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Neither of these two classes of character is to be conceived as identical with Virtue and Vice, nor yet as different in kind from them.1. [5]

Our proper course with this subject as with others will be to present the various views about it, and then, after first reviewing the difficulties they involve, finally to establish if possible all or, if not all, the greater part and the most important of the opinions generally held with respect to these states of mind; since if the discrepancies can be solved, and a residuum of current opinion left standing, the true view will have been sufficiently established.1 1. [6]

Now the following opinions are held: (a) that Self-restraint and Endurance are good and praiseworthy dispositions, Unrestraint and Softness bad and blameworthy; (b) that the self-restrained man is the man who abides by the results of his calculations, the unrestrained, one who readily abandons the conclusion he has reached; (c) that the unrestrained man does things that he knows to be evil, under the influence of passion, whereas the self-restrained man, knowing that his desires are evil, refuses to follow them on principle; (d) that the temperate man is always self-restrained and enduring; but that the converse is invariably the case some deny, although others affirm it: the latter identify the unrestrained with the profligate and the profligate with the unrestrained promiscuously, the former distinguish between them.1. [7] (e) Sometimes it is said that the prudent man cannot be unrestrained, sometimes that some prudent and clever men are unrestrained. (f)Again, men are spoken of as unrestrained

1 Aristotle holds (1.8.7) that the opinions of the mass of mankind, and of philosophers, on matters of conduct are likely to be substantially true; although being stated from different points of view, and sometimes in ambiguous language, they often seem mutually contradictory. The business of Ethics is to state them clearly, examine their apparent contradictions, discard such parts of them as really refute each other, and elicit the common residuum of truth: see infra, 2.12.

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