An Aristotelian mean is not the subject of a fixed formula that could just be “applied” to yield a result, like an arithmetical mean. An Aristotelian mean also has nothing to do with mere compromise. It is a kind of structural rather than quantitative criterion. A mean is not necessarily between one-sided options, but may instead be outside the space determined by their confrontation. It is a product of practical judgment or phronesis. It takes interpretive work to arrive at one. The mean just represents an ideal of avoiding one-sidedness. When Hegel complains about something being one-sided, he is saying the mean has been missed.

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