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Full Online Book HomeNonfictionsA Treatise On Government - BOOK I - Chapter VIII
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A Treatise On Government - BOOK I - Chapter VIII Post by :stephe1 Category :Nonfictions Author :Aristotle Date :January 2011 Read :2250

Click below to download : A Treatise On Government - BOOK I - Chapter VIII (Format : PDF)

A Treatise On Government - BOOK I - Chapter VIII

(1256a) As a slave is a particular species of property, let us by all
means inquire into the nature of property in general, and the
acquisition of money, according to the manner we have proposed. In the
first place then, some one may doubt whether the getting of money is
the same thing as economy, or whether it is a part of it, or something
subservient to it; and if so, whether it is as the art of making
shuttles is to the art of weaving, or the art of making brass to that
of statue founding, for they are not of the same service; for the one
supplies the tools, the other the matter: by the matter I mean the
subject out of which the work is finished, as wool for the cloth and
brass for the statue. It is evident then that the getting of money is
not the same thing as economy, for the business of the one is to
furnish the means of the other to use them; and what art is there
employed in the management of a family but economy, but whether this
is a part of it, or something of a different species, is a doubt; for
if it is the business of him who is to get money to find out how
riches and possessions may be procured, and both these arise from
various causes, we must first inquire whether the art of husbandry is
part of money-getting or something different, and in general, whether
the same is not true of every acquisition and every attention which
relates to provision. But as there are many sorts of provision, so are
the methods of living both of man and the brute creation very various;
and as it is impossible to live without food, the difference in that
particular makes the lives of animals so different from each other. Of
beasts, some live in herds, others separate, as is most convenient for
procuring themselves food; as some of them live upon flesh, others on
fruit, and others on whatsoever they light on, nature having so
distinguished their course of life, that they can very easily procure
themselves subsistence; and as the same things are not agreeable to
all, but one animal likes one thing and another another, it follows
that the lives of those beasts who live upon flesh must be different
from the lives of those who live on fruits; so is it with men, their
lives differ greatly from each other; and of all these the shepherd's
is the idlest, for they live upon the flesh of tame animals, without
any trouble, while they are obliged to change their habitations on
account of their flocks, which they are compelled to follow,
cultivating, as it were, a living farm. Others live exercising
violence over living creatures, one pursuing this thing, another that,
these preying upon men; those who live near lakes and marshes and
rivers, or the sea itself, on fishing, while others are fowlers, or
hunters of wild beasts; but the greater part of mankind live upon the
produce of the earth and its cultivated fruits; and the manner in
which all those live who follow the direction of nature, and labour
for their own subsistence, is nearly the same, without ever thinking
to procure any provision by way of exchange or merchandise, such are
shepherds, husband-men, (1256b) robbers, fishermen, and hunters: some
join different employments together, and thus live very agreeably;
supplying those deficiencies which were wanting to make their
subsistence depend upon themselves only: thus, for instance, the same
person shall be a shepherd and a robber, or a husbandman and a hunter;
and so with respect to the rest, they pursue that mode of life which
necessity points out. This provision then nature herself seems to have
furnished all animals with, as well immediately upon their first
origin as also when they are arrived at a state of maturity; for at
the first of these periods some of them are provided in the womb with
proper nourishment, which continues till that which is born can get
food for itself, as is the case with worms and birds; and as to those
which bring forth their young alive, they have the means for their
subsistence for a certain time within themselves, namely milk. It is
evident then that we may conclude of those things that are, that
plants are created for the sake of animals, and animals for the sake
of men; the tame for our use and provision; the wild, at least the
greater part, for our provision also, or for some other advantageous
purpose, as furnishing us with clothes, and the like. As nature
therefore makes nothing either imperfect or in vain, it necessarily
follows that she has made all these things for men: for which reason
what we gain in war is in a certain degree a natural acquisition; for
hunting is a part of it, which it is necessary for us to employ
against wild beasts; and those men who being intended by nature for
slavery are unwilling to submit to it, on which occasion such a. war
is by nature just: that species of acquisition then only which is
according to nature is part of economy; and this ought to be at hand,
or if not, immediately procured, namely, what is necessary to be kept
in store to live upon, and which are useful as well for the state as
the family. And true riches seem to consist in these; and the
acquisition of those possessions which are necessary for a happy life
is not infinite; though Solon says otherwise in this verse:

"No bounds to riches can be fixed for man;"

for they may be fixed as in other arts; for the instruments of no art
whatsoever are infinite, either in their number or their magnitude;
but riches are a number of instruments in domestic and civil economy;
it is therefore evident that the acquisition of certain things
according to nature is a part both of domestic and civil economy, and
for what reason.

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There is also another species of acquisition which they (1257a)particularly call pecuniary, and with great propriety; and by thisindeed it seems that there are no bounds to riches and wealth. Nowmany persons suppose, from their near relation to each other, thatthis is one and the same with that we have just mentioned, but it isnot the same as that, though not very different; one of these isnatural, the other is not, but rather owing to some art and skill; wewill enter into a particular examination of this subject. The uses ofevery possession are two, both dependent upon the thing itself, butnot
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s evident from what has been said, that a herile and a politicalgovernment are not the same, or that all governments are alike to eachother, as some affirm; for one is adapted to the nature of freemen,the other to that of slaves. Domestic government is a monarchy, forthat is what prevails in every house; but a political state is thegovernment of free men and equals. The master is not so called fromhis knowing how to manage his slave, but because he is so; for thesame reason a slave and a freeman have their respective appellations.There is also one sort of knowledge
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