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virtuous; for example, A may be more just or brave, and may act more, or less, justly or temperately, than B. If on the other hand (b) they judge by the nature of the pleasures themselves, I am afraid they do not state the right ground for their conclusion, if it be true that there are two kinds of pleasures, unmixed as well as mixed.1

[3] Again, (c) why should not pleasure be like health, which is definite although it admits of degrees? For health is not constituted by the same proportion of elements in all persons; nor yet by one particular proportion in the same person always, but when it is in process of dissolution it still lasts for a certain time, and therefore it varies in degree. It is possible therefore that the same may be the case with pleasure.

[4] Again, they postulate2 that the Good is perfect, whereas a motion or process of generation is imperfect, and then they attempt to prove that pleasure is a motion or process. This appears to be a mistake. (a) It would seem that pleasure is not a motion; for we hold it to be a property of all motion to be quick or slow—if (as with the motion3 of the firmament) not absolutely, then relatively to some other moving body. But pleasure possesses neither absolute nor relative velocity. You can become pleased quickly, just as you can get angry quickly:

1 i.e., when they attribute ‘indefiniteness’ to pleasure, they are really thinking of the ‘mixed’ pleasures only; it does not apply to the ‘pure’ pleasures, in which there is no admixture of pain; and the distinction between these two kinds of pleasure is Plato's own.

2 Plat. Phileb. 53c-54d.

3 This motion being uniform, it can only be spoken of as quick or slow in comparison with some other motion. not absolutely, i.e. in comparison with itself at some other time.

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