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By Alexander of Aphrodisias, R.W. Sharples

Alexander of Aphrodisias - the top old commentator on Aristotle - bargains interpretations to do with ethical advantage, the standards for judging activities voluntary, etc. Translation of textual content with observation and notes

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Also below, P. Eth. 22. 86 Removing or doing away with the genus will, quite generally, mean removing the species that fall under it; but it is not in general the case that removing one species means removing all the others. e. anhomoiomerous things; a face or a table, as opposed to flesh or wood. e. virtue cannot be a totality of parts. For the individual virtues are different from one another and yet seem to admit of a single definition which is also that of the totality; and this is not the case with a totality made up of dissimilar parts.

Bluntness may be opposed to sharpness, but - if a saw is a substance - it is Aristotelian doctrine that substances do not have opposites (cf. ). One may compare the remarks below, in which the adze seems to be regarded as in some sense consisting in the qualities that chiefly define it. Alexander is cited by Elias in Cat. 179,36ff. as arguing that the four 'elements' are opposed in quality, not in 'body'. That fire and water are opposed to each other in respect of 'a species-creating differentia' is argued by Dexippus in Cat.

P. Eth. 18 139,9 and 29 160,34. 'common and natural notions' (koinai kai phusikai ennoiai) is Stoic terminology; 'conception' (prolepsis) in 129,9 is also Stoic, though the term is apparently one the Stoics themselves had borrowed from the Epicureans. Cf. H. A. B. Todd, 'The Stoic common notions: a reexamination and re-interpretation', Symbolae Osloenses 48 (1973) 43-76. prolepseis are for the Stoics those ennoiai that develop naturally, sometimes therefore translated 'preconceptions' as opposed to 'conceptions' for ennoiai; whether Alexander intends the term to have that strict sense here is debatable, but in any case 'preconception' does not seem a very clear way of conveying the point in the present context.

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