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Volume 15/16, 2017/2018

Le Principe du Bien: Platon, Aristote et leur postérité

Francesca Alesse
Pages 313-331

La notion du bien chez Aristote, Métaphysique VII 6. Quelques remarques

The question I deal with is Aristotle’s treatment of agathon in Metaphysics VII 6, as compared to the treatment of the same notion in famous passages from Ethics (EE 1217b26 ff. ; EN 1096a19 ff.) and Topics (107a5 ff.). In these latter agathon is considered as homonymous in that it assumes as many meanings as the categories, whereas in Metaphysics VII 6 (1031a29‑b14) Aristotle employes the example of agathon in order to examine the relationship between every reality in itself and its essence. In this context Aristotle uses the notion of “good in itself ”, as an example of ἕκαστον which should be identical to its essence : as a consequence of such an identity, “good in itself ” shoud be a synonymous notion and have a univocal definition. Is the treatment of agathon in Metaphysics VII 6 opposed to what Aristotle claims in Ethics and Topics ? In my opinion, what is to be pointed out is not a contradiction, but a difference in perspective, which has rarely been emphasised. My aim is to analyse the possible reasons for this difference in perspective.

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