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and from choice, for their own sakes and not for the sake of some ulterior consequence, is a profligate; for a man of this character is certain to feel no regret for his excesses afterwards, and this being so, he is incurable,1 since there is no cure for one who does not regret his error. The man deficient in the enjoyment of pleasures is the opposite of the profligate; and the middle character is the temperate man. And similarly, he who avoids bodily pains not because his will is overpowered but of deliberate choice, is also profligate. [3] (Those on the other hand who yield not from choice, are prompted either by the pleasure of indulgence, or by the impulse to avoid the pain of unsatisfied desire. Hence there is a difference between deliberate and non-deliberate indulgence. Everyone would think a man worse if he did something disgraceful when he felt only a slight desire, or none at all, than if he acted from a strong desire, or if he struck another in cold blood than if he did so in anger; for what would he have done had his passions been aroused? Hence the profligate man is worse than the unrestrained.)

Of the dispositions described above, the deliberate avoidance of pain is rather a kind2 of Softness; the deliberate pursuit of pleasure is Profligacy in the strict sense. [4]

Self-restraint is the opposite of Unrestraint, Endurance of Softness; for Endurance means only successful resistance, whereas Restraint implies mastery, which is a different matter: victory is more glorious than the mere avoidance of defeat. Hence self-restraint is a more valuable quality than Endurance.

1 Incurable, and therefore profligate, ἀκόλαστος, which means literally either ‘incorrigible’ or ‘unchastized’ : see note on 3.12.5.

2 Not Softness strictly, which ranges with Unrestraint and is not deliberate.

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