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Full Online Book HomeNonfictionsA Treatise On Government - BOOK VIII - Chapter II
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A Treatise On Government - BOOK VIII - Chapter II Post by :DonTino Category :Nonfictions Author :Aristotle Date :January 2011 Read :1963

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A Treatise On Government - BOOK VIII - Chapter II

education is, and how children ought to be instructed, is what
should be well known; for there are doubts concerning the business of
it, as all people do not agree in those things they would have a child
taught, both with respect to their improvement in virtue and a happy
life: nor is it clear whether the object of it should be to improve
the reason or rectify the morals. From the present mode of education
we cannot determine with certainty to which men incline, whether to
instruct a child in what will be useful to him in life; or what tends
to virtue, and what is excellent: for all these things have their
separate defenders. As to virtue, there is no particular (1337b) in
which they all agree: for as all do not equally esteem all virtues, it
reasonably follows that they will not cultivate the same. It is
evident that what is necessary ought to be taught to all: but that
which is necessary for one is not necessary for all; for there ought
to be a distinction between the employment of a freeman and a slave.
The first of these should be taught everything useful which will not
make those who know it mean. Every work is to be esteemed mean, and
every art and every discipline which renders the body, the mind, or
the understanding of freemen unfit for the habit and practice of
virtue: for which reason all those arts which tend to deform the body
are called mean, and all those employments which are exercised for
gain; for they take off from the freedom of the mind and render it
sordid. There are also some liberal arts which are not improper for
freemen to apply to in a certain degree; but to endeavour to acquire a
perfect skill in them is exposed to the faults I have just mentioned;
for there is a great deal of difference in the reason for which any
one does or learns anything: for it is not illiberal to engage in it
for one's self, one's friend, or in the cause of virtue; while, at the
same time, to do it for the sake of another may seem to be acting the
part of a servant and a slave. The mode of instruction which now
prevails seems to partake of both parts.
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There are four things which it is usual to teach children--reading,gymnastic exercises, and music, to which (in the fourth place) someadd painting. Reading and painting are both of them of singular usein life, and gymnastic exercises, as productive of courage. As tomusic, some persons may doubt, as most persons now use it for the sakeof pleasure: but those who originally made it part of education didit because, as has been already said, nature requires that we shouldnot only be properly employed, but to be able to enjoy leisurehonourably: for this (to repeat what I have already
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ne can doubt that the maigstrate ought greatly to interest himselfin the care of youth; for where it is neglected it is hurtful to thecity, for every state ought to be governed according to its particularnature; for the form and manners of each government are peculiar toitself; and these, as they originally established it, so they usuallystill preserve it. For instance, democratic forms and manners ademocracy; oligarchic, an oligarchy: but, universally, the bestmanners produce the best government. Besides, as in every business andart there are some things which men are to learn first and be madeaccustomed to, which are necessary to
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