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‘It is plain therefore that those who want to soothe a man down (bring him down to a placid state from the exaltation of his passion) must derive their propositions (or the traits of character) from these topics, presenting themselves in such a light—assuming such a character themselves—(as is represented in the foregoing analysis), and the objects of their anger as either formidable, or worthy of high respect, or benefactors, or involuntary agents, or as excessively afflicted at what they have done’. αἰσχύνη here is the feeling of reverence or awe which is felt in the presence of any one who is entitled to unusual respect or admiration (see note on c. 2. 22); and αἰσχύνης ἀξίους is equivalent to τοιούτους πρὸς οὓς αἰσχύνεσθαι δεῖ: and ὑπεραλγοῦντας is the representative of the μεταμελόμενοι of § 5. I have already hinted a doubt in the notes on the preceding chapter whether πραότης is properly ranked amongst the πάθη. I think that it can be made plainly to appear that it is not. It is introduced no doubt for the purpose of giving the opposite side to the topics of anger, because the student of Rhetoric is in every case required to be acquainted with both sides of a question. And this purpose it may answer very well without being a real opposite of ὀργή or indeed a πάθος at all. If we compare πραότης with the other πάθη analysed in this second book, we find that it differs from all of them in this respect—that the rest are emotions, instinctive and active, and tend to some positive result; whereas πραότης is inactive and leads to nothing but the allaying, subduing, lowering, of the angry passion, which it reduces to a particular state, the right or mean state of temper. It seems plain therefore that it is in reality, what it is stated to be in the Ethics, a ἕξις, not a πάθος, of the temper; an acquired and settled state of one of the πάθη, viz. ὀργή, in the mean state (or due measure) of which (the πάθη) all virtue resides. It is accordingly represented in the Ethics as a virtue, the mean between irascibility and insensibility, the due measure of the passionate element or emotion of our nature; and as a virtue it is the control or regulation of our temper. The true πάθος is the ὀργή, the instinctive capacity of angry feeling, which may be cultivated by habit and education and developed in either direction, for good or evil; till it becomes ὀργιλότης irascibility, or ἀοργησία insensibility—if it take a wrong direction—or else settles into the mean state of a calm and placid temper. And this is the view that is taken of it in Nic. Eth. IV 11, init. πραότης is μεσότης περὶ ὀργάς; Ib. 1125 b 30, τὸ μὲν γὰρ πάθος ἐστὶν ὀργή; line 34, βούλεται γὰρ ὁ πρᾶος ἀτάραχος εἶναι καὶ μὴ ἄγεσθαι ὑπὸ τοῦ πάθους, ἀλλ᾽ ὡς ἂν ὁ λόγος τάξῃ οὕτω καὶ ἐπὶ τούτοις καὶ ἐπὶ τοσοῦτον χρόνον χαλεπαίνειν. This is doubtless the correct view; and the other, though no doubt subsequent to that of the Ethics, is adopted in the Rhetoric merely for convenience, philosophical accuracy not being required. Compare the introductory note to this Chapter.
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