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for the opposite of excessive pleasure is not pain at all, except to the man who pursues excessive pleasure. [3]

We ought however not only to state the true view, but also to account for the false one, since to do so helps to confirm the true; for when we have found a probable explanation why something appears to be true though it is not true, this increases our belief in the truth.

We have then to explain why it is that bodily pleasures appear to be more desirable than others. [4]

(1) Now the first reason is that pleasure drives out pain; and excessive pain leads men to seek excessive pleasure, and bodily pleasure generally, as a restorative. And these restorative pleasures are intense, and therefore sought for, because they are seen in contrast with their opposite. (The view that pleasure is not a good at all is also due to these two facts, as has been said,1 (a) that some pleasures are actions indicative of an evil nature, whether it be depraved from birth, like the nature of an animal,2 or corrupted by habit, as is the case with evil men, and (b) that others are restoratives of a defective state,3 and to be in the natural state is better than to be in process of returning to it.

1 The reference is presumably to 12.1, but the two passages do not correspond very closely.

2 Cf. 6.6, second note.

3 Or possibly ‘that the restorative pleasures imply a defective state.’

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