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The Meaning of ῟ΗΘΟΣ in the 'Poetics'

Author(s): George F. Held

Source: Hermes, 113. Bd., H. 3 (3rd Qtr., 1985), pp. 280-293
Published by: Franz Steiner Verlag
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4476441
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The problem of the meaning of fjog in Aristotle's 'Poetics' has b

ed at length by SCHOTRUMPF1. My own treatment of it will be brief and partly
dependent on his. I will assume that he is right that i'o;, >>character(<, is used
by Aristotle in a broad and a narrow sense, depending on whether it includes
or excludes 6tacvota. In what follows I will present my reasons for disagreeing
with his conclusion that it is the narrow sense which 'Go; has in the 'Poetics'.
E. N. 1103 a 7- 10: YOVTEC; y'ap nFpi ToO iGou; OV X?yogAsv 6Ort aoqo6 fT
auVVOg dtXX' 6ti npQog i1 oCo)(ppov, tcatvoi3gv & xa tI6v oop6v xata TfiV
tgIv, t&v Et?wv &t ra' tnalvFTGa &pst,a X yogFv. It is clear from this
passage that iVog in the 'Ethics' includes moral, but not intellectual, virtues2.
It also naturally includes their corresponding vices (xaxiat: cf. E. N. 1145 a
15 - 16). Such virtues and vices are in Aristotle's terminology iGtxaal E4F;. A
gtg is a condition or quality which Aristotle distinguishes from a 6tad,cot4
simply in terms of longevity and stability: the former is longer lasting and
more stable than the latter (cf. Cat. 8 b 28). There are two kinds of tg;ts:
moral (AGtxaf) and intellectual (8iavottxati). Though Aristotle never uses the
term Etg 8tavoiltx'i, it is clear from several passages that he also conceives
of the intellectual virtues as ZE?iS3. TH,o; in the 'Ethics', moreover,
encompasses not only all moral qualities, but also some qualities which are
not strictly speaking E14?t, e. g., &xoXaoTia and Ghpt6.t11g4. In the 'Ethics',
then, AGog is a collective term: the fjqo; of a person is the sum total of his
moral qualities, good and bad.
The meaning of t6avota, >thought<, in the 'Ethics' is somewhat more
complexs. BONITz defines tadvota as >>cogitandi verique inveniendi facultas vel
actio(<, i. e., >>he faculty or action of thinking and discovering truth<. But it also
denotes the sphere of the intellectual virtues, and can be used in a sense corre-
sponding to the collective sense of 'wo; (cf. E. N. 1 139 a 1 - 2). It is so used in
one passage of the 'Poetics' (49 b 36 - 50 a 2). Auavota in this sense is a collec-
tive term, denoting the sum total of a person's intellectual qualities, good and
bad. That 8iacvota can have such a sense has long been recognized by scholars
though neither it nor the corresponding sense of i1jog is noted in BONITZ or
LSJ. As DALE says, >>ethos and dianoia are both part of the individual make-

1 E. SCHOTRUMPF, Die Bedeutung des Wortes AGor, in der Poetik des Aristoteles, Zetemata 49
(Munich 1970).
2 Cf. SCHOTRUMPF, 22-25.

3 Cf. E.N. 1139b 13. 31 -32; 1140a 21 -23. b 6- 8. 21. 28 -30 and 1103a 7- 10, cited
4 Cf. E.N. 1145a 15-17 and SCHOTRUMPF, 26 -28.
s Cf. SCHOTRUMPF, 23-24, esp. 24 note 4. For further comments about 8rdvoIa, see
SCHOTRUMPF, 43 and 90.

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The Meaning of i"oc in the 'Poetics' 281

up, as, roughly, moral and intellectual qualities((6. Used in this way, then,
1Mio; and 8tavoua are closely related but distinct: the former does not include
the latter.
In the 'History of Animals' and at least the first two books of the 'Rhetoric'
this is not the case. In H. A. 610 b 20-22 Aristotle includes an intellectual
virtue, intelligence (voi3;), and its corresponding vice, folly (dvoia), in fj03:

Ta 8' fhTI rcov xcov ... 81a(ptp?Et cacTc Ts &kiav xai ntpa6rilra xai dtvpiav
xal gFup6trt xal vov t? xCti 6volav7. In Rh. 2 he includes in ARo; certain
qualities, such as optimism (Frnt?nti8c;: 1389a 19), pessimism (68u0tX?nti8,;:
1390a 5) and love of life ((pnX6lo4ot: 1389b 33) for which there are no corre-
sponding fltahti Ett? in the 'Ethics'8. Here Aristotle also includes piety in
i.og: tv 8' dxolou1i 1icrTotov iGog Tfj csTuXujt, 6tt (ptXk6oi siot xca
AXouoIv tp6p; T6 9i6v ncog, niorts1 ovtF; 8tat rat yiyv6gvca dtn6 Tfi; t6Uj
(1391 b 2 - 4). This is a broader usage of the term than in the 'Ethics' because
there 'o; includes qualities which men manifest in their behavior not toward
the gods, but only toward their fellow men and concerning their own appeti-
tes9. In Rh. 2 Aristotle lists the intellectual virtue, (pp6vlt;, along with
dipFur and Ft'tvoita as the three actta of intiattg v lx fgst ToG Xyovro;'O0.
SCHOTRUMPF concludes that in Rh. 2 >>ist also AGoq nicht gebraucht wie in der
Ethik, sondern umfaB3t auch eine 8tavorlrtxi &p?T1, namlich (pp6vcnt ..
Auch hier ist i'jo; in einem ganz allgemeinen Sinn die menschliche
Eigenart< l l . In Rh. 1 and 2, then, i9o; is a broader term than in the 'Eth
it includes some qualities which there belong to neither Aao; nor tadv
some qualities which there belong only to 8tavota. SCHOTRUMPF nowhere
determines precisely how much of what is included in 8tavota in the 'Ethics' is
included in i'oq in Rh. 1 and 2. His most sweeping statement is the following:
(in Rh. 1 and 2) >>AGog ist also nicht nur die Haltung, die man gegenuber den
Affekten und in seinem Handeln einnimmt, sondern es umfal3t auch unser
Denken und steht hier ganz allgemein fiUr die Wesensart eines Menschen< 2. It
seems to me that Aiaog in Rh. 1 and 2 includes all of what is included in
8iacvota in the 'Ethics'. If 'wo; there includes all the qualities of an orator
which may affect an audience's trust in him, then it should include all
intellectual qualities; for, depending on the topic under discussion, any and all
such qualities, skills, any acquaintance with the arts or philosophy, on the

6 A. M. DALE, Ethos and Dianoia: 'Character' and 'Thought' in Aristotle's Poetics,

A.U.M.L.A. 11 (1959) 8.
10 Cf. 1378a 6 with 1356a 1-16 and 1366a 25-28. See SCHOTRUMPF, 32-33.

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part of a speaker, will affect this trust. In what follows, I will assume that
fj&o; in Rh. 1 and 2 and in H. A. is a collective term referring to all qualities
whatsoever which may belong to a person. One's ilSo4 in this sense is virtually
one's whole person.
It is not clear to me whether SCHOTRUMPF considers iwo; in Rh. 3 to
include tadvota. His statements on this point seem to me contradictory. How
it is used there reflects upon its meaning in the 'Poetics' because of the
similarity of one passage in Rh. 3 (1417 a 16- 19) to a passage in the 'Poetics'
(50b 8- 12). I believe that iwo; is used in Rh. 3 in the same sense as in Rh. 1
and 2, but will postpone my discussion of this matter until the end of this

SCHiOTRUMPF holds that iOo; in the 'Poetics' means what it does in the
'Ethics'13. I will argue that it generally has the meaning which it does in Rh. 1
and 2. I will dispute SCHOTRUMPF'S opinion on the basis of common sense,
the text of the 'Poetics' and the doctrine of the 'Ethics'. None of my argu-
ments do I consider self-sufficient, but they are mutually supportive, and to-
gether, I believe, afford a high probability to my thesis. The primary difficulty
with SCHtJTRUMPF'S position is that common sense demands that iGo; in
Poet. ch. 15 include intellectual qualities. Aristotle there recommends that the
fihT of the tragic characters be good (XpTora), suitable (Ta dtpg6trrovta),
similar to our own (t6 6jotov) and consistent (T6 6gaX6v). Surely, he means
to proscribe such blunders as the portrayal of characters as intelligent in one
scene but stupid in the next, savages as possessing great artistic skills and
learning, children as wise beyond their years, etc. His words however can
make this proscription only if fijil here includes intellectual qualities. That it
does is given explicit support by Aristotle's remark in this same passage that it
is not suitable for a woman to be portrayed as clever (8sivfv: 54 a 24). Since,
as I will presently show, cleverness (8Elv6tI14) is an intellectual quality or
ability'4, Aristotle's mention of it indicates that he is here concerned as much

13 Cf. SCHOTRUMPF, 52 - 53 and 83 note 2. SCHOTRUMPF'S opinion about the meaning of fGoO
in the 'Poetics' is also basically that of DALE, LUCAS and ELSE. See DALE (above, note 6) 3 - 8;
Aristotle, 'Poetics', ed. D. W. LUCAS (Oxford 1968), ad 48a 2; and G. F. ELSE, Aristotle's
Poetics: the Argument (Cambridge, Mass. 1957) 245. ELSE, 270, attempts to reconcile this view of
the meaning of '90o with its definition in 50b 8-9 as a type of speech, one which manifests
itpoaipesot. He there concludes that n>under this dispensation character also is ... a subdivision,
as it were, of thoughto. This statement can be true only if both >>character<< and >>thought(( in it
refer to types of speeches. I understand them to carry this meaning. i'9o;/character in this sense
can be a subdivision of &tdvoia/thought because the latter is defined as a very broad type of
speech, one which presents either facts or opinions (50a 7 - 8) or which presents anything at all
(SOb 11 - 12: fi xaa16Xou rT dtno(pciivovrat).
14 Oddly, DALE (above, note 6) 8 takes note of Aristotle's remark about cleverness in women,
but in the very same paragraph criticizes him because >>No obligation is laid on the poet to make
his dianoia characteristic of the person uttering it, because by definition what is characteristic

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The Meaning of Ago; in the 'Poetics' 283

with intellectual as with moral qualities. 'H,9 here, therefore, ought to

include both.
Aristotle contrasts 8stv6r,/&1tv6ti;l with (pp6vtio;A/pp6violi; in two
passages: E. N. 1144 a 23 - b 17 and 1152 a 10 - 15. In the former he states
that the &atv6; has ouotxi d&pF-rij, whereas the (pp6vtLog has xupicza &psn'. A
further distinction is that 6siv6til is a 8u5vaAg; (1144 a 23), while qp6vrot;,
like any virtue, is a Et; (cf. 1140 b 21). 0p6viitc, however, includes that
8x5vajt; which constitutes 8s?tv6-rn;. Cf. 1144 a 28-29: otTI 5' f pp6vTol4
oi>X f1 &t)vcau, &X, ' oix iV8 TfS; ody Tso;tacT6q. The similarity between
SUtv6tIi and pp6vilat; and the fact that the former as well as the latter
belongs to the intellectual sphere should be evident from 1144 b 12-17: 'av
8t [SC. 'tgQ F,ta' VoutIXq dp?.Tfi] 1601 VOUV, tV TO npaTIEItV&la(ptpl, ^ 8
gtr,; 6gofra oui'a r6T' oTata xupko; &pF'ri. CdaT xagadiFp Ain Iro
8ogao,TtxoC3 Mo totiv EJjn, 8?tv6tI,; xal pp6volet;, o1txo xai c tt wov
10ItxoV &6o atf, t6 gtv &psT1r puotxdIr6 8' A xupia, xvi toVTcov A xupia ot
yiv?Iat ?vFu ppoVai@og. Here both pp6viiot; and 85Itv6t4 are placed in the
intellectual sphere (tr6 8owacrtx6v), and this sphere is explicitly contrasted
with the moral sphere (tr6 f9ix6v). The similarity between (pp6viicn; and
Siv6tcii; is further emphasized by Aristotle at 1 152 a 13 -15 where he asserts
that they xarctt giv T6v XO6yov tyyt)g svat, 8tacptpFtv 8t xaPa 'rv
ARISTOTLE's remark about cleverness in women is not the only bit of text
which explicitly supports my position about the meaning of V9o;. So also
does Poet. 6,49 b 36-50 a 7 - if this passage is properly interpreted.
Scholars' misreading of it has been primarily responsible for their misunder-
standing of the meaning of iOo; in the 'Poetics'. The fault, however, is largely
Aristotle's for here he employs terms in close proximity in different senses:
49b36 ?tFi 8t npadt&coc orTt gtijrcnC;, rpdT'rFTact 8t tr6 tItvv iparT6vTov,
ov5 dEvdyxrT nootoig tva; elvat xar I To r6 Mgo; xal Piv 8uivotav (tau ydp
toUTitv xvi t(ta (50 a) npdE,&lt clvai (pajiv notcg Tiva; [n(g'puXFV atrta &6o
TCiW ntp6?sOV CivaL, tLuvoIa xai ilo; xa; xata Tw5ta; xatottyX6VOtU3 xai
d1ZOtuyYXavouat iav'rs), totv 8t Tfj; pitv npairp o; 6 gi5,9og A pttgt11ot;, t-yco
'Y(p gtiMov ToOTrov PTV O6VVsotV uiCOV 1paCyg.LTCoV, Tdt St 9fn, XaT' o wtoto6;
TIVaC slvai (papsv Toug npaTTOVTa;, tdlvotav S?, tV 6Oot; MYOVT8g
&inO&?XV6ao(V Tl xai &iropa(vovtat yvtrIv. . . In 49 b 37 - 38 Aristotle
asserts that the agents in drama (npadttovtag) must be of a certain sort with
regard to both f$Sog and 8tavota. The words A0;g and Sidvota are seemingly

belongs to ethos((. Aristotle does not say that 8tdvota, in the sense of expressed thoughts, should
be characteristic of the person uttering it. But that would follow naturally if Ago; in Ch. 15 is
understood to include 8tdvota, in the sense of intellectual qualities. Aidvoict, in the first sense, is
simply a manifestation of Stdvota, in the second sense.

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used here and in 50 a 2 in the same sense as in the 'Ethics'. I agree with
SCHOTRUMPF that they are, but believe that this is the only passage in the
'Poetics' where they are so used. That Aristotle intends to use both of them
generally in senses different from those which they have here I infer from his
definitions of these words which follow in 50 a 5 -7, where neither word is
given the meaning which it has above. Auavota is defined as a type of speech,
and iwog is said to be that with regard to which the dramatic agents are of a
certain sort. Since we have just been told in 49 b 37-38 that these agents must
be of a certain sort with regard to both Ago; and b6avota, for the two passages
to be consistent, ?Sj in 50 a 5 should include what is meant by both AGo; and
8tavota together in 49 b 37-38. And since iGog and 8tavota there are used as
in the 'Ethics', IGn1 in 50 a 5 ought to include both ilo; and tatvota as used in
the 'Ethics'. 'HtH in 50 a 5, then, carries the broad meaning which it has in
the 'Rhetoric'. This interpretation is strongly supported by the fact that
8tavoua in the next sentence is defined as a type of speech. Why, if it is given a
different meaning than it has above, should we expect AGog to be given the
same meaning as above? Why should 8idvota in the sense which it has in the
'Ethics' suddenly be introduced into the discussion and just as suddenly drop
out of it? If my interpretation is accepted, it does not drop out of it, but its
meaning is included in that of i,hi in 50 a 5, and has been and will be included
in that of iGog elsewhere in the 'Poetics'.
SCHCTRUMPF, who perhaps saw the difficulty which this definition of ?Gn
creates for his view about the meaning of fjog in the 'Poetics', concludes
what no one before him ever has, that fGTl at 50 a 5 must be a type of speech
inasmuch as 6tdvota in the following clause is a type of speech'5. Now, gog
may, as others also have thought'6, be employed at 50 b 8 to refer to a type of
speech, one which manifests character, and therefore be equivalent to itx6;
X6yog, but igr at 50 a 5 is surely not a type of speech. The construction which
follows iSn there (xaG' 6) is different from that which follows tadvotav in the
next line (Av 6ooit)17. The construction with tv after 6tczvotctv may, as SCHO-
TRUMPF asserts 18, indicate that taivotav there is a type of speech; but the con-
struction with xacat after ihTI rather is similar to the constructions with xata
before i'Oog at 49 b 37 - 38 and h1 at 50 a 19 where, according to SCHO-
TRUMPF himself, A&o; and GhTI mean >>die menschliche Eigenschaft, 'Charak-
ter'<< 19. These similarities of construction make it highly likely that fjog and
'ihil in all three loci are used in similar, if not identical, senses: in all three they
mean >>die menschliche Eigenschaft, 'Charakter'<, not a type of speech.

16 Cf. DALE (above, note 6) 8 and ELSE (above, note 13) 270.
17 SCHOTRUMPF, 90, reads tv ot;, which must be a misprint.
19 Cf. SCHOTRUMPF, 90, esp. note 5.

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The Meaning of 'go; in the 'Poetics' 285

In this context one should also keep in mind that, as Lucas says in com-
menting on 50 b 4: )>In the last resort they [sc. AVo; and 5tacvota] are not com-
pletely separable.<< They are not completely separable in theory, and much less
so in concrete fact. Aristotle can reasonably draw the theoretical distinctions
between them that he does in the 'Ethics', but the iGor of particular men or
dramatic characters is not completely separable from their tatvota. If they are
of the better sort with regard to iVGog they are thereby necessarily better also to
some extent with regard to &davota. The close association of ijog and 85a-
vota is implied in Aristotle's second definition of 1',og (50 b 8). There i&o;,
seemingly conceived of as a type of speech, is defined as that which manifests

t 'potppec1$. But cpoaipsot; necessarily involves 8tdvota. Cf. E. N. 1139 a

33: 860 oct' 6vDu vo?5 xai &ctvoia; o6t dvwu 'Otxfij tortv gco; f ntpoafp8-
otQ and Metaph. 1065 a 32: rcpocipscnt yap ov xcopiS; 5tavoica;. Proper ac-
tion necessarily involves proper thinking. In the last resort, those superior
with regard to ijo; are not completely separable from those superior with re-
gard to 8tavota.
Despite all these considerations, I do not expect that readers will find my
interpretation of 49 b 36-50 a 7 to be entirely satisfactory, but no interpreta-
tion of it can be since the passage itself is unsatisfactorily constructed. The
definitions of AGor, and 8tcavota need to be explicitly related to and coordina-
ted with the usage of these terms above, but they are not. Yet the difficulties
with my interpretation seem to me much less than those with the standard inter-
pretation, for they are limited to the passage itself and to the lack of coordina-
tion just mentioned. The standard interpretation, which supposes that 'ao;
throughout the passage has the sense which it does in the 'Ethics', sacrifices
the intelligibility of several passages in the 'Poetics' for the sake of the consist-
ency of Aristotle's usage of AGo; in just one. There is, of course, an alterna-
tive to the standard view, to mine and to SCHUTRUMPF'S, which I suspect
many would adopt, i. e., that Aristotle defines fj&or at 50 a 5 in the narrow
sense and so uses it elsewhere in the 'Poetics', but without a great deal of
forethought. Moral qualities, not intellectual, are uppermost in his mind, and
so intellectual qualities are largely forgotten, except for fleeting references to
them, such as in the usage of 8tavota in 49 b 38 and in the remark about clev-
erness in women. In other words, Aristotle is just as careless in the 'Poetics' as
we will see below he sometimes is in the 'Rhetoric'. My arguments admittedly
are insufficient to refute this view. They are, however, at least sufficient to
demonstrate that Aristotle could not have used iGog in the narrow sense
throughout the 'Poetics' with full consciousness of the consequences thereof.
There are two other passages in the 'Poetics' which require our attention.
The first is 48 a 1 - 5: 'EnFi t gtpLoivrnat ot ligot6)[lEVoI tpatTovta;, dvdyxwi
t TOUouCOf; 0n0rovtaio; ii (pa6Xo0u s-vat (lai y'ap IGii OXcES6V a&81 tOUTOt

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sXTt'iova; f xa it ELg fl XEipova

notable about this passage is its similarity to 49 b 36-38. Both passages
express similar ideas in similar language: the same construction with d&vayxri
... l{vat is used in both. The later passage is perhaps meant to recall the
earlier. In the later passage it is said that the characters in drama must be of a
certain sort with regard to both AGo; and 8tavota; in the earlier (to
paraphrase roughly) that the men imitated in drama must be oirou&aiot or
qpaui3ot, and that they are so with respect to their flgii. It is prima facie
ambiguous whether JSn in the earlier passage includes or excludes tadvota.
But why should we assume that it excludes it when 8tavota is explicitly
mentioned in the later and parallel passage? Why should we assume that
Aristotle excludes in discussing the originals what he includes in discussing
their imitations? What, moreover, seems to me to make it certain that fhi in
48 a 1 - 5 includes btacvota is that, according to the doctrine of the 'Ethics',
intellectual qualities as well as moral, very much contribute to making one
tou&a7to; or (paci3o;. And since the cnrou5a!ot-Tpa3Xot dichotomy in 48 a
1 - 5 is absolute and all-inclusive, every reason why men may fall into one or
the other category ought to be involved in the discussion and serve as a basis
for the drawing of the dichotomy. This is possible only if f&n here includes
Furthermore, let me observe what I have argued in greater detail
elsewhere20: oaouda!og and qoa51o4, when contrasted with each other as they
are in 48 a 1 - 5, are for Aristotle teleological terms. By this I mean that they
denote respectively a good and bad relationship between a thing, animate or
inanimate, and its proper end (and form). The aicou6alot for Aristotle are
most specifically those who have the ability to pursue man's proper end,
happiness, and who do so properly. They do this chiefly by pursuing one or
both of the ancillary ends, virtue and knowledge. The (pailot or y8Xo0ot are
their opposites, those who do not have this ability and who do not pursue
man's proper end properly. I submit that this is the fundamental distinction
between these words in the 'Ethics' and in their several usages in the 'Poetics'.
If this is the case, the judgment of these words naturally encompasses the
intellectual sphere since intellectual qualities, according to Aristotle, are so
important for enabling men to pursue their proper end. Accordingly, flhI in
48 a 1 - 5 should encompass the intellectual sphere since it denotes the whole
range of the judgment expressed by these adjectives.
The best evidence of the fact that intellectual qualities contribute toward
making one oico6aqo; or (paC3Xo; and of the teleological connotations of
these words is the discussion of contemplation at the end of the 'Ethics'

20 See my article, EflOYAA1MO and Teleology in the Poetics, T.A.P.A. 114 (1984)
172- 173.

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The Meaning of 40or, in the 'Poetics' 287

(1 175 b 25 - 79 a 33). There oanou&alo4, and its cognates ar

times21 - not always in direct reference to those who cont
in ways which imply that those who do are among the cnou&aiot by reason of
their intellectual activities and qualities. Aristotle, moreover, explicitly asserts
(1177 a 1 - 5) a direct relationship (atou&a6o'rpav) between the anouo8 of an
activity and the excellence of the part of us which it employs. Contemplation
employs the most excellent part of us (voiq; cf. 1 177 a 13 - 18). It is, therefore,
the most ouootaica of activities; those who participate in it, it is implied, are
the most oiou&dtot of men.
Another important passage for illustrating Aristotle's usage of wnou8a&to4
in the 'Ethics' is 1097 a 15 -98 a 20. There Aristotle defines happiness as the
performance of the Epyov proper to man's nature. The anou&otaoq, he says, is
the person who does this well (si5). It is he, then, who succeeds to some extent
in obtaining the end proper to man's nature, happiness. Neither qpacxo; nor
ysX?io; occurs in this passage. But it should be clear from the many passages
where these words are used as antonyms to aiou&iio; (e. g., in the discussion
of contemplation) that it is the (pacz3og or ysXoi~oC who does not perform
man's gp'yov well and who, therefore, does not progress toward man's end,
happiness. Since Aristotle not only posits a close relationship between happi-
ness and contemplation, but at one point even identifies the one with the other
(E.N. 1177 a 13- 18)22, it should be clear that intellectual qualities and
abilities are for him paramount in determining whether one is wtou&zato; or
pai3Xo;. Therefore, for the statement at Poet. 48 a 1 - 5 to be consistent with
the doctrine of the 'Ethics', hil in it ought to include intellectual qualities and
be used as in Rh. 1 and 2.
Another passage of the 'Poetics' which requires comment is the beginning
of Ch. 13, where Aristotle excludes the tixsti; from tragedy23.

21 oXOXfi. (VERMEHREN) rather than onou68i should be probably be read at 1177 a 19.
22 E.N. 1177 b 27-78 a 9. Aristotle at one point (1178 b 27-28) even identifies happ
with contemplation; and on this basis he denies that animals can be happy. This identificati
most problematic: how can it be reconciled with what else Aristotle says about happiness
question and the general nature of Aristotle's conception of happiness have been the subj
much recent discussion. See R. KRAUT, Two Conceptions of Happiness, Ph. R. 88 (1979) 167 -
W. F. R. HARDIE, Aristotle on the Best Life for a Man, Philosophy 54 (1979) 35-50, esp. 36;
K. JACOBI, Aristoteles' Einfilhrung des Begriffs 'etU8atjovia' im I. Buch der 'Nikomachischen
Ethik', Philosophisches Jahrbuch 86 (1979) 300- 325; J. L. ACKRILL, Aristotle on 'Eudaimonia'
(London 1975); S. R. L. CLARK, Aristotle's Man (Oxford 1975); J. M. COOPER, Reason and
Human Good in Aristotle (Boston 1975).
23 LUCAS (above, note 13) ad loc. rightly comments on 52 b 32-36: )>Nothing could be less
manifest than the truth of this extraordinary statement.(( Not only is it not manifest that the fall
of the kitirxsig will not arouse pity and fear in us, but Aristotle's statement contrasts markedly,
if not conflicts, with Rh. 1385 b 34 - 86 a 1 where he says that >)and men feel pity if they think that
some persons [in misfortune] are virtuous ltnetxtctl, for he who thinks that no one is will think
that all deserve misfortune(( (LOEB trans.). Aristotle here implies that the possession of tnitixeua

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SCHOTRUMPF, relying on VAHLEN'S assertion of the >>vOllige Identitat<< of

aloouda!o and Xplar64 with tniutx 'g, which he believes should be taken >>in
dem strengen Sinne des sittlichen Guten"<24, and REEVES' assertion that
IEIX11CA in Aristotle always has an >>ethical significance((25, concludes that all
three adjectives express the same sort of judgment about those to whom they
are applied, i. e., one based solely on moral criteria, not intellectual26. I have
already provided reasons why the judgments expressed by aitou6aco; in Ch. 2
and Xpnor64 in Ch. 15 ought to be based on intellectual as well as moral crite-
ria. I will now show that it is even ambiguous whether the judgment expressed
by tztxi'i; in Ch. 13 is based solely on moral criteria.
'Euztxi'j; is the adjective from the noun itusixsia, >)equity((, a moral
virtue. When it means >>equitable<(, therefore, it has an exclusively moral
sense. That it means >>equitable(( here is supported by the explicit
recommendation (53 a 8) that the tragic characters not be outstanding for
justice (8ixatoo6viU), for equity and justice are closely related27. 'Eirt&xij,
however, can have a broader significance: as Aristotle himself points out, it
can be used synonymously with &cyaG6g28. That it is so used here is supported
by the presence of the term apFvn in the phrase: gijt' dtpstf 8taqEppv j.dTF,
8txatonvi.. Whether dipFtfi here refers to only moral virtues or both moral
and intellectual is ambiguous. It might refer to both because an excess of
either would make a tragic character unlike us. His fall, therefore, would not
arouse in us pity or fear - likeness to ourselves being a necessary precondition
for arousing either emotion in us29. I, therefore, conclude that it is likewise
ambiguous whether tiAn ijt in this passage is a strictly moral term. It may be
no more specific than would be & tyaG6;.
In any case, it is idle for SCHOTRUMPF to cite VAHLEN and REEVES for
support of his position. In doing so, he is merely punning on their usage of the
words >osittlich.< and >>ethical((. Neither of these scholars in his discussion
draws a distinction between moral and intellectual qualities; accordingly,
neither addresses himself to the question of the exclusion of intellectual
factors from the judgment expressed by these adjectives. Their terms
>>sittlich<? and >>ethical<( are, therefore, ambiguous with regard to the point at

is not merely conducive to one's obtaining the pity of others, but even essential to it. Is it not,
then, odd that in the 'Poetics' he should exclude the intsE1x?c, from tragedy on the grounds that
their fall will not arouse pity and fear? Of course, there he is thinking of those with an excess of
tnirtixstat; but even so?
24 J. VAHLEN, Beitrage zu Aristoteles' Poetik, Neudruck bes. v. H. SCHONE (Leipzig-Berlin
1914) 267.
25 C. H. REEVES, The Aristotelian Concept of the Tragic Hero, AJP 73 (1952) 179.
27 E.N. 1137a 31 f.
28 See E.N. 1137a35-b2.
29 See Rh. 1386 a 27 - 29.

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The Meaning of 'So; in the 'Poetics' 289

issue. When REEVES asserts that 7tEtxii; is an >>ethic

to deny that it is a social or aesthetic term. The same is true of VAHLEN'S
usage of the word >>sittlich<<. It is uncertain, therefore, if VAHLEN would have
continued to assert the full identity of these adjectives if the distinction
between moral and intellectual qualities had been called to his attention. He
might, then, rather have asserted, what I believe to be the case, that FntEtxii;
is distinctly and perhaps exclusively moral in meaning, but anououatog and
XpTot,6; have a broader significance, which encompasses the intellectual as
well as moral spheres.
There is, moreover, no reason why the judgments expressed by these adjec-
tives need correspond. Whether stctEx1 is an exclusively moral term or not
does not reflect on the meaning of onou5cao; in Ch. 2 or of Xp110t64 in Ch.
15. Aristotle's remarks in Ch. 13 are intended >>not in the sense of drastic
revisions of the basic theory [proposed in Ch. 2], but as supplements to it<<30.
Aristotle is qualifying his previous statement, not rejecting it. His purpose is
to eliminate from the number of those previously deemed acceptable for
imitation in tragedy those few whose fall will not arouse pity and fear. There
is no reason to infer, if he now decides to eliminate those who are exceedingly
good with respect to moral criteria, that only moral criteria were involved in
his original cynou&tatot-(pqaXoo dichotomy or will be the sole basis for the
judgment expressed by Xpna6o' in his later usage of it.
What are the consequences if 1'og has the broad meaning? First, Ch. 15
makes much better sense, and second, 48 a 1 -5 is consistent with Aristotle's
thought in the 'Ethics'. Beyond this, the major consequence is simply that
Aristotle's ethical theory, as expressed in the 'Ethics', is shown to have been
incorporated into the 'Poetics' fully, not just partially. Some crucial terms are
used as in the 'Rhetoric' rather than as in the 'Ethics'; but the major elements
of his ethical theory now all find a place in his aesthetic theory. The puzzlement
of scholars about why intellectual qualities, so important in this thought
about men in general, should find little or no place in his thought about
dramatic characters, should now be resolved - puzzlement such as that of
DALE: >>The dianoia in the mouth of Oedipus must spring from Oedipus'
situation; it is not required to be expressive of Oedipus' nature. Such is the
awkward and indeed indefensible product of this dichotomy [sc. between AGog
and taivota I. 31 .
It is not surprising that Aristotle's usage of terms in the 'Poetics' should
resemble his usage of them in the 'Rhetoric' since these works deal with
closely related subjects, literature and rhetoric. But why should his usage of
terms in such works differ from his usage of them in his specifically ethical

30 ELSE (above, note 13) 74.

31 DALE (above, note 6) 8.


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works? I suspect the answer is simply that in these works he considered

himself to be writing for a more general public and therefore tended to use
terms as they were used by the public and by other writers, i. e., to use them in
a non-technical fashion. The general public and other philosophers as well
would not have drawn the rigorous distinction between Sog and 8tavota
which Aristotle does in the 'Ethics'. Intellectual qualities, such as (pp6v-cn;g,
would naturally be included by them under iVGo;: cf. Plat. Rep. 10, 604 e 2: T6
(ppovlt6v T? xaci i'aDIxtov iGo;32. If this is the case, there are then two frames
of reference influencing Aristotle's usage of terms in the 'Poetics' and
'Rhetoric', and this makes for some ambiguity and confusion.
Let us now consider the meaning of 1GSog in Rh. 3. In the following
SCHUTRUMPF seems to assert that both iVo; and tatvoict are therein used in
the same sense as in the 'Ethics': >>Dieser Gegensatz iGog - tadvota findet
sich ahnlich in Rh. III (1417 a 24) bei der Behandlung der i'&txfj 6uy8 ' ,
ausgedruckt durch tatvota - ipoatpEct; ... Mit ltpocxipEalg ist dabei
deutlich das iVo; des Redners gemeint (vgl. a 15 ff.), das der 6tcivoux gegen-
ubergestellt ist. 'Den Hintergrund bildet die Unterscheidung zwischen intel-
lektuellen und moralischen dtpFTac' (DURING, a. a. 0. 123 A. 22). Darin besteht
ein Unterschied zu Rh. I und II, wo iwog noch in undifferenziertem Sinn ge-
braucht war und pp6vrjctg miteinschlof3 . . ., die in Rh. III dem 'wog entgegen-
gestellt ist. In bezug auf 1Gog reprasentiert also die Poetik den gleichen
Standpunkt wie Rh. III, nicht wie Rh. I und II<33. But he seems to contradict
this view in his earlier remarks about this very same passage from Rh. 3. On
the usage of iwog in 1417 a 22 he had commented thus: >>Zur Erlauterung
fuhrt er eine Situation an, bei der jemand schon weitergeht, wahrend er noch
redet. Dieses i'og bezeichnet einfach die besondere Eigenart, Angewohnheit
eines Menschen, ohne sich auf den Kreis der 1Gtxai ~t;,t der Ethik zu bezie-
hen< 34. He had also asserted (with good reason) that 1Gtx6g twice in Rh. 3 is
used in a sense different from what it has in the 'Ethics': >>Hier [1408 a 25] ist
1itx6q kaum im Sinne der Ethik zu verstehen, sondern es geht hier um die
spezifischen Merkmale dieser Gruppen, und i'Ghx6g bedeutet 'bezogen auf
ihre besondere Eigenart', 'ihre besondere Eigenart darstellend'. - Ganz deut-
lich hat i'Gix6g diese Bedeutung an einer anderen Stelle der Rhetorik [1417 a
221, wo Aristoteles zu den Gtxa6 einer Beschreibung auch die Begleiterschei-
nungen der Eigenart eines Menschen zahlt (la An6gFva Axa6tc iat)35<<. I do
not see how these various statements can be reconciled.
Let us consider in detail Rh. 1417 a 16 - 28, the passage of Rh. 3 in which
SCHOTRUMPF seems to think that AGog is used as in the 'Ethics': M9Milv &

32 Cf. also Plat. Lgg. 10 908e 5-6; Cra. 407b 8-9; Rep. 3, 400e 3; Ep. 10 358c 2 and 7.
33 SCHOTRUMPF, 83 note 2.

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The Meaning of ij9o0 in the 'Poetics' 291

xpfi Pcfiv 6yicnt]Ov ?tvac Actat 68 To3TO, av si&i)u?V Ti

-r6 rcpoatipSctv 6Xot3obv, not6v &t T6 i&o; T(i) otIvO e tc
nota TCo Tt'At 8ta' ToVTo 6' ol)x xouOtv ot 01 agapl catxoi
(20) lpoatpscnv (TO6 yap ot5 Evcxa oVux Exouotv), OX ot o?oxpactxoi; nFpi
totolTwcv yap tyouotv. 6.Xa 6' fi&x&a Tat n6og?va txa'tq fGet, olov 6tt
&Iga MyOv t43d6iC,v' 8jXo0 yap gpaGt3tiiTa xal aypotxiav ?Goug. xal gi P
ao6 8tavoicaz MyCiv, cbonFp ot vi3v, X' cb4 a'n6 npoatpF,xGW; >>?yb 6t
tpouX6giiv. xaw (25) tpotXt6Tirv yVap tOto' aXX' ? i g' (OVgnV, PX1toV(<.
t6 gv yap (ppovigou no 6d 8tyaGoi. (ppovip.ou gtv yaip tv Ttb t6 Cxp?1tpov
tOcXEtV, dyaGoi 6' tv TX t6 xcaX6v.
In 16- 19 Aristotle asserts that an fgtx' 6tqynot;, a speech which posses-
ses 19o4, is one which manifests 7tpoaipcn4g. It is to be noted that an i'tx#
6 yrjot; is here defined in the same way as AGog, conceived of as a type of
speech, is defined in Poet. 50 b 8 - 9: 'atv 6t Ajog gtv T6 TOioiTOV 6 6tlXoi
P1v lrpozip8otv, 6noka.t ti. Both passages, moreover, are similar to one from
Rh. 2 (1395 b 14- 15): i'o; 6' 9xouotv ot U6yot tv 6aotg 6iiXrj il ipoatpfpsa,.
If, as SCHUTRUMPF holds, i'og is used in the broad sense in Rh. 2, then, for
the sake of consistency it ought to be so used in Poet. 50b 8 - 936 and Rh. 1417 a
16- 19. But there is a much better reason than mere consistency why iwo; in
all three passages ought to have its broad sense, i. e., that, as was noted above,
1poaip?otg for Aristotle necessarily involves 6tdvota. An fitci] tTljyflot;, as
defined here, therefore, would necessarily manifest intellectual as well as
moral qualities.
That Aristotle does not consider an Gtxii 6uyr1o to manifest just moral
qualities should also be evident from his analogy of Eoxpattxoi and
IGtaazl>toi X6yot (19- 22). He compares an fjtxi 6tVyioia; to the former
and asserts that the difference between an i'Itxi 6n'tlyTicnd and ait6 6tavoia;
X'ystv is the same as the difference between ?cotparlxoli and paaLiiacrtxoi
X6yot. But the difference between these two types of X6yot cannot be that the
former manifest only moral qualities, the latter only intellectual qualities - as
if Plato's early dialogues and the particular speeches in them did not manifest
the intellectual qualities of both Plato and his created characters. The
difference rather is that the latter are not concerned with choice at all, whereas
the former are very much concerned with it. MotGtattxot X6yot merely
present facts; they are like what 6tdvota, conceived of as a type of speech, is
defined to mean at Poet. 50b 12 - 13: 6tdvoa 68t, ?V Olg a'uo8XvvoUCGi nri 6;
ortlv fi C;o oVux tortIv ii xat6X5ouri dTo(paqivovrat. Lcxxpartxoi X6yot, on the
other hand, do not merely present facts; they rather present ethical choices
(?>ethical(( in the broadest sense) and arguments in favor of these choices.
They, therefore, necessarily manifest intellectual as well as moral qualities, as
also would an fGtxi 6fjy&Tot;.

36 LUCAS (above, note 13) ad loc. also believes the passage to be an interpolation.


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292 GEORGE F. HELD: The Meaning of 1,So; in the 'Poetics'

And what about 1417 a 24 - 28? Aristotle here obviously means to advise
speakers to imply that they have moral and not just intellectual (= selfish)
reasons for the choices they make. Unfortunately, he expresses this idea rather
oddly - for an Aristotelian. The contrast here between the pp6vigo; and the
&iya9G6g is inconsistent with his more considered usage of these terms in the
'Ethics'. Cf. E.N. 1144a 36-37: 60aTs (pavsp6v 6tI &&t8'vatov (pp6vtjtov
sivc 6v1ra &VyaG6v and 1 144b 30-32: 6filov oi'v tx trv sipiljF'VWv 6OTI
ouX ol6v T? 6&yaG6v F{vat xupiw;)o dvsu (ppovijosw;, oUt8& (pp6vigov &ZVEU dji;
tXi dpsTi1C,;. Dp6vitgo; in Rh. 1417 a 24 -28 seems to mean virtually what
6&Fv6; does in the 'Ethics'. The 6stv6; there (cf. 1 144 b 12 - 17, cited above) is
someone with (pquow, but not xupia, &pFtii. He is good at obtaining the ends
he chooses to pursue (= t6 (bX)F'tgov), but does not choose to pursue proper
ends. The pp6vtIgog, on the other hand, possesses xupia, not just puotx',
&pstin, pursues proper ends, and is good at obtaining them. 4lp6vtiog in this
passage of the 'Rhetoric', then, is used very peculiarly and does not seem
to indicate the possession of the intellectual virtue, pp6vilat;. Correspond-
ingly, though 8tavoica; in the phrase a'nt 8tavoia; Myctv seems to have its
collective sense and therefore would normally include all the intellectual
virtues, it cannot here include pp6vnotg. If a'c 8icavoiag XFyctv means to
seem to derive one's opinion from just the intellectual virtues, i. e., the intel-
lectual virtues divorced from the moral virtues, 8tavoia in this phrase cannot
include ppovrjcn; since pp6vlct; cannot be divorced from the moral virtues.
Auavoia here, then, includes only the other intellectual virtues, but this fact
does not entail that these are excluded from 'jGo; as used in the passage.
THGo; here ought to include all intellectual qualities and virtues since all may
be involved in the act of itpoaipcot;; it ought especially to include (pp6vilst;
if what Aristotle says in 1144 b 30-32 (cited above) holds true.
The meaning of iwog, of course, might vary within the particular books of
the 'Rhetoric', as well as from book to book (SCHOTRUMPF sometimes seems
to assume consistency within the particular books 37). There is, however, at least
a greater likelihood of consistency in proximate passages. My interpretation
of 1417 a 16 -28, therefore, is supported by the fact that 'Go; seems to have a
broad meaning in two of its three other occurrences in Rh. 3. In 1414 a 22 its
meaning is ambiguous, whether broad or narrow; but in 1408 a 32 and 1411 b
31 it seems much more likely to have its broad sense. In the former it refers to
the different impression created by the educated and uneducated through their
choice of words while speaking: Fav otuv xai ta 6v6oxa' oixsia Myif ti E, t,
7OUct t6 iG0g- o05 y'ap txt5Ta' oi'' Ca 5co erypOIXo0, &v Xa'
?naiat86,UgFt'VO; EnCYIttV. In the latter it refers to the ?>character<< of one's
delivery in speaking.

37 Cf. SCHOTRUMPF, 84-85.

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KARLHANS ABEL: Der historische Ort einer stoischen Schmerztheorie 293

A last few observations on these words. Atdvota occurs four other times in
Rh. 3, besides that just discussed: 1404 a 19, 1410b 26 and 28, 1415 a 13. In
none of its other occurrences does it have its collective sense: in all its means
>>thoughte< or >)intention<< or the >>meaning(< of something said. It occurs only
twice in Rh. 1 and 2. In the first case (1374b 13) it means >>intention(<. In the
second (1403 a 36) it seems to have its collective sense - though, more
precisely, it there refers specifically to thought as manifested in various kinds
of argument: Ui5cp gv ncapa8c6syaircov xai yvcoj.Wv xal tvauljla, I(cov xcii
6Xog tCiv 7t?pi tv 8u1i volav. This second case occurs in the very last sentence
of Rh. 2, and napcit8syatca, yvcbtat and twvuggacia there stand for what
was the subject matter of Rh. 1 and 2. I know of twenty-one occurrences of
AGog in Rh. 1 and 2. Since BONITz does not provide a complete list of loci for
very common words like AGog, the following list is not necessarily complete
(seven of these are not in BONITZ): 1356a 3. 5. 23. 27; 1359b 11; 1366a 12.
13. 15; 1384a7; 1389a 35. b 13. 15; 1390a 17. 18. b29; 1391a21. 23. b2. 7;
1393 b 30; 1395 b 14. As already shown, i'jo; in several of these loci ought to
have a broad meaning; in most cases it is ambiguous whether it has a broad or
narrow meaning, but in none need it have a narrow one. There are no
hardfast conclusions to be drawn from this data. I collected it in the hope of
finding a passage in Rh. 1 and 2 where ',o; and &davota were used together in
the way they are in 1417 a 16-28, but there is no such passage. Auavotca is
used there very rarely altogether and only in the last sentence of Rh. 2 in a
collective sense. But it still seems to me that the meanings of iGo; and 6iLvola
do not change in Rh. 3 from what they were in Rh. 1 and 2.

Columbia (Missouri) GEORGE F. HELD



Die Forschung ist zu keinem einhelligen Ergebnis gelangt, wie der

same Abschnitt Gell. 12,5, das Referat des Platonikers Calvisius (Calvenus?)
Taurus (Zeit der Antonine) uber den Schmerz, in die stoische Tradition einzu-
ordnen ist. Drei Ansichten ringen um Geltung: Den einen gilt Chrysippl, den
anderen Panaitios2, einer dritten Gruppe Poseidonios3 als Autoritat, von der

v V. ARNIM, Stoic. 3,168; 181; Stoic. 1 P. V; III; ZELLER 3a, 264f.; R. P. HAYNEs, A. J. Ph.
83 (1962), 412ff.

2 R. HIRZEL, Untersuchungen zu Ciceros philosophischen Schriften, Leipzig 1882; Nach-

druck: 1964, 2,451 f., A. SCHMEKEL, Die Philosophie der mittleren Stoa, Berlin 1892, Nachdruck:
1974, 224 mit Anm. 1; M. POHLENZ, Hermes 44 (1909), 36ff.; ders., Komm. Cic. Tusc., Leipzig

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