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to victory in that of strategy, to a house in architecture, and to something else in each of the other arts; but in every pursuit or undertaking it describes the end of that pursuit or undertaking, since in all of them it is for the sake of the end that everything else is done. Hence if there be something which is the end of all the things done by human action, this will be the practicable Good—or if there be several such ends, the sum of these will be the Good. [2] Thus by changing its ground the argument has reached the same result as before.1 We must attempt however to render this still more precise. [3]

Now there do appear to be several ends at which our actions aim; but as we choose some of them—for instance wealth, or flutes,2 and instruments generally—as a means to something else, it is clear that not all of them are final ends; whereas the Supreme Good seems to be something final. Consequently if there be some one thing which alone is a final end, this thing—or if there be several final ends, the one among them which is the most final—will be the Good which we are seeking. [4] In speaking of degrees of finality, we mean that a thing pursued as an end in itself is more final than one pursued as a means to something else, and that a thing never chosen as a means to anything else is more final than things chosen both as ends in themselves and as means to that thing; and accordingly a thing chosen always as an end and never as a means we call absolutely final. [5] Now happiness above all else appears to be absolutely final in this sense,

1 Cf. 2.1.

2 Perhaps a note on ‘instruments,’ interpolated.

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