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ποιητικαὶ...καὶ πρακτικαί] virtues, besides being ‘productive of good’, like many other things, have also this special peculiarity, that they are effective of good by action. The distinction is, that whereas ποιεῖν tends to some ἔργον or substantial enduring result, as a picture, or statue, or other work of art, the end of πραττειν is action itself, and there is no further result. See the commencement of the Nic. Eth., and what is there said about these two τέλη. Ethics and Rhetoric are πρακτικαὶ τέχναι, the arts of the painter and statuary ποιητικαί. Compare Introd. pp. 16—19. By the distinction here taken we find brought into view the specially ‘practical’ character of the virtues, which, like the art that describes them, end in action: though besides this, some of the virtues, at any rate, produce lasting effect, and leave results beyond the mere performance of the act, some positive benefit (as an ἔργον) to an individual or the community. But the words here distinguished are elsewhere employed indifferently to express generally the power of producing an effect or result, as appears in the comparison of 5 §§ 3, 16; 6 § 2. Of the two, ποιητικός is most frequently used in the expression of this conception, as may be seen in the following sections. All moral virtues must necessarily be each a form of good: for they produce a good moral habit, or condition, or constitution in those that possess them, and are besides productive (and effective) of good in their actions and the results of these. ‘Each of them, its substance or true nature’ (the first Category, τί ἐστί, οὐσία, substance what the thing is, really and essentially), ‘and qualities’ (the third Category), ‘must be treated separately, χωρίς, apart’. This is done in c. 9. The contents of the chapter to which reference is here made shew that ἀρεταί are here confined to the ἠθικαί or moral virtues, the ‘virtues’ par excellence, and do not include physical, or any other, ‘excellences’.
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