There is a point nearly allied to the preceding: Whether the virtue of a good man and a good citizen is the same or not. But, before entering on this discussion, we must certainly first obtain some general notion of the virtue of the citizen. Like the sailor, the citizen is a member of a community. Now, sailors have different functions, for one of them is a rower, another a pilot, and a third a look-out man, a fourth is described by some similar term; and while the precise definition of each individual's virtue applies exclusively to him, there is, at the same time, a common definition applicable to them all. For they have all of them a common object, which is safety in navigation. Similarly, one citizen differs from another, but the salvation of the community is the common business of them all. This community is the constitution; the virtue of the citizen must therefore be relative to the constitution of which he is a member. If, then, there are many forms of government, it is evident that there is not one single virtue of the good citizen which is perfect virtue. But we say that the good man is he who has one single virtue which is perfect virtue. Hence it is evident that the good citizen need not of necessity possess the virtue which makes a good man.So, citizens have different roles. But because different roles excel in different ways, Aristotle wants to say that the 'good man' -- who is excellent in one way, as a good man -- is not the same as the good citizen.
The same question may also be approached by another road, from a consideration of the best constitution. If the state cannot be entirely composed of good men, and yet each citizen is expected to do his own business well, and must therefore have virtue, still inasmuch as all the citizens cannot be alike, the virtue of the citizen and of the good man cannot coincide. All must have the virtue of the good citizen- thus, and thus only, can the state be perfect; but they will not have the virtue of a good man, unless we assume that in the good state all the citizens must be good.Here the objection is that all citizens cannot be expected to be good people. Yet insofar as we still expect them to be good citizens, they must be capable of a virtue of a sort. Good argument?
Again, the state, as composed of unlikes, may be compared to the living being: as the first elements into which a living being is resolved are soul and body, as soul is made up of rational principle and appetite, the family of husband and wife, property of master and slave, so of all these, as well as other dissimilar elements, the state is composed; and, therefore, the virtue of all the citizens cannot possibly be the same, any more than the excellence of the leader of a chorus is the same as that of the performer who stands by his side. I have said enough to show why the two kinds of virtue cannot be absolutely and always the same.This is the first argument again. Here we get different problems, but the same issue: people fill different roles in the state. Some are husbands and some are wives, some police and some policed. How can they have the same virtues?
At this point Aristotle seems to take it as proven that the good citizen and the good man have a different moral structure. That strikes me as an alarming conclusion. He carries on to consider examples -- please read them -- concerning rulership and similar cases.
I would like to say that he goes wrong here. Perhaps you would care to agree; or perhaps you would care to defend him. Where and why, ladies and gentlemen?