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2. [2]

Of these, Sensation never originates action, as is shown by the fact that animals have sensation but are not capable of action.1

2Pursuit and avoidance in the sphere of Desire correspond to affirmation and denial in the sphere of the Intellect. Hence inasmuch as moral virtue is a disposition of the mind in regard to choice,3 and choice is deliberate desire,4 it follows that, if the choice is to be good, both the principle must be true and the desire right, and that desire must pursue the same things as principle affirms.

1 πρᾶξις means rational action, conduct. The movements of animals, Aristotle appears to think, are mere reactions to the stimuli of sensation.

2 Greenwood points out that the passage would be clearer if 2.2 mid.-3, ‘Pursuit . . . right desire,’ and 2.5, ‘Thought by itself . . . desire aims,’ came lower down, after the verse-quotation in 2.6. The earlier part of 6 is a parenthetical note.

3 2.6.15.

4 3.3.19.

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