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[1237a] [1] and the two ought to come into agreement. This is effected by goodness; and the purpose of political science is to bring it about in cases where it does not yet exist. And one who is a human being is well adapted to this and on the way to it (for by nature things that are absolutely good are good to him), and similarly a man rather than a woman and a gifted man rather than a dull one; but the road is through pleasure—it is necessary that fine things shall be pleasant. When there is discord between them, a man is not yet perfectly good; for it is possible for unrestraint to be engendered in him, as unrestraint is caused by discord between the good and the pleasant in the emotions.

Therefore since the primary sort of friendship is in accordance with goodness, friends of this sort will be absolutely good in themselves also, and this not because of being useful, but in another manner. For good for a given person and good absolutely are twofold; and the same is the case with states of character as with profitableness—what is profitable absolutely and what is profitable for given persons are different things (just as taking exercise is a different thing from taking drugs). So the state of character called human goodness is of two kinds— for let us assume that man is one of the things that are excellent by nature: consequently the goodness of a thing excellent by nature is good absolutely, but that of a thing not excellent by nature is only good for that thing.

The case of the pleasant also, therefore, is similar. For here we must pause and consider whether there is any friendship without pleasure, [20] and how such a friendship differs from other friendship, and on which exactly of the two things1 the affection depends—do we love a man because he is good even if he is not pleasant, but not because he is pleasant?2 Then, affection having two meanings,3 does actual affection seem to involve pleasure because activity is good? It is clear that as in science recent studies and acquirements are most fully apprehended, because of their pleasantness,4 so with the recognition of familiar things, and the principle is the same in both cases. By nature at all events the absolutely good is absolutely pleasant, and the relatively good is pleasant to those for whom it is good.5 Hence ipso facto like takes pleasure in like, and man is the thing most pleasant to man; so that as this is so even with imperfect things, it is clearly so with things when perfected, and a good man is a perfect man. And if active affection is the reciprocal choice, accompanied by pleasure, of one another's acquaintance, it is clear that friendship of the primary kind is in general the reciprocal choice of things absolutely good and pleasant because they are good and pleasant; and friendship itself is a state from which such choice arises. For its function is an activity, but this not external but within the lover himself; whereas the function of every faculty is external, for it is either in another or in oneself qua other. Hence to love is to feel pleasure but to be loved is not; for being loved is not an activity of the thing loved, whereas loving is an activity—the activity of friendship; and loving occurs only in an animate thing, whereas being loved occurs with an inanimate thing also, for even inanimate things are loved. And since to love actively is to treat the loved object qua loved,

1 Goodness and pleasantness.

2 Perhaps the Greek should be altered to give 'or not, but because he is pleasant.'

3 Potential and actual (Solomon).

4 Ross marks this clause as corrupted.

5 Sc. (τὸ τοισδὶ ἀγαθόν) οἷς ἀγαθόν, τούτοις ἡδύ.

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