By W. von Leyden
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Extra info for Aristotle on Equality and Justice: His Political Argument
While the latter issue, (b), is not within my present scope, the former is of sufficient interest to encourage two further comments. When Aristotle talks of philosophy as the science which studies such concepts as sameness, equality, priority, 'and the others of this sort', 26 he also ascribes to it the inquiry into 'axioms'Y He maintains of axioms, just as he maintains oflogical words, 'that they hold good for everything that is, and not for some special genus apart from others'. They are thus just as common as 'common notions' 28 or common terms.
In other words, even though those things whose quantity is one are equal, it does not necessarily follow that only those things whose quantity is one are equal, or that all equal things are quantities known by means of a unit or the one. I have already given examples showing that the concept of equality can be applied to categories other than quantity. Aristotle himself, in the chapter devoted to quantity in his 'Dictionary', 38 distinguishes between things called quantities by virtue of their own nature, for instance a line, and properties called quantities incidentally, such as 'the musical', because the musical belongs to a quantity.
These two qualifications - that of being different and that of having common interests - are of equal importance in any form of association. In the case of the state, the two characteristics of difference and of forming one common entity 41 42 Aristotle on Equality and Justice are particularly pertinent. I have already discussed some of the differences involved, and I shall have more to say on this point later. First, therefore, I shall examine the common factor as described by Aristotle in the Politics.
Aristotle on Equality and Justice: His Political Argument by W. von Leyden