The Analogy of the Good in Plato and Aristotle

Jakub Jinek

Plato’s attempts to grasp the Good run throughout his work, progressing from relatively more „univocal“ conceptions, in the manner of „Socratic intellectualism“, to rather pluralistic ones, such as is the political project of the Laws. According to the genetic strand of Platonic interpretation this indicates a shift in Plato’s thought caused by the overhelming complexity of the problem; yet it is alleged that only Aristotle solved the problem the Good posed for Plato by his own concept of analogy. Contrary to such an interpretation, the paper claims that the Aristotelian notion of analogy is deeply rooted in Plato’s own treatment of the difference between the moral and the political Good. In particular, it was the Platonic awareness of the value of political plurality that eventually gave rise to the Academic distinction between analogia and pros hen.