I’m trying quickly to finish up a chapter on Tocqueville and magnanimity, and I’m opening with Aristotle. Here’s my summary of the implicit Aristotelian criticism of that the magnanimous man. Let me know what you think, and I apologize for the writing. It’s a rough draft yadda yadda:
The genuine experience of greatness comes through the cooperation of the rational and spirited parts of the soul. Aristotle shows that it reaches its peak through its abstraction or diversion from the erotic part of the soul, the part that reveals to us our dependence on and gratitude to others, our need for love and friendship, our limitations and incompleteness as solitary beings, the perverse futility of all our striving for self-sufficiency, and our wondrous openness to the truth about all things. The great-soul man unreasonably refuses to understand himself as a being who is born and will die, and he is, in some measure, in willful rebellion against what he really knows about the contingency of his own existence—especially on his own.