Thomas Taylor: Platão – o Uno

Plato, as we have before observed, denominated the one [hen], the ineffable, and the good [agathon], the common cause [aition] of all beings, and arranged it above all things; for he says that it is the cause of all things, but is no one of all things. On this account it is above being [onta], and is not being ; not as falling off from being, but as situated above all being. All secondary goods, therefore, are referred to it as the common good, and which is participated by all goods. For every good posterior to this ineffable principle, being something else, is good according to the participation of it, so far as each is capable of participating of it. But the good itself has a super-expanded subsistence, and is nothing else than the good. On this account also, it is properly and primarily one, as not to be surveyed in conjunction with any thing else. What impossibility, therefore, will follow, if being the cause of all things, and imparting to every thing being, which is predicated according to the ten categories, it is said to be common to all things, as being their cause, and the universal good, as being prior to all that multitude of goods, to which it imparts being and goodness, and which by the participation of and relation to it, are said to be good ? Aristotle, indeed, himself, in the beginning of this treatise praises those who assert the good to be that which all things desire ; so that by using the words the good, and which all things desire, it is evident that he accords with Plato in acknowledging the first and most universal good. For by Plato and his disciples, the term, the good, is given to the first and universal good. And Aristotle, by adding which all things desire, evinces that this is the most universal and the first good. For if all things desire it, it is necessarily above all things; since the term all does not permit, us to conceive any being external to it. But the good is above all things, the first, the most causal, and the most universal of all things, not as in, nor as secondary to the many; for how can that which is first desire that which is second ? It is evident, therefore, that Aristotle does not in reality oppose the doctrine of Plato concerning universal good.