The Carpenter and the Good

In D. Cairns, F. G. Herrmann & T. Penner (eds.), Pursuing the Good: Ethics and Metaphysics in Plato's Republic. University of Edinburgh (2008)

Abstract

Among Aristotle’s criticisms of the Form of the Good is his claim that the knowledge of such a Good could be of no practical relevance to everyday rational agency, e.g. on the part of craftspeople. This critique turns out to hinge ultimately on the deeply different assumptions made by Plato and Aristotle about the relation of ‘good’ and ‘good for’. Plato insists on the conceptual priority of the former; and Plato wins the argument.

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