We aiming-to-be rational animals are all deeply conditioned by our development in particular social and cultural circumstances. A truly great philosopher like Aristotle perhaps comes closest to becoming “untimely” in something like a Nietzchean sense.

Though I know of no explicit textual evidence for it, I wonder if Hegel resolved the material incompatibility between his mature patronizing attribution of naive realism about norms to the ancient world as a whole on the one hand, and all the insights he attributes to Plato and Aristotle on the other, by implicitly exempting them from the generalization about the ancient world. That generalization is sound at a broad sociological level, but we should not assume without specific evidence that sociological generalizations about a philosopher’s time and place apply to the philosopher.

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