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‘And in action they prefer honour to profit’—utilium tardus provisor, Hor. A. P. 164—‘for their conduct in life is rather due to the impulses of their character, than guided by reasoning and calculation; the latter being directed to profit, whereas honour and the right are the aim of virtue’. The intellect and its calculations are here distinctly excluded from any participation in virtue, which is assigned solely to the moral character; the impulses, ὀρέξεις and πάθη, duly cultivated and regulated, pass into virtues. This is in direct contradiction to the doctrines of the Ethics, which give to the two virtues of the intellect, σοφία and φρόνησις, ‘wisdom, speculative and practical’, even the preeminence over the moral virtues; identifying true happiness with the exercise of the former. But our author is here departing from his Eudaemonistic ethical system, which makes happiness (in a transcendental sense no doubt) the end of all human action; and substituting for it the more popular and higher view of the τέλος, which represents it as the abstract good and noble, or the right, τὸ καλόν; a standard and an end of action independent of all sordid and selfish motives or calculation, with which it is here brought into contrast. This view of the τέλος appears incidentally, as an excrescence upon the systems (to which it is opposed), in the Nic. Ethics, as III 7, sub init. Ib. c. 10, 1115 b 24, and especially IX 8, p. 1169 a 4, et seq. With what is said in our text, comp. Eth. N. IX 8, 1168 a 34, ὁ δ᾽ ἐπιεικὴς (πράττει) διὰ τὸ καλόν, καὶ ὅσῳ ἂν βελτίων ᾖ μᾶλλον διὰ τὸ καλόν. On λογισμός, the discursive, reasoning or calculating faculty or process, opposed to the νοῦς, and identical with διάνοια in its lower and limited sense, see Eth. Nic. VI 2, 1139 a 6 seq.; where the entire intellect is divided into two faculties, (1) the νοῦς, or pure reason, ᾧ θεωροῦμεν, the organ of speculation, and of a priori truth, τὸ ἐπιστημονικόν, and (2) the διάνοια (in its special sense) the understanding, the organ of reasoning, and of deliberation or calculation in practical matters, τὸ λογιστικόν. The exact opposite of all this [§§ 8—12] appears in the character of old age, c. 13 §§ 5, 9, 10, 11, 14. Old men are δυσέλπιδες, ἀναίσχυντοι, μικρόψυχοι, ζῶσι πρὸς τὸ συμφέρον and κατὰ λογισμόν.
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