previous next
with persons more and less well known to him, and similarly as regards other distinctions, assigning to each class the proper degree of deference, and, other things apart, preferring to join in the pleasures of his companions and being reluctant to give pain; but being guided by the consequences, that is to say, the effects on his and his friends' credit or interest, if these outweigh the pleasure he will give by compliance. Also he will give a small amount of pain at the moment for the sake of a large amount of pleasure in the future. [9]

Such is the middle character, although it has no name. The man who always joins in the pleasures of his companions, if he sets out to be pleasant for no ulterior motive, is Obsequious; if he does so for the sake of getting something by it in the shape of money or money's worth, he is a Flatterer. He that disapproves of everything is, as we said, Surly or Quarrelsome. As the mean has no name, the extremes appear to be opposite to each other.7.

The observance of the mean1 in relation to Boastfulness has to do with almost the same things. It also is without a name; but it will be as well to discuss these unnamed excellences with the rest, since we shall the better understand the nature of the moral character if we examine its qualities one by one; and we shall also confirm our belief that the virtues are modes of observing the mean, if we notice how this holds good in every instance. Now we have treated of behavior in Society with relation to giving pleasure and pain. Let us now discuss truthfulness and falsehood

1 See note on 2.7.12.

load focus Greek (J. Bywater)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: