By Saint Thomas Aquinas, Richard J. Regan
The 1st whole translation into smooth English of Aquinas unfinished remark on Aristotle's "Politics", this translation follows the definitive Leonine textual content of Aquinas and additionally reproduces in English these passages of William of Moerbeke's famously actual but elliptical translation of the "Politics" from which Aquinas labored. Bekker numbers were further to passages from Moerbeke's translation for simple reference.
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Extra resources for Commentary on Aristotle's Politics
Second, he presents a difficulty about this and answers it . Therefore, he says first that it is not difficult to see that those who argue contrary to the things he has determined, namely, by asserting that no slavery is natural or just, in a way speak rightly. For we speak of slavery and slaves in two ways. One way regards natural suitability, as he has said before [chap. 3]. But there is also a kind of slave or servitude by human law. For law declares that war captives are slaves of the victors, and almost all peoples observe it, and so also we call it a common law of peoples.
So also, property is an instrument to sustain life and is of many kinds, and slaves are living property. And every assistant is an instrument superior to other instruments. For example, let us suppose that every instrument were able to perform its task at, or in anticipation of, our command, like the reputed statues of Daedalus or the tripods of Vulcan, which the poet says participate spontaneously in the contest of the gods. And let us further suppose that looms and lyres were to act automatically.
5. And some, considering the question as fully as possible in relation to particular justice, since law is particular justice, hold that slavery resulting from war is just. But they do not say that it is completely just. 6. For the cause for waging war may not be just. And one will in no way say that someone unsuitable to be a slave is properly such. And if the cause of waging war is unjust, it will happen that those who seem to be of the best lineage become slaves, and the descendents of slaves if the captives happen to be sold.