take food. So, if it is necessary to designate what is common to all souls, then this is the following: the soul is the first entelechy of a natural body possessing organs. Therefore, one should not ask whether the soul and the body are one thing, as it should not be asked about wax and print on it, nor about any matter and the matter of what it is. For though the one and being have different meanings, but the entelechy is one and being in the proper sense.

So, it is said what is the soul in general. Namely: it is the essence as a form (logos), and this is the essence of the existence of such and such a body, just as if a natural body were some kind of instrument, for example an ax. Namely: the essence of it would be being an ax, and it would be his soul. And if it is separated, then the ax would no longer be an ax and would be so only by name. However, this is only an ax. The soul is the essence of being and the form (logos) of not such a body as an ax, but of such a natural body that in itself has the beginning of movement and rest. This must also be considered with respect to parts of the body. If the eye were a living being, then his soul would be sight. After all, vision is the essence of the eye as its form (the eye is the matter of vision); with loss of sight, the eyes are no longer an eye, except by name, just like an eye from a stone or a painted eye. The above said about the part of the body must be applied to the whole living body. Namely: as part relates to the part, so in a similar way the totality of sensations refers to the whole sensing body as sensing.

But the living in the opportunity is not that which is devoid of the soul, but what it possesses. The seed and the fruit are just such a body in possibility. Therefore, both the cleavage [for the ax] and the vision [for the eye] are entelechy, and wakefulness; and the soul is such an entelechy as the sight and power of the instrument, the body is the existent in the possibility. But just like the pupil and sight make up the eye, so the soul and the body make up a living being.

So, the soul is inseparable from the body; it is also clear that any part of it is inseparable if the soul has parts by nature, for some parts of the soul are the entelechy of the body parts. But of course, there is nothing to prevent certain parts of the soul from separating from the body, since they are not the entelechy of any body. In addition, it is not clear whether there is a soul of the entelechy of the body in the same sense in which the shipwler is the entelechy of the ship.

So, in general terms, let the soul be defined and described.


Book Four. (25) IX 1. What is the best kind of government? How can life be best arranged for most of the states and for most people regardless of virtue exceeding the Virtue of an ordinary person, regardless of the upbringing for which natural talents and a happy confluence of circumstances are needed, irrespective of the most desirable system, but only to that worldly (30) which is accessible to the majority, and to such a state structure that is acceptable to most of the states? 2. The various types of the so-called aristocracy, of which we have just spoken, are partly inapplicable in most states, partly approaching the so-called political (why should we speak of these species as one).

(35) The judgment about all the questions posed is based on the same initial assumptions. If it is truly said in our Ethics that this life is blessed, in which there are no obstacles to the realization of virtue, and that virtue is the middle, then it must be recognized that the best life will be the average life, such that the middle can be achieved by everyone . 3. It is necessary to establish (40) the same yardstick as for virtue, and for the depravity of the state and its structure: after all, the device (1295b) of the state is his life.

In each state there are three parts: very wealthy, extremely poor and third, standing in the middle between those and others. Since, according to the generally accepted opinion, moderation and the middle are the best, (5) then, obviously, the average prosperity of all the best is better. 4. In the presence of it, it is easiest to obey the arguments of reason; on the contrary, it is difficult to follow these arguments to a person who is super-beautiful, super-strong, superconscious, super-rich or, conversely, a super-poor, superweak person, superimposed in his social position. People of the first type are predominantly insolent and large (10) scoundrels. People of the second type are often made villains and small bastards. And of crimes, some are committed because of impudence, others - because of meanness. Moreover, people of both these types do not shy away from power, but zealously strive for it, and in fact both bring harm to the states. 5. Further, people of the first type, having an excess of well-being, (15) strength, wealth of friendly ties and the like, do not want, and do not know how to obey. And this is already observed at home, since childhood: spoiled by the luxury in which they live, they do not show the habit of obeying even in schools. Behavior of people of the second type because of their extreme insecurity is extremely humiliated. Thus, some (20) are not able to rule and are able to obey only the power that is manifested by the masters over the slaves; Others are not capable of obeying any power, and they are able to rule only as gentlemen rule over slaves. 6. It turns out a state consisting of slaves and gentlemen, and not of free people, a state where some are envious, others are contempt. And this kind of feelings are very far from the feeling of friendship in political communication, which should include a friendly beginning. The people mentioned by us (25) do not even want to follow the same road with their opponents.

The state most of all seeks to ensure that everyone in it is equal and equal, and this is typical mainly of average people. Thus, if we proceed from the natural, according to our assertion, the composition of the state, it inevitably follows that a state consisting of middle people will have the best state system. These citizens, for the most part, remain intact in the states and (30) unscathed. They do not strive for other people's good, like the poor, and others do not encroach on what belongs to them, just as poor people seek wealth of the rich. And since no one is on them and they are not making plans against anyone, their lives are safe. Therefore the fine wish was expressed by Fokilid: "The average has many benefits, in the state (35) I want to be average". 8. So, it is clear that the best state communication is that which is achieved by means of the means, and those states have a good system, where the averages are presented in greater numbers, where they are at best stronger than both extremes or at least each of them in isolation. Connecting with one or the other extreme, they provide balance and prevent the preponderance of opponents. Therefore, the greatest (40) welfare for the state is that its citizens possess medium, but sufficient property; (1296a), and in those cases when some own too much, others do not have anything, either extreme democracy or oligarchy in its pure form or tyranny arises, precisely under the influence of opposite extremes. After all, tyranny is formed both from extremely dissolved democracy, and from the oligarchy, (5) much less often - from the middle types of the state system and those that are similar to them. We will talk about the reasons for this later, when we talk about coups d'état.

9. So, obviously, the average form of the state system is the best, for only it does not lead to internal strife; wherever average citizens are numerous, fewer among the citizens of the grouping are less likely and (10) discord. And large states, for the same reason - precisely because they have many middle-class citizens - are less prone to strife; in smaller states, the population is more easily divided into two sides, between which there is no room for the middle, and almost everyone becomes either poor or rich. Democracies in turn (15) enjoy greater security in comparison with oligarchies; their existence is more durable due to the presence in them of average citizens (there are more of them, and they are more involved in honorable rights in democracies than in oligarchies). But when the lack of middle citizens deprive the poor of their large number, the state is in an ill-fated state and quickly goes to ruin.

10. As proof of our position, we can also cite the fact that the best legislators came out of the citizens of the middle circle: Solon (20), (which is evident from his poems), Lycurgus (he was not the king), Charond and almost the majority of the rest. Now it is also clear why in most cases the state system is either democratic or oligarchic. Due to the fact that the averages occupy an insignificant place in the states, those of the two that surpass them - (25) either the large owners or the common people - moving away from the average state, pull the state order to their side, so that either democracy, or the oligarchy. 11. Since, moreover, between the common people and the wealthy, a quarrel arises and the struggle arises, which of them succeeds in defeating the enemy, they determine (30) the state structure, which is not general and based on equality, and on whose side the victory was , they also gain a preponderance in the state system as a reward for victory, and some establish democracy, others - oligarchy. And the two Greek states, which belonged to the supremacy in Greece, planted one - (35) democracy, another - oligarchy in accordance with their state structure in other states, and were considered with the benefit not of these two states, but only with their own. 12. For these reasons, the average state system either never meets, or rarely, and a few. The husband alone, in contrast to those who previously exercised the primacy, (40) gave himself to persuade to introduce this system. In general, in the states (1296b) such a habit has been established: to not desire equality, but either to strive to rule, or to live in submission, patiently enduring it.

From what has been said it is clear what is the best state structure and for what reason.

13. After we have determined the best state (5) device, it is easy to see which of the other devices, democratic and oligarchic (and, in our opinion, several of them), should be put on the first place for the best, which - for the second and so on depending on how much the other and so on are relatively better or worse. The best kind of state system will always be that which will approach the most perfect, and the worst - that which will be farther from the average. The case when someone starts to discuss this question depending on those (10) or other prerequisites is excluded. I say depending on certain prerequisites because there are often no obstacles to ensuring that some states use a different device instead of another, more preferable device, but for a useful device.

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