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‘And as a general rule, the things (words or deeds) that are productive (in our intercourse with others) of a calm temper’ (a quiet, indifferent, unexcited state of feeling; πραότης is purely negative; I believe, strictly speaking, that it is no true πάθος at all, and is better represented as a virtue or mean state in the Ethics) ‘may be ascertained from their opposites’ (viz. the exciting topics of ὀργή in c. 2). Buhle objects to this clause, ὅλως ἐκ τῶν ἐναντίων as interrupting the analysis and out of place, and pronounces it an interpolation. It is however a not unnatural observation to make here. Up to this point Aristotle has been going over very nearly the same ground as the topics of the last chapter; when he has got thus far, the resemblance strikes him, and he says by way of a note: “but in fact this is true as a general rule, all the topics of πραότης may be derived by merely reversing them from those of ὀργή”. I do not mean to say that he was previously unaware of this fact, but only that it struck him more vividly at the moment, when he had the preceding examples written down on his parchment or papyrus (probably the latter) before his eyes.

After this little digression we return to the topics of πραότης.

‘The presence of those that we are afraid of, or stand in awe of, makes us calm: for as long as we are in this state of mind we cannot feel anger; because fear and anger cannot coexist in the mind’.

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