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Title: The role of analogy in Aristotle's theory of Particular Justice
Author: Greenwood, George Michael
ISNI:       0000 0004 2738 0488
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 1998
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The thesis is that Aristotle's theory of justice, particularly Particular Justice, is only properly explicable in terms of proportion theory. In the innumerable assessments of the theory that have been made nods have been given in the direction of analogy, but nods only. Almost always these have been accompanied by complaints about Aristotle's persistently dragging in 'mathematical' figures, references, and explanations. What these complaints have overlooked is that the theory is soaked in the language of proportionality because his conception of Particular Justice is inherently (and in a sense only) about greater and less. Hence it is about equality; and hence about the modes of equality. I have, therefore, begun by looking at the nature of ratio and proportion; at the models of proportion known by Aristotle's time; and especially at the then new Eudoxian theory of proportions. Aristotle combines these with his own heuristic development of generic structure. His use of generic structure in the life-sciences has become better understood than hitherto, but not so much its combination with analogy. In the areas of justice and exchange the combination has hardly been appreciated at all. From the 17th century onwards, both the structure of the theory, and the nature of the forms of justice within the structure, have been almost universally misrepresented. The result has been the belief among all commentators that the structure of the theory is unsatisfactory. The dissatisfaction stems from suppositions that Aristotle presents (in at least some sense) 'Corrective Justice’. These (mis)perceptions then result in claims for a third species or genus of justice, or that the given species are not firmly drawn, or that, whether there are two or three species, the issues are inadequately conceived. Against all these modern interpretations I defend Aquinas's presentation of the theory (of Particular justice, not his understanding of justice in general). The detailed analysis of the text I offer—giving due weight to the models of proportion which Aristotle uses (and declares) throughout—refutes, I believe, all the charges of inconsistency, confusion, and incompleteness, that have often been levelled against it. Aristotle works through his model of justice step-by-step; the last part of the model, the doctrine of exchanges, is treated by the last part of the thesis. This doctrine has been maligned even more, perhaps, than the earlier proposals of the species of justice. What, so far as I can tell, has never been grasped is that in chapter 5 Aristotle applies the Eudoxian theory of proportions in detail. Although he might not have been writing 'economics', the structure he gives is the deepest model of economic interactions that has yet been proposed. What are commonly dismissed as obvious, baffling, or unfortunate references to cobblers, variables, and beds are illustrations of the Eudoxian general theory of magnitude applied to the interactions which bind the participants into a community. As the issues touched on are inevitably wide-ranging I have attempted to write the narrative discussing only the central themes, but I have supplied footnotes (sometimes very extensive) elaborating many of the allied issues.
Supervisor: White, Roger Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available