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[9] But it is superfluous to establish further distinctions of men's acts based upon age, moral habits, or anything else. For if the young happen to be1 irascible, or passionately desire anything, it is not because of their youth that they act accordingly, but because of anger and desire. Nor is it because of wealth or poverty; but the poor happen to desire wealth because of their lack of it, and the rich desire unnecessary pleasures because they are able to procure them. Yet in their case too it will not be wealth or poverty, but desire, that will be the mainspring of their action. Similarly, the just and the unjust, and all the others who are said to act in accordance with their moral habits, will act from the same causes, either from reason or emotion, but some from good characters and emotions, and others from the opposite.

1 In the cases of the young, the poor, and the rich, their youth etc. are only “accidents,” accidental not real causes. Aristotle defines τὸ συμβεβηκόςAristot. Met. 4.30) as “that which is inherent in something, and may be predicated of it as true, but neither necessarily, nor in most cases; for instance, if a man, when digging a hole for a plant, finds a treasure.” The color of a man's eyes is an “inseparable” accident, the fact that a man is a lawyer is a “separabIe” accident.

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