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Book 3

1. Virtue however is concerned with emotions and actions, and it is only voluntary feelings and actions for which praise and blame are given; those that are involuntary are condoned, and sometimes even pitied. Hence it seems to be necessary for the student of ethics to define the difference between the Voluntary and the Involuntary1; and this will also be of service to the legislator in assigning rewards and punishments. 1. [2]

It is then generally held that actions are involuntary when done (a) under compulsion or (b) through ignorance; 1. [3] and that (a) an act is compulsory when its origin is from without, being of such a nature that the agent, who is really passive, contributes nothing to it: for example, when a ship's captain is carried somewhere by stress of weather, or by people who have him in their power. 1. [4] But there is some doubt about actions done through fear of a worse alternative, or for some noble object— as for instance if a tyrant having a man's parents and children in his power commands him to do something base, when if he complies their lives will be spared but if he refuses they will be put to death. It is open to question whether such actions are voluntary or involuntary. 1. [5] A somewhat similar case is when cargo is jettisoned in a storm; apart from circumstances, no one voluntarily throws away his property, but to save his own life and that of his shipmates any sane man would do so. 1. [6] Acts of this kind, then, are ‘mixed’ or composite2; but they approximate rather to the voluntary class. For at the actual time when they are done they are chosen or willed; and the end or motive of an act varies with the occasion, so that the terms ‘voluntary’ and ‘involuntary’ should be used with reference to the time of action; now the actual deed in the cases in question is done voluntarily, for the origin of the movement of the parts of the body instrumental to the act lies in the agent; and when the origin of an action is in oneself, it is in one's own power to do it or not. Such acts therefore are voluntary, though perhaps involuntary apart from circumstances—for no one would choose to do any such action in and for itself. 1. [7]

Sometimes indeed men are actually praised3 for deeds of this ‘mixed’ class, namely when they submit to some disgrace or pain as the price of some great and noble object; though if they do so without any such motive they are blamed, since it is contemptible to submit to a great disgrace with no advantage or only a trifling one in view. In some cases again, such submission though not praised is condoned, when a man does something wrong through fear of penalties that impose too great a strain on human nature, and that no one could endure. 1. [8] Yet there seem to be some acts which a man cannot be compelled to do,4 and rather than do them he ought to submit to the most terrible death: for instance, we think it ridiculous that Alcmaeon in Euripides' play5 is compelled by certain threats to murder his mother! 1. [9] But it is sometimes difficult to decide how far we ought to go in choosing to do a given act rather than suffer a given penalty, or in enduring a given penalty rather than commit a given action; and it is still more difficult to abide by our decision when made, since in most of such dilemmas the penalty threatened is painful and the deed forced upon us dishonorable, which is why praise and blame are bestowed according as we do or do not yield to such compulsion. 1. [10]

What kind of actions then are to be called ‘compulsory’? Used without qualification, perhaps this term applies to any case where the cause of the action lies in things outside the agent, and when the agent contributes nothing. But when actions intrinsically involuntary are yet in given circumstances deliberately chosen in preference to a given alternative, and when their origin lies in the agent, these actions are to be pronounced intrinsically involuntary but voluntary in the circumstances, and in preference to the alternative. They approximate however rather to the voluntary class, since conduct consists of particular things done,6 and the particular things done in the cases in question are voluntary. But it is not easy to lay down rules for deciding which of two alternatives is to be chosen, for particular cases differ widely.1. [11]

To apply the term ‘compulsory’ to acts done for the sake of pleasure or for noble objects, on the plea that these exercise constraint on us from without, is to make every action compulsory. For (1) pleasure and nobility between them supply the motives of all actions whatsoever. Also (2) to act under compulsion and involuntarily is painful, but actions aiming at something pleasant or noble are done with pleasure. And (3) it is absurd to blame external things, instead of blaming ourselves for falling an easy prey to their attractions; or to take the credit of our noble deeds to ourselves, while putting the blame for our disgraceful ones upon the temptations of pleasure. 1. [12] It appears therefore that an act is compulsory when its origin is from outside, the person compelled contributing nothing to it.1. [13]

(b) An act done through ignorance is in every case not voluntary,7 but it is involuntary only when it causes the agent pain and regret: since a man who has acted through ignorance and feels no compunction at all for what he has done, cannot indeed be said to have acted voluntarily, as he was not aware of his action, yet cannot be said to have acted involuntarily, as he is not sorry for it. Acts done through ignorance therefore fall into two classes: if the agent regrets the act, we think that he has acted involuntarily; if he does not regret it, to mark the distinction we may call him a ‘non-voluntary’ agent—for as the case is different it is better to give it a special name. 1. [14] Acting through ignorance however seems to be different from acting in ignorance; for when a man is drunk or in a rage, his actions are not thought to be done through ignorance but owing to one or other of the conditions mentioned, though he does act without knowing, and in ignorance. Now it is true that all wicked men are ignorant of what they ought to do and refrain from doing, and that this error is the cause of injustice and of vice in general. 1. [15] But the term ‘involuntary’ does not really apply to an action when the agent is ignorant of his true interests. The ignorance that makes an act blameworthy is not ignorance displayed in moral choice8 (that sort of ignorance constitutes vice)—that is to say, they result not from general ignorance (because that is held to be blameworthy), but from particular ignorance, ignorance of the circumstances of the act and of the things9 affected by it; for in this case the act is pitied and forgiven, because he who acts in ignorance of any of these circumstances is an involuntary agent.1. [16]

Perhaps then it will be as well to specify the nature and number of these circumstances. They are (1) the agent, (2) the act, (3) the thing10 that is affected by or is the sphere of11 the act; and sometimes also (4) the instrument, for instance, a tool with which the act is done, (5) the effect, for instance, saving a man's life, and (6) the manner, for instance, gently or violently.1. [17]

Now no one, unless mad, could be ignorant of all these circumstances together; nor yet, obviously, of (l) the agent—for a man must know who he is himself. But a man may be ignorant of (2) what he is doing, as for instance when people say ‘it slipped out while they were speaking,’ or ‘they were not aware that the matter was a secret,’ as Aeschylus said of the Mysteries12; or that ‘they let it off when they only meant to show how it worked’ as the prisoner pleaded in the catapult case. Again (3) a person might mistake his son for an enemy, as Merope does13; or (4) mistake a sharp spear for one with a button on it, or a heavy stone for a pumice-stone; or (5) one might kill a man by giving him medicine with the intention of saving his life; or (6) in loose wrestling14 hit him a blow when meaning only to grip his hand. 1. [18] Ignorance therefore being possible in respect of all these circumstances of the act, one who has acted in ignorance of any of them is held to have acted involuntarily, and especially so if ignorant of the most important of them; and the most important of the circumstances seem to be the nature of the act itself and the effect it will produce.1. [19]

Such then is the nature of the ignorance that justifies our speaking of an act as involuntary, given the further condition that the agent feels sorrow and regret for having committed it.1. [20]

An involuntary action being one done under compulsion or through ignorance, a voluntary act would seem to be an act of which the origin lies in the agent, who knows the particular circumstances in which he is acting. 1. [21] For it is probably a mistake to say15 that acts caused by anger or by desire are involuntary. 1. [22] In the first place, (1) if we do so, we can no longer say that any of the lower animals act voluntarily, or children either. 1. [23] Then (2) are none of our actions that are caused by desire or anger voluntary, or are the noble ones voluntary and the base involuntary? Surely this is an absurd distinction when one person is the author of both. 1. [24] Yet perhaps it is strange to speak of acts aiming at things which it is right to aim at as involuntary; and it is right to feel anger at some things, and also to feel desire for some things, for instance health, knowledge. 1. [25] Also (3) we think that involuntary actions are painful and actions that gratify desire pleasant. 1. [26] And again (4) what difference is there in respect of their involuntary character between wrong acts committed deliberately and wrong acts done in anger? 1. [27] Both are to be avoided; and also we think that the irrational feelings are just as much a part of human nature as the reason, so that the actions done from anger or desire also belong to the human being who does them. It is therefore strange to class these actions as involuntary.2.

Having defined voluntary and involuntary action, we next have to examine the nature of Choice.16 For this appears to be intimately connected with virtue, and to afford a surer test of character than do our actions.2. [2]

Choice is manifestly a voluntary act. But the two terms are not synonymous, the latter being the wider. Children and the lower animals as well as men are capable of voluntary action, but not of choice. Also sudden acts may be termed voluntary, but they cannot be said to be done by choice.2. [3]

Some identify Choice with (1) Desire, or (2) Passion, or (3) Wish, or (4) some form of Opinion. These views however appear to be mistaken.

(1) The irrational animals do not exercise choice, but they do feel desire, and also passion. 2. [4] Also a man of defective self-restraint acts from desire but not from choice; and on the contrary a self-restrained man acts from choice and not from desire. 2. [5] Again, desire can run counter to choice, but not desire to desire.17 And desire has regard to an object as pleasant or painful, choice has not.18 2. [6]

(2) Still less is choice the same as passion. Acts done from passion seem very far from being done of deliberate choice. 2. [7]

(3) Again, choice is certainly not a wish, though they appear closely akin. Choice cannot have for its object impossibilities: if a man were to say he chose something impossible he would be thought a fool; but we can wish for things that are impossible, for instance immortality. 2. [8] Also we may wish for what cannot be secured by our own agency, for instance, that a particular actor19 or athlete may win; but no one chooses what does not rest with himself, but only what he thinks can be attained by his own act. 2. [9] Again, we wish rather for ends than for means, but choose the means to our end; for example we wish to be healthy, but choose things to make us healthy; we wish to be happy, and that is the word we use in this connection, but it would not be proper to say that we choose to be happy; since, speaking generally, choice seems to be concerned with things within our own control.2. [10]

(4) Nor yet again can it be opinion. It seems that anything may be matter of opinion—we form opinions about what is eternal,20 or impossible, just as much as about what is within our power. Also we distinguish opinion by its truth or falsehood, not by its being good or bad, but choice is distinguished rather as being good or bad. 2. [11] Probably therefore nobody actually identifies choice with opinion in general. But neither is it the same as some particular opinion.21 For it is our choice of good or evil that determines our character, not our opinion about good or evil. 2. [12] And we choose to take or avoid some good or evil thing, but we opine what a thing is, or for whom it is advantageous, or how it is so:22 we do not exactly form an opinion to take or avoid a thing. 2. [13] Also we praise a choice rather for choosing the right thing, but an opinion for opining in the right way. And we choose only things that we absolutely know to be good, we opine things we do not quite certainly know to be true. 2. [14] Nor do the same persons appear to excel both at choosing and at forming opinions: some people seem to form opinions better, but yet to choose the wrong things from wickedness. 2. [15] That choice is preceded or accompanied by the formation of an opinion is immaterial, for that is not the point we are considering, but whether choice is the same thing as some form of opinion.2. [16]

What then are the genus and differentia of Choice, inasmuch as it is not any of the things above mentioned? It manifestly belongs to the genus voluntary action; but not every voluntary act is chosen. 2. [17] Perhaps we may define it as voluntary action preceded by deliberation, since choice involves reasoning and some process of thought. Indeed previous deliberation seems to be implied by the very term proaireton, which denotes something chosen before other things.3.

As for Deliberation, do people deliberate about everything—are all things possible objects of deliberation—, or are there some things about which deliberation is impossible? 3. [2] The term ‘object of deliberation’ presumably must not be taken to include things about which a fool or a madman might deliberate, but to mean what a sensible person would deliberate about.3. [3]

Well then, nobody deliberates about things eternal,23 such as the order of the universe, or the incommensurability of the diagonal and the side, of a square. 3. [4] Nor yet about things that change but follow a regular process, whether from necessity or by nature24 or through some other cause: such phenomena for instance as the solstices and the sunrise. 3. [5] Nor about irregular occurrences, such as droughts and rains. Nor about the results of chance, such as finding a hidden treasure. 3. [6] The reason25 why we do not deliberate about these things is that none of them can be effected by our agency. 3. [7] We deliberate about things that are in our control and are attainable by action (which are in fact the only things that still remain to be considered; for Nature, Necessity, and Chance, with the addition of Intelligence and human agency generally, exhaust the generally accepted list of causes). But we do not deliberate about all human affairs without exception either: for example, no Lacedaemonian deliberates about the best form of government26 for Scythia; but any particular set of men deliberates about the things attainable by their own actions. 3. [8] Also there is no room for deliberation about matters fully ascertained and completely formulated as sciences; such for instance as orthography, for we have no uncertainty as to how a word ought to be spelt. We deliberate about things in which our agency operates, but does not always produce uniform results; for instance about questions of medicine and of business; and we deliberate about navigation more than about athletic training, because it has been less completely reduced to a science; and similarly with other pursuits also. 3. [9] And we deliberate more about the arts27 than about the sciences, because we are more uncertain about them.3. [10]

Deliberation then is employed in matters which, though subject to rules that generally hold good, are uncertain in their issue; or where the issue is indeterminate,28 and where, when the matter is important, we take others into our deliberations, distrusting our own capacity to decide.3. [11]

And we deliberate not about ends, but about means. A doctor does not deliberate whether he is to cure his patient, nor an orator whether he is to convince his audience, nor a statesman whether he is to secure good government, nor does anyone else debate about the end of his profession or calling; they take some end for granted, and consider how and by what means it can be achieved. If they find that there are several means of achieving it, they proceed to consider which of these will attain it most easily and best. If there is only one means by which it can be accomplished, they ask how it is to be accomplished by that means, and by what means that means can itself be achieved, until they reach the first link in the chain of causes, which is the last in the order of discovery. (For when deliberating one seems in the procedure described to be pursuing an investigation or analysis that resembles the analysis of a figure in geometry293. [12] indeed it appears that though not all investigation is deliberation, for example, mathematical investigation is not, yet all deliberation is investigation—and the last step in the analysis seems to be the first step in the execution of the design.) 3. [13] Then, if they have come up against an impossibility, they abandon the project—for instance, if it requires money and money cannot be procured; but if on the other hand it proves to be something possible, they begin to act. By possible, I mean able to be performed by our agency—things we do through the agency of our friends counting in a sense as done by ourselves, since the origin of their action is in us.3. [14]

(In practising an art30) the question is at one moment what tools to use, and at another how to use them; and similarly in other spheres, we have to consider sometimes what means to employ, and sometimes how exactly given means are to be employed.3. [15]

It appears therefore, as has been said, that a man is the origin of his actions, and that the province of deliberation is to discover actions within one's own power to perform; and all our actions aim at ends other than themselves. 3. [16] It follows that we do not deliberate about ends, but about means. Nor yet do we deliberate about particular facts, for instance, Is this object a loaf? or, Is this loaf properly baked? for these are matters of direct perception. Deliberation must stop at the particular fact, or it will embark on a process ad infinitum.3. [17]

The object of deliberation and the object of choice are the same, except that when a thing is chosen it has already been determined, since it is the thing already selected as the result of our deliberation that is chosen. For a man stops enquiring how he shall act as soon as he has carried back the origin of action to himself, and to the dominant part31 of himself, for it is this part that chooses. 3. [18] This maybe illustrated by the ancient constitutions represented in Homer: the kings used to proclaim to the people the measures they had chosen to adopt.3. [19]

As then the object of choice is something within our power which after deliberation we desire, Choice will be a deliberate desire of things in our power; for we first deliberate, then select, and finally fix our desire according to the result of our deliberation.3. [20]

Let this serve as a description in outline of Choice, and of the nature of its objects, and the fact that it deals with means to ends.4.

Wishes, on the contrary, as was said above,32 are for ends. But while some hold that what is wished for33 is the good, others think it is what appears to be good. [2] Those however who say that what is wished for is the really good, are faced by the conclusion, that what a man who chooses his end wrongly wishes for is not really wished for at all; since if it is to be wished for, it must on their showing be good, whereas in the case assumed it may so happen that the man wishes for something bad. [3] And those on the other hand who say that what appears good is wished for, are forced to admit that there is no such thing as that which is by nature wished for, but that what each man thinks to be good is wished for in his case; yet different, and it may be opposite, things appear good to different people. [4]

If therefore neither of these views is satisfactory, perhaps we should say that what is wished for in the true and unqualified sense is the good, but that what appears good to each person is wished for by him; and accordingly that the good man wishes for what is truly wished for, the bad man for anything as it may happen (just as in the case of our bodies, a man of sound constitution finds really healthy food best for his health, but some other diet may be healthy for one who is delicate; and so with things bitter34 and sweet, hot, heavy, etc.). For the good man judges everything correctly; what things truly are, that they seem to him to be, in every department35 [5] for the noble and the pleasant have a special form corresponding to each of the faculties of our nature, and perhaps what chiefly distinguishes the good man is that he sees the truth in each kind, being himself as it were the standard and measure of the noble and pleasant. It appears to be pleasure that misleads the mass of mankind; for it seems to them to be a good, though it is not, [6] so they choose what is pleasant as good and shun pain as evil.5.

If then whereas we wish for our end, the means to our end are matters of deliberation and choice, it follows that actions dealing with these means are done by choice, and voluntary. But the activities in which the virtues are exercised deal with means. [2] Therefore virtue also depends on ourselves. And so also does vice. For where we are free to act we are also free to refrain from acting, and where we are able to say No we are also able to say Yes; if therefore we are responsible for doing a thing when to do it is right, we are also responsible for not doing it when not to do it is wrong, and if we are responsible for rightly not doing a thing, we are also responsible for wrongly doing it. [3] But if it is in our power to do and to refrain from doing right and wrong, and if, as we saw,36 being good or bad is doing right or wrong, it consequently depends on us whether we are virtuous or vicious. [4] To say that “ None would be vile, and none would not be blest

37 seems to be half false, though half true: it is true that no one is unwilling to be blessed, but not true that wickedness is involuntary; [5] or else we must contradict what we just now38 asserted, and say that man is not the originator and begetter of his actions as he is of his children. [6] But if it is manifest that a man is the author of his own actions, and if we are unable to trace our conduct back to many other origins than those within ourselves, then actions of which the origins are within us, themselves depend upon us, and are voluntary. [7]

This conclusion seems to be attested both by men's behavior in private life and by the practice of lawgivers; for they punish and exact redress from those who do evil (except when it is done under compulsion, or through ignorance for which the agent himself is not responsible), and honor those who do noble deeds, in order to encourage the one sort and to repress the other; but nobody tries to encourage us to do things that do not depend upon ourselves and are not voluntary, since it is no good our being persuaded not to feel heat or pain or hunger or the like, because we shall feel them all the same. [8]

Indeed the fact that an offence was committed in ignorance is itself made a ground for punishment, in cases where the offender is held to be responsible for his ignorance; for instance, the penalty is doubled if the offender was drunk,39 because the origin of the offence was in the man himself, as he might have avoided getting drunk, which was the cause of his not knowing what he was doing. Also men are punished for offences committed through ignorance of some provision of the law which they ought to have known, and might have known without difficulty; [9] and so in other cases where ignorance is held to be due to negligence, on the ground that the offender need not have been ignorant, as he could have taken the trouble to ascertain the facts. [10]

It may be objected that perhaps he is not the sort of man to take the trouble. Well, but men are themselves responsible for having become careless through living carelessly, as they are for being unjust or profligate if they do wrong or pass their time in drinking and dissipation. They acquire a particular quality by constantly acting in a particular way. [11] This is shown by the way in which men train themselves for some contest or pursuit: they practice continually. [12] Therefore only an utterly senseless person can fail to know that our characters are the result of our conduct;40 but if a man knowingly acts in a way that will result in his becoming unjust, he must be said to be voluntarily unjust. [13]

Again, though it is unreasonable to say that a man who acts unjustly or dissolutely does not wish to be unjust or dissolute, [14] nevertheless this by no means implies that he can stop being unjust and become just merely by wishing to do so; any more than a sick man can get well by wishing, although it may be the case that his illness is voluntary, in the sense of being due to intemperate living and neglect of the doctors' advice. At the outset then, it is true, he might have avoided the illness, but once he has let himself go he can do so no longer. When you have thrown a stone, you cannot afterwards bring it back again, but nevertheless you are responsible for having taken up the stone and flung it, for the origin of the act was within you. Similarly the unjust and profligate might at the outset have avoided becoming so, and therefore they are so voluntarily, although having become unjust and profligate it is no longer open to them not to be so. [15]

And not only are vices of the soul voluntary, but in some cases bodily defects are so as well, and we blame them accordingly. Though no one blames a man for being born ugly, we censure uncomeliness that is due to neglecting exercise and the care of the person. And so with infirmities and mutilations: though nobody would reproach, but rather pity, a person blind from birth, or owing to disease or accident, yet all would blame one who had lost his sight from tippling or debauchery. [16] We see then that bodily defects for which we are ourselves responsible are blamed, while those for which we are not responsible are not. This being so, it follows that we are responsible for blameworthy moral defects also. [17]

But suppose somebody says: “All men seek what seems to them good, but they are not responsible for its seeming good: each man's conception of his end is determined by his character, whatever that may be. Although therefore, on the hypothesis41 that each man is in a sense responsible for his moral disposition, he will in a sense be responsible for his conception of the good, if on the contrary this hypothesis be untrue, no man is responsible for his own wrongdoing. He does wrong through ignorance of the right end, thinking that wrongdoing will procure him his greatest Good; and his aim at his end42 is not of his own choosing. A man needs to be born with moral vision, so to speak, whereby to discern correctly and choose what is truly good. A man of good natural disposition is a man well endowed by nature in this respect; for if a thing is the greatest and noblest of gifts, and is something which cannot be acquired or learnt from another, but which a man will possess in such form as it has been bestowed on him at birth, a good and noble natural endowment in this respect will constitute a good disposition in the full and true meaning of the term.” [18]

Now if this theory be true, how will virtue be voluntary any more than vice? Both for the good man and the bad man alike, their view of their end is determined in the same manner, by nature or however it may be; and all their actions of whatever sort are guided by reference to their end as thus determined. [19] Whether then a man's view of his end, whatever it may be, is not given by nature but is partly due to himself, or whether, although his end is determined by nature, yet virtue is voluntary because the good man's actions to gain his end are voluntary, in either case vice will be just as much voluntary as virtue; for the bad man equally with the good possesses spontaneity in his actions, even if not in his choice of an end. [20] If then, as is said, our virtues are voluntary (and in fact we are in a sense ourselves partly the cause of our moral dispositions, and it is our having a certain character that makes us set up an end of a certain kind), it follows that our vices are voluntary also; they are voluntary in the same manner as our virtues. [21]

We have then now discussed in outline the virtues in general, having indicated their genus [namely, that it is a mean, and a disposition43] and having shown that they render us apt to do the same actions as those by which they are produced,44 and to do them in the way in which right reason may enjoin45; and that they depend on ourselves and are voluntary.4647 [22] But our dispositions are not voluntary in the same way as are our actions. Our actions we can control from beginning to end, and we are conscious, of them at each stage.48 With our dispositions on the other hand, though we can control their beginnings, each separate addition to them is imperceptible, as is the case with the growth of a disease; though they are voluntary in that we were free to employ our capacities in the one way or the other. [23]

But to resume, let us now discuss the virtues severally, defining the nature of each, the class of objects to which it is related, and the way in which it is related to them. In so doing we shall also make it clear how many virtues there are.6.

Let us first take Courage. We have already seen49 that Courage is the observance of the mean in respect of fear and confidence. [2] Now it is clear that the things we fear are fearful things, which means, broadly speaking, evil things; so that fear is sometimes defined as the anticipation of evil. [3] It is true then that we fear all evil things, for example, disgrace, poverty, disease, lack of friends, death; but it is not thought that Courage is related to all these things, for there are some evils which it is right and noble to fear and base not to fear, for instance, disgrace. One who fears disgrace is an honorable man, with a due sense of shame; one who does not fear it is shameless: though some people apply the term courageous to such a man by analogy, because he bears some resemblance to the courageous man in that the courageous man also is a fearless person. [4]

Again, it is no doubt right not to fear poverty, disease, or in general any evil not caused by vice and not due to ourselves. But one who is fearless in regard to these things is not courageous either (although the term is applied to him, too, by analogy); since some men who are cowards in war are liberal with money, and face loss of fortune boldly. [5]

Nor yet is a man cowardly if he fears insult to his wife and children, or envy, or the like; nor courageous if he shows a bold face when about to undergo a flogging. [6]

What then are the fearful things in respect of which Courage is displayed? I suppose those which are the greatest, since there is no one more brave in enduring danger than the courageous man. Now the most terrible thing of all is death; for it is the end, and when a man is dead, nothing, we think, either good or evil can befall him any more. [7] But even death, we should hold, does not in all circumstances give an opportunity for Courage: for instance we do not call a man courageous for facing death by drowning or disease. [8] What form of death then is a test of Courage? Presumably that which is the noblest. Now the noblest form of death is death in battle, for it is encountered in the midst of the greatest and most noble of dangers. [9] And this conclusion is borne out by the principle on which public honors are bestowed in republics and under monarchies. [10]

The courageous man, therefore, in the proper sense of the term, will be he who fearlessly confronts a noble death, or some sudden50 peril that threatens death; and the perils of war answer this description most fully. [11] Not that the courageous man is not also fearless in a storm at sea (as also in illness), though not in the same way as sailors are fearless, for he thinks there is no hope of safety, and to die by drowning is revolting to him,51 whereas sailors keep up heart because of their experience. [12] Also Courage is shown in dangers where a man can defend himself by valor or die nobly, but neither is possible in disasters like shipwreck.7.

Now although the same things are not fearful to everybody, there are some terrors which we pronounce beyond human endurance, and these of course are fearful to everyone in his senses. And the terrors that man can endure differ in magnitude and degree; [2] as also do the situations inspiring confidence.52 [2] But the courageous man is proof against fear so far as man may be. Hence although he will sometimes fear even terrors not beyond man's endurance, he will do so in the right way, and he will endure them as principle dictates, for the sake of what is noble53; for that is the end at which virtue aims. [3] On the other hand it is possible to fear such terrors too much, and too little; and also to fear things that are not fearful as if they were fearful. [4] Error arises either from fearing what one ought not to fear, or from fearing in the wrong manner, or at the wrong time, or the like; and similarly with regard to occasions for confidence. [5]

The courageous man then is he that endures or fears the right things and for the right purpose and in the right manner and at the right time, and who shows confidence in a similar way. (For the courageous man feels and acts as the circumstances merit, and as principle may dictate. [6] And every activity aims at the end that corresponds to the disposition of which it is the manifestation. So it is therefore with the activity of the courageous man: his courage is noble; therefore its end is nobility, for a thing is defined by its end; therefore the courageous man endures the terrors and dares the deeds that manifest courage, for the sake of that which is noble.) [7]

Of the characters that run to excess, on the other hand, he who exceeds in fearlessness has no name (this, as we remarked before,54 is the case with many qualities), but we should call a man mad, or else insensitive to pain, if he feared nothing, ‘earthquake nor billows,’55 as they say of the Kelts; he who exceeds in confidence [in the face of fearful things56] is rash. [8] The rash man is generally thought to be an impostor, who pretends to courage which he does not possess; at least, he wishes to appear to feel towards fearful things as the courageous man actually does feel, and therefore he imitates him in the things in which he can.57 [9] Hence most rash men really are cowards at heart, for they make a bold show in situations that inspire confidence, but do not endure terrors. [10]

He that exceeds in fear58 is a coward, for he fears the wrong things, and in the wrong manner, and soon with the rest of the list. He is also deficient in confidence; but his excessive fear in face of pain is more apparent. [11] The coward is therefore a despondent person, being afraid of everything; but the courageous man is just the opposite, for confidence belongs to a sanguine temperament. [12]

The coward, the rash man, and the courageous man are therefore concerned with the same objects, but are differently disposed towards them: the two former exceed and fall short, the last keeps the mean and the right disposition. The rash, moreover, are impetuous, and though eager before the danger comes they hang back at the critical moment; whereas the courageous are keen at the time of action but calm beforehand. [13]

As has been said then, Courage is the observance of the mean in relation to things that inspire confidence or fear, in the circumstances stated59; and it is confident and endures60 because it is noble to do so or base not to do so. But to seek death in order to escape from poverty, or the pangs of love, or from pain or sorrow, is not the act of a courageous man, but rather of a coward; for it is weakness to fly from troubles, and the suicide does not endure death because it is noble to do so, but to escape evil.8.

Such is the nature of Courage; but the name is also applied to five divergent types of character.

(1) First, as most closely resembling true Courage comes the citizen's courage.61 Citizen troops appear to endure dangers because of the legal penalties and the reproach attaching to cowardice, and the honors awarded to bravery; hence those races appear to be the bravest among which cowards are degraded and brave men held in honor. [2] It is this citizen courage which inspires the heroes portrayed by Homer, like Diomede and Hector: “ Polydamas will be the first to flout me;62

” and Diomede says “ Hector will make his boast at Troy hereafter:
“By me was Tydeus' son . . .”63

” [3]

This type of courage most closely resembles the one described before, because it is prompted by a virtue, namely the sense of shame,64 and by the desire for something noble, namely honor, and the wish to avoid the disgrace of being reproached. [4]

The courage of troops forced into battle by their officers may be classed as of the same type, though they are inferior inasmuch as their motive is not a sense of shame but fear, and the desire to avoid not disgrace but pain. Their masters compel them to be brave, after Hector's fashion: “ Let me see any skulking off the field—
He shall not save his carcase from the dogs!65

” [5]

The same is done by commanders who draw up their troops in front of them and beat them if they give ground, or who form them in line with a trench or some other obstacle in the rear; all these are using compulsion. A man ought not to be brave because he is compelled to be, but because courage is noble. [6]

(2) Again, experience of some particular form of danger is taken for a sort of Courage; hence arose Socrates' notion that Courage is Knowledge.66 This type of bravery is displayed in various circumstances, and particularly in war by professional soldiers.67 For war (as the saying is) is full of false alarms, a fact which these men have had most opportunity of observing; thus they appear courageous owing to others' ignorance of the true situation. [7] Also experience renders them the most efficient in inflicting loss on the enemy without sustaining it themselves, as they are skilled in the use of arms, and equipped with the best ones both for attack and defence. [8] So that they are like armed men fighting against unarmed, or trained athletes against amateurs; for even in athletic contests it is not the bravest men who are the best fighters, but those who are strongest and in the best training. [9] But professional soldiers prove cowards when the danger imposes too great a strain, and when they are at a disadvantage in numbers and equipment; for they are the first to run away, while citizen troops stand their ground and die fighting, as happened in the battle at the temple of Hermes.68 This is because citizens think it disgraceful to run away, and prefer death to safety so procured; whereas professional soldiers were relying from the outset on superior strength, and when they discover they are outnumbered they take to flight, fearing death more than disgrace. But this is not true courage. [10]

(3) Spirit or anger69 is also classed with Courage. Men emboldened by anger, like wild beasts which rush upon the hunter that has wounded them, are supposed to be courageous, because the courageous also are high-spirited; for spirit is very impetuous in encountering danger. Hence Homer writes,70 ‘he put strength in their spirit,’ and ‘roused their might and their spirit,’ and ‘bitter wrath up through his nostrils welled,’ and ‘his blood boiled’; for all such symptoms seem to indicate an excitement and impulse of the spirit. [11] Thus the real motive of courageous men is the nobility of courage, although spirit operates in them as well; but wild animals are emboldened by pain, for they turn to bay because they are wounded, or frightened—since if they are in a forest or a swamp71 they do not attack. Therefore they are not to be considered courageous for rushing upon danger when spurred by pain and anger, and blind to the dangers that await them; since on that reckoning even asses would be brave, when they are hungry, for no blows will make them stop grazing!72 (And adulterers also are led to do many daring things by lust.)73 [12]

But74 the form of courage that is inspired by spirit seems to be the most natural, and when reinforced by deliberate choice and purpose it appears to be true Courage. And human beings also feel pain when angry, and take pleasure in revenge. But those who fight for these motives, though valiant fighters, are not courageous; for the motive of their confidence is not honor, nor is it guided by principle, but it springs from feeling. However, they show some affinity to true Courage. [13]

(4) Nor yet again is the boldness of the sanguine the same thing as Courage. The sanguine are confident in face of danger because they have won many victories over many foes before. They resemble the courageous, because both are confident, but whereas the courageous are confident for the reasons already explained,75 the sanguine are so because they think they are stronger than the enemy, and not likely told come to any harm. [14] (A similar boldness is shown by men who get drunk, for this makes them sanguine for the time being.) When however things do not turn out as they expect, the merely sanguine run away, whereas the mark of the courageous man, as we have seen,76 is to endure things that are terrible to a human being and that seem so to him, because it is noble to do so and base not to do so. [15] Hence it is thought a sign of still greater courage to be fearless and undismayed in sudden alarms than in dangers that were foreseen. Bravery in unforeseen danger springs more from character, as there is less time for preparation; one might resolve to face a danger one can foresee, from calculation and on principle, but only a fixed disposition of Courage will enable one to face sudden peril. [16]

(5) Those who face danger in ignorance also appear courageous; and they come very near to those whose bravery rests on a sanguine temperament, though inferior to them inasmuch as they lack self-confidence, which the sanguine possess. Hence the sanguine stand firm for a time; whereas those who have been deceived as to the danger, if they learn or suspect the true state of affairs, take to flight, as the Argives did when they encountered the Lacedaemonians and thought they were Sicyonians.77 [17]

We have now described the characteristics both of the courageous and of those who are thought to be courageous.9.

Courage is displayed with respect to confidence and fear, but not with respect to both equally: it is more particularly displayed in regard to objects of fear; for one who is unperturbed in the presence of terrors and comports himself rightly towards these is courageous in a fuller sense than one who does so in situations that inspire confidence. [2] In fact, as has been said,78 men are sometimes called courageous for enduring pain. Hence Courage itself is painful; and it is justly praised, because it is harder to endure pain than to abstain from pleasure. [3] Not but what it would appear that the end corresponding79 to the virtue of Courage is really pleasant, only its pleasantness is obscured by the attendant circumstances. This is illustrated by the case of athletic contests: to boxers, for example, their end—the object they box for, the wreath and the honors of victory—is pleasant, but the blows they receive must hurt them, being men of flesh and blood, and all the labor of training is painful; and these painful incidentals are so numerous that the final object, being a small thing, appears not to contain any pleasure at all. [4] If then the same is true of Courage, the death or wounds that it may bring will be painful to the courageous man, and he will suffer them unwillingly; but he will endure them because it is noble to do so, or because it is base not to do so. And the more complete his virtue, and the fuller the happiness he has attained, the more pain will death cause him; for to such a man life is worth most, and he stands to lose the greatest goods, and knows that this is so, and this must be painful. But he is none the less courageous on that account, perhaps indeed he is more so, because he prefers glory in war to the greatest prizes of life. [5]

It is not true therefore of every virtue that its active exercise is essentially pleasant, save in so far as it attains its end.80 [6]

No doubt it is possible that such men as these do not make the best professional soldiers, but men who are less courageous, and have nothing of value besides life to lose; for these face danger readily, and will barter their lives for trifling gains. [7]

Let this suffice as an account of Courage: from what has been said it will not be difficult to form at all events a rough conception of its nature.10.

After Courage let us speak of Temperance; for these appear to be the virtues of the irrational parts of the soul.

Now we have said81 that Temperance is the observance of the mean in relation to pleasures (for it is concerned only in a lesser degree and in a different way with pains); and Profligacy also is displayed in the same matters. Let us then now define the sort of pleasures to which these qualities are related. [2]

Now we must make a distinction between pleasures of the body and pleasures of the soul: Take for instance ambition, or love of learning: the lover of honor or of learning takes pleasure in the thing he loves without his body being affected at all; the experience is purely mental. But we do not speak of men as either temperate or profligate in relation to the pleasures of ambition and of learning. Nor similarly can these terms be applied to the enjoyment of any of the other pleasures that are not bodily pleasures: those who love hearing marvellous tales and telling anecdotes, and who spend their days in trivial gossip, we call idle chatterers, but not profligates; nor do we call men profligate who feel excessive pain for the loss of fortune or friends. [3]

Temperance therefore has to do with the pleasures of the body. But not with all even of these; for men who delight in the pleasures of the eye, in colors, forms and paintings, are not termed either temperate or profligate, although it would be held that these things also can be enjoyed in the right manner, or too much, or too little. [4] Similarly with the objects of hearing: no one would term profligate those who take an excessive pleasure in music, or the theater, nor temperate those who enjoy them as is right. [5] Nor yet does Temperance apply to enjoyment of the sense of smell, unless accidentally82; we do not call those who are fond of the scent of fruit or robes or incense profligate, though we may be inclined so to style those who love perfumes and the smell of savory dishes, for the profligate take pleasure in these odors because they remind them of the objects of their desires. [6] One may notice that other persons too like the smell of food when they are hungry; but to delight in things of this kind is a mark of the profligate, since they are the things on which the profligate's desires are set.83 [7]

Nor do the lower animals derive any pleasure from these senses, except accidentally.84 Hounds do not take pleasure in scenting hares, but in eating them; the scent merely made them aware of the hare. The lion does not care about the lowing of the ox, but about devouring it, though the lowing tells him that the ox is near, and consequently he appears to take pleasure in the sound. Similarly he is not pleased by the sight of ‘or stag or mountain goat,’85 but by the prospect of a meal. [8]

Temperance and Profligacy are therefore concerned with those pleasures which man shares with the lower animals, and which consequently appear slavish and bestial. These are the pleasures of touch and taste. [9] But even taste appears to play but a small part, if any, in Temperance. For taste is concerned with discriminating flavors, as is done by wine-tasters, and cooks preparing savory dishes; but it is not exactly the flavors that give pleasure, or at all events not to the profligate: it is actually enjoying the object that is pleasant, and this is done solely through the sense of touch, alike in eating and drinking and in what are called the pleasures of sex. [10] This is why a certain gourmand86 wished that his throat might be longer than a crane's, showing that his pleasure lay in the sensation of contact. [11]

Hence the sense to which Profligacy is related is the most universal of the senses; and there appears to be good ground for the disrepute in which it is held, because it belongs to us not as human beings but as animals. Therefore it is bestial to revel in such pleasures, and to like them better than any others. We do not refer to the most refined of the pleasures of touch, such as the enjoyment of friction and warm baths in the gymnasia; the tactual pleasures of the profligate have to do with certain parts only, not with the whole of the body.11.

Desires seem to be of two kinds, one common to all men, the other peculiar to special peoples, and adventitious. For instance, the desire for food is natural, since everyone desires solid or liquid nourishment, and sometimes both, when in need of them; and also sexual intercourse, as Homer says,87 when young and lusty. But not everybody desires this or that particular sort of nourishment, any more than everyone desires the same particular portion of food;88 hence a taste for this or that sort of food seems to be an individual peculiarity. [2] Not but what there is also something natural in such tastes; for different things are pleasant to different people, and there are some special delicacies which all men like better than ordinary food.89 [3]

In the case of the natural desires, then, few men err, and in one way only, that of excess in quantity; for to eat or drink to repletion of ordinary food and drink is to exceed what is natural in amount, since the natural desire is only to satisfy one's wants. Hence people who over-eat are called ‘mad-bellies,’ meaning that they fill that organ beyond the right measure; it is persons of especially slavish nature that are liable to this form of excess. [4]

But in regard to the pleasures peculiar to particular people, many men err, and err in many ways. For when people are said to be ‘very fond of’ so-and-so, it is either because they like things that it is not right to like, or like them more than most people do, or like them in a wrong manner; and the profligate exceed in all these ways. For they like some things that are wrong, and indeed abominable, and any such things that it is right to like they like more than is right, and more than most people. [5]

It is clear then that excess in relation to pleasures is Profligacy, and that it is blameworthy. As regards pains on the other hand, it is not with Temperance as it is with Courage: a man is not termed temperate for enduring pain and profligate for not enduring it, but profligate for feeling more pain than is right when he fails to get pleasures (in his case pleasure actually causing pain), and temperate for not feeling pain at the absence of pleasure [or at abstaining from it]. [6]

The profligate therefore desires all pleasures, or those that are the most pleasant, and is led by his desire to pursue these in preference to everything else. He consequently feels pain not only when he fails to get them, but also from his desire for them, since desire is accompanied by pain; paradoxical though it seems that pain should be caused by pleasure. [7]

Men erring on the side of deficiency as regards pleasures, and taking less than a proper amount of enjoyment in them, scarcely occur; such insensibility is not human. Indeed, even the lower animals discriminate in food, and like some kinds and not others; and if there be a creature that finds nothing pleasant, and sees no difference between one thing and another, it must be very far removed from humanity. As men of this type scarcely occur, we have no special name for them. [8]

The temperate man keeps a middle course in these matters. He takes no pleasure at all in the things that the profligate enjoys most, on the contrary, he positively dislikes them; nor in general does he find pleasure in wrong things, nor excessive pleasure in anything of this sort; nor does he feel pain or desire when they are lacking, or only in a moderate degree, not more than is right, nor at the wrong time, et cetera. But such pleasures as conduce to health and fitness he will try to obtain in a moderate and right degree; as also other pleasures so far as they are not detrimental to health and fitness, and not ignoble, nor beyond his means. The man who exceeds these limits cares more for such pleasures than they are worth. Not so the temperate man; he only cares for them as right principle enjoins.12.

Profligacy seems to be more voluntary than Cowardice. For the former is caused by pleasure, the latter by pain, and pleasure is a thing we choose, pain a thing we avoid. [2] Also pain makes us beside ourselves: it destroys the sufferer's nature; whereas pleasure has no such effect. Therefore Profligacy is the more voluntary vice. And consequently it is the more reprehensible; since moreover it is easier to train oneself to resist the temptations of pleasure, because these occur frequently in life, and to practise resistance to them involves no danger, whereas the reverse is the case with the objects of fear. [3]

On the other hand, the possession of a cowardly character would seem to be more voluntary than particular manifestations of cowardice: for cowardliness in itself is not painful, but particular accesses of cowardice are so painful as to make a man beside himself, and cause him to throw away his arms or otherwise behave in an unseemly manner; so that cowardly actions actually seem to be done under compulsion. [4] But with the profligate on the contrary the particular acts are voluntary, for they are done with desire and appetite, but the character in general is less so, since no one desires to be a profligate. [5]

The word Profligacy90 or wantonness we also apply to the naughtiness of children, which has some resemblance to the licentiousness of adults. Which of the two takes its name from the other is of no importance for the present enquiry, but it would seem clear that the state which comes later in life must be named from the one which comes earlier. [6] The metaphor appears apt enough, since it is that which desires what is disgraceful and whose appetites grow apace that needs chastisement or pruning,91 and this description applies in the fullest degree to desire, as it does to the child. For children, like profligates, live at the prompting of desire; and the appetite for pleasure is strongest in childhood, so that if it be not disciplined and made obedient to authority, it will make great headway. [7] In an irrational being the appetite for pleasure is insatiable and undiscriminating, and the innate tendency is fostered by active gratification; indeed, if such gratification be great and intense it actually overpowers the reason. Hence our indulgences should be moderate and few, and never opposed to principle— [8] this is what we mean by ‘well-disciplined’ and ‘chastened—; and the appetitive part of us should be ruled by principle, just as a boy should live in obedience to his tutor. [9] Hence in the temperate man the appetitive element must be in harmony with principle. For (1) the aim of both Temperance and principle is that which is noble; and (2) the temperate man desires the right thing in the right way at the right time, which is what principle ordains. [10]

Let this then be our account of Temperance.

1 ἑκούσιον and ἀκούσιον are most conveniently rendered ‘voluntary’ and ‘involuntary’; but the word ἀκούσιον suggests ‘unwilling’ or ‘against the will,’ and to this meaning Aristotle limits it in 1.13. There he introduces a third term, οὐχ ἑκούσιον, ‘not voluntary’ or ‘not willing,’ to describe acts done in ignorance of their full circumstances and consequences, and so not willed in the full sense; but such acts when subsequently regretted by the agent are included in the class of ἀκούσια or unwilling acts, because had the agent not been in ignorance he would not have done them.

2 i.e., partly voluntary, partly involuntary.

3 Which shows that the acts are regarded as voluntary ( Peters).

4 i.e., some acts are so repulsive that a man's abhorrence of them must be stronger than any pressure that can be put on him to commit them; so that if he commits them he must be held to have chosen to do so.

5 In a play now lost, Eriphyle was bribed with a necklace to induce her husband Amphiaraus, king of Argos, to join the expedition of the Seven against Thebes. Foreseeing he would lose his life, he charged his sons to avenge his death upon their mother, invoking on them famine and childlessness if they disobeyed. The verse in question is preserved: μάλιστα μὲν μ᾽ ἐπῆρ᾽ ἐπισκήψας πατήρ. Alcmaeon, fr. 69 (Nauck).

6 There is no such thing as an act which is not this particular act in these particular circumstances (Burnet).

7 See note on 1.1 above.

8 i.e., choice of Ends: see 3.2.1 note.

9 ‘Things’ seems to include persons, see example (3) below.

10 ‘Things’ seems to include persons, see example (3) below.

11 ἐν τίνι seems to bear a more limited sense than ἐν οἷς ll. 1, 16, 19, 24, which covers the circumstances of all sorts.

12 Aeschylus was accused before the Areopagus of having divulged the Mysteries of Demeter in certain of his tragedies, but was acquitted. A phrase of his, ‘It came to my mouth,’ became proverbial (Plat. Rep. 563c, etc.), and he may have used it on this occasion.

13 In the lost Cresphontes of Euripides.

14 A style of wrestling in which the adversaries only gripped each other's hands without closing.

15 Plat. Laws 683b ff., coupled anger and appetite with ignorance as sources of wrong action.

16 The writer here examines the operation of the Will, which is regarded as essentially an act of choosing between alternatives of conduct. The technical term employed, ‘choice’ or ‘preference,’ has appeared in the formal definition of virtue (2.6.15). In the present passage, cf. 2.9, it is viewed as directed to means: at the moment of action we select from among the alternative acts possible (or expressing it more loosely, among the various things here and now obtainable by our action) the one which we think will conduce to the end we wish. Elsewhere however (3.1.15 and 6.12.8) it is used of the selection of ends, and it is almost equivalent to ‘purpose’; while at 6.13.8 it includes both ends and means (see also 7.9.1). The writer returns to the subject in Bk. 6.2.

17 i.e., you cannot feel two contradictory desires at once (though you can of course desire two incompatible things: you may want to eat your cake and have it; but you cannot strictly speaking at the same time both desire to eat the cake and desire not to eat it). But you can desire to do a thing and choose not to do it.

18 But as good or bad.

19 Greek dramas were produced in competitions (and it is noteworthy that in the Old Comedy at Athens the play itself dramatized a contest or debate).

20 Cf. 3.3 and note.

21 i.e., an opinion or belief that so-and-so is good, and is within our power to obtain.

22 Perhaps to be emended ‘how it is to be achieved.’

23 The term includes the notion if immutability.

24 Here and in 3.7 ‘necessity’ denotes natural law in the inanimate world, while ‘nature’ or ‘growth’ means natural law as governing animate creatures. Aristotle held that these agencies, and with them the operation of human intelligence and art, beside their designed results, produced by their interplay certain by-products in the shape of undesigned and irregular occurrences, which are referred to in the next section. These in the natural world he spoke of as due to τὸ αὐτόματον, or ‘spontaneous’; when due to the activity of man he ascribed them to fortune or chance. In 3.7 chance is made to include ‘the spontaneous.’

25 In the mss. the words ‘The reason why . . . list of causes’ come after ‘But we do not deliberate . . . Scythia.’

26 Or, ‘the best line of policy.’

27 A less well attested reading gives ‘more about our opinions,’ and Aristotle does not usually distinguish sharply between the arts and crafts and the practical sciences (the theoretic sciences cannot here be meant, see 3.3,4).

28 The text is probably corrupt, and perhaps should be altered to run ‘and in which the right means to take are not definitely determined.’

29 The reference is to the analytical method of solving a problem: the figure required to be drawn is assumed to have been drawn, and then we analyse it and ask what conditions it implies, until we come down to something that we know how to draw already.

30 This clause seems implied by the context.

31 i.e., the intellect or reason, which chooses a line of action for the individual, as the Homeric monarch chose a policy for his kingdom.

32 Cf. 2.9.

33 The inherent ambiguity of the Greek verbal adjective form causes some confusion in this chapter between what is and what ought to be wished for, the desired and the desirable.

34 i.e., things really bitter, etc. seem so to a healthy man, but not in some cases to an invalid.

35 i.e., in each department of character and conduct.

36 2.11.

37 Anon. Possibly a verse of Solon. Doubtless πονηρός, translated ‘vile’ to suit the context here, in the original meant ‘wretched.’

38 3.15.

39 An enactment of Pittacus, tyrant of Mitylene, Aristot. Pol. 1274b 19.

40 The words, ‘but if a man . . . unjust’ in the mss. come after 5.13, ‘unjust or dissolute.’

41 This is Aristotle's view, which the imaginary objector challenges. It is not quite certain that his objection is meant to go as far as the point indicated by the inverted commas.

42 i.e., the end he aims at.

43 This clause looks like an interpolation: ἕξις is the genus of virtue, Bk. 2.5 fin., 6 init., μεσότης its differentia, 2.6.5,17.

44 See 2.2.8.

45 See 2.2.2. This clause in the mss. follows the next one.

46 See 5.2 and 20.

47 This section some editors place before 5.21, but it is rather a footnote to 5.14; and the opening words of 5.23 imply that a digression has been made.

48 τὰ καθ᾽ ἕκαστα seems to bear a somewhat different sense here from 1.15, καθ᾽ ἕκασταἄγνοια).

49 2.7.2.

50 Or perhaps ‘imminent,’ but cf. 8.15.

51 i.e., he resents it as inglorious.

52 In using τὰ θαρραλέα as the opposite of τὰ φοβερά Aristotle follows Plato, Plat. Rep. 450e, Plat. Prot. 359c, Plat. Lach. 195b, etc.: but he is original in distinguishing confidence as regards the former from fearlessness as regards the latter, and so considering excessive fearlessness in grave dangers as a different vice from excessive confidence in dangers not really formidable.

53 i.e., the rightness and fineness of the act itself, cf. 7.13; 8.5,14; 9.4; and see note on 1.3.2. This amplification of the conception of virtue as aiming at the mean here appears for the first time: we now have the final as well as the formal cause of virtuous action.

54 2.7.2.

55 Apparently a verse quotation. Cf. Aristot. Eud. Eth. 1229b 28, ‘As the Kelts take up arms and march against the waves’; and Strab. 7.2.1 gives similar stories, partly on the authority of the fourth-century historian Ephorus. An echo survives in Shakespeare's simile ‘to take arms against a sea of troubles.’

56 These words seem to be an interpolation: confidence is shown in face of θαρραλέα, not φοβερά.

57 i.e., ἐν τοῖς θαρραλέοις, in situations not really formidable.

58 For symmetry this should have been ‘he that is deficient in fearlessness.’

59 See 6.10.

60 The mss. have ‘it chooses and endures.’

61 ‘Political courage’: Plato uses this phrase (Plat. Rep. 430c) of patriotic courage, based on training and ‘right opinion about what is terrible and what is not,’ and in contrast with the undisciplined courage of slaves and brute beasts. Elsewhere, on the other hand, he contrasts ‘popular and citizen virtue’ in general with the philosopher's virtue, which is based on knowledge.

62 Hom. Il. 22.100 ( Hector)—‘Alas, should I retire within the gates, Polydamas, . . .’

63 Hom. Il. 8.148—‘By me was Tydeus's son routed in flight Back to the ships.’

64 For this emotion see 2.7.14, 4.9.1, where it is said not to be, strictly speaking, a virtue.

65 Hom. Il. 2.391, but the words are Agamemnon's, and are slightly different in our Homer.

66 i.e., knowledge of what is truly formidable and what is not (cf. note on 8.1); but Socrates went on to show that this depended on knowledge of the good, with which he identified all virtue: see Plato's Laches.

67 i.e., ξένοι, foreign mercenary troops, much employed in Greek warfare in Aristotle's time.

68 In Coronea, 353 B.C.; the Acropolis had been seized by Onomarchus the Phocian, and mercenaries, brought in by the Boeotarchs to aid the citizens, ran away at the beginning of the battle (schol.).

69 θυμός means both ‘spirit’ or ‘high spirit’ and also its manifestation in anger.

70 i.e., in describing courageous men, Hom. Il. 14.151 or Hom. Il. 16.529, Hom. Il.5.470, Hom. Od. 24.318. The fourth phrase is not in our Homer, but occurs in Theocritus 20.15.

71 i.e., in a place where they can escape. The words ‘or a swamp,’ are probably interpolated.

72 See Hom. Il. 11.558.

73 This parenthetical note does not bear on the context.

74 This sentence should apparently come at the end of the section, ‘but’ being amended to ‘for.’

75 Cf. 7.2-6

76 Cf. 7.2-6.

77 This occurred in the battle at the Long Walls of Corinth, 392 B.C. Lacedaemonian cavalry had dismounted and armed themselves with the shields of the routed Sicyonians, marked ΣXen. Hell. 4.4.10).

78 Cf. 4.4.

79 Cf. 7.6.

80 This qualifies what was said in 2.3.1.

81 2.7.3.

82 i.e., by association.

83 The text here is doubtful, and possibly the whole of 10.6 is an interpolation.

84 i.e., by association.

85 Hom. Il. 3.24

86 Apparently a character of comedy, though later writers speak of him as a real person. Some mss. here insert his name, ‘Hospitable, the son of Belch,’ cf. Aristot. Eud. Eth. 1231a 16, where the story recurs, and Aristoph. Frogs 934.

87 A reminiscence of Hom. Il. 24.130.

88 The text should perhaps be amended to run ‘nor desires the same food always.’

89 Preferences are natural because (1) men's natures vary and therefore their tastes vary, (2) some preferences are universal.

90 ἀκολασία, literally ‘the result of not being punished,’ seems to have been used of spoiled children as well as of vicious adults.

91 The primary meaning of κολάζειν, ‘to punish.’

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