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Persons in the states mentioned1 repeat propositions of geometry and verses of Empedocles; students who have just begun a subject reel off its formulae, though they do not yet know their meaning, for knowledge has to become part of the tissue of the mind, and this takes time. Hence we must conceive that men who fail in self-restraint talk in the same way as actors speaking a part.3. [9]

(4) Again, one may also study the cause of Unrestraint scientifically,2 thus: In a practical syllogism, the major premise is an opinion, while the minor premise deals with particular things, which are the province of perception. Now when the two premises are combined, just as in theoretic reasoning the mind is compelled to affirm the resulting conclusion, so in the case of practical premises you are forced at once to do it. For example, given the premises ‘All sweet things ought to be tasted’ and ‘Yonder thing is sweet’—a particular instance of the general class—, you are bound, if able and not prevented, immediately to taste the thing. 3. [10] When therefore there is present in the mind on the one hand a universal judgement forbidding you to taste and on the other hand a universal judgement saying ‘All sweet things are pleasant,’ and a minor premise ‘Yonder thing is sweet’ (and it is this minor premise that is active3) , and when desire is present at the same time, then, though the former universal judgement says ‘Avoid that thing,’ the desire leads you to it (since desire can put the various parts of the body in motion).

1 Viz., asleep or drunk. It may have been some Falstaff of Attic comedy that quoted the moral maxims of Empedocles in his cups.

2 i.e., in this case, psychologically: lit. ‘with reference to its nature.’ Cf. 8.1.6, 9.7.2, 9.9.7.

3 i.e., determines action ( Ross).

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