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[1223a] [1] for of things that are of necessity the result is necessary, albeit the subsequent stages may possibly happen in the opposite way. And the things that depend on men themselves in many cases belong to this class of variables, and men are themselves the first principle of things of this sort. Hence it is clear that all the actions of which a man is the first principle and controller may either happen or not happen, and that it depends on himself for them to happen or not, as he controls their existence or non-existence. But of things which it depends on him to do or not to do he is himself the cause, and what he is the cause of depends on himself. And since goodness and badness and the actions that spring from them are in some cases praiseworthy and in other cases blameworthy (for praise and blame are not given to things that we possess from necessity or fortune or nature but to things of which we ourselves are the cause, since for things of which another person is the cause, that person has the blame and the praise), it is clear that both goodness and badness have to do with things where a man is himself the cause and origin of his actions. We must, then, ascertain what is the kind of actions of which a man is himself the cause and origin. Now we all agree that each man is the cause of all those acts that are voluntary and purposive for him individually, and that he is not himself the cause of those that are involuntary. And clearly he commits voluntarily all the acts that he commits purposely. It is clear, then, [20] that both goodness and badness will be in the class of things voluntary.

We must, therefore, ascertain what voluntary and involuntary mean, and what is purposive choice, since they enter into the definition of goodness and badness. And first we must consider the meaning of voluntary and involuntary. Now they would seem to refer to one of three things—conformity with appetition, or with purposive choice, or with thought: voluntary is what conforms with one of these and involuntary is what contravenes one of them. But moreover there are three subdivisions of appetition—wish, passion and desire; so that we have to distinguish these. And first we must consider conformity with desire.

It would seem that everything that conforms with desire is voluntary. For everything involuntary seems to be forced, and what is forced and everything that people do or suffer under necessity is painful, as indeed Evenus says: “ For all necessity doth cause distress—
” Evenus of Paros = Theog. 472 1 so that if a thing is painful it is forced and if a thing is forced it is painful; but everything contrary to desire is painful (for desire is for what is pleasant), so that it is forced and involuntary. Therefore what conforms with desire is voluntary, for things contrary to and things in conformity with desire are opposite to one another. Again, all wickedness makes a man more unrighteous, and lack of self-control seems to be wickedness; and the uncontrolled man is the sort of man to act in conformity with desire contrary to calculation, and he shows his lack of control when his conduct is guided by desire;

1 Quoted also Aristot. Met. 1015a 28 and Aristot. Rhet.1370a 10, and = Theognidea 472 (but that has χρῆμ᾽ ἀνιαρόν); probably by the elder Evenus of Paros, fl. 460 B.C. (Bowra, Cl. Rev. 48.2).

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