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storehouse of taste, an exemplar of condensed and accurate, but uniformly clear and candid
reasoning.” In like manner, Poetry--his treatise upon which has come down to us greatly mutilated--is traced to our love of imitation, whence he proves every species of it originates ; and, while he lays down such rules for its construction, as hitherto none have been able to improve upon, he derives from the whole, for its beneficial result, the purification of the soul by the regulation of degrading passions.
A third great division of practical philosophy includes ethical and political science; the former supplying the principles of individual, and the latter of social good : politics, however, embraced economics, or the regulation of families, as Aristotle considered those to form the elements of political association.
But perhaps the most singular connexion instituted in his scheme was that between ethics and physics, resulting from the fundamental doctrine that morality is the result of man's natural endowment. In opposition to Socrates, Aristotle, affirming our physical impulses, and not reason, to be the ground of virtue, and this last to be the perfection of natural disposition and physical development together, according to this theory, excluded the child totally from the possession of virtue, and reduced the man, in his attainment of it, to a dependence upon humours of body and outward influence of climate. It is true that he held man responsible, as a free agent, for the due exercise of self-discipline, a power to be beneficially used during the unformed character of his life; but the benefit of precept was virtually denied, from the close connexion stated between our moral and physical condition. Happiness, as the supreme good, is taken to be the aim of all existence in creation ; this he defines to be an energy of soul, or the powers of the soul exerted, according to that virtue which most perfects them: a perfect life, therefore, is still left as a matter of doubt, for he neither specifies the period during which activity is to last, nor allows for those seasons of pain and exhaustion which must perpetually interrupt it. Lastly, virtue—in the pursuit of which pleasure was involved-signifies with him an habitual principle of moderation, or a mean between two vices, and the determination of this mean forms the subject matter of his Ethics.
beneficial, in that it exhibits the ruling motives of human conduct as they are; but the view is debased, and the tendency to improve man's nature much diminished, by placing the cultivation of the intellect as the work most pleasing to the Divinity, attributing but a partial immortality to the soul, in respect to intellect only, and instituting no communication between God and man as relates to the responsibility of action. In reduction of morality to a dependence upon the circumstances of physical life, and of virtue to the result of education, he introduces politics, in which the state is recognised as the great teacher. Governments were not only to reward good and punish evil, but to establish by their sanction the practice of one to the opposition of the other; the state itself existing as a species of conscience to which the actions of each individual were referred.
Assuming man to be a social animal, Aristotle's political treatise proceeds to explain the constitution of government best fitted, upon expediency alone, to blend individual discrepancies for the common good. This is the ground-work of the plan, for this war is discouraged, because it exhausts military resources ; and accumulation of wealth forbidden,
because it severs the masses, and introduces tyranny; each state is to employ the form of monarchy, aristocracy, and polity, or general equality, according to the peculiarity of its own case, each citizen to be educated in reference to the demands of the state upon him.
Both his politics and economics are alike distinguished by prejudices prevalent over justice and a sense of right. Slavery, as a natural claim of the Greek over the barbarian, is directly encouraged, and the slave viewed in the light of a most valuable possession, whose instruction in virtue is limited to those qualities which may render him useful to the family, without a recognition of any
of the duties or the privileges of man. Marriage being estimated as the means of providing a healthy offspring for the service of one's common country, for which purpose physical excellence is important, he forbids the lame to be matured, and sanctions infanticide. Each family was itself a monarchy, in which the children were politically equal, under the sovereignty of the father, " whose relation to the wife was aristocratic;" and this he considers as the best form of government for states, provided that no monarchy be hereditary, yet, from a desire not to
exclude the multitude from power, he advises a mixed form, whose institutions should be adapted to the circumstances of the country.
The topics of education which he recommends are grammar, music, gymnastics, and design, to render the citizen accomplished, but religion entered into no part of youthful instruction, which began and ended in philosophy. Unlike Plato, he evolves a scheme merely suited to man's actual condition here as a miserable being, nor once allures him by a bright and hallowing prospect, however vague, to anticipate a final state of emancipation from infirmity and care. The hope which virtue pants after the aspiration of conformity to the Divine likeness—is depressed or excluded, by the philosopher of vaunted reason, who, estimating only the deductions of intellect, virtually regards the latter as a God. Such glaring contradictions to the glories of Christian truth which, in the spirit of Divine love, proclaims “charity to be the very bond of perfectness,” that there is neither “male nor female, bond nor free,” in a word, no respect of persons before God—which stimulates human endeavour after good by the surest reward, according to the perfect pattern of "God manifest in the flesh,' and offers boldness of access