Today, a comparison of Rowe's translation with another recent one, that of C.C.W. Taylor in his Clarendon Aristotle volume. I add also the revised Ross translation as a baseline for the comparison.
I'm thinking that tomorrow I'll comment on these sections one-by-one, maybe starting only with the first. For today I add some notes for you to consider, not comprehensive at all, but 'starters' I hope.
[Corrigendum, March1: The discussion has so far been carried out in Diminishing Fleas.]
τὸ δ' ὄνομα τῆς ἀκολασίας καὶ ἐπὶ τὰς παιδικὰς ἁμαρτίας φέρομεν· ἔχουσι γάρ τινα ὁμοιότητα. πότερον δ' ἀπὸ ποτέρου καλεῖται, οὐθὲν πρὸς τὰ νῦν διαφέρει, δῆλον δ' ὅτι τὸ ὕστερον ἀπὸ τοῦ προτέρου.
(Rowe) The term 'indulgence' is one we also apply to the ways children go wrong, for these have a certain resemblance to self-indulgence. Which is called after which makes no difference for present purposes, but clearly the later is called after the earlier.(Taylor) Now we also apply the term akolasia to the naughtinesses of children, as they have a certain resemblance. It makes no difference for the present purpose which is called after the other, but it is clear that the posterior is called after the prior.
(Ross/Urmson) The name self-indulgence is applied also to childish faults; for they bear a certain resemblance to what we have been considering. Which is called after which, makes no difference to our present purpose; plainly, however, the later is called after the earlier.
οὐ κακῶς δ' ἔοικε μετενηνέχθαι· κεκολάσθαι γὰρ δεῖ τὸ τῶν αἰσχρῶν ὀρεγόμενον καὶ πολλὴν αὔξησιν ἔχον, τοιοῦτον δὲ μάλιστα ἡ ἐπιθυμία καὶ ὁ παῖς· κατ' ἐπιθυμίαν γὰρ ζῶσι καὶ τὰ παιδία, καὶ μάλιστα ἐν τούτοις ἡ τοῦ ἡδέος ὄρεξις. εἰ οὖν μὴ ἔσται εὐπειθὲς καὶ ὑπὸ τὸ ἄρχον, ἐπὶ πολὺ ἥξει·
1. There's a difficulty in finding a pair of English words which (i) match the opposition between akolasia and kekolosmenos (roughly, ‘undisciplined’ vs. ‘disciplined’); and (ii) which can be applied both to a child and to an adult with a bad trait. (If you pick ‘self-indulgence’ for akolasia, you have to use a different word, ‘indulged’, for the child.)
2. Do you think that Aristotle is making up his mind here about which is called after which? If so, should the translation bring that out?
(Rowe) Nor does the transfer of usage seem inappropriate; for least to be indulged is the part of us that not only desires shameful things but can become big, and this characteristic belongs to appetite, and to the child, above all--since children too live according to appetite, and the desire for the pleasant is strongest in them. If, then, whatever desires shameful things is not ready to obey and under the control of the ruling element, it will grow and grow, ...
(Taylor) The transferred application seems not a bad one; for something which has an appetite for shameful things and a capacity for considerable growth requires to be disciplined, and bodily desire on the one hand and children on the other seem particularly to be things of that kind. Children live in accordance with bodily desire, and the appetite for pleasure is particularly strong in them; so if it is not made submissive and subject to some control, it will grow to a large extent.
(Ross/Urmson) The transferrence of the name seems not a bad one; for that which desires what is base and which develops quickly ought to be kept in a chastened condition, and these characteristics belong above all to appetite and to the child, since children in fact live at the beck and call of appetite, and it is in them that the desire for what is pleasant is strongest. If, then, it is not going to be obedient and subject to the ruling principle, it will go to great lengths; ...
1. Note the difficulty in rendering epithumia. ‘Appetite’ is misleading (in English it refers usually to hunger only). ‘Bodily desire’ is strange and, besides, doesn’t match what Aristotle means to be talking about (he had said earlier that the virtue and vice deal with only a subclass of somatikai epithumiai, viz. those involving touch and, indirectly, taste).ἄπληστος γὰρ ἡ τοῦ ἡδέος ὄρεξις καὶ πανταχόθεν τῷ ἀνοήτῳ, καὶ ἡ τῆς ἐπιθυμίας ἐνέργεια αὔξει τὸ συγγενές, κἂν μεγάλαι καὶ σφοδραὶ ὦσι, καὶ τὸν λογισμὸν ἐκκρούουσιν.
(Rowe) ... for the desire for the pleasant is insatiable and indiscriminate, in a mindless person, and the activity of his appetite augments his congenital tendency; and if his appetites are strong and vigorous, they knock out his capacity for rational calculation as well.
(Taylor) The appetite for pleasure is insatiable and attacks the thoughtless person from all sides, and the actual occurrence of bodily desires increases that aspect of our nature, especially if they are strong and intense, and if they drive out rational thought.
(Ross/Urmson) ... for in an irrational being the desire for pleasure is insatiable and tries every source of gratification, and the exercise of appetite increases its innate force, and if appetites are strong and violent they even expel the power of calculation.
1. It seems that some distinction between epithumia and orexis needs to be preserved in the translation; it's at least a relation as between specific and more general. The alternatives above are: appetite/desire; and bodily desire/appetite. But neither seems satisfactory.διὸ δεῖ μετρίας εἶναι αὐτὰς καὶ ὀλίγας, καὶ τῷ λόγῳ μηθὲν ἐναντιοῦσθαι – τὸ δὲ τοιοῦτον εὐπειθὲς λέγομεν καὶ κεκολασμένον – ὥσπερ δὲ τὸν παῖδα δεῖ κατὰ τὸ πρόσταγμα τοῦ παιδαγωγοῦ ζῆν, οὕτω καὶ τὸ ἐπιθυμητικὸν κατὰ τὸν λόγον.
2. What exactly is Aristotle's thought here? Are you happy with these ways of rendering τῷ ἀνοήτῳ?
(Rowe) This is why they should be moderate and few, and offer no opposition to rational prescription (which is the sort of thing we mean by 'ready to obey' and 'not indulged'); for [a note says: 'Reading ὥσπερ γὰρ τὸν παῖδα '] just as a child should conduct himself in accordance with what the slave in charge of him tells him to do, so too the appetitive in us should conduct itself in accordance with what reason prescribes.
(Taylor) So they ought to be moderate and few, and ought not to oppose reason in any way--we call something like that submissive and disciplined. Just as the child ought to live in accordance with the instructions of its tutor, so the desiderative part ought to be in accordance with reason.
(Ross/Urmson) Hence they should be moderate and few, and should in no way oppose reason--and this is what we call an obedient and chastened state--and as the child should live according to the direction of his tutor, so the appetitive element should live according to reason.
1. Now how does Rowe's opting for gar seem? What's the structure of the argument?διὸ δεῖ τοῦ σώφρονος τὸ ἐπιθυμητικὸν συμφωνεῖν τῷ λόγῳ· σκοπὸς γὰρ ἀμφοῖν τὸ καλόν, καὶ ἐπιθυμεῖ ὁ σώφρων ὧν δεῖ καὶ ὡς δεῖ καὶ ὅτε· οὕτω δὲ τάττει καὶ ὁ λόγος.
2. Tutors don't direct childrens' lives now -- I think 'guardian' is best. But what weight should be given to the thing said by way of direction, and how much to the person giving the direction? Rowe wishes to emphasize the former, Ross the latter.
(Rowe) Hence in the moderate person the appetitive should be in harmony with reason; for the fine is goal for both, and the moderate person has appetite for the things one should, in the way one should, and when--which is what the rational prescription also lays down. Let this, then, be our account of moderation.
(Taylor) That is why the desiderative part of the temperate person ought to be in agreement with his reason; for the goal of both is the fine, and the temperate person desires the things he should and as he should and when; and that is what reason prescribes for its part.
(Ross/Urmson) Hence the appetitive element in a temperate man should harmonize with reason; for the noble is the mark at which both aim, and the temperate man craves for the things he ought, as he ought, and when he ought; and this is what reason does.
1. By to epithumetikon does Aristotle mean what might be called a faculty? (Strangely, Rowe's phrase, 'the appetite', suggests this even more than Ross' 'appetitive element'.) But the correspondence with epithumia is obscured in Taylor (clearly bodily desiderative part won't do.)
2. Is it that the epithumetikon needs to agree with reason, or does Aristotle implicitly mean a reciprocal relationship, and reason needs to agree with the epithumetikon as well (i.e. they 'are in agreement with each other')?
3. Is there no way of putting to kalon into ordinary and natural English?
4. Why 'craving' now in Ross/Urmson?