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Aristotle's Perception Of Society Essay

1737 words - 7 pages

Aristotle believes that money is a form of justice, and not an end in itself. This has been a controversial perception amongst people for many years; some tend to agree while others have a different belief. From my point of view, Aristotle’s belief was not arbitrary. I support this belief because unfortunately our society is continuously being corrupted by many people who possess the money, wealth, and influence in our current days, are using their means to promote injustice. It is also true among modern thinkers that money might also be the only way to justice. Such perspective leads them to believe that a wealthy person might be a fair person and makes no mistakes because they judge with respect and integrity. In my opinion money is a form of justice and it is not an end in itself. When such a belief prevails, aspects of personal values, social discrimination, inequality and exploitation of assets will fade away.
Firstly, Aristotle defines justice as “a kind of state of character which makes people disposed to do what is just and makes them act justly and wish for what is just.”(1) In his Nicomachean Ethics book number V, Aristotle talked about justice and how hard it was for people to exchange goods fairly and with a high level of justice. He mentioned the example of a builder and a shoemaker and how they used to produce things and barter items without taking into consideration the difference in the value of these objects. Aristotle said “if proportionate equality between the products be first established and then reciprocation takes place, the requirement indicated will have been achieved.”(2) What was happening in the example mentioned above is that the value of the product given to one of the parties may be more than the value of the item been exchanged with. This was the main reason for people to invent money and use it instead of exchanging goods. Aristotle says that
“Money, as a common measure of everything, makes things commensurable and makes it possible to equalize them. He states that it is in the form of money, a substance that has a purpose, that individuals have devised a unit that supplies a measure on the basis of which just exchange can take place. Aristotle thus maintains that everything can be expressed in the universal equivalent of money. He explains that money was introduced to satisfy the requirement that all items must be comparable in some way.”(3)

In addition Aristotle defined the characteristics of money to be durable, portable, divisible, and have an intrinsic value. This is to say, money should not change through time. It should hold a high amount of worth relative to its weight and size it should also be relatively easy to justly separate and recombine. Finally its value should be independent of any other object and contained in the money itself
Secondly, what did Aristotle mean when he said that money is not an end in itself? Here he was trying to tell us that the reason of money is not the sake of having...

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