every art and every investigation, and likewise every practical pursuit or undertaking, seems to aim at some good: hence it has been well said, that the good is that at which all things aim. (it is true that a certain variety is to be observed among the ends at which the arts and sciences aim: in some cases the activity of practicing the art is itself an end, whereas in others the end is some product over and above the mere exercise of the art; and in the arts whose ends are certain things beside the practice of the arts themselves, these products are essentially superior in value to the activities.)

but as there are numerous pursuits and arts and sciences, it follows that their ends are correspondingly numerous: for instance, the end of the science of medicine is health, that of the art of shipbuilding a vessel, that of strategy victory, that of domestic economy wealth. now in cases where several such pursuits are subordinate to some single faculty- as bridle-making and the other trades concerned with horses’ harness are subordinate to horsemanship, and this and every other military pursuit to the science of strategy, and similarly other arts to different arts again- in all these cases, i say, the ends of the master arts are things more to be desired than the ends of the arts subordinate to them; since the latter ends are only pursued for the sake of the former. (and it makes no difference whether the ends of the pursuits are the activities themselves or some other thing beside these, as in the case of the sciences mentioned.)

if therefore among the ends at which our actions aim there be one which we will for its own sake, while we will the others only for the sake of this, and if we do not choose everything for the sake of something else (which would obviously result in a process ad infinitum, so that all desire would be futile and vain), it is clear that this one ultimate end must be the good, and indeed the supreme good. will not then a knowledge of this supreme good be also of great practical importance for the conduct of life? will it not better enable us to attain our proper object, like archers having a target to aim at? if this be so, we ought to make an attempt to determine at all events in outline what exactly is this supreme good, and of which of the sciences or faculties it is the object.

now it would seem that this supreme end must be the object of the most authoritative of the sciences- some science which is pre-eminently a master craft. but such is manifestly the science of politics; for it is this that ordains which of the sciences are to exist in states, and what branches of knowledge the different classes of citizens are to learn, and up to what point; and we observe that even the most highly esteemed of the faculties, such as strategy, domestic economy, oratory, are subordinate to the political science. inasmuch then as the rest of the sciences are employed by this one, and as moreover it lays down laws as to what people shall do and what things they shall refrain from doing, the end of this science must include the ends of all the others. therefore, the good of man must be the end of the politics of science of politics.

for even though it be the case that the good is the same for the individual and for the state, nevertheless, the good of the state is manifestly a greater and more perfect good, both to attain and to preserve. to secure the good of one person only is good as nothing; but to secure the good of a state or nation is a nobler and more divine achievement. our common welfare is of greater concern than our individual achievements we are a wired species. a child is raised with love not money. when we lose all things what we have is each other.

the-transfiguration-detail-1520.jpg!HalfHD

Advertisements