since both the noble and the expedient appear to
（6） Again, the susceptibility to pleasure has grown up with all of us
from the cradle. Hence this feeling is hard to eradicate, being engrained in the fabric of
（7） Again, pleasure and pain are also1
by which we all, in a greater or less degree, regulate our actions. 3.
On this account therefore pleasure and
pain are necessarily our main concern, since to feel pleasure and pain rightly or wrongly
has a great effect on conduct.3.
（8） And again, it is harder to fight against pleasure than against
anger （hard as that is, as Heracleitus2
says）; but virtue, like art,
is constantly dealing with what is harder, since the harder the task the better is
success. For this reason also therefore pleasure and pain are necessarily the main concern
both of virtue and of political science, since he who comports himself towards them
rightly will be good, and he who does so wrongly, bad.3.
We may then take it as established that virtue has to do with pleasures and pains, that
the actions which produce it are those which increase it, and also, if differently
performed, destroy it, and that the actions from which it was produced are also those in
which it is exercised.4.
A difficulty may however be raised as to what we mean by saying that in order to become
just men must do just actions, and in order to become temperate they must do temperate
actions. For if they do just and temperate actions,
they are just and temperate already, just as, if they spell correctly or play in tune,
they are scholars or musicians.
But perhaps this is not the case even with the arts. It is possible to spell a word
correctly by chance, or because some one else prompts you; hence you will be a scholar
only if you spell correctly in the scholar's way, that is, in virtue of the scholarly
knowledge which you yourself possess.
Moreover the case of the arts is not really analogous to that of the virtues. Works of
art have their merit in themselves, so that it is enough if they are produced having a
certain quality of their own; but acts done in conformity with the virtues are not done
justly or temperately if they themselves are of a certain sort, but only if the agent also
is in a certain state of mind when he does them: first he must act with knowledge3
; secondly he must deliberately choose the act, and
choose it for its own sake; and thirdly the act must spring from a fixed and permanent
disposition of character.