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[7] Bestiality1 is less <evil> than vice, though more horrible: for <in a bestial man as in an animal> the highest part <i.e. the intellect> is not corrupted, as it is in a man <who is wicked in a human way>, but entirely lacking. So that it is like comparing an inanimate with an animate thing, and asking which is the more evil; for the badness of a thing which has no originating principle—and intelligence is such a principle—is always less capable of mischief.2 (It is therefore like comparing Injustice with an unjust man: one is worse in one way and the other in another). For a bad man can do ten thousand times more harm than an animal <or a bestial man>.7.

(iii) But in relation to the pleasures and pains of touch and taste, and the corresponding desires and acts of avoidance, which have already3 been defined as the sphere in which Profligacy and Temperance are displayed, it is possible on the one hand to have such a disposition as to succumb even to those temptations to which most men are superior, or on the other hand to conquer even those to which most men succumb. These two dispositions, when manifested in relation to pleasure, constitute Unrestraint and Restraint respectively; when in relation to pain, Softness and Endurance. The disposition of the great majority of men lies between the two, though they incline rather to the worse extremes. [2]

And inasmuch as some pleasures are necessary and others not, and the former are only necessary within certain limits, excessive indulgence in them not being necessary, nor yet deficient indulgence4 either, and inasmuch as the same holds good also of desires and of pains, one who pursues excessive pleasures, or pursues things5 to excess

1 No two commentators read the same sense into this section, which is ‘little more than a series of jottings’ ( Burnet). The version given largely follows Peters. The insertions in brackets indicate what may possibly have been in the writer's mind.

2 The relevance of this parenthesis is obscure; its meaning, in the light of other passages in Aristotle, may be that injustice is worse in the sense that it is evil per se (whereas the unjust man is evil per accidens) , but the unjust man is worse in the sense that he is productive of evil.

3 Bk. 3.10.

4 This addition is illogically expressed, but it is a reminder that to take too little of certain ‘necessary’ pleasures is as wrong as to take too much: see 4.5, first note.

5 i.e., necessary things; see the tripartite classification of 4.5.

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