IN contributing to the Loeb series, my object is to provide a translation primarily designed as an assistance to the reader of the text on the opposite page, and not as a substitute for it. My versions therefore aim at being interpretative, not at reproducing the form of the original as literally as possible, nor yet at conveying its meaning in idiomatic English while entirely ignoring its form.
In translating Aristotle, to retain the classical English equivalents of his technical terms, which have mostly come down to us from the Latin writers on philosophy, is often misleading to the modern reader, who attaches quite un-Aristotelian meanings to such words as for instance "temperance," "speculation," and "mean" (except in the phrase "Greenwich mean time"). Even "virtue" has now a much narrower signification than ἀρετἠ, which is often best rendered by "goodness."
Moreover in a translation that faces the Greek it is unnecessary to keep the same English rendering for a Greek word wherever it occurs. The Greek may have different shades of meaning in different contexts; or the traditional English equivalent may sound inappropriate to some particular context. Moreover no English word may be quite adequate to convey the meaning and associations of a Greek word; and perhaps the best way to warn the student of this inadequacy may be deliberately to avoid adopting the same rendering throughout.