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and we sometimes praise those who are harsh-tempered as manly, and fitted to command. It is therefore not easy to pronounce on principle what degree and manner of error is blameworthy, since this is a matter of the particular circumstances, and judgement rests with the faculty of perception. [14] But thus much at all events is clear, that the middle disposition is praiseworthy, which leads us to be angry with the right people for the right things in the right manner and so on, while the various forms of excess and defect are blameworthy—when of slight extent, but little so, when greater, more, and when extreme, very blameworthy indeed. It is clear therefore that we should strive to attain the middle disposition. [15]

Let this be our account of the dispositions related to anger.6.

In society and the common life and intercourse of conversation and business, some men are considered to be Obsequious; these are people who complaisantly approve of everything and never raise objections, but think it a duty to avoid giving pain to those which whom they come in contact. [2] Those on the contrary who object to everything and do not care in the least what pain they cause, are called Surly or Quarrelsome. [3] Now it is clear that the dispositions described are blameworthy, and that the middle disposition between them is praiseworthy—that is, the tendency to acquiesce in the right things, and likewise to disapprove of the right things, in the right manner. [4] But to this no special name has been assigned, though it very closely resembles friendship1; for he who exemplifies this middle disposition is the sort of man we mean by the expression ‘a good friend,’ only that includes an element of affection. [5] It differs from friendship in not possessing the emotional factor of affection for one's associates; since a man of this character takes everything in the right way not from personal liking or dislike, but from natural amiability. He will behave with the same propriety towards strangers and acquaintances alike, towards people with whom he is familiar and those with whom he is not—though preserving the shades of distinction proper to each class, since it is not appropriate to show the same regard or disregard for the feelings of friends and of strangers. [6]

We have said then in general terms that he will behave in the right manner in society. We mean that in designing either to give pain or to contribute pleasure he will be guided by considerations of honor and of expediency. [7] For he seems to be concerned with pleasure and pain in social intercourse. He will disapprove of pleasures in which it is dishonorable or harmful to himself for him to join, preferring to give pain2; and he will also disapprove of and refuse to acquiesce in a pleasure that brings any considerable discredit or harm to the agent, if his opposition will not cause much pain. [8] And he will comport himself differently with men of high position and with ordinary people,

1 At 2.7.13 it was actually termed φιλία, Friendliness.

2 Sc. by refusing to participate.

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