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[6] And Temperance does in fact preserve our belief as to our own good; for pleasure and pain do not destroy or pervert all beliefs, for instance, the belief that the three angles of a triangle are, or are not, together equal to two right angles, but only beliefs concerning action. The first principles of action are the end to which our acts are means; but a man corrupted by a love of pleasure or fear of pain, entirely fails to discern any first principle,1 and cannot see that he ought to choose and do everything as a means to this end, and for its sake; for vice tends to destroy the sense of principle.2

It therefore follows that Prudence is a truth-attaining rational quality, concerned with action in relation to the things that are good for human beings.

1 Or ‘to one corrupted by pleasure or pain this end does not seem to be a first principle at all.’

2 i.e., to destroy our perception of the true end of life, which constitutes the major premise of the practical syllogism.

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