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[18]

Not every action or emotion however admits of the observance of a due mean. Indeed the very names of some directly imply evil, for instance malice,1 shamelessness, envy, and, of actions, adultery, theft, murder. All these and similar actions and feelings are blamed as being bad in themselves; it is not the excess or deficiency of them that we blame. It is impossible therefore ever to go right in regard to them—one must always be wrong; nor does right or wrong in their case depend on the circumstances, for instance, whether one commits adultery with the right woman, at the right time, and in the right manner; the mere commission of any of them is wrong.

1 See 7.15. The word means ‘delight at another's misfortune’, Schadenfreude.

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