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[1247a] [1] but we also speak of the fortunate as faring well, which implies that good fortune also engenders welfare in the same way as knowledge does; we must therefore consider whether one man is fortunate and another unfortunate by nature or not, and how it stands with these matters. For that some men are fortunate we see, since many though foolish succeed in things in which luck is paramount, and some even in things which involve skill although also containing a large element of luck—for example strategy and navigation. Are, then, these men fortunate as a result of a certain state of character, or are they enabled to achieve fortunate results not by reason of a certain quality in themselves? As it is, people think the latter, holding that some men are successful by natural causes; but nature makes men of a certain quality, and the fortunate and unfortunate are different even from birth, in the same way as some men are blue-eyed and others black-eyed because a particular part of them is of a particular quality. For it is clear that they do not succeed by means of wisdom, because wisdom is not irrational but can give reason why it acts as it does, whereas they could not say why they succeed—for that would be science; and moreover it is manifest that they succeed in spite of being unwise—not unwise about other matters (for that would not be anything strange, for example Hippocrates1 was skilled in geometry but was thought to be stupid and unwise in other matters, and it is said that on a voyage owing to foolishness he lost a great deal of money, [20] taken from him by the collectors of the two-per-cent duty at Byzantium), but even though they are unwise about the matters in which they are fortunate. For in navigation it is not the cleverest who are fortunate, but (just as in throwing dice one man throws a blank and another a six) a man is fortunate according as things were arranged by nature.2 Or is it because he is loved by God, as the phrase goes, and because success is something from outside? as for instance a badly built ship often gets through a voyage better, though not owing to itself, but because it has a good man at the helm. But on this showing the fortunate man has the deity as steersman. But it is strange that a god or deity should love a man of this sort, and not the best and most prudent. If, then, the success of the lucky must necessarily be due to either nature or intellect or some guardianship, and of these three causes two are ruled out, those who are fortunate will be so by nature. But again, nature of course is the cause of a thing that happens either always or generally in the same way, whereas fortune is the opposite. If, then, unexpected achievement seems a matter of fortune, but, if a man is fortunate owing to fortune, it would seem that the cause is not of such a sort as to produce the same result always or generally— further, if a man's succeeding or not succeeding is due to his being of a certain sort, as a man does not see clearly because he has blue eyes, not fortune but nature is the cause; therefore he is not a man who has good fortune but one who has as it were a good nature. Hence we should have to say that the people we call fortunate are so not by reason of fortune; therefore they are not fortunate,

1 A Pythagorean philosopher of Chios, fl. 460 B.C.

2 Or, with Jackson's emendations, 'another a six according as nature determines, so here a man is lucky because his nature is such.'

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