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Headword: Καλὸν πρᾶγμα
Adler number: kappa,246
Translated headword: fine thing, fine fact
Vetting Status: high
He[sic] calls [any good 'fine'] which is commensurate with its own utility. [...] The kinds of good [are] four: what is just, what is brave, what is well-ordered, what is scientific;[1] for in such things fine actions can be completed. Analogously [there are] also four kinds of shameful: what is unjust, what is cowardly, what is not well-ordered, what is foolish. It is said that what is fine makes worth praising those people having it, [or][2] that the good is worth praising; but in another sense [it signifies] what is naturally good regarding its proper function; and what provides ornament, such as when we say 'only the wise person is good and fine'. But they say that only the fine is good,[3] and this is virtue and what partakes in virtue, which precisely is the same as [saying that] every good is fine, and what is fine is equivalent to the good. It seems[4] that all goods are equal and every good is worth choosing and does not admit either diminution or increase.
Beautiful/fine is what is pleasant through sight or through hearing.[5]
Greek Original:
Καλὸν πρᾶγμα: ὅτι καλεῖ πρὸς τὴν ἑαυτοῦ χρείαν συμμέτρως ἔχον. εἴδη δὲ τοῦ καλοῦ τέσσαρα: δίκαιον, ἀνδρεῖον, κόσμιον, ἐπιστημονικόν: ἐν γὰρ τοῖσδε τὰς καλὰς πράξεις συντελεῖσθαι. ἀνάλογον δὲ καὶ τοῦ αἰσχροῦ εἴδη τέσσαρα: ἄδικον, δειλόν, ἄκοσμον, ἄφρον. λέγεται καλὸν τὸ ἐπαινετοὺς παρεχόμενον τοὺς ἔχοντας ἀγαθὸν ἐπαίνου ἄξιον: ἑτέρως τὸ εὖ πεφυκέναι πρὸς τὸ ἴδιον ἔργον: καὶ τὸ ἐπικοσμοῦν, ὅταν λέγωμεν, μόνον τὸν σοφὸν ἀγαθὸν καὶ καλὸν εἶναι. λέγουσι δὲ μόνον τὸ καλὸν ἀγαθὸν εἶναι. εἶναι δὲ τοῦτο ἀρετὴν καὶ τὸ μετέχον ἀρετῆς, ὅπερ ἐστὶν ἴσον τῷ πᾶν ἀγαθὸν καλὸν εἶναι, καὶ τὸ ἰσοδύναμον τὸ καλὸν τῷ ἀγαθῷ. δοκεῖ δὲ πάντα τὰ ἀγαθὰ ἴσα εἶναι καὶ πᾶν ἀγαθὸν ἐπ' ἄκρον αἱρετὸν καὶ μήτε ἄνεσιν μήτε ἐπίτασιν ἐπιδέχεσθαι. καλὸν δέ ἐστι τὸ δι' ὄψεως ἢ δι' ἀκοῆς ἡδύ.
Apart from the final sentence -- on which see n. 5 below -- this entry follows and abridges Diogenes Laertius 7.99-101 (in the context of a Stoic doxography); cf. already kappa 245.
[1] cf. kappa 252, where these four kinds have been reduced to three.
[2] Reading the supplied in Diogenes Laertius 7.100, which makes better sense.
[3] This thesis is attributed to the Stoics Hecato and Chrysippus (Diogenes Laertius 7. 101); it is repeated in many other Stoic sources (see Cicero, De finibus 3.11; Paradoxa Stoicorum 1. Plutarch, On Stoic Self-contradictions 1038D, 1039C). The thesis that only the wise person is good and fine is Stoic in character too.
[4] sc. to the Stoics.
[5] Quotation not identified by Adler, but it is Aristotle, Topics 146a22.
Keywords: definition; ethics; philosophy
Translated by: Marcelo Boeri on 11 December 2003@14:26:54.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (modified end of translation, and other touches; added x-ref; cosmetics) on 12 December 2003@03:48:02.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 9 November 2005@06:27:31.
David Whitehead (another note) on 25 January 2013@05:40:52.
David Whitehead (coding) on 29 April 2016@04:40:32.
Catharine Roth (tweaked translation) on 13 April 2019@23:03:06.


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