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[1229a] [1] Or is it not possible that he may feel fear in the way described? For courage is following reason, and reason bids us choose what is fine. Hence he who endures formidable things not on account of reason is either out of his mind or daring, but only he who does so from motives of honor is fearless and brave. The coward, therefore, fears even things that he ought not to fear, and the daring man is bold even about things about which he ought not to be bold, but the brave man alone does both as he ought, and is intermediate in this respect, for he feels both confidence and fear about what ever things reason bids; but reason does not bid him endure things that are extremely painful and destructive, unless they are fine. The daring man, therefore, faces such things with confidence even if reason does not bid him face them, and the coward does not face them even if it does, but only the brave man faces them if reason bids.

There are five kinds of courage so called by analogy, because brave men of these kinds endure the same things as the really courageous but not for the same reasons. One is civic courage; this is courage due to a sense of shame. Second is military courage; this is due to experience and to knowledge, not of what is formidable, as Socrates said,1 but of ways of encountering what is formidable. Third is the courage due to inexperience and ignorance, that makes children and madmen face things rushing on them, or grasp snakes. Another is the courage caused by hope, which often makes those who have had a stroke of luck endure dangers, [20] and those who are intoxicated—for wine makes men sanguine. Another is due to some irrational emotion, for example love or passion. For if a man is in love he is more daring than cowardly, and endures many dangers, like the man2 who murdered the tyrant at Metapontium and the person in Crete in the story3; and similarly if a man is under the influence of anger and passion, for passion is a thing that makes him beside himself. Hence wild boars are thought to be brave, though they are not really, for they are so when they are beside themselves, but otherwise they are variable, like daring men. But nevertheless the courage of passion is in the highest degree natural; passion is a thing that does not know defeat, owing to which the young are the best fighters. Civic courage is due to law. But none of these is truly courage, though they are all useful for encouragement in dangers.

Up to this point we have spoken about things formidable in general terms, but it will be better to define them more precisely. As a general term the formidable denotes what causes fear, and that is of a property of things that appear capable of causing pain of a destructive kind: for persons expecting some other pain might perhaps experience a different sort of pain and a different feeling, but will not have fear—for example if a man foresaw that he was going to feel the pain felt by the jealous, or the sort of pain felt by the envious or by those who are ashamed. But fear only occurs in the case of pains that seem likely to be of the kind whose nature it is to destroy life.

1 Plat. Prot. 360d.

2 Unknown.

3 Unknown

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    • Plato, Protagoras, 360d
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