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[1230b] [1] 'undivided' means both that which cannot be divided and that which though it can be has not been; and similarly with 'unchaste'—it denotes both that which is by nature incapable of chastening and that which, though capable, has not actually been chastened in respect of the errors as regards which the temperate man acts rightly, as is the case with children; for of them it is in this sense that the term 'unchaste'1 is used, whereas another use of it again refers to persons hard to cure or entirely incurable by chastisement. But though 'profligacy' has more than one sense, it is clear that the profligate are concerned with certain pleasures and pains and that they differ from one another and from the other vicious characters in being disposed in a certain manner towards these; and we described previously the way in which we apply the term 'profligacy' by analogy.2 Persons on the other hand who owing to insensitiveness are uninfluenced by these pleasures are called by some people 'insensitive' and by others are designated by other names of the same sort; but the state is not a very familiar one nor of common occurrence, because all men err more in the other direction, and susceptibility and sensitiveness to pleasures of this sort are natural to everybody. It specially attaches to persons like the boors who are a stock character in comedy— [20] people who steer clear of pleasures even in moderate and necessary indulgences.

And since the temperate character is shown in connection with pleasures, it follows that it is also related to certain desires. We must, therefore, ascertain what these are. For the temperate man is not temperate about all pleasures nor about everything pleasant, but apparently about the objects of two of the senses, taste and touch, and in reality about the objects of touch. For the temperate man is not concerned with the pleasure of beautiful things (apart from sexual desire) or pain caused by ugly things, the medium of which is sight, nor with the pleasure of harmonious sounds or pain of discords conveyed through the medium of hearing, nor yet with the pleasures and pains of smell, derived from good and bad scents; for neither is anyone termed profligate because of being sensitive or not sensitive to sensations of that sort— for example, a man would not be considered profligate if when looking at a beautiful statue or horse or person, or listening to someone singing, he did not wish for food or drink or sexual indulgence but only wished to look at the beautiful objects or listen to the music,—any more than the persons held spell-bound in the abode of the Sirens. Temperance and profligacy have to do with those two sorts of sensory objects in relation to which alone the lower animals also happen to be sensitive and to feel pleasure and pain—the objects of taste and of touch, whereas about virtually all the pleasures of the other senses alike animals are clearly so constituted as to be insensitive—

1 ἀκόλαστος(lit. 'incorrigible') often means no more than 'naughty' (Solomon).

2 This seems to refer to words which must have been lost at Aristot. Eud. Eth. 1221a 20 (Solomon).

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    • Aristotle, Eudemian Ethics, 2.1221a
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