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τὸ δὲ προσδιαιρεῖσθαι κ.τ.λ.] What he says is superfluous (περίεργον) here, is actually done in the six ethical chapters, 12—17, of Bk. II, and this apparent contradiction has raised a su<*>icion that some error has crept into the text. There is however in reality no inconsistency between the theory here laid down and the actual practice in Book II. There the treatment of these ἤθη is appropriate, as supplementary to that of the πάθη: here it would be out of place, because the present subject of inquiry is about the causes of human action; and though these states and conditions, youth, age, wealth, poverty and the rest, are as a general rule attended and characterised by certain tendencies or πάθη, yet these latter can be by no means regarded as effects of causes, but are mere συμβεβηκότα, separable accidents, which do not invariably accompany the states that they characterise. Youth and age, wealth and poverty, are not the causes of any particular classes of actions; in so far as they do accompany them they are accidental, not essential. ἀναγκαίων ἡδονῶν] These are thus defined by Plato, Rep. VIII 12, 558D, οὐκοῦν ἅς τε οὐκ ἂν οἷοί τ᾽ εἶμεν ἀποτρέψαι δικαίως ἂν ἀναγκαῖαι καλοῖντο, καὶ ὅσαι ἀποτελούμεναι ὠφελοῦσιν ἡμᾶς; τούτων γὰρ ἀμφοτέρων ἐφίεσθαι ἡμῶν τῇ φύσει ἀνάγκη, comp. Phileb. 72 E. They are therefore pleasures that are forced upon us by nature, and therefore ‘necessary’ or ‘indispensable’ to us. Of these the ‘bodily pleasures’, the gratification of the appetites, are the most necessary, and sometimes the latter are confined to them; for in Eth. N. VII 14, 1154 a the pleasures which are first called σωματικαί, in lines 7 and 9, afterwards, in line 11, receive the name of ἀναγκαῖαι, which is repeated in line 17. The Scholiast and Paraphrast both explain ἀναγκαῖαι by σωματικαί. Plato more frequently speaks of the ἀναγκαῖαι ἐπιθυμίαι in the same sense.
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