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a is essentially, b only accidentally, his object and his choice. And by ‘essentially’ we mean ‘absolutely’ ; hence while in a sense it is any sort of opinion, speaking absolutely it is the true opinion that the one stands by and the other abandons. [2]

But there are some persons who stand by their opinion whom we call ‘obstinate,’ meaning that they are hard to convince, and not easily persuaded to change their convictions. These bear some resemblance to the self-restrained man, as the prodigal does to the liberal, and the reckless to the brave; but they are really different in many respects. The self-restrained man stands firm against passion and desire: he will be ready on occasion to yield to persuasion; but the obstinate stand firm against reason: they are not proof against desire, and are often led by pleasure. [3] Types of obstinacy are the opinionated, the stupid, and the boorish. The motives of the opinionated are pleasure and pain: the agreeable sense of victory in not being persuaded to change their minds, and the annoyance of having the decrees of their sovereign will and pleasure annulled. Hence they really resemble the unrestrained more than the restrained. [4]

And there are some who fail to abide by their resolves from some other cause than lack of self-restraint, for instance, Neoptolemus1 in thePhiIoctetesof Sophocles. It is true that his motive for changing was pleasure, though a noble pleasure, since it was pleasant2 for him to speak the truth, and he had only told a lie at the instigation of Odysseus. In fact, not everyone whose conduct is guided by pleasure is either profligate and base, or unrestrained, but only those who yield to disgraceful pleasures. [5]

There is also a character3 that takes less than the proper amount of pleasure in the things of the body, and that fails to stand by principle in that sense. The self-restrained man therefore is really intermediate between the unrestrained man and the type described. The unrestrained man departs from principle because he enjoys bodily pleasures too much, the person described does so because he enjoys them too little; while the self-restrained man stands by principle and does not change from either cause. And inasmuch as Self-restraint is good, it follows that both the dispositions opposed to it are bad, as indeed they appear to be; but because one of the two is found only in a few people, and is rarely displayed, Unrestraint is thought to be the sole opposite of Self-restraint, just as Profligacy is thought to be the sole opposite of Temperance. [6]

Many terms are used in an analogical sense, and so we have come to speak by analogy of the ‘self-restraint’ of the temperate man, because the temperate man, as well as the self-restrained, is so constituted as never to be led by the pleasures of the body to act against principle.

1 Cf. 2.7.

2 The mss., instead of ‘pleasant,’ repeat ‘noble’ by a slip.

3 Cf. I3.9.7.

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