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And so with Courage: we become brave by training ourselves to despise and endure terrors, and we shall be best able to endure terrors when we have become brave.3.

An index of our dispositions is afforded by the pleasure or pain that accompanies our actions. A man is temperate if he abstains from bodily pleasures and finds this abstinence itself enjoyable, profligate if he feels it irksome; he is brave if he faces danger with pleasure or at all events without pain, cowardly if he does so with pain.

In fact pleasures and pains are the things with which moral virtue is concerned.

For (1) pleasure causes us to do base actions and pain cause us to abstain from doing noble actions. 3. [2] Hence the importance, as Plato points out, of having been definitely trained from childhood to like and dislike the proper things; this is what good education means.3. [3]

(2)Again, if the virtues have to do with actions and feelings, and every action is attended with pleasure or pain, this too shows that virtue has to do with pleasure and pain.3. [4]

(3) Another indication is the fact that pain is the medium of punishment; for punishment is a sort of medicine, and the nature of medicine to work by means of opposites.1 3. [5]

(4)Again, as we said before, every formed disposition of the soul realizes its full nature2

1 The contrary maxim to similia similibus curantur or homoeopathy. Fever, caused by heat, is cured by cold, hence if the remedy for wickedness is pain, it must have been caused by pleasure.

2 i.e., is actively exercised when fully developed, cf. 2.8.

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