- A parent is fond of his children because he regards them as something of himself; and children are fond of a parent because they regard themselves as coming from him.
- The parent regards his children as his own more than the product regards the maker as its own. For a person regards what comes from him as his own, as the owner regards his tooth or hair or anything; but what has come from him regards its owner as its own not at all, or to a lesser degree.
- A parent, then, loves his children as he loves himself. For what has come from him is a sort of other himself; it is other because it is separate.
First, the insight. Parents do see their children as "something of themselves," as "coming from them," and as "a sort of other himself." I think this is really fundamental psychologically, and also relevant to some ethical issues.
Second, the confusion. In passage 2, Aristotle makes it seem like our children are "our own" in the way our teeth or hair are. This would give parents supreme power over their children. You could do anything you wanted to them, like you can do anything you want to your hair. But in passage 3, he does better--"What has come from him is a sort of other himself; it is other because it is separate." The separateness has to be countenanced in any reasonable story about parent-child ethics.
Third, the error. Aristotle thinks the fact that children come from parents has the same positive meaning for parents and for children (see passage 1), but just less so for children (see passage 2 and later in this chapter) But not really. The fact that your child comes from you gives you, as a parent, feelings of power and pride. I did this! But as the child grows up, the fact that she comes from her parents at least sometimes has the opposite significance for her--it generates a feeling of dependence, not power. The child starts to want to be her own person, and not "come from" anyone, while parents will always enjoy the feeling that their children are "something of themselves".
Points off for the confusion and error, but I think the insight is still deep!