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[357b] or really to persuade us that it is without exception better to be just than unjust?” “Really,” I said, “if the choice rested with me.” “Well, then, you are not doing what you wish. For tell me: do you agree that there is a kind of good1 which we would choose to possess, not from desire for its after effects, but welcoming it for its own sake? As, for example, joy and such pleasures are harmless2 and nothing results from them afterwards save to have and to hold the enjoyment.”

1 Aristotle borrows this classification from Plato (Topics 118 b 20-22), but liking to differ from his teacher, says in one place that the good which is desired solely for itself is the highest. The Stoics apply the classification to “preferables” (Diogenes Laertius vii. 107). Cf. Hooker, Eccles. Pol. i. 11. Elsewhere Plato distinguishes goods of the soul, of the body, and of possessions (Laws 697 B, 727-729) or as the first Alcibiades puts it (131) the self, the things of the self, and other things.

2 Plato here speaks of harmless pleasures, from the point of view of common sense and prudential morality. Cf. Tim. 59 Dἀμεταμέλητον ἡδονήν, Milton's “Mirth that after no repenting draws.” But the Republic(583 D) like the Gorgias(493 E-494 C) knows the more technical distinction of the Philebus(42 C ff., 53 C ff.) between pure pleasures and impure, which are conditioned by desire and pain.

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