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[1228a] [1] goodness is the cause of the End aimed at by choice being right. And owing to this it is by a man's purposive choice that we judge his character—that is, not by what he does but what he does it for. Similarly also badness causes purposive choice to be made from the opposite motives. If therefore, when a man has it in his power to do what is honorable and refrain from doing what is base, he does the opposite, it is clear that this man is not virtuous. Hence it necessarily follows that both badness and goodness are voluntary; for there is no necessity to do wicked things. For this reason badness is a blameworthy thing and goodness praiseworthy; for involuntary baseness and evil are not blamed nor involuntary good things praised, but voluntary ones are. Moreover we praise and blame all men with regard to their purpose rather than with regard to their actions (although activity is a more desirable thing than goodness), because men may do bad acts under compulsion, but no one is compelled to choose to do them. Moreover because it is not easy to see the quality of a man's purpose we are forced to judge his character from his actions; therefore activity is more desirable, but purpose more praiseworthy. And this not only follows from our assumptions but also is admitted by reason of observed facts.1

1 Or, emending the text, 'agrees with observation.'

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