the meaning behind this quote by Aristotle


“For liberality and temperance are the only eligible qualities which have to do with the use of property. A man cannot use property with mildness or courage, but temperately and liberally he may; and therefore the practice of these virtues is inseparable from property.”

In: 4

*Liberality* and *temperance* refer to how someone uses resources available to them. Someone is *liberal* with their resources if they use them freely and often; someone is *temperant* if they’re careful and managed with their resources. (“Liberal” in this usage has no relationship to the political sense of the word. They’re from a common root, meaning “free”, but liberalism as a political philosophy is a newer usage of that root.)

What he’s saying here is “that spectrum is the only one that matters when it comes to property”. You can’t be brave or timid, pious or blasphemous, loyal or self-interested, or whatever else when it comes to property – you can only be more or less aggressive about how you use it. So peoples’ position on the more/less aggressive (liberal vs temperant) scale is tied innately to the idea of property and how it interacts with human beings.