Friday, February 13, 2009

Mystery quotation contest...

UPDATE: Mystery solved, contest closed.

First Prize: a pat on the back and a hearty, "Gee, thanks!"

The quarry is a quotation I seem to remember from my college days, I think from Aristotle and I think almost word for word:

"Justice regulates our dealings with other people. Because people who love are not strictly 'other' to each other, there can be no [question of] justice between those who love."
Probably not exact but I think pretty close.

Online sources (C.I.: Tulk) suggest the Nichomachean Ethics as ground zero, and I just happen to own a copy.

From Book VIII, Chapter 1:
"...when men are friends they have no need of justice, while when they are just they need friendship as well, and the truest form of justice is thought to be a friendly quality. But it is not only necessary but also noble; for we praise those who love their friends, and it is thought to be a fine thing to have many friends." (Ross translation)

"...when people are friends there is no need of justice, but when they are just there is stiil need of friendship, and among things that are just, what inclines toward friendship seems to be the most just of all. And friendship is not only necessary but also beautiful; for we praise those who love their friends, and an abundance of friends seems to be one of the beautiful things." (Sachs translation)
Close but no cigar.

Perhaps the version I remember was from a commentary, or from a classroom discussion at my alma mater.


Christian Lindke said...

It sounds more lime Hume than Aristotle to me. Even then it seems more like a commentary, or "reductive" version, rather than a quote.

It would be a "true" interpretation of Hume's theory of the development of justice.

Generic said...

Whom? Hume! (Insert Abbott & Costello hand-me-down routine here.)

Drat. More research.

Cassie said...

Looks more like something that could have come out of Plato to me, but otherwise I'd say the Politics is your best bet other than the Ethics.