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But as a matter of fact the latter sort of pleasures accompany a process towards perfection, so that accidentally they are good.) [5]

(2) Another reason is that bodily pleasures are sought for, just because of their intensity, by people who are incapable of enjoying others (for instance, some deliberately take steps to make themselves thirsty) : not that there is any objection to this if the pleasures are innocuous, but it is bad if they are productive of harmful results. The fact is that some men have no other sources of enjoyment; and also many are so constituted that a neutral state of feeling is to them positively painful. (This is because a state of strain is the normal condition of an animal organism, as physiology testifies; it tells us that sight and hearing are in fact painful, but we have got used to them in course of time—such is the theory.) [6] Similarly the young are in a condition resembling intoxication, because they are growing, and youth is pleasant in itself; but persons of an excitable nature need a restorative perpetually, because their temperament keeps their bodies in a constant state of irritation, and their appetites are continually active; and any pleasure, if strong, drives out pain, not only the opposite pleasure. This is why excitable men become profligate and vicious. [7]

Pleasures unaccompanied by pain, on the other hand—and these are those derived from things naturally and not accidentally pleasant—do not admit of excess. By things accidentally pleasant I mean things taken as restoratives; really their restorative effect is produced by the operation1 of that part of the system which has remained sound, and hence the remedy itself is thought to be pleasant.

1 It is this which is really pleasant: see 12.2.

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