Aristotle, and W. Rhys Roberts. Rhetoric. Mineola, NY: Dover, 2004. Kindle Electronic Edition.
Book II, chapter 13
Aristotle continues with a discussion of characters by considering the special qualities of elderly people. Because of their experience, “they are sure about nothing and under-do everything. They ‘think’ but they never ‘know’; and because of their hesitation they always add a ‘possibly’ or a ‘perhaps’, putting everything this way and nothing positively” (II.13, B 1389b). There is a good deal of cynicism and distrust. Because of the difficulty of earning money they usually give less. Aristotle describes the elderly as “chilly” while young people are “warm-blooded” (II.13, B 1389b). Pragmatism rather than good is most important. This often plays out in pity for themselves and withdrawal from riches.