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that offers resistance but only a weak one (like that of persons in two minds about something)—, we could forgive a man for not keeping to his opinions in opposition to strong desires; but we do not forgive vice, nor any other blameworthy quality.—(e) Is it then when desire is opposed by Prudence that we blame a man for yielding? 2. [5] for Prudence is extremely strong. But this is strange, for it means that the same person can be at once prudent and unrestrained; yet no one could possibly maintain that the prudent man is capable of doing voluntarily the basest actions. And furthermore it has already been shown1 that Prudence displays itself in action (for it is concerned with ultimate particulars), and implies the possession of the other Virtues as well.2. [6]

Again (d) if Self-restraint implies having strong and evil desires, the temperate man cannot be self-restrained, nor the self-restrained man temperate; for the temperate man does not have excessive or evil desires. But a self-restrained man must necessarily have strong and evil desires; since if a man's desires are good, the disposition that prevents him from obeying them will be evil, and so Self-restraint will not always be good; while if his desires are weak and not evil, there is nothing to be proud of in resisting them; nor is it anything remarkable if they are evil and weak. 2. [7]

Again (a, b) if Self-restraint makes a man steadfast in all his opinions, it may be bad, namely, if it makes him persist even in a false opinion. And if Unrestraint makes him liable to abandon any opinion, in some cases Unrestraint will be good. Take the instance of Neoptolemus in the Philoctetes2 of Sophocles.

1 Cf. 6.7. 7, 6.12.10.

2 Soph. Phil. 895-916. See further, 9.4.

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