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Nicomachean Ethics 1150a Allurement, which steals the mind of the wise, shrewd though it is. 51 So if this kind of incontinence is more unjust and shameful than that in respect of spirit, it is incontinence without quali®cation, and in a sense a vice. Again, no one feels pain at acting with wanton violence, indeed people do it with pleasure, while everyone feels pain at acting from anger. So if the more unjust acts are the ones it is more just to be angry at, incontinence due to appetite is more unjust, since there is no wanton violence in spirit. It is clear, then, how incontinence in respect of appetite is more shameful than that concerned with spirit, and that self-control and incontinence are concerned with bodily appetites and pleasures. But we must grasp the differences between the latter; as we said at the beginning, some are human and natural in their kind and extent, some brutish, and some due to disabilities and diseases. Temperance and intemperance are concerned only with the ®rst of these. This is why we do not call animals temperate or intemperate other than through a transference of meaning, and if some one kind of animal as a whole stands apart from another in its wanton violence, its destructiveness, or its voracious appetite. They have no capacity for rational choice or calculation, but are degenerations from nature, like the insane among human beings. Brutishness is not as bad as vice, though it is more to be feared, because it consists not in the corruption of the superior element, as in human beings, but in its absence. So it is like comparing something without a soul to something with one, to see which is worse; for the badness of what does not have a ®rst principle is always less destructive, and intellect is a ®rst principle. It is, then, very like comparing injustice with an unjust human being: each is worse in a way, since a bad human being can do ten thousand times as much evil as a brute. Chapter 7 Earlier we de®ned intemperance and temperance as concerned with the pleasures and pains arising from touch and taste, and the appetites for them and aversions to them. One can be so disposed as to succumb even 51 Homer, Iliad xiv.214, 217. 130

Book VII to those that most people rise superior to, or to master even those that most people succumb to. Of these varieties, the people concerned with pleasures are the incontinent and the self-controlled, while those concerned with pains are the soft and the person prone to endurance. The state of most people lies in between, though they may incline more in the direction of the worse states. Some pleasures are necessary, while others are not. The necessary ones are necessary only up to a point, while their excesses and de®ciencies are not; and this is equally true of appetites and pains. So the person who pursues excessive pleasures from rational choice, for their own sake and not for any further consequence, is intemperate; such a person is bound to be without regrets, and thus incurable, since anyone without regrets is incurable. The de®cient person is the contrary, while the intermediate person is temperate. The same goes for the person who avoids bodily pains not because he is overcome by them, but from rational choice. Of those who do not do such acts from rational choice, one kind of person is led on for the sake of the pleasure, the other for the sake of avoiding the pain that comes from appetite; so these two differ from one another. Now everyone would think worse of someone who does something disgraceful when appetite is absent or weak than someone who does such a thing when his appetite is intense; and worse of someone who strikes another when he is not angry than someone who strikes when he is. For what would he have done if he had been affected? This is why the intemperate person is worse than the incontinent. Of the states mentioned, then, one is more a species of softness, while the other person is intemperate. The self-controlled person is opposed to the incontinent, and the person prone to endurance to the soft. For enduring consists in resisting, while self-control consists in overcoming; and resisting and overcoming are different, just as not being beaten is different from winning. This is why self-control is also more worthy of choice than endurance. The person de®cient in resisting what most people resist, and are able to resist, is soft and effeminate, since effeminacy is a kind of softness. Such a person trails his cloak to avoid the pain and burden of lifting it, and pretends to be suffering, though he has no thought that he really is wretched ± he merely resembles someone wretched. 131 1150b

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