judgment that embodies the best possible balance of human goods and so best serves the cause of the prohairetic life? In effect, this is the Aristotelian candidate for avoiding the horns of Richard Bernstein’s bad relativism versus abstract universalism dilemma, the Aristotelian metaphysical ground for
diversifiée, ne se trouvait en équilibre sous aucun rapport étant donné qu’elle était remplie de propriétés qui n’étaient ni semblables ni équilibrées, et que, soumise de partout à un balancement irrégulier, elle se trouvait elle-même secouée par les éléments, que secouait à son tour la nourrice du devenir
15, but not their resources or independence. 20 Under these conditions, it is clear that the Melians’ best choice, based on probability and weighting, is to submit. Indeed, any offer that will ensure them the value of 5 or greater should be sufficient to tilt the balance in favour of submitting. Yet
’? Why do Hanson’s polemics betray such contempt for the deliberative ethos and institutional checks and balances that are, in his view, the linchpins of democratic power? 59
To make sense of this tension, we must recognize the performative and political function of Hanson’s account of democratic
as it arose out of flexible deliberation about the common advantage amid unforeseen and divisive circumstances. Statesmanlike deliberation and flexible compromise in view of the common advantage are essential to equity, while sympathy is equitable on balance – but not always.
At an even deeper
with his less competent successors. The assessment of Pericles concludes with another authorial comment on his foresight (προέγνω) regarding the balance of power between Athens and Sparta (2.65.13).
The assessment of Alcibiades in 6.15 also contains a − shorter, yet pronounced − comment on Alcibiades
Xenophon balances his advice between two arguments historically used to distinguish ‘kingly’ from ‘tyrannical’ rule, a metaphor that had been applied to label Athenian imperial power since the fifth century. 48 These concern the distinction between ‘unjust’ or ‘just’ gain and the distinction between
was significant to the enjoyment or otherwise of individual liberty. 13 What, then, made this species of freedom particularly modern were the checks and balances provided by modern constitutions, such as the rule of law, rights and other constitutional guarantees, the separation of powers and
upon the natural goodness of virtuous actions, and not an empirical predication about the balance of pains and pleasures resulting from these actions. 4 Courageous Actions and Happiness My account of the pleasure of courageous actions conforms with Aristotle’s commitment to the unity of pleasure and
growth, while trying to balance those concerns with our understandable desire to enlarge human freedom. Viewed as a theoretical project, the reconstruction of ‘ethical Athens’ will provide imaginative and theoretical resources that would otherwise be unavailable – and ones that address a specific and