Book 01
Chapter 03
What is fine and just?

Us going through this will work out just fine if we go into detail only so far as would be reasonable. Not all discussions go into extremely fine detail any more than a craftsman will do every single little thing with the utmost precision.

Let us ask: What is fine and just? There many different things thought to be so and the opinions that people have about them can vary by a lot. This can make it seem like the only reason why certain things are called fine and just is because people commonly agree to say they are, and not because the thing is already naturally so (and would still be fine and just even if no one were to say anything about it).

Consider also that good things can have bad consequences. Money is good, but people can be ruined by their money. Courage is good, but it can get people killed. But still, that does not mean that the things that are good can also be not good at the same time. Rather, it means it is hard to say things about these matters and have them be easy to understand and general and can also never be taken wrong in any circumstances, no matter what any of the specific details are. That is too much. We will go into detail only as far as it makes sense to do. The rest will be up to you.

Anyone who has good knowledge about a certain thing can be a good judge about that thing. Someone that has been educated in some certain subject can be a good judge about that subject. Someone that has a good all-round education can be a good judge about things generally speaking.

From this, we can see that young people should not be studying politics. Why? Because they have not lived long enough and do not have enough experience in those things that politics tries to make sense of and relate to. They have not yet been educated in the subject of life. Yet the things which they have not experienced are what we are going to be talking about here.

What's more, young people follow their passions. They are looking for action, not knowledge. By "young", I mean not just people that are young in years, but also people that are young in character. The problem is not so much with their age as with how they live. The young go whereever and after whatever their passions tell them to. For such people, knowledge will not be of any use. But for those who act intelligently and want for things that make sense ... for such people, this knowledge will be of great benefit to them.

What we have to say about who is to study politics, how we will study it [generally and not in fine detail], and why we are doing it [to learn how to get at "the good"] -- these may taken as our preface. Now, we are ready to begin.


« index »

« subscribe »

« home »