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[12] And ( α) no one would choose to retain the mind of a child throughout his life, even though he continued to enjoy the pleasures of childhood with undiminished zest; nor ( δ) would anyone choose to find enjoyment in doing some extremely shameful act, although it would entail no painful consequences. Also ( ε) there are many things which we should be eager to possess even if they brought us no pleasure, for instance sight, memory, knowledge, virtue. It may be the case that these things are necessarily attended by pleasure, but that makes no difference; for we should desire them even if no pleasure resulted from them.

[13] It seems therefore that pleasure is not the Good, and that not every pleasure is desirable, but also that there are certain pleasures, superior in respect of their specific quality or their source, that are desirable in themselves.

Let this suffice for a discussion of the current views about pleasure and pain. 4.

We may ascertain the nature and quality of pleasure more clearly if we start again from the beginning.

Now the act of sight appears to be perfect at any moment of its duration; it does not require anything to supervene later in order to perfect its specific quality. But pleasure also appears to be a thing of this nature. For it is a whole, and one cannot at any moment put one's hand on a pleasure which will only exhibit its specific quality perfectly if its duration be prolonged. [2]

It follows also that pleasure is not a form of motion.1 For every motion or process of change involves duration, and is a means to an end, for instance the process of building a house; and it is perfect when it has effected its end. Hence a motion is perfect either when viewed over the whole time of its duration, or at the moment when its end has been achieved. The several motions occupying portions of the time of the whole are imperfect, and different in kind from the whole and from each other. For instance, in building a temple the fitting together of the stones is a different process from the fluting of a column, and both are different from the construction of the temple as a whole; and whereas the building of the temple is a perfect process, for nothing more is required to achieve the end proposed, laying the foundation and constructing the triglyphs are imperfect processes, since each produces only a part of the design; they are therefore specifically different from the construction of the whole, and it is not possible to lay one's finger on a motion specifically perfect at any moment of the process of building, but only, if at all, in the whole of its duration. [3]

And the same is true of walking and the other forms of locomotion. For if locomotion is motion from one point in space to another, and if this is of different kinds, flying, walking, leaping and the like, and not only so, but if there are also differences in walking itself (for the terminal points of a race course are not the same as those of a portion of the course, nor are those of one portion the same as those of another; nor is traversing this line the same as traversing that one,2

1 κίνησις here has its wider sense of any process of change that actualizes what is potentially; it includes generation, of which building is an instance. In its proper sense κίνησις is limited to change of quality, quantity, or place.

2 The lecturer appears to draw a line representing a racecourse, and divide it into two parts, representing two sections of the course (not two lines across the course). The motion of traversing one section is not the same as that of traversing the others, if only because they are in different places.

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