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in relation to and in dealing with that class of objects by which it is its nature to be corrupted or improved. But men are corrupted through pleasures and pains, that is, either by pursuing and avoiding the wrong pleasures and pains, or by pursuing and avoiding them at the wrong time, or in the wrong manner, or in one of the other wrong ways under which errors of conduct can be logically classified. This is why some thinkers1 define the virtues as states of impassivity or tranquillity, though they make a mistake in using these terms absolutely, without adding ‘in the right (or wrong) manner’ and ‘at the right (or wrong) time’ and the other qualifications.3. [6]

We assume therefore that moral virtue is the quality of acting in the best way in relation to pleasures and pains, and that vice is the opposite.3. [7]

But the following considerations also will give us further light on the same point.

(5) There are three things that are the motives of choice and three that are the motives of avoidance; namely, the noble, the expedient, and the pleasant, and their opposites, the base, the harmful, and the painful. Now in respect of all these the good man is likely to go right and the bad to go wrong, but especially in respect of pleasure; for pleasure is common to man with the lower animals, and also it is a concomitant of all the objects of choice,

1 The reference is probably to Speusippus, although in the extant remains of Greek philosophy apathy, or freedom from passions or emotions, first appears as an ethical ideal of the Stoics.

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