Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Ontological goodness in Aristotle.
...[Aristotle] suceeded in showing for the first time that the agaqon is nothing else than an ontological character of beings: it applies to those beings which are determined by a teloV. To the extent that a being reaches its teloV and is complete, it is as it is meant to be, eu. The agaqon has at first no relation to praxiV at all; instead, it is determination of beings insofar asthey are finished, com-plete. A being that always is does not at all need to be produced; it is always already constantly there as finished. Insofar as Aristole understands the agaqon as teloV--being finished--and counts the teloV among the other causes, like ulh, eidoV, and arch kinesewV, he achieves for the first time a fundamental ontological understanding of the agaqon. If we take the agaqon as value, then this is all nonsense.

P. 84-85
agaqon: good
arch kinesewV: the efficient cause
eidoV: form
eu: well being
praxiV: goal directed action
teloV: purpose
ulh: matter
This is somewhat off topic, but I would suggest using unicode Greek instead of symbol font. For instance linux machines display only latin letters there and though they are in principle understandable (agaqon) ἀγαθός would be better.
To my mind, the lack of a universal standard beyond ASCII for characters, is one of the apalling yet underreported scandals of the internet. People complain about the subtle differences in the implementations of things like CSS, but the inability to exchange a Roman character with an accent mark reliably is huge roadblock in communications. Even something as simple as sending a simple vowel with a tilde between two machines with the same OS can get munged, randomly. Somedays I get the tilde, others I get garbage, communicating with the same person.

With respect to Greek, I've tried to use the mechanism with the widest audience. When I started posting about Heidegger, I created bitmaps for every greek letter, with every necessary mark, and embedded those in HTML. That worked for everyone except folks with text-only browsers (Remember that one? I've forgotten the name, but I used to find that browser when I trawled the logs). Then a majority of browsers/OSes supported the symbol font, so I switched to that, although that didn't support accents. I considered unicode, but a large chunk of visitors were still coming from Windows95/98. I'll have to check, the majority visitors may now be on variants of Windows NT and other OSes with Unicode, in which case I'll make the switch to unicode.

But, as an example of the problems, the unicode in your comment, was munged by the time it arrived in my browser-based email, even though I can see the greek characters right now in the same browser on blogger. It's still the wild west out there. Bring on the encoding sheriff.
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