(Third Century B.C.)
1. Since our purpose is to speak about ethics, we must first inquire of what moral character is a branch. To speak concisely, then, it would seem to be a branch of nothing else than statecraft. For it is not possible to act at all in affairs of state unless one is of a certain kind, to wit, good. Now to be good is to possess the virtues. If therefore one is to act successfully in affairs of state, one must be of a good moral character. The treatment of moral character then is, as it seems, a branch and starting-point of statecraft. And as a whole it seems to me that the subject ought rightly to be called not Ethics, but Politics.
We must therefore, as it seems, first say about virtue both what it is and from what it comes. For it is perhaps of no use to know virtue without understanding how or from what it is to arise. We must not limit our inquiry to knowing what it is, but extend it to how it is to be produced. For we wish not only to know but also ourselves to be such; and this will be impossible for us, unless we know from what and how it is to be produced. Of course, it is indispensable to know what virtue is (for it is not easy to know the source and manner of its production, if one does not know what it is, any more than in the sciences); but we ought to be aware also of what others have said before us on this subject.
Pythagoras first attempted to speak about virtue, but not successfully; for by reducing the virtues to numbers he submitted the virtues to a treatment which was not proper to them. For justice is not a square number.
After him came Socrates, who spoke better and further about this subject, but even he was not successful. For he used to make the virtues sciences, and this is impossible. For the sciences all involve reason, and reason is to be found in the intellectual part of the soul. So that all the virtues, according to him, are to be found in the rational part of the soul. The result is that in making the virtues sciences he is doing away with the irrational part of the soul, and is thereby doing away also both with passion and moral character; so that he has not been successful in this respect in his treatment of the virtues.
After this Plato divided the soul into the rational and the irrational part—and in this he was right—assigning appropriate virtues to each. So far so good. But after this he went astray. For he mixed up virtue with the treatment of the good, which cannot be right, not being appropriate. For in speaking about the truth of things he ought not to have discoursed upon virtue; for there is nothing common to the two.
The above-mentioned, then, have touched upon the subject so far and in the way above described. The next thing will be to see what we ought to say ourselves upon the subject.
First of all, then, we must see that every science and art has an end, and that too a good one; for no science or art exists for the sake of evil. Since then in all the arts the end is good, it is plain that the end of the best art will be the best good. But statecraft is the best art, so that the end of this will be the good. It is about good, then, as it seems, that we must speak, and about good not without qualification, but relatively to ourselves. For we have not to do with the good of the Gods. To speak about that is a different matter, and the inquiry is foreign to our present purpose. It is therefore about the good of the state that we must speak.
But we must distinguish different meanings in the word 'good' itself. About good in what sense of the term have we to speak? For the word is not univocal. For 'good' is used either of what is best in the case of each being, that is, what is choiceworthy because of its own nature, or of that by partaking in which all other things are good, that is, the Idea of Good.
Are we, then, to speak of the Idea of Good? Or not of that, but of good as the element common to all goods? For this would seem to be different from the Idea. For the Idea is a thing apart and by itself, whereas the common element exists in all: it therefore is not identical with what is apart. For that which is apart and whose nature it is to be by itself cannot possibly exist in all. Are we then to speak about this indwelling good? Surely not! And why? Because the common element is that which is got by definition or by induction. Now the aim of defining is to state the essence of each thing, either what good is or what evil is, or whatever else it may be. But the definition states that whatever thing is of such a kind as to be choiceworthy for its own sake is good in all cases. And the common element in all goods is much the same as the definition. And the definition says what is good, whereas no science or art whatsoever states of its own end that it is good, but it is the province of another art to speculate as to this (for neither the physician nor the mason says that health or a house is good, but that one thing produces health, and how it produces it, and another thing a house). It is evident then that neither has statecraft to do with the common element of good. For it is itself only one science among the rest, and we have seen that it is not the business of any art or science to talk of this as end. It is not therefore the business of statecraft any more than of any other art to speak of the common element of good corresponding to the definition.
But neither has it to speak of the common element as arrived at by induction. Why so? Because when we wish to show some particular good, we either show by defining that the same description applies to the good and to the thing which we wish to show to be good, or else have recourse to induction; for instance, when we wish to show that magnanimity is a good, we say that justice is a good and courage is a good, and so of the virtues generally, and that magnanimity is a virtue, so that magnanimity also is a good. Neither then will statecraft have to speak of the common good arrived at by induction, because the same impossible consequences will ensue in this case as in that of the common good conformable to the definition. For here also one will be saying that the end is good. It is clear therefore that what it has to speak about is the best good, and the best in the sense of 'the best for us'.
And generally one can see that it is not the part of any one science or art to consider the question of good in general. Why so? Because good occurs in all the categories—in that of substance, quality, quantity, time, relation, [instrument], and generally in all. But what is good at a given time is known in medicine by the doctor, in navigation by the pilot, and in each art by the expert in that art. For it is the doctor who knows when one ought to amputate, and the pilot when one ought to sail. And in each art each expert will know the time of the good which concerns himself. For neither will the doctor know the time of the good in navigation nor the pilot that in medicine. It follows then from this point of view also that we have not to speak about the common good: for time is common to all the arts. Similarly the relative good and the good which corresponds to other categories is common to all, and it does not belong to any art or science to speak of what is good in each at a given time, nor, we may add, is it the part of statecraft to speak about the common element of good. Our subject then is the good, in the sense of the best, and that the best for us.
Perhaps when one wishes to show something, one ought not to employ illustrations that are not manifest, but to illustrate the obscure by the manifest, and the things of mind by the things of sense, for the latter are more manifest. When, therefore, one takes in hand to speak about the good, one ought not to speak about the Idea. And yet they think it quite necessary, when they are speaking about the good, to speak about the Idea. For they say that it is necessary to speak about what is most good, and the very thing in each kind has the quality of that kind in the highest degree, so that the Idea will be the most good, as they think. Possibly there is truth in such a contention: but all the same the science or art of statecraft, about which we are now speaking, does not inquire about this good, but about that which is good for us. [For no science or art pronounces its end to be good, so that statecraft does not do so either.] Wherefore it does not concern itself to speak about the good in the sense of the Idea.
But, it may be said, one may employ this good as a first principle to start from in speaking about particular goods. Even this is not correct. For the first principles that one assumes ought to be appropriate. How absurd it would be if, when one wished to show that the three angles of a triangle are equal to two right angles, one were to assume as a principle that the soul is immortal! For it is not appropriate, and the first principle ought to be appropriate and connected. As a matter of fact, one can prove that the three angles of a triangle are equal to two right angles quite as well without the immortality of the soul. In the same way in the case of goods, one can speculate about the rest without the Ideal Good. Wherefore we declare such a good is not an appropriate principle.
Neither was Socrates right in making the virtues sciences. For he used to think that nothing ought to be in vain, but from the virtues being sciences he met with the result that the virtues were in vain. Why so? Because in the case of the sciences, as soon as one knows the essence of a science, it results that one is scientific (for any one who knows the essence of medicine is forthwith a physician, and so with the other sciences). But this result does not follow in the case of the virtues. For any one who knows the essence of justice is not forthwith just, and similarly in the case of the rest. It follows then both that the virtues are in vain and that they are not sciences.
2. Now that we have settled these points, let us try to say in how many senses the term 'good' is used. For goods may be divided into the honorable, the praiseworthy, and potencies. By the 'honorable' I mean such a thing as the divine, the more excellent (for instance, soul, intellect), the more ancient, the first principle, and so on. For those things are honorable which attract honor, and all such things as these are attended with honor. Virtue then also is a thing that is honorable, at least when some one has become a good man in consequence of it; for already such a one has come into the form of virtue. Other goods are praiseworthy, as virtues; for praise is bestowed in consequence of the actions which are prompted by them. Others are potencies, for instance, office, wealth, strength, beauty; for these are things which the good man can use well and the bad man ill. Wherefore such goods are called potencies. Goods indeed they are (for everything is judged by the use made of it by the good man, not by that of the bad); and it is incidental to these same goods that fortune is the cause of their production. For from fortune comes wealth, and also office, and generally all the things which rank as potencies. The fourth and last class of goods is that which is preservative and productive of good, as exercise of health, and other things of that sort.
But goods admit of another division, to wit, some goods are everywhere and absolutely choiceworthy, and some are not. For instance, justice and the other virtues are everywhere and absolutely choiceworthy, but strength, and wealth, and power, and the like, are not so everywhere nor absolutely.
Again, take another division. Some goods are ends and some are not; for instance, health is an end, but the means to health are not ends. And wherever things stand in this relation, the end is always better; for instance, health is better than the means to health, and without exception, always and universally, that thing is better for the sake of which the rest are.
Again, among ends themselves the complete is always better than the incomplete. A 'complete' good is one the presence of which leaves us in need of nothing; an 'incomplete' good is one which may be present while yet we need something further; for instance, we may have justice and yet need many things besides, but when we have happiness we need nothing more. This then is the best thing of which we are in search, which is the complete end. The complete end then is the good and end of goods.
The next point is how we are to look for the best good. Is it itself to be reckoned in with other goods? Surely that is absurd. For the best is the final end, and the final end, roughly speaking, would seem to be nothing else than happiness, and happiness we regard as made up of many goods; so that if, in looking for the best, you reckon in itself also, it will be better than itself, because it is itself the best thing. For instance, take the means to health, and health, and raise the question which is the best of all these. The answer is that health is the best. If then this is the best of all, it is also better than itself: so that an absurdity ensues. Perhaps then this is not the way in which we ought to look for the best. Are the other goods then to be separated from it? Is not this also absurd? For happiness is composed of certain goods. But to raise the question whether a given thing is better than its own components is absurd. For happiness is not something else apart from these, but just these.
But perhaps the right method of inquiry may be by comparison of the best somewhat as follows. I mean by comparing happiness itself, which is made up of these goods, with others which are not contained in it. But the best of which we are now in search is not of a simple nature. For instance, one might say that wisdom is the best of all goods when they are compared one by one. — But perhaps this is not the way in which we ought to seek for the best good. For it is the complete good whereof we are in search, and wisdom by itself is not complete. It is not, therefore, the best in this sense, nor in this way, of which we are in search.
3. After this, then, goods admit of another division. For some goods are in the soul—for instance, the virtues; some in the body—for instance, health, beauty; and some outside of us—wealth, office, honor, and such like. Of these those in the soul are best. But the goods in the soul are divided into three—wisdom, virtue, and pleasure.
Now we come to happiness, which we all declare to be, and which seems in fact to be, the final good and the most complete thing, and this we maintain to be identical with doing well and living well. But the end is not single but twofold. For the end of some things is the activity and use itself—for instance, of sight; and the using is more choiceworthy than the having; for the using is the end. For no one would care to have sight, if he were destined never to see, but always to have his eyes shut. And the same with hearing and the like. When then a thing may be both used and had, the using is always better and more choiceworthy than the having. For the use and exercise are the end, whereas the having is with a view to the using.
Next, then, if one examines this point in the case of all the arts, he will see that it is not one art that makes a house and another that makes a good house, but simply the art of housebuilding; and what the housebuilder makes, that same thing his virtue enables him to make well. Similarly in all other cases.
4. After this, then, we see that it is by nothing else than soul that we live. Virtue is in the soul. We maintain that the soul and the virtue of the soul do the same thing. But virtue in each thing does that well of which it is the virtue, and, among the other functions of the soul, it is by it we live. It is therefore owing to the virtue of the soul that we shall live well. But to live well and do well we say is nothing else than being happy. Being happy, then, and happiness, consist in living well, and living well is living in accordance with the virtues. This, then, is the end and happiness and the best thing. [Happiness therefore will consist in a kind of use and activity. For we found that where there was having and using, the use and exercise are the end. Now virtue is a habit of the soul. And there is such a thing as the exercise and use of it; so that the end will be its activity and use. Happiness therefore will consist in living in accordance with the virtues.] Since then the best good is happiness, and this is the end, and the final end is an activity, it follows that it is by living in accordance with the virtues that we shall be happy and shall have the best good.
Since, then, happiness is a complete good and end, we must not fail to observe that it will be found in that which is complete. For it will not be found in a child (for a child is not happy), but in a man; for he is complete. Nor will it be found in an incomplete, but in a complete, period. And a complete period of time will be as long as a man lives. For it is rightly said among the many that one ought to judge of the happy man in the longest time of his life, on the assumption that what is complete ought to be in a complete period and a complete person. But that it is an activity can be seen also from the following consideration. For supposing some one to be asleep all his life, we should hardly consent to call such a man happy. Life indeed he has, but life in accordance with the virtues he has not, and it was in this that we made the activity to consist.
The topic that is next about to be treated of is neither very intimately connected with our main subject nor yet quite alien from it. I mean, since there is, as it seems, a part of the soul whereby we are nourished, which we call 'nutritive' (for it is reasonable to suppose that this exists; at all events we see that stones are incapable of being nourished, so that it is evident that to be nourished is a property of living things; and, if so, the soul will be the cause of it; but none of these parts of the soul will be the cause of nourishment, to wit, the rational or spirited or appetitive, but something else besides these, to which we can apply no more appropriate name than 'nutritive'), one might say, 'Very well, has this part of the soul also a virtue? For if it has, it is plain that we ought to act with this also. For happiness is the exercise of perfect virtue. Now, whether there is or is not a virtue of this part is another question; but, if there is, it has no activity. For those things which have no impulse will not have any activity either; and there does not seem to be any impulse in this part, but it seems to be on a par with fire. For that also will consume whatever you throw in, but if you do not throw anything in, it has no impulse to get it. So it is also with this part of the soul; for, if you throw in food, it nourishes, but, if you fail to throw in food, it has no impulse to nourish. Wherefore it has no activity, being devoid of impulse. So that this part in no way co-operates towards happiness.
After this, then, we must say what virtue is, since it is the exercise of this which is happiness. Speaking generally, then, virtue is the best state. But perhaps it is not sufficient to speak thus generally, but it is necessary to define more clearly.
5. First, then, we ought to speak about the soul in which it resides, not to say what the soul is (for to speak about that is another matter), but to divide it in outline. Now the soul is, as we say, divided into two parts, the rational and the irrational. In the rational part, then, there resides wisdom, readiness of wit, philosophy, aptitude to learn, memory, and so on; but in the irrational those which are called the virtues—temperance, justice, courage, and such other moral states as are held to be praiseworthy. For it is in respect of these that we are called praiseworthy; but no one is praised for the virtues of the rational part. For no one is praised for being philosophical nor for being wise, nor generally on the ground of anything of that sort. Nor indeed is the irrational part praised, except in so far as it is capable of subserving or actually subserves the rational part.
Moral virtue is destroyed by defect and excess. Now, that defect and excess destroy can be seen from moral instances, but we must use what we can see as an illustration of what we cannot see. For one can see this at once in the case of gymnastic exercises. If they are overdone, the strength is destroyed, while if they are deficient, it is so also. And the same is the case with food and drink. For if too much is taken health is destroyed, and also if too little, but by the right proportion strength and health are preserved.
The same is the case with temperance and courage and the rest of the virtues. For if you make a man too fearless, so as not even to fear the Gods, he is not brave but mad, but if you make him afraid of everything, he is a coward. To be brave, then, a man must not either fear everything or nothing. The same things, then, both increase and destroy virtue. For undue and indiscriminate fears destroy, and so does the lack of fear about anything at all. And courage has to do with fears, so that moderate fears increase courage. Courage, then, is both increased and destroyed by the same things. For men are liable to this effect owing to fears. And the same holds true of the other virtues.
6. In addition to the preceding, virtue may also be determined by pleasure and pain. For it is owing to pleasure that we commit base actions, and owing to pain that we abstain from noble ones. And generally it is not possible to achieve virtue or vice without pain and pleasure. Virtue then has to do with pleasures and pains.
The word 'ethical' (or 'moral') virtue is derived as follows, if etymology has any bearing upon truth, as perhaps it has. From ethos comes ethos, and so moral virtue is called 'ethical', as being attained by practice. Whereby it is evident that no one of the virtues of the irrational part springs up in us by nature. For nothing that is by nature becomes other by training. For instance, a stone, and heavy things in general, naturally go downwards. If any one, then, throws them up repeatedly, and tries to train them to go up, all the same they never would go up, but always down. Similarly in all other such cases.
7. After this, then, as we wish to say what virtue is, we must know what are the things that there are in the soul. They are these—feelings, capacities, states; so that it is evident that virtue will be some one of these. Now feelings are anger, fear, hate, regret, emulation, pity, and the like, which are usually attended by pain or pleasure. Capacities are those things in virtue of which we are said to be capable of these feelings; for instance, those things in virtue of which we are capable of feeling anger or pain or pity, and so on. States are those things in virtue of which we stand in a good or bad relation to these feelings; for instance, towards being angered; if we are angry overmuch, we stand in a bad relation towards anger, whereas if we are not angry at all where we ought to be, in that case also we stand in a bad relation towards anger.
The mean state, then, is neither to be pained overmuch nor to be absolutely insensible. When, then, we stand thus, we are in a good disposition. And similarly as regards other like things. For good temper and gentleness are in a mean between anger and insensibility to anger. Similarly in the case of boastfulness and mock-humility. For to pretend to more than one has shows boastfulness, while to pretend to less shows mock-humility. The mean state, then, between these is truthfulness.
8. Similarly in all other cases. For this is what marks the state, to stand in a good or bad relation towards these feelings, and to stand in a good relation towards them is neither to incline towards the excess nor towards the defect. The state, then, which implies a good relation is directed towards the mean of such things, in respect of which we are called praiseworthy, whereas that which implies a bad relation inclines towards excess or defect.
Since, then, virtue is a mean of these feelings, and the feelings are either pains or pleasures or impossible apart from pain or pleasure, it is evident from this that virtue has to do with pains and pleasures.
But there are other feelings, as one might think, in the case of which the vice does not lie in any excess or defect; for instance, adultery and the adulterer. The adulterer is not the man who corrupts free women too much; but both this and anything else of the kind which is comprised under the pleasure of intemperance, whether it be something in the way of excess or of defect, is blamed.
9. After this, then, it is perhaps necessary to have it stated what is opposed to the mean, whether it is the excess or the defect. For to some means the defect is opposed and to some the excess; for instance, to courage it is not rashness, which is the excess, that is opposed, but cowardice, which is the defect; and to temperance, which is a mean between intemperance and insensibility to pleasures, it does not seem that insensibility, which is the defect, is opposed, but intemperance, which is the excess. But both are opposed to the mean, excess and defect. For the mean is in defect of the excess and in excess of the defect. Hence it is that prodigals call the liberal illiberal, while the illiberal call the liberal prodigals, and the rash and headlong call the brave cowards, while cowards call the brave headlong and mad.
There would seem to be two reasons for our opposing the excess or the defect to the mean. Either people look at the matter from the point of view of the thing itself, to see which is nearer to, or further from, the mean; for instance, in the case of liberality, whether prodigality or illiberality is further from it. For prodigality would seem more to be liberality than illiberality is. Illiberality, then, is further off. But things which are further distant from the mean would seem to be more opposed to it. From the point of view, then, of the thing itself the defect presents itself as more opposed. But there is also another way, to wit, those things are more opposed to the mean to which we have a greater natural inclination. For instance, we have a greater natural inclination to be intemperate than sober in our conduct. The tendency, therefore, occurs rather towards the things to which nature inclines us; and the things to which we have a greater tendency are more opposed; and our tendency is towards intemperance rather than towards sobriety; so that the excess of the mean will be the more opposed; for intemperance is the excess in the case of temperance.
What virtue is, then, has been examined (for it seems to be a mean of the feelings, so that it will be necessary for the man who is to obtain credit for moral character to observe the mean with regard to each of the feelings; for which reason it is a difficult matter to be good; for to seize the mean in anything is a difficult matter; for instance, any one can draw a circle, but to fix upon the mean point in it is hard; and in the same way to be angry indeed is easy, and so is the opposite of this, but to be in the mean is hard; and generally in each of the feelings one can see that what surrounds the mean is easy, but the mean is hard, and this is the point for which we are praised; for which reason the good is rare).
Since, then, virtue has been spoken of . . .we must next inquire whether it is possible of attainment or is not, but, as Socrates said, to be virtuous or vicious does not rest with us to come about. For if, he says, one were to ask any one whatever whether he would wish to be just or unjust, no one would choose injustice. Similarly in the case of courage and cowardice, and so on always with the rest of the virtues. And it is evident that any who are vicious will not be vicious voluntarily; so that it is evident that neither will they be voluntarily virtuous.
Such a statement is not true. For why does the lawgiver forbid the doing of wrong acts, and bid the doing of right and virtuous ones? And why does he appoint a penalty for wrong acts, if one does them, and for right acts, if one fails to do them? Yet it would be absurd to legislate about those things which are not in our power to do. But, as it seems, it is in our power to be virtuous or vicious.
Again, we have evidence in the praise and blame that are accorded. For there is praise for virtue and blame for vice. But praise and blame are not bestowed upon things involuntary. So it is evident that it is equally in our power to do virtuous and vicious acts.
They used also to employ some such comparison as this in their desire to show that vice is not voluntary. For why, they say, when we are ill or ugly, does no one blame us for things of this sort? But this is not true. For we do blame people for things of this sort, when we think that they themselves are the causes of their being ill or of their having their body in a bad state, on the assumption that there is voluntary action even there. It seems, then, that there is voluntariness in being virtuous and vicious.
One can see this still more clearly from the following considerations. Every natural kind is given to begetting a being like itself, i.e. plants and animals; for both are apt to beget. And they are given to beget from their first principles—for instance, the tree from the seed; for this is a kind of principle. And what follows the principles stands thus: as are the principles, so is what comes from the principles.
This can be seen more clearly in matters of geometry. For there also, when certain principles are assumed, as are the principles, so are what follow the principles; for instance, if the triangle has its angles equal to two right angles, and the quadrilateral to four, then according as the triangle changes, so does the quadrilateral share in its changes (for it is convertible), and if the quadrilateral has not its angles equal to four right angles, neither will the triangle have its angles equal to two right angles.
11. So, then, and in the like way with this, is it in the case of man. For since man is apt to produce being, he tends to produce the actions which he does from certain principles. How else could it be? For we do not say that any of the things without life acts, nor any other of the things with life, except men. It is evident, then, that man is the begetter of his acts.
Since, then, we see that the acts change, and we never do the same things, and the acts have been brought into being from certain principles, it is evident that, since the acts change, the principles from which the acts proceed also change, as we said in our comparison was the case with geometrical properties.
Now the principle of an act, whether virtuous or vicious, is purpose and wish, and all that accords with reason. It is evident, then, that these also change. But we change in our actions voluntarily. So that the principle also, purpose, changes voluntarily. So that it is plain that it will be in our power to be either virtuous or vicious.
Perhaps, then, some one may say, 'Since it is in my power to be just and good, if I wish I shall be the best of all men'. This, of course, is not possible. Why so? Because in the case of the body it is not so either. For if one wishes to bestow attention upon his body, it does not follow that he will have the best body that any one has. For it is necessary not merely for attention to be bestowed, but also for the body to be beautiful and good by nature. He will then have his body better, but best of all men, No. And so we must suppose it to be also in the case of soul. For he who wills to be best will not be so, unless Nature also be presupposed; better, however, he will be.
12. Since, then, it appears that to be good is in our power, it is necessary next to say what the voluntary is. For this is what chiefly determines virtue, to wit, the voluntary. Roughly speaking, that is voluntary which we do when not under compulsion. But perhaps we ought to speak more clearly about it.
What prompts us to action is impulse; and impulse has three forms—appetite, passion, wish.
First of all, then, we must inquire into the act which is in accordance with appetite. Is that voluntary or involuntary? That it is involuntary would not seem to be the case. Why so? And on what ground? Because wherever we do not act voluntarily, we act under compulsion, and all acts done under compulsion are attended with pain, whereas acts due to appetite are attended with pleasure, so that on this way of looking at the matter acts due to appetite will not be involuntary, but voluntary.
But, again, there is another argument opposed to this, which makes its appeal to incontinence. No one, it is maintained, does evil voluntarily, knowing it to be evil. But yet the incontinent, knowing that what he does is vicious, nevertheless does it, and does it in accordance with appetite; he is not therefore acting voluntarily; therefore he is under compulsion. There again the old answer will meet this argument. For if the act be in accordance with appetite, it is not of compulsion; for appetite is attended with pleasure, and acts due to pleasure are not of compulsion.
There is another way in which this conclusion may be made plain; I mean, that the incontinent acts voluntarily. For those who commit injustice do so voluntarily, and the incontinent are unjust and act unjustly. So that the incontinent man will voluntarily commit his acts of incontinence.
13. But, again, there is another argument opposed to this, which maintains that action due to appetite is not voluntary. For the self-restrained man voluntarily performs his acts of self-restraint. For he is praised, and people are praised for voluntary acts. But if that which is in accordance with appetite is voluntary, that which runs counter to appetite is involuntary. But the man of self-restraint acts contrary to his appetite. So that the man of self-restraint will not be self-restrained voluntarily. But this conclusion does not commend itself. Therefore the act which is in accordance with appetite is not voluntary.
Again, the same thing holds of acts prompted by passion. For the same arguments apply as to appetite, so that they will cause the difficulty. For it is possible to be incontinent or continent of anger.
Among the impulses in our division we have still to inquire about wish, whether it is voluntary. But assuredly the incontinent wish for the time being the things to which their impulse is directed. Therefore the incontinent perform their vicious acts with their own wish. But no one voluntarily does evil, knowing it to be evil. But the incontinent man, knowing evil to be evil, does it with his own wish. Therefore he is not a voluntary agent, and wish therefore is not a voluntary thing. But this argument annuls incontinence and the incontinent man. For, if he is not a voluntary agent, he is not blameworthy. But the incontinent is blameworthy. Therefore he is a voluntary agent. Therefore wish is voluntary.
Since, then, certain arguments seem opposed, we must speak more clearly about the voluntary.
14. Before doing so, however, we must speak about force and about necessity. Force may occur even in the case of things without life. For things without life have each their proper place assigned to them to fire the upper region and to earth the lower. It is, however, possible to force a stone to go up and fire to go down. It is also possible to apply force to an animal; for instance, when a horse is galloping straight ahead, one may take hold of him and divert his course. Now whenever the cause of men's doing something contrary to their nature or contrary to their wish is outside of them, we will say that they are forced to do what they do. But when the cause is in themselves, we will not in that case say that they are forced. Otherwise the incontinent man will have his answer ready, in denying that he is vicious. For he will say that he is forced by his appetite to perform the vicious acts.
15. Let this, then, be our definition of what is due to force those things of which the cause by which men are forced to do them is external (but where the cause is internal and in themselves there is no force).
But now we must speak about necessity and the necessary. The term 'necessary' must not be used in all circumstances nor in every case for instance, of what we do for the sake of pleasure. . For if one were to say 'I was necessitated by pleasure to debauch my friend's wife', he would be a strange person. For 'necessary' does not apply to everything, but only to externals; for instance, whenever a man receives some damage by way of alternative to some other greater, when compelled by circumstances. For instance, 'I found it necessary to hurry my steps to the country; otherwise I should have found my stock destroyed.' Such, then, are the cases in which we have the necessary.
16. But since the voluntary lies in no impulse, there will remain what proceeds from thought. For the involuntary is what is done from necessity or from force, and, thirdly, what is not accompanied by thought. This is plain from facts. For whenever a man has struck or killed a man, or has done something of that sort without having thought about it beforehand, we say that he has acted involuntarily, implying that the voluntariness lies in the having thought about it. For instance, they say that once on a time a woman gave a love-potion to somebody; then the man died from the effects of the love-potion, and the woman was put on her trial before the Areopagus; on her appearance before which she was acquitted, just for the reason that she did not do it with design. For she gave it in love, but missed her mark; wherefore it was not held to be voluntary, because in giving the love-potion she did not give it with the thought of killing. In that case, therefore, the voluntary falls under the head of what is accompanied with thought.
17. It now remains for us to inquire into purpose. Is purpose impulse or is it not? Now impulse is found in the lower animals, but not purpose; for purpose is attended with reason, and none of the lower animals has reason. Therefore it will not be impulse.
Is it then wish? Or is it not this either? For wish is concerned even with the impossible; for instance, we wish that we may live for ever, but we do not purpose it. Again, purpose is not concerned with the end but with the means; for instance, no one purposes to be in health, but we purpose what leads to health, e.g. walking, running; but we wish for the ends. For we wish to be in health. So that it is evident in this way also that wish and purpose are not the same thing.
But purpose seems to be what its name suggests; I mean, we choose one thing instead of another; for instance, the better instead of the worse. Whenever, then, we take the better in exchange for the worse as a matter of choice, there the verb 'to purpose' would seem to be appropriate.
Since, then, purpose is none of these things, can it be thought that constitutes purpose? Or is this not so either? For we entertain many thoughts and opinions in our minds. Do we then purpose whatever we think? Or is this not so? For often we think about things in India, but it does not follow that we purpose them. Purpose therefore is not thought either.
Since, then, purpose is not any of these singly, and these are the things that there are in the soul, purpose must result from the combination of some of them.
Since, then, purpose, as was said before, is concerned with the goods that are means and not with the end, and with the things that are possible to us, and with such as afford ground for controversy as to whether this or that is choiceworthy, it is evident that one must have thought and deliberated about them beforehand; then when a thing appears best to us after having thought it over, there ensues an impulse to act, and it is when we act in this way that we are held to act on purpose.
Since, then, purpose is a deliberate impulse attended with thought, the voluntary is not necessarily done on purpose. For there are many acts which we do voluntarily before thinking and deliberating about them; for instance, we sit down and rise up, and do many other things of the same sort voluntarily but without having thought about them, whereas every act done on purpose was found to be attended with thought. The voluntary, therefore, is not necessarily done on purpose, but the act done on purpose is voluntary; for if we purpose to do anything after deliberation, we act voluntarily. And a few legislators, even, appear to distinguish the voluntary act from the act done on purpose as being something different, in making the penalties that they appoint for voluntary acts less than for those that are done on purpose.
Purpose, then, lies in matters of action, and in those in which it is in our power to do or not to do, and to act in this way or in that, and where we can know the reason why.
But the reason why is not always of the same kind. For in geometry, when one says that the quadrilateral has its angles equal to four right angles, and one asks the reason why, one says, 'Because the triangle has its angles equal to two right angles.' Now in such cases they reached the reason why from a definite principle; but in matters of action, with which purpose has to do, it is not so (for there is no definite principle laid down), but if one asks, 'Why did you do this?' the answer is, 'Because it was the only thing possible.' or 'Because it was better so.' It is from the consequences themselves, according as they appear to be better, that one forms one's purpose, and these are the reason why.
Wherefore in such matters the deliberation is as to the how, but not so in the sciences. For no one deliberates how he ought to write the name Archicles, because it is a settled matter how one ought to write the name Archicles. The error, then, does not arise in the thought, but in the act of writing. For where the error is not in the thought, neither do people deliberate about those things. But wherever there is an indefiniteness about the how, there error comes in.
Now there is the element of indefiniteness in matters of action, and in those matters in which the errors are two-fold. We err, then, in matters of action and in what pertains to the virtues in the same way. For in aiming at virtue we err in the natural directions. For there is error both in defect and in excess, and we are carried in both these directions through pleasure and pain. For it is owing to pleasure that we do base deeds, and owing to pain that we abstain from noble ones.
18. Again, thought is not like the senses; for instance, with sight one could not do anything else than see, nor with hearing anything else than hear. So also we do not deliberate whether we ought to hear with hearing or see. But thought is not like this, but it is able to do one thing and others also. That is why deliberation comes in there. The error, then, in the choice of goods is not about the ends (for as to these all are at one in their judgment, for instance, that health is a good), but only about those which lead to the ends; for instance, whether a particular food is good for health or not. The chief cause of our going wrong in these matters is pleasure and pain; for we avoid the one and choose the other.
Since, then, it has been settled in what error takes place and how, it remains to ask what it is that virtue aims at. Does it aim at the end or at the means; for instance,at what is right or at what conduces thereto?
How, then, is it with science? Does it belong to the science of housebuilding to design the end rightly, or to see the means that conduce to it? For if the design be right—I mean, to make a beautiful house—it is no other than the housebuilder who will discover and provide the means. And similarly in the case of all the other sciences.
So, then, it would seem to be also in the case of virtue, that its aim is rather the end, which it must design rightly, than the means. And no one else will provide the materials for this or discover the means that are required. And it is reasonable to suppose that virtue should have this in view. For both design and execution always belong to that with which the origination of the best lies. Now there is nothing better than virtue; for it is for its sake that all other things are, and the origination looks to this, and the means are rather for the sake of it; now the end seems to be a kind of principle, and everything is for the sake of it. But this will be as it ought to be. So that it is plain also in the case of virtue, since it is the best mode of causation, that it aims at the end rather than at the means.
19. Now the end of virtue is the right. This, then, is what virtue aims at rather than the things from which it will be produced. But it has to do also with these. But to make these its whole concern is manifestly absurd. For perhaps in painting one might be a good imitator and yet not be praised, if one does not make it his aim to imitate the best subjects. This, therefore, is quite the business of virtue, to design the right.
Why, then, some one may say, did we say before that the activity was better than the corresponding state, whereas now we are assigning to virtue as nobler not the material for activity, but something in which there is no activity? Yes, but now also we assert this just the same, that the activity is better than the state. For his fellow men in viewing the good man judge him from his acts, owing to its not being possible to make clear the purpose which each has, since if it were possible to know how the judgment of each man stands towards the right, he would have been thought good even without acting.
But since we reckoned up certain means of the feelings, we must say with what sort of feelings they are concerned.
20. . .Since, then, courage has to do with feelings of confidence and fear, we must examine with what sort of fears and confidences it has to do. If, then, any one is afraid of losing his property, is he a coward? And if any one is confident about these matters, is he brave? Surely not! And in the same way if one is afraid of or confident about illness, one ought not to say that the man who fears is a coward or that the man who does not fear is brave. It is not, therefore, in such fears and confidences as these that courage consists. Nor yet in such as follow; for instance, if one is not afraid of thunder or lightning or any other superhuman terror, he is not brave but a sort of madman. It is with human fears and confidences, then, that the brave man has to do; I mean to say that whoso is confident under circumstances in which most people or all are afraid, he is a brave man.
These points having been settled, we must inquire, since there are many ways in which men are brave, which is the truly brave man. For you may have a man who is brave from experience, like professional soldiers. For they know, owing to experience, that in such a place or time or condition it is impossible to suffer any damage. But the man who knows these things and for this reason stands his ground against the enemy is not brave; for if none of these things be the case, he does not stand his ground. Wherefore one ought not to call those brave whose courage is due to experience. Nor indeed was Socrates right in asserting that courage was knowledge. For knowledge becomes knowledge by getting experience from habit. But of those whose endurance is due to experience we do not say, nor would men in general say, that they are brave. Courage, therefore, will not consist in knowledge.
But again, on the other hand, there are some who are brave from the opposite of experience. For those who have no experience of the probable results are free from fear owing to their inexperience. Neither, then, must we call these brave.
Again, there are others who appear brave owing to their passions; for instance, those who are in love or are inspired by religion. We must not call these brave either. For if their passion be taken away, they are not brave any more, whereas the truly brave man must always be brave. Wherefore one would not call wild beasts like boars brave, owing to their defending themselves when they have been pained by a wound, nor ought the brave man to be brave through passion.
Again, there is another form of courage, which we may call civic; for instance, if men endure dangers out of shame before their fellow citizens, and so appear to be brave. In illustration of this we may take the way in which Homer has represented Hector as saying—
Then were Polydamas first to pile reproaches upon me;
for which reason he thinks that he ought to fight. We must not call this sort courage either. For the same definition will apply to each of these. For he whose courage does not endure on the deprivation of something cannot properly be considered brave; if, then, I take away the shame owing to which he was brave, he will no longer be brave.
There is yet another way of appearing brave, namely, through hope and anticipation of good. We must not say that these are brave either, since it appears absurd to call those brave who are of such a character and under such circumstances.
No one, then, of the above kinds must be put down as brave.
We have then to ask who is to be so put down, and who is the really brave man. Broadly speaking, then, it is he who is brave owing to none of the things above-mentioned, but owing to his thinking it to be right, and who acts bravely whether any one be present or not.
Not, indeed, that courage arises in one entirely without passion and impulse. But the impulse must proceed from reason and be directed to the right. He, then, who is carried by a rational impulse to face danger for the sake of right, being free from fear about these things, is brave; and these are the things with which courage has to do.
When we say 'free from fear', it is not to be understood that the brave man feels no fear at all. For such a person is not brave, for whom nothing at all has any terrors. For in that way a stone and other things without life would be brave. But it is necessary that while he feels fear he should still face the danger; for if, on the other hand, he faces it without feeling fear, he will not be brave.
Further, according to the distinction that we made above, it is not concerned with all fears and dangers, but only with those which threaten existence. Moreover, not at any and every time, but when the fears and the dangers are near. For if one is void of fear with regard to a danger that is ten years off, it does not follow that he is brave. For some are confident owing to its being far away, but, if they come near it, are ready to die with fear. Such, then, are courage and the brave man.
21. Temperance is a mean between intemperance and insensibility to pleasures. For temperance and generally every virtue is the best state, and the best state lies in the attainment of the best thing, and the best thing is the mean between excess and defect; for people are blameworthy on both grounds, both on that of excess and on that of defect. So that, since the mean is best, temperance will be a mean state between intemperance and insensibility. These, then, are the vices between which it will be a mean.
Temperance is concerned with pleasures and pains, but not with all, nor with those that have to do with all objects. For one is not intemperate if one takes pleasure in beholding a painting or a statue or something of that sort, and in the same way not so in the case of hearing or smell; but only in the pleasures which have to do with touch and taste.
Nor yet with regard to these will a man be temperate who is in such a state as not to be affected at all by any pleasures of this sort (for such a person is devoid of feeling), but rather he who feels them and yet does not let himself be led away into enjoying them to excess and regarding everything else as of secondary consideration; and, we must add, the man who acts for the sake of right and nothing else. . . . For whoever abstains from the excess of such pleasures either from fear or some other such motive is not temperate. For neither do we call the other animals temperate except man, because there is not reason in them whereby they test and choose the right. For every virtue is concerned with and aims at the right. So temperance will be concerned with pleasures and pains, and these those that occur in touch and taste.
22. Next to this it behoves us to speak about the definition and sphere of gentleness: Gentleness, then, is in a mean between irascibility and a want of anger. And generally the virtues seem to be a kind of means. One can show that they are so in this way as well. For if the best is in the mean, and virtue is the best state [and the mean is best], virtue will be the mean. But it will be more plain as we inquire into them separately. For since he is irascible who gets angry with everybody and under all circumstances and to too great an extent, and such a one is blameworthy (for one ought not to be angry with everybody nor at everything nor under all circumstances and always, nor yet again on the other hand ought one to be in such a state as never to be angry with anybody; for this character also is blameworthy, as being insensible), since then both he who is in the excess is blameworthy and he who is in the defect, the man who is in the mean between them will be gentle and praiseworthy. For neither he who is in defect in anger nor he who is in excess is praiseworthy, but he who stands in a mean with regard to these things. He is gentle; and gentleness will be a mean state with regard to these feelings.
23. Liberality is a mean state between prodigality and illiberality. Feelings of this sort have to do with property. The prodigal is he who spends on wrong objects and more than he ought and at wrong times, while the illiberal man, in the opposite way to him, is he who does not spend on right objects and as much as he ought and when he ought. And both these characters are blameworthy. And one of them is characterized by defect and the other by excess. The liberal man, therefore, since he is praiseworthy, will be in a mean between them. Who, then, is he? He who spends on right objects and right amounts and at right times.
24. There are several forms of illiberality; for instance, we call some people niggards and cheese-parers, and lovers of base gain, and penurious. Now all these fall under the head of illiberality. For evil is multiform, but good uniform; for instance, health is single, but disease has many shapes. In the same way virtue is single, but vice has many shapes. For all these characters are blameworthy in relation to property.
Is it, then, the business of the liberal man also to get and procure property? Surely not! That sort of thing is not the business of any virtue at all. It is not the business of courage to make weapons, but of something else, but it is the business of this when it has got them to make a right use of them; and so in the case of temperance and the other virtues. This, then, is not the business of liberality, but rather of the art of procuring property.
25. Greatness of soul is a mean between vanity and littleness of soul, and it has to do with honor and dishonor, not so much with honor from the many as with that from the good, and more indeed with this. For the good will bestow honor with knowledge and good judgment. He will wish then rather to be honored by those who know as he does himself that he deserves honor. For he will not be concerned with every honor, but with the best, and with the good that is honorable and ranks as a principle. Those, then, who are despicable and bad, but who deem themselves worthy of great things, and besides that think that they ought to be honored, are vain. But those who deem themselves worthy of less than befits them are men of little soul. The man, therefore, who is in the mean between these is he who neither deems himself worthy of less honor than is befitting to him, nor of greater than he deserves, nor of all. And he is the man of great soul. So that it is evident that greatness of soul is a mean between vanity and littleness of soul.
26. Magnificence is a mean between ostentation and shabbiness. Now magnificence has to do with expenses which are proper to be incurred by a man of eminence. Whoever therefore spends on the wrong occasions is ostentatious; for instance, one who feasts his dinner-club as though he were giving a wedding-banquet, such a person is ostentatious (for the ostentatious man is the sort of person who shows off his own means on the wrong occasion). But the shabby man is the opposite of this, who fails to make a great expenditure when he ought; or if, without going to that length, when, for instance, he is spending money on a wedding-feast or the mounting of a play, he does it in an unworthy and deficient way, such a person is shabby. Magnificence from its very name shows itself to be such as we are describing. For since it spends the great amount on the fitting occasion, it is rightly called magnificence. Magnificence, then, since it is praiseworthy, is a mean between defect and excess with regard to proper expenses on the right occasions.
But there are, as people think, more kinds of magnificence than one; for instance, people say, his gait was magnificent, and there are of course other uses of the term magnificent in a metaphorical, not in a strict sense. For it is not in those things that magnificence lies, but in those which we have mentioned.
27. Righteous indignation is a mean state between enviousness and malice. For both these states are blameworthy, but the man who shows righteous indignation is praiseworthy. Now righteous indignation is a kind of pain with regard to good things which are found to attach to the undeserving. The man, then, who feels righteous indignation is he who is apt to feel pain at such things. And this same person again will feel pain, if he sees a man faring ill, who does not deserve it. Righteous indignation, then, and the person who feels it, are perhaps of this sort, but the envious man is the opposite of this. For he will feel pain without distinction as to whether one deserves the good fortune or not. In the same way with him the malicious man will be pleased at ill-fortune, whether deserved or undeserved. Not so with the man who feels righteous indignation, but he is in the mean between these.
28. Reserve is in a mean between pride and complaisance, and has to do with social intercourse. For the proud man is inclined not to meet or talk to anybody (but his name seems to be given to him from his character; for it means self-pleasing, from his gratifying himself); but the complaisant is ready to associate with every one under all circumstances and in all places. Neither of these characters, then, is praiseworthy, but the reserved man, being in the mean between them, is praiseworthy. For he does not lay himself out to please everybody, but only those who are worthy, nor yet nobody, for he does so to these same.
29. Modesty is a mean between shamelessness and bashfulness, and it has to do with deeds and words. For the shameless man is he who says and does anything on any occasion or before any people; but the bashful man is the opposite of this, who is afraid to say or do anything before anybody (for such a man is incapacitated for action, who is bashful about everything); but modesty and the modest man are a mean between these. For he will not say and do anything under any circumstances, like the shameless man, nor, like the bashful man, be afraid on every occasion and under all circumstances, but will say and do what he ought, where he ought, and when he ought.
30. Wit is a mean state between buffoonery and boorishness, and it is concerned with jests. For the buffoon is he who thinks fit to jest at every one and everything, and the boor is he who neither thinks fit to make jests nor to have them made at him, but gets angry. But the witty man is midway between these, who neither jests at all persons and under all circumstances, nor on the other hand is a boor. But wit has two sides to it. For both he who is able to jest in good taste and he who can stand being jested at may be called a man of wit. Such, then, is wit.
31. Friendliness is a mean state between flattery and unfriendliness, and it has to do with acts and words. For the flatterer is he who adds more than is proper and true, while the unfriendly man is hostile and detracts from the truth. Neither of them, then, can rightly be praised, but the friendly man is between the two. For he will not add more than the facts, nor praise what is not proper, nor on the other hand will he represent things as less than they are, nor oppose in all cases even contrary to what he thinks. Such, then, is the friendly man.
32. Truthfulness is a mean between self-depreciation and boastfulness. It has to do, of course, with words, but not with all words. For the boaster is he who pretends to have more than he has, or to know what he does not know; while the self-depreciator, on the other hand, lays claim to less than he really has and does not declare what he knows, but tries to hide his knowledge. But the truthful man will do neither of these things. For he will not pretend either to more than he has or less, but will say that he has and knows what as a matter of fact he does have and does know.
Whether, then, these are virtues or not is another question. But that they are means of the above-mentioned states is plain. For those who live according to them are praised.
33. It remains to speak about justice—what it is, in what, and about what.
First, then, if we could fix upon what justice is. Justice is twofold, of which one kind is legal justice. For people say that what the law commands is just. Now the law commands us to act bravely and temperately, and generally to perform the actions which come under the head of the virtues. For which reason also, they say, justice appears to be a kind of perfect virtue. For if the things which the law commands us to do are just, and the law ordains what is in accordance with all virtues, it follows that he who abides by legal justice will be perfectly virtuous, so that the just man and justice are a kind of perfect virtue.
The just, then, in one sense is in these things and about these things. But it is not the just in this sense, nor the justice which deals with these things, of which we are in search. For in respect of just conduct of this sort it is possible to be just when one is alone (for the temperate and the brave and the self-controlled is so each of them when alone). But what is just towards one's neighbor is different from the legal justice that has been spoken of. For in things just towards one's neighbor it is not possible to be just when alone. But it is the just in this sense of which we are in search, and the justice which has to do with these things.
The just, then, in relation to one's neighbor is, speaking generally, the equal. For the unjust is the unequal. For when people assign more of the goods to themselves and less of the evils, this is unequal, and in that case they think that injustice is done and suffered. It is evident, therefore, that since injustice implies unequal things, justice and the just will consist in an equality of contracts. So that it is evident that justice will be a mean between excess and defect, between too much and too little. For the unjust man by doing wrong has more, and his victim by being wronged has less; but the mean between these is just. And the mean is equal. So that the equal between more and less will be just, and he will be just who wishes to have what is equal. But the equal implies two things at least. To be equal therefore in relation to one s neighbor is just, and a man of this sort will be just.
Since, then, justice consists in just and equal dealing and in a mean, we must notice that the just is said to be just as between certain persons, and the equal is a relation between certain persons, and the mean is a mean for certain persons; so that justice and the just will have relation to certain persons and be between certain persons.
Since, then, the just is equal, the proportionally equal will be just. Now proportion implies four terms at least: A : B : : C : D. For instance, it is proportional that he who has much should contribute much, and that he who has little should contribute little; again, in the same way, that he who has worked much should receive much, and that he who has worked little should receive little. But as the man who has worked is to the man who has not worked, so is the much to the little; and as the man who has worked is to the much, so is the man who has not worked to the little.
Plato also seems to employ proportional justice in his Republic. For the farmer, he says, produces food, and the housebuilder a house, and the weaver a cloak, and the shoemaker a shoe. Now the farmer gives the housebuilder food, and the housebuilder gives the farmer a house; and in the same way all the rest exchange their products against those of others. And this is the proportion. As the farmer is to the housebuilder, so is the housebuilder to the farmer. In the same way with the shoemaker, the weaver, and all the rest, the same proportion holds towards one another. And this proportion holds the commonwealth together. So that the just seems to be the proportional. For the just holds commonwealths together, and the just is the same thing as the proportional.
But since the work which the housebuilder produces is of more value than that of the shoemaker, and the shoemaker had to exchange his work with the housebuilder, but it was not possible to get a house for shoes; under these circumstances they had recourse to using something for which all these things are purchasable, to wit silver, which they called money, and to effecting their mutual exchanges by each paying the worth of each product, and thereby holding the political communion together.
Since, then, the just is in those things and in what was mentioned before, the justice which is concerned with these things will be an habitual impulse attended with purpose about and in these things.
Retaliation also is just; not, however, as the Pythagoreans maintained. For they thought that it was just that a man should suffer in return what he had done. But this cannot be the case in relation to all persons. For the same thing is not just for a domestic as for a freeman. For if the domestic has struck the freeman, it is not just that he should merely be struck in return, but many times. And retaliatory justice, also, consists in proportion. For as the freeman is to the slave in being superior, so is retaliation to aggression. It will be the same with one freeman in relation to another. For it is not just, if a man has knocked out somebody's eye, merely that he should have his own knocked out, but that he should suffer more, if he is to observe the proportion. For he was the first to begin and did a wrong, and is in the wrong in both ways, so that the acts of injustice are proportional, and for him to suffer more than he did is just.
But since the term just is used in more senses than one, we must determine what kind of justice it is about which our inquiry is.
There is, then, a sort of justice, as they say, for a domestic as against his master, and a son as against his father. But the just in these cases would seem only to share the name of political justice without sharing the nature (for the justice about which we are inquiring is political justice); for this above all consists in equality (for citizens are a sort of partners, and tend to be on a par by nature, though they differ in character), but a son as against his father or a domestic against his master would not seem to have any rights at all, any more than my foot or my hand has any rights against me, and in the same way with each of the members. The same, then, would seem to be the case with the son as against his father. For the son is, as it were, a part of his father, except when he has already attained to the position of a man and has been separated from him; then, and not till then, is he the equal and peer of his father. Now citizens are supposed to be on that footing. And in the same way neither has a domestic any rights as against his master for the same reason. For the domestic is a part of his master. Or if he has any rights as against him, it is in the way of economic justice. But this is not what we are in search of, but political justice; for political justice seems to lie in equality and peerdom. Though, indeed, the justice that there is in the intercourse between wife and husband comes near to political justice. For the wife is inferior to the husband, but more intimately connected with him, and partakes in a way more of equality, because their life is an approximation to political society, so that justice between man and wife is more than any other like that between citizens. Since, then, the just is that which is found in political society, justice also and the just man will be concerned with the politically just.
Things are just either by nature or by law. But we must not regard the natural as being something which cannot by any possibility change; for even the things which are by nature partake of change. I mean, for instance, if we were all to practice always throwing with the left hand, we should become ambidextrous. But still by nature left is left, and the right is none the less naturally superior to the left hand, even if we do everything with the left as we do with the right. Nor because things change does it follow that they are not by nature. But if for the most part and for the greater length of time the left continues thus to be left and the right right, this is by nature. The same is the case with things just by nature. Do not suppose that, if things change owing to our use, there is not therefore a natural justice; because there is. For that which continues for the most part can plainly be seen to be naturally just. As to what we establish for ourselves and practice, that is thereby just, and we call it just according to law. Natural justice, then, is better than legal. But what we are in search of is political justice. Now the politically just is the legal, not the natural.
The unjust and the unjust act might seem on first hearing to be the same, but they are not. For the unjust is that which is determined by law; for instance, it is unjust to steal a deposit, but the unjust act is the actual doing of something unjustly. And in the same way the just is not the same with a piece of just conduct. For the just is what is determined by law, but a piece of just conduct is the doing of just deeds.
When, therefore, have we the just, and when not? Generally speaking, when one acts in accordance with purpose and voluntarily (what was meant by the voluntary has been stated by us above), and when one does so knowing the person, the means, and the end, those are the conditions of a just act. In the very same way the unjust man will be he who knows the person, the means, and the end. But when without knowing any of these things one has done something that is unjust, one is not unjust oneself, but unfortunate. For if a man has slain his father under the idea that he was slaying an enemy, though he has done something that is unjust, still he is not doing injustice to anybody, but is unfortunate.
The possibility, then, of not committing injustice when one does things that are unjust lies in being ignorant of what was mentioned a little above, viz. when one does not know whom one is hurting, nor with what, nor to what end. But we must now define the ignorance, and say how the ignorance must arise if a man is not to be doing an injustice to the person whom he hurts. Let this, then, be the definition. When the ignorance is the cause of his doing something, he does not do this voluntarily, so that he does not commit injustice; but when he is himself the cause of his ignorance and does something in accordance with the ignorance of which he is himself the cause, then he is guilty of injustice, and such a person will justly be called unjust. Take for instance people who are drunk. Those who are drunk and have done something bad commit injustice. For they are themselves the causes of their ignorance. For they need not have drunk so much as not to know that they were beating their father.
Similarly with the other sorts of ignorance which are due to men themselves, the people who commit injustice from them are unjust. But where they are not themselves the causes, but their ignorance is the cause of their doing what they do, they are not unjust. This sort of ignorance is that which comes from nature; for instance, children strike their parents in ignorance, but the ignorance which is in them being due to nature does not make the children to be called unjust owing to this conduct. For it is ignorance which is the cause of their behaving thus, and they are not themselves to blame for their ignorance, for which reason they are not called unjust either.
But how about being injured? Can a man be injured voluntarily? Surely not! We do indeed voluntarily perform just and unjust acts, but we cannot be said to be injured voluntarily. For we avoid being punished, so that it is evident that we would not voluntarily let ourselves be injured. For no one voluntarily endures to be hurt. Now to be injured is to be hurt.
Yes, but there are some who, when they ought to have an equal share, give way to others, so that if, as we have seen, to have the equal is just, and to have less is to be injured, and a man voluntarily has less, it follows, it is maintained, that he is injured voluntarily. But from the following consideration it is evident, on the other hand, that this is not so. For all who accept less get compensation for it in the way of honor, or praise, or glory, or friendship, or something of that sort. But he who takes compensation of some kind for what he forgoes cannot be said to be injured; and if he is not injured at all, then he is not injured voluntarily.
Yet again, those who get less and are injured in so far as they do not get what is equal, pride and plume themselves on such things, for they say, Though I might have had my share, I did not take it, but gave way to an elder or to a friend. But no one prides himself on being injured. But if they do not pride themselves upon suffering acts of injustice and do pride themselves upon such things, it follows generally that they will not be injured by thus getting less. And if they are not injured at all, then they will not be injured voluntarily.
But as against these and the like arguments we have a counter-argument in the case of the incontinent man. For the incontinent man hurts himself by doing bad acts, and these acts he does voluntarily; he therefore hurts himself knowingly, so that he is voluntarily injured by himself. But here if we add the distinction, it will impede the force of the argument. And the distinction is this, that no one wishes to be injured. The incontinent man does with his own wish what is prompted by his incontinence, so that he injures himself; he therefore wishes to do to himself what is bad. But no one wishes to be injured, so that even the incontinent man will not voluntarily be doing an injury to himself.
But here again one might perhaps raise a difficulty. Is it possible for a man to be unjust to himself? Judging from the incontinent man it would seem possible. And, again, in this way. If it is just to do those things which the law ordains to be done, he who does not do these is committing injustice; and if when he does not do them to him to whom the law commands, he is doing an injustice to that person, but the law commands one to be temperate, to possess property, to take care of one's body, and all other such things, then he who does not do these things is doing an injustice to himself. For it is not possible to refer such acts of injustice to any one else.
But these statements can hardly have been true, nor is it possible for a man to be unjust to himself. For it is not possible for the same man at the same time to have more and less, nor at once to act voluntarily and involuntarily. But yet he who does injustice, in so far as he does it, has more, and he who suffers it, in so far as he suffers it, has less. If therefore a man does injustice to himself, it is possible for the same man at the same time to have more and less. But this is impossible. It is not therefore possible for a man to be unjust to himself.
Again, he who does injustice does it voluntarily, and he who suffers it suffers it involuntarily, so that, if it is possible for a man to be unjust to himself, it would be possible at the same time to do something involuntarily and voluntarily. But this is impossible. So in this way also it is not possible for a man to be unjust to himself.
Again, one might look at the question from the point of view of particular acts of injustice. Whenever men commit injustice, it is either by stealing a deposit, or committing adultery, or thieving, or doing some other particular act of injustice; but no one ever robbed himself of a deposit, or committed adultery with his own wife, or stole his own property; so that if the commission of injustice lies in such things, and it is not possible to do any of them to oneself, it will not be possible to commit injustice against oneself.
Or if so, it will not be an act of injustice of the political, but rather of the family type. For the soul being divided into several parts has in itself a something better and a something worse, so that if there is any act of injustice within the soul, it will be done by the parts against one another. Now we distinguished the economic act of in justice by its being directed against the better or worse, so that in this sense a man may be unjust or just to himself. But this is not what we are investigating, but the political act of injustice. So that in such acts of injustice as form the subject of our inquiry, it is not possible for a man to commit injustice against himself.
Which of the two, again, commits injustice, and with which of the two does the act of injustice lie, when a man has anything unjustly? Is it not with him who has judged and made the award, as in the games? For he who takes the palm from the president who has adjudged it to him is not committing injustice, even if it be wrongly awarded to him; but without doubt it is he who has judged badly and given it who is in the wrong. And he is in a way committing injustice, while in a way he is not. For in that he has not judged what is really and naturally just, he is committing an injustice, while in that he has judged what appears to him to be just, he is not committing an injustice.
34. Now since we have spoken about the virtues in general, saying what they are and in what and about what, and about each of them in particular, how that we must do the best in accordance with right reason, to say no more than this, namely, to act in accordance with right reason, would be much the same as if one were to say that health would be best secured, if one were to adopt the means of health. Such a statement is of course obscure. I shall have it said to me, Explain what are the means of health. So also in the case of reason, What is reason and which is right reason?
Perhaps it is necessary first of all to make a division of that in which reason is found. A distinction, indeed, was made in outline about soul before, how that one part of it is possessed of reason, while there is another part of the soul that is irrational. But the part of the soul which is possessed of reason has two divisions, of which one is the deliberative faculty, the other the faculty by which we know. That they are different from one another will be evident from their subject-matter. For as color and flavor and sound and smell are different from one another, so also nature has rendered the senses whereby we perceive them different (for sound we cognize by hearing, flavor by taste, and color by sight), and in like manner we must suppose it to be the same with all other things. When, then, the subject-matters are different, we must suppose that the parts of the soul whereby we cognize these are also different. Now there is a difference between the object of thought and the object of sense; and these we cognize by soul. The part of the soul, therefore, which is concerned with objects of sense will be different from that which is concerned with objects of thought. But the faculty of deliberation and purpose has to do with objects of sense that are liable to change, and generally all that is subject to generation and destruction. For we deliberate about those things which depend upon us and our purpose to do or not to do, about which there is deliberation and purpose as to whether to do them or not. And these are sensible objects which are in process of change. So that the part of the soul in which purpose resides will correspond to sensible objects.
These points having been settled, we must go on as follows. The question is one of truth, and the subject of our inquiry is how the truth stands, and we have to do with science, wisdom, intellect, philosophy, supposition. What, then, is the object of each of these?
Now science deals with the object of science, and this through a process accompanied with demonstration and reason, but wisdom with matters of action, in which there is choice and avoidance, and it is in our power to do or not to do.
When things are made and done, that which makes and that which does them are not the same. For the arts of making have some other end beyond the making; for instance, beyond housebuilding, since that is the art of making a house, there is a house as its end beyond the making, and similarly in the case of carpentry and the other arts of making; but in the processes of doing there is no other end beyond the doing; for instance, beyond playing the harp there is no other end, but just this is the end, the activity and the doing. Wisdom, then, is concerned with doing and things done, but art with making and things made; for it is in things made rather than in things done that artistic contrivance is displayed.
So that wisdom will be a state of purposing and doing things which it is in our own power to do or not to do, so far as they are of actual importance to welfare.
Wisdom is a virtue, it would seem, not a science. For the wise are praiseworthy, and praise is bestowed on virtue. Again, every science has its virtue, but wisdom has no virtue, but, as it seems, is itself a virtue.
Intellect has to do with the first principles of things intelligible and real. For science has to do with things that admit of demonstration, but the principles are in demonstrable, so that it will not be science but intellect that is concerned with the principles.
Philosophy is compounded of science and intellect. For philosophy has to do both with the principles and with what can be proved from the principles, with which science deals. In so far, then, as it deals with the principles, it itself partakes of intellect, but in so far as it deals with demonstrative conclusions from the principles, it partakes of science. So that it is evident that philosophy is compounded of intellect and science, so that it will deal with the same things with which intellect and science do.
Supposition is that whereby we are left in doubt about all things as to whether they are in a particular way or not.
Are wisdom and philosophy the same thing? Surely not! For philosophy has to do with things that can be demonstrated and are eternally the same, but wisdom has not to do with these, but with things that undergo change. I mean, for instance, straight or crooked or convex and the like are always what they are, but things expedient do not follow this analogy, so as never to change into anything else; they do change, and a given thing is expedient now, but not to-morrow, to this man but not to that, and is expedient in this way, but not in that way. Now wisdom has to do with things expedient, but philosophy not. Therefore philosophy and wisdom are not the same.
Is philosophy a virtue or not? It can become plain to us that it is a virtue by merely looking at wisdom. For if wisdom is. as we maintain, the virtue of one of the two rational parts, and wisdom is inferior to philosophy (for its objects are inferior; for philosophy has to do with the eternal and the divine, as we maintain, but wisdom with what is expedient for man), if, then, the inferior thing is a virtue, it is reasonable that the better should be a virtue, so that it is evident that philosophy is a virtue.
What is intelligence, and with what is it concerned? The sphere of intelligence is the same as that of wisdom, having to do with matters of action. For the intelligent man is doubtless so called from his capacity for deliberation, and in that he judges and sees a thing rightly. But his judgment is about small things and on small occasions. Intelligence, then, and the intelligent man are a part of wisdom and the wise man, and cannot be found apart from these; for you cannot separate the intelligent from the wise man.
The case would seem to be the same with cleverness. For cleverness and the clever man are not wisdom and the wise man; the wise man, however, is clever, wherefore also cleverness co-operates in a way with wisdom. But the bad man also is called clever; for instance, Mentor was thought to be clever, but he was not wise. For it is the part of the wise man and of wisdom to aim at the best things, and always to purpose and do these, but it is the part of cleverness and the clever man to consider by what means each object of action may be effected, and to provide these. Such, then, would seem to be the surroundings and sphere of the clever man.
It may raise a question and cause surprise that, when speaking of ethics and dealing with a department of statecraft, we are speaking about philosophy. Perhaps the reason is, firstly, that the inquiry about it will not appear foreign to our subject, if it is a virtue, as we maintain. Again, it is perhaps the part of the philosopher to glance also at subjects adjacent to his main interest. And it is necessary, when we are speaking about the contents of soul, to speak about them all; now philosophy is also in soul; so that we are not going beyond our proper subject in speaking about it.
But as cleverness is to wisdom, so it would seem to be in the case of all the virtues. What I mean is that there are virtues which spring up even by nature in different persons, a sort of impulses in the individual, apart from reason, to courageous and just conduct and the like behavior in accordance with virtue; and there are also virtues due to habit and purpose. But the virtues that are accompanied with reason, when they supervene, are completely praiseworthy.
Now this natural virtue which is unaccompanied by reason, so long as it remains apart from reason, is of little account, and falls short of being praised, but when added to reason and purpose, it makes perfect virtue. Wherefore also the natural impulse to virtue co-operates with reason and is not apart from reason. Nor, on the other hand, are reason and purpose quite perfected as regards being virtue without the natural impulse.
Wherefore Socrates was not speaking correctly when he said that virtue was reason, thinking that it was no use doing brave and just acts, unless one did them from knowledge and rational purpose. This was why he said that virtue was reason. Herein he was not right, but the men of the present day say better; for they say that virtue is doing what is good in accordance with right reason. Even they, indeed, are not right. For one might do what is just without any purpose at all or knowledge of the good, but from an irrational impulse, and yet do this rightly and in accordance with right reason (I mean he may have acted in the way that right reason would command); but all the same, this sort of conduct does not merit praise. But it is better to say, according to our definition, that it is the accompaniment by reason of the impulse to good. For that is virtue and that is praiseworthy.
The question might be raised whether wisdom is a virtue or not. It will be evident, however, from the following consideration that it is a virtue. For if justice and courage and the rest of the virtues, because they lead to the doing of right, are also praiseworthy, it is evident that wisdom will also be among the things that are praiseworthy and that rank as virtues. For wisdom also has an impulse towards those acts which courage has an impulse to do. For, speaking generally, courage acts as wisdom ordains, so that if it is itself praiseworthy for doing what wisdom ordains, wisdom will be in a perfect degree both praiseworthy and virtue.
But whether wisdom is practical or not one might see from this, namely, by looking at the sciences, for instance at housebuilding. For there is, as we say, in housebuilding one person who is called an architect, and another, who is subordinate to him, a housebuilder; and he is capable of making a house. But the architect also, inasmuch as he made the house, is capable of making a house. And the case is the same in all the other productive arts, in which there is a master-craftsman and his subordinate. The master-craftsman therefore also will be capable of making something, and that the same thing which his subordinate is capable of making. If, then, the analogy holds in the case of the virtues, as is likely and reasonable, wisdom also will be practical. For all the virtues are practical, and wisdom is a kind of master-craftsman of them. For as it shall ordain, so the virtues and the virtuous act. Since then the virtues are practical, wisdom also will be practical.
But does this hold sway over all things in the soul, as is held and also questioned? Surely not! For it would not seem to do so over what is superior to itself; for instance, it does not hold sway over philosophy. But, it is said, this has charge of all, and is supreme in issuing commands. But perhaps it holds the same position as the steward in the household. For he is supreme over all and manages everything. But it does not follow that he holds sway over all; instead of that he is procuring leisure for the master, in order that he may not be hindered by necessary cares and so shut out from doing something that is noble and befitting. So and in like manner with him wisdom is, as it were, a kind of steward of philosophy, and is procuring leisure for it and for the doing of its work, by subduing the passions and keeping them in order.
1. AFTER this we must inquire into equity. What is it? And what is its field and sphere? The equitable man with his equity is he who is inclined to take less than his legal rights. There are matters in which it is impossible for the lawgiver to enter into exact details in defining, and where he has to content himself with a general statement. When, then, a man gives way in these matters, and chooses those things which the lawgiver would have wished indeed to determine in detail, but was not able to, such a man is equitable. It is not the way with him to take less than what is just absolutely; for he does not fall short of what is naturally and really just, but only of what is legally just in matters which the law left undetermined for want of power.
2. Considerateness and the considerate man have to do with the same things as equity, with points of justice that have been omitted by the lawgiver owing to the inexactness of his definitions. The considerate man criticizes the omissions of the lawgiver, and knows that, though things have been omitted by the lawgiver, they are nevertheless just. Such is the considerate man. Now considerateness is not found apart from equity. To the considerate man it belongs to judge, and to the equitable man to act in accordance with the judgment.
3. Good counsel is concerned with the same things as wisdom (dealing with matters of action which concern choice and avoidance), and it is not found apart from wisdom. For wisdom leads to the doing of these things, while good counsel is a state or disposition, or whatever you are pleased to call it, which leads to the attainment of the best and most expedient in matters of action. Hence things that turn out right spontaneously do not seem to form the subject of good counsel. For where there is no reason which is on the look-out for what is best, you would not in that case say that a man to whom something turned out as it should be was well counselled, but lucky. For things that go right without the judgment of reason are due to good luck.
Is it the part of the just man to put himself on a level with everybody in his intercourse (I mean in the way of becoming all things to all men)? Surely not! For this would seem to be the part of a flatterer and obsequious person. But to suit his intercourse to the worth of each, this would seem to be the part of the man who is absolutely just and virtuous.
Here is also a difficulty that might be raised. If doing injustice is hurting somebody voluntarily and with full knowledge of the person and the manner and the end, and harm and injustice are in and concerned with good things, it follows that the doer of injustice and the unjust man will know what kind of things are good and what bad. But to know about these things is a peculiar property of the wise man and of wisdom. The absurdity then follows that wisdom, which is the greatest good, is attendant upon the unjust man. Surely it will not be thought that wisdom is attendant upon the unjust man. For the unjust man does not discern and is not able to judge between what is good in itself and what is good for him, but makes a mistake. But this is the province of wisdom, to be able to take a right view of these things (just as in matters of medicine we all know what is absolutely wholesome and what is productive of health, that hellebore and an aperient and surgery and cautery are wholesome and productive of health, and yet we do not possess the science of medicine), for without it we no longer know what is good in particular cases, just as the doctor knows for whom a given thing is good and when and in what disposition; for herein the science of medicine displays itself. Now we may know things that are absolutely wholesome, and yet not have the science of medicine attendant upon us; and the same is the case with the unjust man. That in an absolute sense autocracy and government and power are good, he knows; but whether they are good for him or not, or when, or in what condition, that is what he does not also know. But this is just the business of wisdom, so that wisdom does not attend upon the unjust man. For the goods which he chooses and for which he commits injustice are what are absolutely good, not what are good for him. For wealth and office are good in themselves, but for him perhaps they are not good; for by obtaining wealth and office he will do much evil to himself and his friends, for he will not be able to make a right use of office.
Here also is a point which presents a difficulty and suggests inquiry. Can injustice be done to a bad man or not? For if injustice consists in hurt, and hurt in the deprivation of goods, it would seem not to hurt him. For the goods which he supposes to be good for him are not really so. For office and wealth will hurt the bad man who is not able to make a right use of them. If then they will hurt him by their presence, he who deprives him of these would not seem to be doing him an injustice. This kind of argument indeed will appear a paradox to the many. For all think that they are able to use office and power and wealth, but they are not right in this supposition. This is made plain by the lawgiver. For the lawgiver does not allow all to hold office, but there is a standard of age and means which must be possessed by him who is to hold office, implying that it is not possible for every one to do so. If then some one were to make it a grievance that he does not hold office or that he is not allowed to steer the ship, the answer would be, 'Well, you have nothing in your soul of a kind which will enable you to hold office or steer the ship.' In the case of the body we see that those cannot be in good health who apply to themselves things that are absolutely good, but if a man is to have his bad body in health, he must first apply to it water and a low diet. And when a man has his soul in a vicious state, in order that he may not work any ill must we not withhold him from wealth and office and power and things of that sort generally, the more so as soul is easier to move and more ready to change than body? For as the man whose body was bad was fit to be dieted in that way, so the man whose soul is bad is fit to live thus, without having any things of this sort.
This also presents a difficulty. For instance, when it is not possible at the same time to do brave and just acts, which is one to do? Now in the case of the natural virtues we said that there existed only the impulse to right without reason; but he who has choice has it in reason and the rational part. So that as soon as choice is present, perfect virtue will be there, which we said was accompanied by wisdom, but not without the natural impulse to right. Nor will one virtue run counter to another, for its nature is to obey the dictates of reason, so that it inclines to that to which reason leads. For it is this which chooses the better. For the other virtues do not come into existence without wisdom, nor is wisdom perfect without the other virtues, but they co-operate in a way with one another, attending upon wisdom.
Nor less will the following present itself as a difficulty. Is it in the case of the virtues as it is in the case of the other goods, whether external or bodily? For these when they run to excess make men worse; for instance, when wealth becomes great it makes men supercilious and disagreeable. And so also with the other goods—office, honor, beauty, stature. Is it, then, thus in the case of virtue also, so that, if one comes to have justice or courage to excess, he will be worse? Surely not! But, it will be said, from virtue comes honor, and when honor becomes great, it makes men worse, so that it is evident that virtue when progressing to a great extent will make men worse. For virtue is the cause of honor, so that virtue also, if it becomes great, will make men worse. Surely this cannot be true! For virtue, though it may have many other functions, as it has, has this among the most special, to be able to make a right use of these and the like goods when they are there. If therefore the good man on there coming to him high honor or high office shall not make a right use of these, it shows that he is not a good man. Therefore neither honor nor office will make the good man worse, so that neither will virtue. But generally, since it was laid down by us at the start that the virtues are mean states, it follows that the more any state is a virtue, the more it is a mean; so that not only will virtue as it becomes great not make a man worse, but it will make him better. For the mean in question was found to be the mean between excess and defect in the passions. So much then for these matters.
4. After this we must make a new start and speak about self-control and its opposite. But as the virtue and the vice are themselves of a strange nature, so the discussion which will ensue about them must necessarily be strange also. For this virtue is not like the rest. For in the rest reason and passion have an impulse towards the same objects and are not opposed to one another, but in the case of this reason and passion are opposed to one another.
There are three things in the soul in respect of which we are called bad—vice, incontinence, brutality. About virtue and vice, then, their nature and their sphere, we have spoken above; but now we must speak about incontinence and brutality.
5. Brutality is a kind of excessive vice. For when we see some one utterly degraded, we say that he is not even a man but a brute, implying that there is a vice of brutality.
Now the virtue opposed to this is without a name, but this sort of thing is above man, a kind of heroic and divine virtue. But this virtue is without a name, because virtue does not belong to God. For God is superior to virtue and it is not in the way of virtue that his goodness lies. For, if it were, virtue would be better than God. For this reason the virtue which is opposed to the vice of brutality is without a name. But the usual antithesis to this kind of vice is divine and superhuman virtue. For as the vice of brutality transcends man, so also does the virtue opposed to it.
6. But with regard to incontinence and self-control we must first state the difficulties and the arguments which run counter to appearances, in order that, having viewed the matter together from the point of view of the difficulties and counter-arguments, and having examined these, we may see the truth about them so far as possible; for it will be more easy to see the truth in that way.
Now Socrates of old used to annul and deny incontinence altogether, saying that no one would choose evil who knew it to be such. But the incontinent seems, while knowing things to be bad, to choose them all the same, letting himself be led by passion. Owing to such considerations he did not think that there was incontinence. But there he was wrong. For it is absurd that conviction of the truth of this argument should lead to the annulment of a fairly established fact. For men do display lack of self-control, and do things which they themselves know to be bad.
Since, then, there is such a thing as lack of self-control, does the incontinent possess some knowledge whereby he views and examines his bad acts? But, again, this would not seem so. For it would be strange that the strongest and surest thing in us should be vanquished by anything. For knowledge is of all things in us the most permanent and the most constraining. So that this argument again runs counter to there being knowledge.
Is it then not knowledge, but opinion? But if the incontinent man only has opinion, he will not be blameworthy. For if he does something bad with respect to which he has no exact knowledge but only an opinion, one would make allowances for his siding with pleasure and doing what is bad, if he does not know for certain that it is bad, but only has an opinion; and those for whom we make allowances we do not blame. So that the incontinent, if he only has opinion, will not be to blame. But he is to blame. Such arguments then land us in difficulties. For one denied knowledge on the ground of absurd consequences, and the other again denied opinion on the ground that there were absurd consequences from that also.
Here is also a difficulty that might be raised. It is held that the temperate man is also self-controlled. Will this involve the temperate man's having vehement appetites? If then he is to be self-controlled, it will be necessary for him to have vehement appetites (for you would not speak of a man as self-controlled who masters moderate appetites); but if he is to have vehement appetites, in that case he will not be temperate (for the temperate is he who does not display appetite or feeling at all).
The following considerations again present a difficulty. For it results from the statements that the man who lacks self-control is sometimes praiseworthy and the man who possesses it blameworthy. For let it be supposed, it may be said, that some one has gone wrong in his reasoning, and let it appear to him as the result of his reasoning that what is right is wrong, but let appetite lead him to the right; then reason indeed will forbid his doing it, but being led by appetite he does it (for such we found was the incontinent man); he will therefore do what is right, supposing that appetite leads him thereto (but reason will try to hinder him; for let it be supposed that he is mistaken in his reasoning about right); it follows that he will be lacking in self-control, and yet be praiseworthy; for in so far as he does what is right, he is praiseworthy. The result then is a paradox.
Again, on the other hand, let his reason be mistaken, and let what is right not seem to him to be so, but let appetite lead him to the right. Now he is self-controlled who, though he has an appetite for a thing, yet does not act upon it owing to reason; therefore if his reason is wrong it will hinder him from doing what he has an appetite for; therefore it hinders him from doing what is right (for to that we supposed that his appetite led him); but he who fails to do what is right, when it is his duty to do it, is blameworthy; therefore the man of self-control will sometimes be blameworthy. In this way then also the result is a paradox.
A difficulty might also be raised as to whether lack of self-control and the incontinent man display themselves in and about everything, for instance, property and honor and anger and glory (for people seem to be deficient in self-control with regard to all these things), or whether they do not, but lack of self-control has a certain definite sphere.
The above, then, are the points which present a difficulty; but it is necessary to solve these difficulties. First, then, that which is connected with knowledge. For it appeared to be an absurdity that one who possessed knowledge should cast it from him or fall away from it. But the same reasoning applies also to opinion; for it makes no difference whether it is opinion or knowledge. For if opinion is intensely firm and unalterable by persuasion, it will not differ at all from knowledge, opinion carrying with it the belief that things are as people opine them to be; for instance, Heraclitus of Ephesus has this sort of opinion about his own dogmas.
But there is no paradox in the incontinent man's doing something bad, whether he has knowledge or opinion such as we describe. For there are two ways of knowing, one of which is the possessing knowledge (for we say that one knows when he possesses knowledge), the other is putting the knowledge into operation. He then who possesses the knowledge of right, but does not operate with it, is incontinent. When, then, he does not operate with this knowledge, it is nothing surprising that he should do what is bad, though he possesses the knowledge. For the case is the same as that of sleepers. For they, though they possess the knowledge, nevertheless in their sleep both do and suffer many disgusting things. For the knowledge is not operative in them. So it is in the case of the incontinent, for he seems like one asleep and does not operate with his knowledge. Thus, then, is the difficulty solved. For the difficulty was whether the incontinent man at the moment of action expels his knowledge or falls away from it, both of which appear paradoxical.
But, again, the thing may be made manifest in this way, as we said in the Analytics that the syllogism consists of two premises, and that of these the first is universal, while the second is subsumed under it and is particular. For instance—
I know how to cure any one with a fever.
Now there are things which I know with the knowledge of the universal, but not with that of the particular. Here then also mistake becomes possible to the man who possesses the knowledge, for instance how to cure any one with a fever; whether, however, a given person has a fever, I do not know. Similarly then in the case of the incontinent man who possesses the knowledge the same mistake will arise. For it is possible for the incontinent man to possess the knowledge of the universal, that such and such things are bad and hurtful, but yet not to know that these particular things are bad, so that while possessing knowledge in this way he will go wrong; for he has the universal knowledge, but not the particular. Neither, then, in this way is it at all a surprising result in the case of the incontinent man, that he who has the knowledge should do something bad.
For it is so in the case of persons who are drunk. For those who are drunk, when the intoxication has passed off, are themselves again. Reason was not expelled from them, nor was knowledge, but it was overcome by the intoxication, but when they have got rid of the intoxication, they are themselves again. So, then, it is with the incontinent. His passion gains the mastery and brings his reasoning to a standstill. But when the passion, like the intoxication, has been got rid of, he is himself again.
There was another argument touching incontinence which presented a difficulty as seeming to show that the man who lacks self-control will sometimes be praiseworthy, and the man who possesses it blameworthy. But this is not the case. For the man who is deceived in his reason is neither continent nor incontinent, but only he who possesses right reason and thereby judges of right and wrong, and it is the man who disobeys this kind of reason who lacks self-control, while he who obeys it and is not led by his appetites is self-controlled. If a man does not think it disgraceful to strike his father and has a desire to strike him, but abstains from doing so, he is not a man of self-control. So that, since there is neither self-control nor its opposite in such cases, neither will lack of self-control be praiseworthy nor self-control blameworthy in the way that was thought.
There are forms of incontinence which are morbid and others which are due to nature. For instance, such as these are morbid. There are some people who pluck their hairs and nibble them. If one masters this pleasure, then, he is not praiseworthy, nor blameworthy if he fails to do so, or not very much. As an instance of incontinence due to nature we may take the story of a son who was brought to trial in court for beating his father, and who defended himself by saying, 'Why, he did so to his own father', and, what's more, who was acquitted, for the judges thought that his going wrong was due to nature. If, then, one were to master the impulse to beat his father, he is not praiseworthy. It is not, then, such forms of incontinence or continence as these of which we are now in search, but those for which we are called blameworthy or praiseworthy without qualification.
Of goods some are external, as wealth, office, honor, friends, glory; others necessary and concerned with the body, for instance, touch and taste [he, then, who is incontinent with respect to these, would appear to be incontinent without qualification] and bodily pleasures. And the incontinence of which we are in search would seem to be concerned with just these. And the difficulty was about the sphere of incontinence. As regards honor, then, a man is not incontinent without qualification; for he who is incontinent with regard to honor is praised in a way, as being ambitious. And generally when we call a man incontinent in the case of such things we do it with some addition, incontinent 'as regards honor or glory or anger'. But when a man is incontinent in the strict sense we do not add the sphere, it being assumed in his case, and being manifest without the addition, what the sphere is. For he who is incontinent in the strict sense has to do with the pleasures and pains of the body.
It is evident also from the following consideration that incontinence has to do with these things. For since the incontinent man is blameworthy, the subject-matter of his incontinence ought also to be blameworthy. Now honor and glory and office and riches, and the other things with respect to which people are called incontinent, are not blameworthy, whereas bodily pleasures are blameworthy. Therefore, reasonably enough, the man who is concerned with these more than he ought is called incontinent in the complete sense.
Among the so-called 'incontinences' with respect to other things that which is concerned with anger is the most blameworthy. But which is more blameworthy, this or incontinence with regard to pleasures? Now incontinence with regard to anger resembles servants who are eager to minister to one's needs. For they, when the master says 'Give me', are carried away by their eagerness, and before they hear what they ought to give, give something, and give the wrong thing. For often, when they ought to give a book, they give a pen. Something like this is the case with the man who cannot control his anger. For passion, as soon as it hears the first mention of injury, starts up to take vengeance, without waiting to hear whether it ought or ought not, or not so vehemently. This sort of impulse, then, to anger, which appears to be incontinence of anger, is not greatly to be blamed, but the impulse to pleasure is blameworthy. For this latter differs from the former owing to the injunction of reason to abstain, which it nevertheless acts against; for which reason it is more blameworthy than incontinence due to anger. For incontinence due to anger is a pain (for no one feels anger without being pained), but that which is due to appetite is attended with pleasure, for which reason it is more blameworthy. For incontinence due to pleasure seems to involve wantonness.
Are self-control and endurance the same thing? Surely not! For self-control has to do with pleasures and the man of self-control is he who masters pleasures, but endurance has to do with pains. For the man of endurance is he who endures and undergoes pains. Again, lack of self-control and softness are not the same thing. For the soft person with his softness is he who does not undergo pains—not all of them, but such as any one else would undergo, if he had to; whereas the man who lacks self-control is he who is not able to endure pleasures, but succumbs to them and lets himself be led by them.
Again, there is another character who is called 'intemperate'. Is the intemperate, then, the same with the incontinent? Surely not! For the intemperate is the kind of man who thinks that what he does is best and most expedient for himself, and who has no reason opposing the things which appear pleasant to himself, whereas the incontinent does possess reason which opposes his going in pursuit of those things to which his appetite leads.
But which is the more curable, the intemperate or the incontinent? On first sight, indeed, it might seem that it is not the incontinent. The intemperate, it may be urged, is more easy to cure; for if reason could be engendered in him, to teach him that things are bad, he will leave off doing them; but the incontinent man has reason, and yet acts as he does, so that such a person would seem to be incurable. But on the other hand which is in the worse condition, he who has no good at all, (or he who has some good) joined with these evils? Plainly the former, the more so inasmuch as it is the more valuable part that is in a bad condition. The incontinent man, then, does possess a good in his reason being right, while the intemperate does not. Again, reason is the principle in each. Now in the incontinent the principle, which is the most valuable thing, is in a good condition, but in the intemperate in a bad; so that the intemperate will be worse than the incontinent. Again, like the vice of brutality of which we spoke, you cannot see it in a beast, but only in a human being (for brutality is a name for excessive vice). Why so? Just because a beast has in it no bad principle. Now the principle is reason. For which would do more evil, a lion, or Dionysius or Phalaris or Clearchus, or some of those monsters of wickedness ? Plainly the latter. For their having in them a principle which is at the same time a bad principle contributes greatly to their powers of mischief, but in the beast there is no principle at all. In the intemperate, then, there is a bad principle. For inasmuch as he does bad acts and reason assents to these, and it seems to him that he ought to do these things, there is in him a principle which is not a sound one. Wherefore the incontinent would seem to be better than the intemperate.
There are two species of incontinence, one in the way of precipitancy and want of forethought, a kind that comes on suddenly (for instance, when we see a beautiful woman, we are at once affected in some way, and from the affection there ensues an impulse to do something which perhaps we ought not), the other a sort of weakness, but attended with reason which warns against action. Now the former would not seem to be very blameworthy. For this kind occurs even in the good, in those who are of warm temperament and of a rich natural endowment; but the other in the cold and atrabilious, and such are blameworthy. Again, one may avoid being affected by fortifying oneself beforehand with the thought, 'There will come a pretty woman, so one must repress oneself.' So that, if he has fortified himself beforehand with a thought of this kind, he whose incontinence is due to the suddenness of the impression will not be affected at all, nor do anything wrong. But he who knows indeed from reason that he ought not, but gives in to pleasure and succumbs to it, is more blameworthy. The good man would never become incontinent in that way, and fortification by reason would be no cure for it. For this is the guide within the man, and yet he does not obey it, but gives in to pleasure, and succumbs with a contemptible sort of weakness.
Whether the temperate man is self-controlled was raised as a difficulty above, but now let us speak of it. Yes, the temperate man is also self-controlled. For the man of self-control is not merely he who, when he has appetites in him, represses these owing to reason, but also he who is of such a kind that, though he has not appetites in him, he would repress them, if they did arise. But it is he who has not bad desires and who has his reason right with respect to these things who is temperate, while the man of self-control is he who has bad desires and who has his reason right with regard to these things; so that self-control will go along with temperance, and the temperate (will be self-controlled, but not the self-controlled temperate). For the temperate is he who does not feel passion, while the self-controlled man is he who does feel passion, or is capable of feeling it, but subdues it. But neither of these is actually the case with the temperate. Wherefore the self-controlled is not temperate.
But is the intemperate incontinent or the incontinent intemperate? Or does neither follow on the other? For the incontinent is he whose reason fights with his passions, but the intemperate is not of this sort, but he who in doing base deeds has the consent of his reason. Neither then is the intemperate like the incontinent nor the incontinent like the intemperate. Further, the intemperate is worse than the incontinent. For what comes by nature is harder to cure than what results from habit (for the reason why habit is held to be so strong is that it turns things into nature). The intemperate, then, is in himself the kind of man who is bad by nature, owing to which, and as a result of which, the reason in him is bad. But not so the incontinent. It is not true of him that his reason is not good because he is himself such (for he must needs have been bad, if he were of himself by nature such as the bad). The incontinent, then, seems to be bad by habit, but the intemperate by nature. Therefore the intemperate is the harder to cure. For one habit is dislodged by another, but nothing will dislodge nature.
But seeing that the incontinent is the kind of man who knows and is not deceived in his reason, while the wise man also is of the same kind, who views everything by right reason, is it possible for the wise man to be incontinent? Surely not! For though one might raise the foregoing difficulties, yet if we keep consistent with our former statements, the wise man will not be incontinent. For we said that the wise man was not merely he in whom right reason exists, but he who also does what appears in accordance with right reason to be best. Now if the wise man does what is best, the wise man will not be incontinent; but an incontinent man may be clever. For we distinguished above between the clever and the wise as being different. For though their spheres are the same, yet the one does what he ought and the other does not. It is possible, then, for the clever man to be incontinent (for he does not succeed in doing what he ought), but it is not possible for the wise man to be incontinent.
7. After this we must speak about pleasure, since our discussion is on the subject of happiness, and all think that happiness is pleasure and living pleasantly, or not without pleasure. Even those who feel disgust at pleasure, and do not think that pleasure ought to be reckoned among goods, at least add the absence of pain; now to live without pain borders on pleasure. Therefore we must speak about pleasure, not merely because other people think that we ought, but because it is actually indispensable for us to do so. For since our discussion is about happiness, and we have defined and declare happiness to be an exercise of virtue in a perfect life, and virtue has to do with pleasure and pain, it is indispensable to speak about pleasure, since happiness is not apart from pleasure.
First, then, let us mention the reasons which some people give for thinking that one ought not to regard pleasure as part of good. First, they say that pleasure is a becoming, and that a becoming is something incomplete, but that the good never occupies the place of the incomplete. Secondly, that there are some bad pleasures, whereas the good is never to be found in badness. Again, that it is found in all, both in the bad man and in the good, and in beasts wild and tame; but the good is unmixed with the bad and not promiscuous. And that pleasure is not the best thing, whereas the good is the best thing. And that it is an impediment to right action, and what tends to impede right cannot be good.
First, then, we must address ourselves to the first argument, that about becoming, and must endeavor to dispose of this on the ground of its not being true. For, to begin with, not every pleasure is a becoming. For the pleasure which results from thought is not a becoming, nor that which comes from hearing and (seeing and) smelling. For it is not the effect of want, as in the other cases; for instance, those of eating and drinking. For these are the result of defect and excess, owing to the fulfillment of a want or the relief of an excess; which is why they are held to be a becoming. Now defect and excess are pain. There is therefore pain wherever there is a becoming of pleasure. But in the case of seeing and hearing and smelling there is no previous pain. For no one in taking pleasure in seeing or smelling was affected with pain beforehand. Similarly in the case of thought. One may speculate on something with pleasure without having felt any pain beforehand. So that there may be a pleasure which is not a becoming. If then pleasure, as their argument maintained, is not a good for this reason, namely, that it is a becoming, but there is some pleasure which is not a becoming, this pleasure may be good.
But generally no pleasure is a becoming. For even the vulgar pleasures of eating and drinking are not becomings, but there is a mistake on the part of those who say that these pleasures are becomings. For they think that pleasure is a becoming because it ensues on the application of the remedy; but it is not. For there being a part of the soul with which we feel pleasure, this part of the soul acts and moves simultaneously with the application of the things which we need, and its movement and action are pleasure. Owing, then, to that part of the soul acting simultaneously with the application, or owing to its activity, they think that pleasure is a becoming, from the application being visible, but the part of the soul invisible. It is like thinking that man is body, because this is perceptible by sense, while the soul is not: but the soul also exists. So it is also in this case; for there is a part of the soul with which we feel pleasure, which acts along with the application. Therefore no pleasure is a becoming.
And it is, they say, a conscious restoration to a normal state. (This, however, cannot be accepted either.) For there is pleasure without such restoration to a normal state. For restoration means the filling up of what by nature is wanting, but it is possible, as we maintain, to feel pleasure without any want. For the want is pain, and we say that there is pleasure without pain and prior to pain. So that pleasure will not be a restoration in respect of a want. For in such pleasures there is no want. So that if the reason for thinking that pleasure is not a good was because it is a becoming, and it is found that no pleasure is a becoming, pleasure may be a good.
But next it is maintained that some pleasures are not good. One can get a comprehensive view of this point as follows. Since we maintain that good is mentioned in all the categories (in that of substance and relation and quantity and time and generally in all), this much is plain at once. Every activity of good is attended with a certain pleasure, so that, since good is in all the categories, pleasure also will be good; so that since the goods and pleasure are in these, and the pleasure that comes from the goods is pleasure, every pleasure will be good.
At the same time it is manifest from this that pleasures differ in kind. For the categories are different in which pleasure is. For it is not as in the sciences, for instance grammar or any other science whatever. For if Lampros possesses the science of grammar, he as a grammarian will be disposed by this knowledge of grammar in the same way as any one else who possesses the science; there will not be two different sciences of grammar, that in Lampros and that in Ileus. But in the case of pleasure it is not so. For the pleasure which comes from drunkenness and that which comes from the commerce of the sexes do not dispose in the same way. Therefore pleasures would seem to differ in kind.
But another reason why pleasure was held by them not to be good was because some pleasures are bad. But this sort of objection and this kind of judgment is not peculiar to pleasure, but applies also to nature and knowledge. For there is such a thing as a bad nature, for example that of worms and beetles and of ignoble creatures generally, but it does not follow that nature is a bad thing. In the same way there are bad branches of knowledge, for instance the mechanical; nevertheless it does not follow that knowledge is a bad thing, but both knowledge and nature are good in kind. For just as one must not form one's views of the quality of a statuary from his failures and bad workmanship, but from his successes, so one must not judge of the quality of knowledge or nature or of anything else from the bad, but from the good.
In the same way pleasure is good in kind, though there are bad pleasures—of that we ourselves are as well aware as any one. For since the natures of creatures differ in the way of bad and good, for instance that of man is good, but that of a wolf or some other beast bad, and in like manner there is one nature of a horse, another of a man, an ass, or a dog, and since pleasure is a restoration of each to its own nature from that which runs counter to it, it follows that this will be appropriate, that the bad nature should have the bad pleasure. For the thing is not the same for a horse and a man, any more than for any of the rest. But since their natures are different, their pleasures also are different. For pleasure, as we saw, is a restoration, and the restoration, they maintain, restores to nature, so that the restoration of the bad nature is bad, and that of the good, good.
But those who assert that pleasure is not a good thing are in much the same case as those who, not knowing nectar, think that the gods drink wine, and that there is nothing more delightful than this. But this is owing to their ignorance. In much the same case, I say, are all those who assert that all pleasures are becoming, and therefore not a good. For owing to their not knowing other than bodily pleasures, and seeing these to be becomings and not good, for this reason they think in general that pleasure is not a good.
Since, then, there are pleasures both of a nature undergoing restoration and also of one in its normal state, for instance of the former the satisfactions which follow upon want, but of a nature in its normal state the pleasures of sight, hearing, and so on, the activities of the nature in its normal state will be better—'activities' I say, for the pleasures of both kinds are activities. It is evident, then, that the pleasures of sight, hearing, and thought will be best, since the bodily result from a satisfaction.
Again, this was also said by way of showing that it is not a good, that what exists in all and is common to all is not good. Such an objection might seem to be appropriate in the case of a man who covets honor and is actuated by that feeling. For the man who is covetous of honor is one who wishes to be sole possessor of something and by some such means to surpass all others; so he thinks that, if pleasure is to be a good, it too must be something of this sort. Surely this is not so, but, on the contrary, it would seem to be a good for this reason, that all things aim at it. For it is the nature of all things to aim at the good, so that, if all things aim at pleasure, pleasure must be good in kind.
Again, it was denied that pleasure is a good on the ground that it is an impediment. But their asserting it to be an impediment seems to arise from a wrong view of the matter. For the pleasure that comes from the performance of the action is not an impediment; if, however, it be a different pleasure, it is an impediment; for instance, the pleasure of intoxication is an impediment to action; but on this principle one kind of knowledge will be a hindrance to another, for one cannot exercise both at once. But why is knowledge not good, if it produces the pleasure that comes from knowledge? And will that pleasure be an impediment? Surely not; but it will intensify the action. For the pleasure is an incentive to increased action, if it comes from the action itself. For suppose the good man to be doing his acts of virtue, and to be doing them pleasantly; will he not much more exert himself in the action? And if he acts with pleasure, he will be virtuous, but if he does the right with pain, he is not virtuous. For pain attends upon what is due to compulsion, so that if one is pained at doing right, he is acting under compulsion; and he who acts under compulsion is not virtuous.
But indeed it is not possible to perform virtuous acts without pain or pleasure. The middle state does not exist. Why so? Because virtue implies feeling, and feeling pain or pleasure, and there is nothing intermediate. It is evident, then, that virtue is either attended with pain or with pleasure. Now if one does the right with pain he is not good. So that virtue will not be attended with pain. Therefore with pleasure. Not only, then, is pleasure not an impediment, but it is actually an incentive to action, and generally virtue cannot be without the pleasure that comes from it.
There was another argument, to the effect that there is no science which produces pleasure. But this is not true either. For cooks and garland-makers and perfumers are engaged in the production of pleasure. But indeed the other sciences do not have pleasure as end, but the end is with pleasure and not without it; there is, therefore, a science productive of pleasure.
Again, there was another argument, that it is not the best thing. But in that way and by the like reasoning you will annul the particular virtues. For courage is not the best thing. Is it, therefore, not a good? Surely this is absurd! And the same with the rest. Neither, then, is pleasure not a good simply because it is not the best thing.
To pass on, a difficulty of the following kind might be raised in the case of the virtues. I mean, since the reason sometimes masters the passions (for we say so in the case of the man of self-control), and the passions again conversely master the reason (as happens in the case of the incontinent), since, then, the irrational part of the soul, being vicious, masters the reason, which is well-disposed (for the incontinent man is of this kind), the reason in like manner, being in a bad condition, will master the passions, which are well-disposed and have their proper virtue, and if this should be the case, the result will be a bad use of virtue (for the reason being in a bad condition and using virtue will use it badly); now such a result would appear paradoxical.
This difficulty it is easy to answer and resolve from what has been said by us before about virtue. For we assert that then, and only then, is there virtue, when reason being in a good condition is commensurate with the passions, these possessing their proper virtue, and the passions with the reason; for in such a condition they will accord with one another, so that reason should always ordain what is best, and the passions being well disposed find it easy to carry out what reason ordains. If, then, the reason be in a bad condition, and the passions not, there will not be virtue owing to the failure of reason (for virtue consists in both). So that it is not possible to make a bad use of virtue.
Speaking generally, it is not the case, as the rest of the world think, that reason is the principle and guide to virtue, but rather the feelings. For there must first be produced in us (as indeed is the case) an irrational impulse to the right, and then later on reason must put the question to the vote and decide it. One may see this from the case of children and those who live without reason. For in these, apart from reason, there spring up, first, impulses of the feelings towards right, and reason supervening later and giving its vote the same way is the cause of right action. But if they have received from reason the principle that leads to right, the feelings do not necessarily follow and consent thereto, but often oppose it. Wherefore a right disposition of the feelings seems to be the principle that leads to virtue rather than the reason.
8. Since our discussion is about happiness, it will be connected with the preceding to speak about good fortune. For the majority think that the happy must be the fortunate life, or not apart from good fortune, and perhaps they are right in thinking so. For it is not possible to be happy without external goods, over which fortune is supreme. Therefore we must speak about good fortune, saying generally who the fortunate man is, and what are his surroundings and his sphere.
First, then, one may raise difficulties by having recourse to the following considerations. One would not say of fortune that it is nature. For what nature is the cause of, that she produces for the most part or without exception, but this is never the case with fortune—her effects are disorderly and as it may chance; this is why we speak of 'chance' in the case of such things.
Neither would one identify it with any mind or right reason. For here more than ever is there order and uniformity, but not chance. Wherefore, where there is most of mind and reason, there is least chance, and where there is most chance, there is there least mind.
Can it be, then, that good fortune is a sort of care of the gods? Surely it will not be thought to be this! For we suppose that, if God is the disposer of such things, he assigns both good and evil in accordance with desert, whereas chance and the things of chance do really occur as it may chance. But if we assign such a dispensation to God, we shall be making him a bad judge or else unjust. And this is not befitting to God.
And yet outside of these there is no other position which one can assign to fortune, so that it is plain that it must be one of these. Now mind and reason and knowledge seem to be a thing utterly foreign to it. And yet neither would the care and providence of God seem to be good fortune, owing to its being found also in the bad, though it is not likely that God would have a care of the bad.
Nature, then, only is left as being most connected with good fortune. And good fortune and fortune generally displays itself in things that are not in our own power, and of which we are not masters nor able to bring them about. For which reason no one calls the just man, in so far as he is just, fortunate, nor yet the brave man, nor any other virtuous character. For these things are in our power to have or not to have. But it is just in such things as follow that we shall speak more appropriately of good fortune. For we do call the well-born fortunate, and generally the man who possesses such kinds of goods, whereof he is not himself the arbiter.
But all the same even there good fortune would not seem to be used in its strict sense. But there are more meanings than one of the term 'fortunate'. For we call a man fortunate to whom it has befallen to achieve some good beyond his own calculation, and him who has made a gain when he ought reasonably to have incurred a loss. Good fortune, then, consists in some good accruing beyond expectation, and in escaping some evil that might reasonably have been expected. But good fortune would seem to consist to a greater extent and more properly in the obtaining of good. For the obtaining of good would seem to be in itself a piece of good fortune, while the escaping evil is a piece of good fortune indirectly.
Good fortune, then, is nature without reason. For the fortunate man is he who apart from reason has an impulse to good things and obtains these, and this comes from nature. For there is in the soul by nature something of this sort whereby we move, not under the guidance of reason, towards things for which we are well fitted. And if one were to ask a man in this state, 'Why does it please you to do so?'—he would say, 'I don't know, except that it does please me,' being in the same condition as those who are inspired by religious frenzy; for they also have an impulse to do something apart from reason.
We cannot call good fortune by a proper name of its own, but we often say that it is a cause, though cause is not a suitable name for it. For a cause and its effect are different, and what is called a cause contains no reference to an impulse which attains good, in the way either of avoiding evil or on the other hand of obtaining good, when not thinking to obtain it. Good fortune, then, in this sense is different from the former, and this seems to result from the way in which things fall out, and to be good fortune indirectly. So that, if this also is to be called good fortune, at all events the other sort has a more intimate connection with happiness, namely, that wherein the principle of impulse towards the attainment of goods is in the man himself.
Since, then, happiness cannot exist apart from external goods, and these result from good fortune, as we said just now, it follows that it will work along with happiness. So much then about good fortune.
9. But since we have spoken about each of the virtues in detail, it remains to sum up the particulars under one general statement. There is a phrase, then, which is not badly used of the perfectly good man, namely, 'nobility and goodness.' For 'he is noble and good', they say, when a man is perfectly virtuous. For it is in the case of virtue that they use the expression 'noble and good'; for instance, they say that the just man is noble and good, the brave man, the temperate, and generally in the case of the virtues. Since, then, we make a dual division, and say that some things are noble and others good, and that some goods are absolutely good and others not so, calling 'noble' such things as the virtues and the actions which spring from them, and 'good', office, wealth, glory, honor, and the like, the noble and good man is he to whom the things that are absolutely good are good, and the things that are absolutely noble are noble. For such a man is noble and good. But he to whom things absolutely good are not good is not noble and good, any more than he would be thought to be in health to whom the things that are absolutely healthy are not healthy. For if the accession of wealth and office were to hurt anybody, they would not be choiceworthy, but he will choose to have for himself such things as will not hurt him. But he who is of such a nature as to shrink from having anything good would not seem to be noble and good. But he for whom the possession of all good things is good and who is not spoilt by them, as, for instance, by wealth and power, such a man is noble and good.
10. But about acting rightly in accordance with the virtues something indeed has been said, but not enough. For we said that it was acting in accordance with right reason. But possibly one might be ignorant as to this very point, and might ask, 'What is acting in accordance with right reason? And where is right reason?' To act, then, in accordance with right reason is when the irrational part of the soul does not prevent the rational from displaying its own activity. For then only will the action be in accordance with right reason. For seeing that in the soul we have a something worse and a something better, and the worse is always for the sake of the better, as in the case of body and soul the body is for the sake of the soul, and then only shall we say that we have our body in a good state, when its state is such as not to hinder, but actually to help and take part in inciting towards the soul accomplishing its own work (for the worse is for the sake of the better, to aid the better in its work); when, then, the passions do not hinder the mind from performing its own work, then you will have what is done in accordance with right reason.
Yes, but perhaps some one may say, 'In what state must the passions be so as not to act as a hindrance, and when are they in this state? For I do not know.' This sort of thing is not easy to put into words, any more than the doctor finds it so. But when he has given orders that barley-gruel shall be administered to a patient in a fever, and you say to him, 'But how am I to know when he has a fever?'—he replies, 'When you see him pale.' But how am I to know when he is pale?' There the doctor loses patience with you, 'Well, if you can't perceive that much yourself, it's no good talking to you any more.' The same thing applies in like manner to all such subjects. And the case is the same with regard to recognizing the passions. For one must contribute something oneself towards the perception.
But perhaps one might raise the following sort of question also, 'If I really know these things, shall I then be happy?' For they think they must be; whereas it is not so. For none of the other sciences transmits to the learner the use and exercise, but only the faculty. So in this case also the knowing of these things does not transmit the use (for happiness is an activity, as we maintain), but the faculty, nor does happiness consist in the knowledge of what produces it, but comes from the use of these means. Now the use and exercise of these it is not the business of this treatise to impart, any more than any other science imparts.
11. In addition to all that has gone before, it is necessary to speak about friendship, saying what it is, and what are its circumstances and sphere. For since we see that it is co-extensive with life and presents itself on every occasion, and that it is a good, we must embrace it also in our view of happiness.
First, then, perhaps it will be as well to go through the difficulties and questions that are raised about it. Does friendship exist among the like, as is thought and said? For 'Jackdaw sits by jackdaw,' as the proverb has it, and
'Unto the like God ever brings the like'.
There is a story also of a dog that used always to sleep upon the same tile, and how Empedocles, on being asked, Why does the dog sleep on the same tile?' said, 'Because the dog has something that is like the tile', implying that it was owing to the likeness that the dog resorted to it.
But again, on the other hand, some people think that friendship occurs rather among opposites. Take the saying—
'Earth loves the shower, what time the plain is dry'.
It is the opposite, they say, that loves to be friends with the opposite; for among the like there is no room for friendship. For the like, they say, has no need of the like, and more to the same effect.
Again, is it hard or easy to become a friend? Flatterers, at all events, who quickly gain a footing of close attendance, are not friends, though they appear to be.
Further, such difficulties as the following are raised. Will the good man be a friend to the bad? Or will he not? For friendship implies fidelity and steadfastness, and the bad man is not at all of this character. And will one bad man be a friend to another? Or will this not be the case either?
First, then, we must determine what kind of friendship we are in search of. For there is, people think, a friendship towards God and towards things without life, but here they are wrong. For friendship, we maintain, exists only where there can be a return of affection, but friendship towards God does not admit of love being returned, nor at all of loving. For it would be strange if one were to say that he loved Zeus. Neither is it possible to have affection returned by lifeless objects, though there is a love for such things, for instance wine or something else of that sort. Therefore it is not love towards God of which we are in search, nor love towards things without life, but love towards things with life, that is, where there can be a return of affection.
If, then, one were to inquire next what is the lovable, it is none other than the good. Now there is a difference between the lovable and what is to be loved, as between the desirable and what is to be desired. For that is desirable which is absolutely good, but that is to be desired by each which is good for him; so also that which is absolutely good is lovable, but that is to be loved which is good for oneself, so that the lovable is also to be loved, but that which is to be loved is not necessarily lovable.
Here, then, we see the source of the difficulty as to whether the good man is a friend to the bad man or not. For what is good for oneself is in a way attached to the good, and so is that which is to be loved to the lovable, and it depends as a consequence upon the good that it should be pleasant and that it should be useful. Now the friendship of the virtuous lies in their loving one another; and they love one another in so far as they are lovable; and they are lovable in so far as they are good. 'The good man, then,' it will be replied, 'will not be a friend to the bad.' Nay, but he will. For since the good had as its consequence the useful and the pleasant, in so far as, though bad, he is agreeable, so far he is a friend; again, on the other hand, being useful, then so far as he is useful, so far is he a friend. But this sort of friendship will not depend upon lovableness. For the good, we saw, was lovable, but the bad man is not lovable. Rather such a friendship will depend on a man's being one who is to be loved. For springing from the perfect friendship which exists among the good there are also these forms of friendship, that which refers to the pleasant and that which refers to the useful.
He, then, whose love is based on the pleasant does not love with the love which is based on the good, nor does he whose friendship is based upon the useful. And these forms of friendship, that of the good, the pleasant, and the useful, are not indeed the same, nor yet absolutely different from one another, but hang in a way from the same head. Just so we call a knife surgical, a man surgical, and knowledge surgical. These are not called so in the same way, but the knife is called surgical from being useful in surgery, and the man from his being able to produce health, and the knowledge from its being cause and principle. Similarly, the forms of friendship are not all called so in the same way, the friendship of the virtuous which is based on the good, the friendship depending on pleasure, and that depending on utility. Nor yet is it a mere case of equivocation, but, while they are not actually the same, they have still in a way the same sphere and the same origin. If, therefore, some one were to say, 'He whose love is prompted by pleasure is not a friend to so-and-so; for his friendship is not based on the good,' such an one is having recourse to the friendship of the virtuous, which is a compound of all these, of the good and the pleasant and the useful, so that it is true that he is not a friend in respect of that friendship, but only in respect of the friendship depending on the pleasant or the useful.
Will the good man then be a friend to the good, or will he not? For the like, it is urged, has no need of the like. An argument of this sort is on the look-out for the friendship based on utility; for if they are friends in so far as the one has need of the other, they are in the friendship which is based on utility. But the friendship which is based on utility has been distinguished from that which is based on virtue or on pleasure. It is likely, then, that the virtuous should be much more friends; for they have all the qualifications for friendship, the good and the pleasant and the useful. But the good may also be a friend to the bad; for it may be that he is a friend in so far as he is agreeable. And the bad also to the bad; for it may be that they are friends in so far as they have the same interest. For we see this as a matter of fact, that, when persons have the same interest, they are friends owing to that interest, so that there will be nothing to prevent the bad also having to some extent the same interest.
Now friendship among the serious, which is founded on virtue and the good, is naturally the surest, the most abiding, and the finest form. For virtue, to which the friendship is due, is unchangeable, so that it is natural that this form of friendship should be unchangeable, whereas interest is never the same. Wherefore the friendship which rests on interest is never secure, but changes along with the interest; and the same with the friendship which rests on pleasure. The friendship, then, of the best men is that which arises from virtue, but that of the common run of men depends upon utility, while that which rests on pleasure is found among vulgar and commonplace persons.
When people find their friends bad, the result is complaint and expressions of surprise; but it is nothing extraordinary. For when friendship has taken its start from pleasure, and this is why they are friends, or from interest, so soon as these fail the friendship does not continue. Very often the friendship does remain, but a man treats his friend badly, owing to which there are complaints; but neither is this anything out of the way, For your friendship with this man was not from the first founded on virtue, so that it is not extraordinary that he should do nothing of what virtue requires. The complaints, then, are unreasonable. Having formed their friendship with a view to pleasure, they think they ought to have the kind which is due to virtue; but that is not possible. For the friendship of pleasure and interest does not depend on virtue. Having entered then into a partnership in pleasure, they expect virtue, but there they are wrong. For virtue does not follow upon pleasure and utility, but both these follow upon virtue. For it would be strange not to suppose that the serious are the most agreeable to one another. For even the bad, as Euripides says, are pleasant to one another. 'The bad man is fused into one with the bad.' For virtue does not follow upon pleasure, whereas pleasure does follow upon virtue.
But is it necessary that there should be pleasure in the friendship of the serious? Or is it not? It would be strange indeed to say that it is not. For if you deprive them of the quality of being agreeable to one another, they will procure other friends, who are agreeable, to live with, for in view of that there is nothing more important than being agreeable. It would be curious then not to think that the virtuous ought above all others to live in common one with another; and this cannot be without the element of pleasure. It will be necessary, then, as it seems, for them above all to be agreeable.
But since friendships have been divided into three species, and in the case of these the question was raised whether friendship takes place in equality or in inequality, the answer is that it may depend on either. For that which implies likeness is the friendship of the serious, and perfect friendship; but that which implies unlikeness is the friendship of utility. For the poor man is a friend to the rich owing to his own lack of what the wealthy man has in abundance, and the bad man to the good for the same reason. For owing to his lack of virtue he is for this reason a friend to him from whom he thinks he will get it. Among the unequal then there arises friendship based on utility. So that Euripides says,
'Earth loves the shower, what time the plain is dry,'
intimating that the friendship of utility has place between these as opposites. For if you like to set down fire and water as the extreme opposites, these are useful to one another. For fire, they say, if it has not moisture, perishes, as this provides it with a kind of nutriment, but that to such an extent as it can get the better of; for if you make the moisture too great, it will obtain the mastery, and will cause the fire to go out, but if you supply it in moderation, it will be of service to it. It is evident, then, that friendship based on utility occurs among things the most opposite.
All the forms of friendship, both those in equality and those in inequality, are reducible to the three in our division. But in all the forms of friendship there is a difference that arises between the partners when they are not on a level in love or in benefaction or in service, or whatever else of the kind it may be. For when one exerts himself energetically, and the other is in defect, there is complaint and blame on the score of the defect. Not but that the defect on the part of the one is plain to see in the case of such persons as have the same end in view in their friendship; for instance, if both are friends to one another on the ground of utility or of pleasure or of virtue. If, then, you do me more good than I do you, I do not even dispute that you ought to be loved more by me; but in a friendship where we are not friends with the same object, there is more room for differences. For the defect on one side or the other is not manifest. For instance, if one is a friend for pleasure and the other for interest, that is where the dispute will arise. For he who is superior in utility does not think the pleasure a fair exchange for the utility, and he who is more agreeable does not think that he receives in the utility an adequate return for the pleasure which he bestows. Wherefore differences are more likely to arise in such kinds of friendship.
When men are friends on an unequal footing, those who are superior in wealth or anything of that sort do not think that they themselves ought to love, but think that they ought to be loved by their inferiors. But it is better to love than to be loved. For to love is a pleasurable activity and a good, whereas from being loved there results no activity to the object of the love. Again, it is better to know than to be known; for to be known and to be loved attaches even to things without life, but to know and to love only to things with life. Again, to be inclined to benefit is better than not; now he who loves is inclined to benefit, just in so far as he loves, but this is not the case with him who is loved, in so far as he is loved.
But owing to ambition men wish rather to be loved than to love, because of there being a certain superiority in being loved. For he who is loved has always a superiority in agreeableness or means or virtue, and the ambitious man reaches out after superiority. And those who are in a position of superiority do not think that they themselves ought to love, since they make a return to those who love them, in those things in which they are superior. And again the others are inferior to them, for which reason the superiors do not think they themselves ought to love but to be loved. But he who is deficient in wealth or pleasures or virtue admires him who has a superiority in these things, and loves him owing to his getting these things or thinking that he will get them.
Now such friendships arise from sympathy, that is, from wishing good to some one. But the friendship which takes place in these cases has not all the required attributes. For often we wish good to one person and like to live with another. But ought we to say that these things are friendships or that they are characteristics of the perfect friendship which is founded on virtue? For in that friendship all these things are contained; for there is none other with whom we should more wish to live (for pleasantness and usefulness and virtue are attributes of the good man), and is to him that we should most wish good, and to live and to live well we should wish to none other than he.
Whether a man can have friendship for and towards himself may be omitted for the present, but we shall speak of it later. But all the things that we wish for a friend we wish for ourselves. For we wish to live along with ourselves (though that is perhaps unavoidable), and to live well, and to live, and the wishing of the good applies to none so much. Further, we are most sympathetic with ourselves; for if we meet with a defeat or fall into any kind of misfortune, we are at once grieved. So looking at the matter in this way it would seem that there is friendship towards oneself. In speaking then of such things as sympathy and living well and so on we are referring either to friendship towards ourselves or to the perfect friendship. For all these things are found in both. For the living together and the wish for a thing's being and for its well-being and all the rest are found in these.
Further, it may perhaps be thought that wherever justice is possible, there friendship may exist too. Wherefore there are as many species of friendship as there are of just dealing. Now there can be justice between a foreigner and a citizen, between a slave and his master, between one citizen and another, between son and father, between wife and husband, and generally every form of association has its separate form of friendship. But the firmest of friendships would seem to be that with a foreigner; for they have no common aim about which to dispute, as is the case with fellow-citizens; for when these dispute with one another for the priority, they do not remain friends.
It will be in place now to speak about this, whether there is friendship towards oneself or not. Since then we see, as we said just a little above, that the act of loving is recognized from the particulars, and it is to ourselves that we should most wish the particulars (the good, and being, and well-being; and we are most sympathetic with ourselves, and we most wish to live along with ourselves); therefore, if friendship is known from the particulars, and we should wish the particulars to belong to ourselves, it is plain that there is friendship towards ourselves, just as we maintained that there is injustice towards oneself. Though, indeed, as it takes one person to inflict and another to receive an injury, while each individual is the same person, it appeared for that reason that there was no injustice towards oneself. It is possible, however, as we said on examining into the parts of the soul, when these, as they are more than one, are not in agreement, that then there should be injustice towards oneself. In the same way then there would seem to be friendship towards oneself. For the friend being, according to the proverb—when we wish to describe a very great friend, we say 'my soul and his are one'; since then the parts of the soul are more than one, then only will the soul be one, when the reason and the passions are in accord with one another (for so it will be one): so that when it has become one there will be friendship towards oneself. And this friendship towards oneself will exist in the virtuous man; for in him alone the parts of the soul are in proper relation to one another owing to their not being at variance, since the bad man is never a friend to himself, for he is always at strife with himself. At all events the incontinent man, when he has done something to which pleasure prompts, not long afterwards repents and reviles himself. It is the same with the bad man in other vices. For he is always fighting with and opposing himself.
There is also a friendship in equality; for instance, that of comrades is on an equality in respect of number and capacity of good (for neither of them deserves more than the other to have a greater share of goods either in number or capacity or size, but what is equal; for comrades are supposed to be a kind of equals). But that between father and son is on an inequality, and that between ruler and subject, between worse and better, between wife and husband, and generally in all cases where there is one who occupies the position of worse or better in friendship. This friendship in inequality, indeed, is proportional. For in giving of good no one would ever give an equal share to the better and the worse, but always a greater to the one who was superior. And this is the proportionally equal. For the worse with a less good is in a kind of way equal to the better with a greater.
12. Among all the above-mentioned forms of friendship love is in a way strongest in that which is based on kindred, and more particularly in the relation of father to son. Now why is it that the father loves the son more than the son the father? Is it, as some say rightly enough as regards the many, because the father has been a kind of benefactor to the son, and the son owes him a return for the benefit? Now this cause would seem to hold good in the friendship which is based on utility. But as we see it to be in the sciences, so it is here also. What I mean is that in some the end and the activity are the same, and there is not any other end beyond the activity; for instance, to the flute-player the activity and end are the same (for to play the flute is both his end and his activity); but not to the art of housebuilding (for it has a different end beyond the activity); now friendship is a sort of activity, and there is not any other end beyond the act of loving, but just this. Now the father is always in a way more active owing to the son being a kind of production of his own. And this we see to be so in the other cases also. For all feel a sort of kindness towards what they have themselves produced. The father, then, feels a sort of kindness towards the son as being his own production, led on by memory and by hope. This is why the father loves the son more than the son the father.
There are other things which are called and are thought to be forms of friendship, about which we must inquire whether they are friendship. For instance, goodwill is thought to be friendship. Now, speaking absolutely, goodwill would seem not to be friendship (for towards many persons and on many occasions we entertain a feeling of goodwill either from seeing or hearing some good about them. Does it follow then that we are friends? Surely not! For if some one felt goodwill towards Darius, when he was alive among the Persians, as some one may have done, it did not follow that he had a friendship towards Darius); but goodwill would seem to be sometimes the beginning of friendship, and goodwill may become friendship if, where one has the power to do good, there be added the wish to do it for the sake of the person towards whom the goodwill is felt. But goodwill implies moral quality and is relative to it. For no one is said to have a goodwill towards wine or towards anything else without life that is good or pleasant, but if any one be of a good character, goodwill is felt towards him. And goodwill is not separate from friendship, but acts in the same sphere. This is why it is thought to be friendship.
Unanimity borders close on friendship, if the kind of unanimity that you take be that which is strictly so called. For if one entertains the same notions as Empedocles and has the same views about the elements as he, is he unanimous with Empedocles? Surely not! Since the same thing would have to hold in any like case. For to begin with, the sphere of unanimity is not matters of thought but matters of action, and herein it is not in so far as they think the same, but in so far as in addition to thinking the same they have a purpose to do the same about what they think. For if both think to rule, but each of them thinks that he is to be ruler, are they therefore unanimous? Surely not. But if I wish to be ruler myself, and he wishes me to be so, then it is that we are unanimous. Unanimity, then, is found in matters of action coupled with the wish for the same thing. It is therefore the establishment of the same ruler in matters of action that is the sphere of unanimity in the strict sense.
Since there is, as we maintain, such a thing as friendship towards oneself, will the good man be a lover of self or not? Now the lover of self is he who does everything for his own sake in matters of advantage. The bad man is a lover of self (for he does everything for his own sake), but not the good man. For the reason why he is a good man is because he does so and so for the sake of another; wherefore he is not actuated by self-love. But it is true that all feel an impulse towards things that are good, and think that they themselves ought to have these in the highest degree. This is most apparent in the case of wealth and rule. Now the good man will resign these to another, not on the ground that it does not become him in the highest degree to have them, but if he sees that another will be able to make more use of these than he; but the rest of the world will not do this owing to ignorance (for they do not think they might make a bad use of such goods) or else owing to the ambition of ruling. But the good man will not be affected in either of these ways.
Wherefore he is not a lover of self as regards such goods at least; but, if at all, in respect of the noble. For this is the only thing in which he will not resign his share, but in respect of things useful and pleasant he will. In the choice, then, of things in accordance with the noble he will display love of self, but in the choice which we describe as being prompted by the useful and the pleasant it is not he who will do so, but the bad man.
14. Will the good man love himself most of all or not? In a way he will love himself most and in a way not. For since we say that the good man will resign goods in the way of utility to his friend, he will be loving his friend more than himself. Yes: but his resignation of such goods implies that he is compassing the noble for himself in resigning these to his friend. In a way, therefore, he is loving his friend more than himself, and in a way he is loving himself most. In respect of the useful he is loving his friend, but in respect of the noble and good he is loving himself most; for he is compassing these for himself as being noblest. He is therefore a lover of good, not a lover of self. For, if he does love himself, it is only because he is good. But the bad man is a lover of self. For he has nothing in the way of nobility for which he should love himself, but apart from these grounds he will love himself qua self. Wherefore it is he who will be called a lover of self in the strict sense.
15. It will come next to speak about self-sufficingness and the self-sufficing man. Will the self-sufficing man require friendship too? Or will he not, but will he be sufficient to himself as regards that also? For even the poets have such sayings as these—
What need of friends, when Heaven bestows the good?
Whence also the difficulty arises, whether he who has all the goods and is self-sufficing will need a friend too? Or is it then that he will need him most? For to whom will he do good? Or with whom will he live? For surely he will not live alone. If, then, he will need these things, and these are not possible without friendship, the self-sufficing man will need friendship too. Now the analogy that is generally derived from God in discussions is not right there, nor will it be useful here. For if God is self-sufficing and has need of none, it does not follow that we shall need no one. For we hear this kind of thing said about God. Seeing that God, so it is said, possesses all goods and is self-sufficing, what will he do? We can hardly suppose that he will sleep. It follows, we are told, that he will contemplate something; for this is the noblest and the most appropriate employment. What, then, will he contemplate? For if he is to contemplate anything else, it must be something better than himself that he will contemplate. But this is absurd, that there should be anything better than God. Therefore he will contemplate himself. But this also is absurd. For if a human being surveys himself, we censure him as stupid. It will be absurd therefore, it is said, for God to contemplate himself. As to what God is to contemplate, then, we may let that pass. But the self-sufficingness about which we are conducting our inquiry is not that of God but of man, the question being whether the self-sufficing man will require friendship or not. If, then, when one looked upon a friend one could see the nature and attributes of the friend, . . . such as to be a second self, at least if you make a very great friend, as the saying has it, 'Here is another Heracles, a dear other self.' Since then it is both a most difficult thing, as some of the sages have said, to attain a knowledge of oneself, and also a most pleasant (for to know oneself is pleasant)—now we are not able to see what we are from ourselves (and that we cannot do so is plain from the way in which we blame others without being aware that we do the same things ourselves; and this is the effect of favor or passion, and there are many of us who are blinded by these things so that we judge not aright); as then when we wish to see our own face, we do so by looking into the mirror, in the same way when we wish to know ourselves we can obtain that knowledge by looking at our friend. For the friend is, as we assert, a second self. If, then, it is pleasant to know oneself, and it is not possible to know this without having some one else for a friend, the self-sufficing man will require friendship in order to know himself.
Again, if it is a fine thing, as it is, to do good when one has the goods of fortune, to whom will he do good? And with whom will he live? For surely he will not spend his time alone; for to live with some one is pleasant and necessary. If, then, these things are fine and pleasant and necessary, and these things cannot be without friendship, the self-sufficing man will need friendship too.
16. Should one acquire many friends or few? They ought neither to be absolutely many nor yet few. For if they are many, it is difficult to apportion one's love to each. For in all other things also the weakness of our nature incapacitates us from reaching far. For we do not see far with our eyes, but if you set the object unduly far off, the sight fails owing to the weakness of nature; and the case is the same with hearing and with all other things alike. Failing, then, to show love through incapacity one would, not unjustly, incur accusations, and would not be a friend, as one would be loving only in name; but this is not what friendship means. Again, if they are many, one can never be quit of grief. For if they are many, it is always likely that something unfortunate will occur to one at least of them, and when these things take place grief is unavoidable. Nor yet, on the other hand, should one have few, only one or two, but a number commensurate with one's circumstances and one's own impulse to love.
17. After this we must inquire how one ought to treat a friend. This inquiry does not present itself in every friendship, but in that in which friends are most liable to bring complaints against one another. They do not do this so much in the other cases; for instance, in the friendship between father and son there is no complaint such as the claim that we hear made in some forms of friendship, 'As I to you, so you to me,' failing which there is in those cases grave complaint. But between unequal friends equality is not expected, and the relation between father and son is on a footing of inequality, as is also that between wife and husband, or between servant and master, and generally between the worse and the better. They will therefore not have complaints of this sort. But it is between equal friends and in a friendship of that sort that a complaint of this kind arises. So we must inquire how we ought to treat a friend in the friendship between friends who are on a footing of equality.