Nicomachean Ethics

by: Aristotle

Book V

1

[M]ost lawful actions, we might say, are those produced by virtue as a whole; for the law prescribes living in accord with each virtue, and forbids living in accord with each vice.

2

[T]he law looks only at differences in the harm [inflicted], and treats the people involved as equals, if one does injustice while the other suffers it, and one has done the harm while the other suffered it. And so the judge tries to restore this unjust situation to equality, since it is unequal.

3

[W]e allow only reason, not a human being, to be ruler. For a human being awards himself too many goods and becomes a tyrant; a ruler, however, is a guardian of the just, and hence of the equal [and so must not award himself too many goods].