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[Aristotle,_Roger_Crisp]_Nicomachean_Ethics_(Cambr(BookFi)

1107b 1108a

1107b 1108a Nicomachean Ethics because actions are to do with particulars, and what we say should accord with particulars. We may take them from our diagram. In fear and con®dence, courage is the mean. Of those who exceed it, the person who exceeds in fearlessness has no name (many cases lack names), while the one who exceeds in con®dence is rash. He who exceeds in being afraid and is de®cient in con®dence is a coward. With respect to pleasures and pains ± not all of them, and less so with pains ± the mean is temperance, the excess intemperance. People de®cient with regard to pleasures are not very common, and so do not even have a name; let us call them insensible. In giving and taking money, the mean is generosity, while the excess and de®ciency are wastefulness and stinginess. People with these qualities are excessive and de®cient in contrary ways to one another. The wasteful person exceeds in giving away and falls short in taking, while the stingy person exceeds in taking and falls short in giving away. (At present, we can be content with giving a rough and summary account of these things; a more detailed classi®cation will come later.) There are other dispositions connected with money. One mean is magni®cence, for the magni®cent person, in so far as he deals with large amounts, differs from the generous one, who deals with small. The excess is tastelessness and vulgarity, the de®ciency niggardliness, and they differ from the states opposed to generosity; how they differ will be stated below. In honour and dishonour, the mean is greatness of soul, while the excess is referred to as a kind of vanity, the de®ciency smallness of soul. And just as we said generosity is related to magni®cence, differing from it by being concerned with small amounts, so there is a virtue having to do with small honours that corresponds in the same way to greatness of soul, which is to do with great ones. For one can desire small honours in the right way, and in excessive and de®cient ways as well. The person who exceeds in his desires is described as a lover of honour, the person who is de®cient as not caring about it, while the one in between has no name. Their dispositions are nameless as well, except that of the lover of honour, which is called love of honour. This is why those at the extremes lay claim to the middle ground. We ourselves sometimes refer to the person in the middle as a lover of honour, sometimes as one who does not care about it; and sometimes we praise the person who loves 32

Book II honour, sometimes the one who does not care about it. The reason for our doing this will be stated below. For now, let us discuss the remaining virtues and vices in the way laid down. In anger too there is an excess, a de®ciency, and a mean. They are virtually nameless, but since we call the person in between the extremes even-tempered, let us call the mean even temper. Of those at the extremes, let the one who is excessive be quick-tempered, and the vice quick temper, while he who is de®cient is, as it were, slow-tempered, and his de®ciency slow temper. There are three other means, having something in common, but also different. For they are all to do with our association with one another in words and actions, but differ in that one is concerned with the truth to be found in them, while the other two are respectively concerned with what is pleasant in amusement and in life as a whole. We should talk about these things as well, then, so that we can better see that in all things the mean is praiseworthy, while the extremes are neither praiseworthy nor correct, but blameworthy. Most of them again have no names, but, for the sake of clarity and intelligibility, we must try, as in the other cases, to produce names ourselves. With respect to truth, then, let us call the intermediate person truthful and the mean truthfulness; pretence that exaggerates is boastfulness and the person who has this characteristic is a boaster, while that which understates is self-depreciation and the person who has this is self-deprecating. In connection with what is pleasant in amusement, let us call the intermediate person witty, and the disposition wit; the excess clownishness, and the person with that characteristic a clown; and the person who falls short a sort of boor and his state boorishness. With respect to the remaining kind of pleasantness, that found in life in general, let us call the person who is pleasant in the right way friendly and the mean friendliness, while he who goes to excess will be obsequious if there is no reason for it, and a ¯atterer if he is out for his own ends; someone who falls short and is unpleasant all the time will be a quarrelsome and peevish sort of person. There are also means in the feelings and in connection with the feelings. Shame, for example, is not a virtue, but praise is also bestowed on the person inclined to feel it. Even in these cases one person is said to be intermediate, and another ± the shy person who feels shame at everything ± excessive; he who is de®cient or is ashamed of nothing at 33

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