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and animals pursue pleasures. [5]

(2) To prove that not all pleasures are good, it is argued that

(a) Some pleasures are disgraceful, and discredit the man who indulges in them.

(b) Some pleasures are harmful, for certain pleasant things cause disease.

(3) To prove that pleasure is not the Supreme Good, it is argued that it is not an end but a process.

These then, more or less, are the current views.12.

But the following considerations will show that these arguments are not conclusive to prove (1) that pleasure is not a good at all, nor (3) that it is not the Supreme Good.

(1) (a) In the first place (i.) ‘the good’ has two meanings: it means both that which is good absolutely, and that which is good for somebody, or relatively. Consequently the term ‘good’ has the same double meaning when applied to men's natures and dispositions; and therefore also when applied to movements and to processes. Also those processes which are thought to be bad will in some cases, though bad absolutely, be not bad relatively, but in fact desirable for a particular person, or in other cases, though not even desirable generally for the particular person, nevertheless desirable for him in particular circumstances and for a short time, although not really desirable. And some such processes1 are not really pleasures at all, but only seem to be so: I mean the painful processes that are undergone for their curative effects, for instance, treatment applied to the sick. [2]

Again (ii.) , the good is either an activity or a state. Now the pleasures that restore us to our natural state are only accidentally pleasant; while the activity of desire is the activity of that part of us which has remained in the natural state2: for that matter, there are some pleasures which do not involve pain or desire at all

1 Certain ‘felt processes towards a natural state’ (9.4) , which are obviously not good, are not really pleasant either.

2 Cf. 14.7.

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