Sunday, June 12, 2005

Aristotle on Thuggishness

A class-fellow sent me an excellent and typical quotation from Xanthippe's husband on how he would understand thuggishness.
I came across this the other day and I thought you might find it interesting. The rest of the quotation is as follows.
Man, when perfect, is the best of animals; but if he be isolated from law and justice he is the worst of all. Injustice is all the graver when it is armed injustice; and man is furnished from birth with weapons which are intended to serve the purpose of wisdom and goodness, but which may be used in preference for opposite ends. That’s why, if he be without goodness [of mind and
character], he is a most unholy and savage being, and worse than all others in the indulgence of lust and gluttony
.” Aristotle Politics Book I, Chapter 2.
You will all recognise this as an expression of our now-familar motto: corruptio optima est pessima.

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