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[6] so they choose what is pleasant as good and shun pain as evil.5.

If then whereas we wish for our end, the means to our end are matters of deliberation and choice, it follows that actions dealing with these means are done by choice, and voluntary. But the activities in which the virtues are exercised deal with means. [2] Therefore virtue also depends on ourselves. And so also does vice. For where we are free to act we are also free to refrain from acting, and where we are able to say No we are also able to say Yes; if therefore we are responsible for doing a thing when to do it is right, we are also responsible for not doing it when not to do it is wrong, and if we are responsible for rightly not doing a thing, we are also responsible for wrongly doing it. [3] But if it is in our power to do and to refrain from doing right and wrong, and if, as we saw,1 being good or bad is doing right or wrong, it consequently depends on us whether we are virtuous or vicious. [4] To say that “ None would be vile, and none would not be blest

2 seems to be half false, though half true: it is true that no one is unwilling to be blessed, but not true that wickedness is involuntary; [5] or else we must contradict what we just now3 asserted, and say that man is not the originator and begetter of his actions as he is of his children. [6] But if it is manifest that a man is the author of his own actions, and if we are unable

1 2.11.

2 Anon. Possibly a verse of Solon. Doubtless πονηρός, translated ‘vile’ to suit the context here, in the original meant ‘wretched.’

3 3.15.

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