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Nicomachean Ethics 1119b Chapter 12 Intemperance seems more of a voluntary matter than does cowardice, since it is caused by pleasure, which is to be chosen, while cowardice is caused by pain, which is to be avoided. And pain upsets and ruins the natural state of the person who is experiencing it, while pleasure does nothing of the sort. Intemperance, then, is more voluntary. So it is also more reprehensible, since it is easier to accustom oneself to resist pleasures; for there are many of them in life, and the modes of accustoming oneself are quite safe, while with fearful things the contrary is true. It would seem, however, that cowardice is voluntary in a way that its particular instances are not. For it is itself painless, but particular instances upset people because of the pain, to the extent that they even throw away their arms and disgrace themselves in other ways. This is why they even seem to be forced. In the case of the intemperate, the contrary is true. The particular instances are voluntary (since he acts through appetite and desire), but taken as a whole the condition is less so, because nobody has an appetite for intemperance. We also apply the name intemperance to children's errors, because they have a certain resemblance. Which is called after which is not relevant to our present purpose, but it is clear that the posterior is called after the prior. The transfer of the name does not seem inapposite, since that which desires what is disgraceful and grows quickly ought to be disciplined. Appetites and children fall especially into this category, since children live in accordance with appetite, and the desire for what is pleasant is found especially in them. If, then, it is not going to be obedient and subject to its ruler, it will get out of hand. For the desire of an irrational being for what is pleasant is insatiable and indiscriminate, and the activity of desire will strengthen the tendency he is born with. And if appetites are strong and excessive, they actually expel calculation. They should therefore be moderate and few in number, and in no kind of opposition to reason ± this is what we mean by `obedient' and `disciplined' ± and as the child ought to live in accordance with what his tutor prescribes, so ought the appetitive element in accordance with reason. So the appetitive element in a temperate person ought to be in 58

Book III harmony with reason; for the aim of both is what is noble, and the temperate person's appetite is for the right thing, in the right way, and at the right time, and this is what reason requires as well. So let us now conclude our discussion of temperance. 59

(Hackett Classics) Aristotle, C. D. C. Reeve (Trans.)-Nicomachean Ethics-Hackett Publishing (2014)
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