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13. That pain moreover is an evil and to be avoided is admitted; since all pain is either absolutely evil, or evil as being some way an impediment to activity. But that which is the opposite of something to be avoided—opposed to it as a thing to be avoided and evil—must be good. It follows therefore that pleasure is a good. Speusippus attempted to refute this argument1 by saying that, as the greater is opposed to the equal as well as to the less, so pleasure is opposed to a neutral state of feeling as well as to pain. But this refutation does not hold good; for Speusippus would not maintain that pleasure is essentially evil. [2]

But granting (2) that some pleasures are bad, it does not therefore follow (3) that a certain pleasure may not nevertheless be the Supreme Good; just as a certain form of knowledge may be supremely good, although some forms of knowledge are bad. On the contrary (i) since every faculty has its unimpeded activity, the activity of all the faculties, or of one of them (whichever constitutes Happiness) , when unimpeded, must probably be the most desirable thing there is; but an unimpeded activity is a pleasure; so that on this showing the Supreme Good will be a particular kind of pleasure, even though most pleasures are bad, and, it may be, bad absolutely. This is why everybody thinks that the happy life must be a pleasant life, and regards pleasure as a necessary ingredient of happiness; and with good reason, since no impeded activity is perfect, whereas Happiness is essentially perfect; so that the happy man requires in addition the goods of the body, external goods and the gifts of fortune, in order that his activity may not be impeded through lack of them. [3] (Consequently those who say2 that, if a man be good,

1 See more fully, 10.2.5.

2 Probably the Cynics.

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