Published: January 31, 2017 (6 years 1 month ago.)
- Author :: Aristotle
- Publication Year :: 350 BC
- Read Date :: 2017-01-31
- Source :: ethics1.html
The book in...
A dense examination of such human characteristics and timeless questions including virtues, means, ends, friendship, happiness, justice, nature, and nurture among others.
designates my notes. / designates important.
This is a rather difficult read. Not because of the language, this translationseemed very easy to read, but because of how much you are forced to consideredmuch of what is said. The most basic of human traits, that everyone will befamiliar with, are discussed in great detail. It reminds me of the old sayingalong the lines of “an unexamined life is a life not worth living.” This workwill help examine a life. Even still, it should not be taken as gospel but as astarting point and a feast for thought.
- Translator: W.D. Ross
Table of Contents
- Book 1
- Book 2
- Book 3
- Book 4
- Book 5
- Book 6
- Book 7
- Book 8
- Book 9
- Book 10
· Book 1
“Good” is what all pursuits follow
Each activity/art is encompassed by another: Horserider > Horse master > military strategy
Political science dictates all otheractivity/arts
The “end” is good for one man, but “godlike” for astate
precision is relative
for it is the mark of an educated man to look for precision in each class ofthings just so far as the nature of the subject admits; it is evidently equally foolish to accept probable reasoningfrom a mathematician and to demand from a rhetorician scientificproofs.
Youth follows passion not knowledge, for action notprofit
political science aims at and what is the highest of all goods achievable byaction.
there is a difference between arguments from and those to the firstprinciples. For Plato, too, was right in raising this question and asking, ashe used to do, ‘are we on the way from or to the first principles?’
- Three types of lives:
- Political (seeking honor)
the mass of mankind are evidently quite slavish in their tastes, preferring alife suitable to beasts, but they get some ground for their view from thefact that many of those in high places share the tastes of Sardanapallus.[decadent]
possession of virtue seems actually compatible with being asleep, or withlifelong inactivity, and, further, with the greatest sufferings andmisfortunes;
The life of money-making is one undertaken under compulsion, and wealth isevidently not the good we are seeking; for it is merely useful and for the sakeof something else.
Yet it would perhaps be thought to be better, indeed to be our duty, for thesake of maintaining the truth even to destroy whattouches us closely, especially as we are philosophers or lovers ofwisdom; for, while both are dear, piety requires us tohonour truth above our friends.
since ‘good’ has as many senses as ‘being’ (for it is predicated both in thecategory of substance, as of God and of reason, and in quality, i.e. of thevirtues, and in quantity, i.e. of that which is moderate, and in relation, i.e.of the useful, and in time, i.e. of the right opportunity, and in place, i.e.of the right locality and the like), clearly it cannot be something universallypresent in all cases and single; for then it could not have been predicated inall the categories but in one only.
No conclusion to what is universal good.
Should we even care about a :good itself"? How wouldthis benefit anyone? Even a doctor studies the health of men, not “healthitself”.
Things done for their ends are not as final as thingsdone for their own sake
Happiness is done for itself, where as other things,like wealth, are done for their sake plus happiness.
of goods the greater is always more desirable.
Function of man? A lyre and a lyre player, function toplay and well
if this is the case, and we state the function of man to be a certain kindof life, and this to be an activity or actions of the soul implying a rationalprinciple
if this is the case, human good turns out to be activity of soul inaccordance with virtue
Rough outline of the good
And we must also remember what has been said before, and not look forprecision in all things alike, but in each class ofthings such precision as accords with the subject-matter, and so much asis appropriate to the inquiry. For a carpenter and ageometer investigate the right angle in different ways; the former doesso in so far as the right angle is useful for his work, while the latter inquires what it is or what sort of thing it is;for he is a spectator of the truth. We must act in the same way, then,in all other matters as well, that our main task may not be subordinated tominor questions.
State the firstprinciples carefully as what follows is influenced greatly.
For the beginning is thought to be more than half of the whole
those who act win
Happiness then is the best, noblest, and most pleasant thing in the world,and these attributes are not severed as in the inscription at Delos –
Most noble is that which is justest, and best is health;But pleasantest is it to win what we love.For all these properties belong to the best activities;and these, or one – the best – of these, we identify with happiness.
Is happiness in justice, health, AND love? or OR?
To have happiness is often predicated on access to instruments such asfriends, riches, and political influence.
Learned or trained happiness?
Reiterates that political science is the “best end”.
Animals can not be happy b/c they don’t take part in thinks like politics.In the same way children can not be happy b/c they are “not capable of suchacts”.
One who lives happily, but meets a misfortune in old age is not calledhappy.
virtuous activities or their opposites are what constitute happiness or thereverse.
One who engages in virtuous action will always be happy.
If activities are, as we said, what gives life itscharacter, no happy man can become miserable; for he will never do the actsthat are hateful and mean. For the man who is truly good and wise, wethink, bears all the chances life becomingly and always makes the best ofcircumstances, as a good general makes the best military use of the army at hiscommand and a good shoemaker makes the best shoes out of the hides that aregiven him; and so with all other craftsmen.
- “Blessedness” ~= happiness + success
- Praise is for strong men, skilled artisans, etc. Pleasure is not praised, itis prized. Likewise for happiness.
The true student of politics, too, is thought to have studied virtue aboveall things; for he wishes to make his fellow citizens good and obedient tothe laws.
politics is more prized and better than medicine
The student of politics, then, must study the soul
while goodness and badness are least manifest in sleep (whence comes thesaying that the happy are not better off than the wretched for half theirlives
Half their lives? Only a saying or did they sleep longer?
the impulses of incontinent people move in contrary directions.
in the continent man it obeys the rational principle and presumably in thetemperate and brave man it is still more obedient; for in him it speaks, onall matters, with the same voice as the rational principle.
Both of these impulses (ir/rational) are present in most mens’ bodies, andpresumably their souls.
· Book 2
2 kinds of morals: intellectual (from teaching) and moral (from habit).
Men become by doing. A builder is so because they build. Brave by beingbrave. You get the good and bad from this doing. A bad lyre player is still alyre player.
…legislators make the citizens good by forminghabits in them…
It makes no small difference, then, whether we formhabits of one kind or of another from our very youth; it makes a verygreat difference, or rather all the difference.
for to gain light on things imperceptible we must use the evidence ofsensible things
Excess and neglect both destroy, a middle path best. Not a coward or rash,but brave. So to for other virtues.
For moral excellence is concerned with pleasures and pains; it is on accountof the pleasure that we do bad things, and on account of the pain that weabstain from noble ones. Hence we ought to have been brought up in a particular way from our very youth, asPlato says, so as both to delight in and to be pained by the things that weought; for this is the right education.
virtue and vice are concerned with these same things.
the noble, the advantageous, the pleasant, and their contraries, the base,the injurious, the painful, about all of these the good man tends to go rightand the bad man to go wrong,
it is harder to fight with pleasure than with anger, to use Heraclitus’phrase’, but both art and virtue are always concerned with what is harder
it is virtuous to take pleasure in fighting?
One becomes just or temperate by being just or temperate.
But most people do not do these, but take refuge in theory and think they arebeing philosophers and will become good in this way, behaving somewhat likepatients who listen attentively to their doctors, but do none of the thingsthey are ordered to do. As the latter will not be made well in body by such acourse of treatment, the former will not be made well in soul by such a courseof philosophy.
Again, we feel anger and fear without choice, but the virtues are modes ofchoice or involve choice. Further, in respect of the passions we are said tobe moved, but in respect of the virtues and the vices we are said not to bemoved but to be disposed in a particular way.
If, then, the virtues are neither passions nor faculties, all that remains isthat they should be states of character.
Avoid relative excesses and scarcity. A wrestler needs to eat more than ascribe, but both can eat too much or little.
Now virtue is concerned with passions and actions, in which excess is a formof failure, and so is defect, while the intermediate is praised and is a formof success; and being praised and being successful are both characteristics ofvirtue. Therefore virtue is a kind of mean, since, as we have seen, it aims atwhat is intermediate.
excess and defect are characteristic of vice, and themean of virtue;
Some things, like theft, are bad in and of themselves, not theirexcess/defect.
the man who exceeds in his desires is called ambitious, the man who fallsshort unambitious, while the intermediate person has no name.
Many of the means or extremes have no name.
- For the brave man appears rash relatively to the coward, and cowardlyrelatively to the rash man
Hence he who aims at the intermediate must first depart from what is the morecontrary to it
For of the extremes one is more erroneous, one lessso; therefore, since to hit the mean is hard in the extreme, we must as asecond best, as people say, take the least of the evils
for if we dismiss pleasure thus we are less likely to go astray. It is bydoing this, then, (to sum the matter up) that we shall best be able to hitthe mean.
the decision rests with perception
· Book 3
Everything that is done by reason of ignorance is not voluntary; it is onlywhat produces pain and repentance that is involuntary. For the man who hasdone something owing to ignorance, and feels not the least vexation at hisaction, has not acted voluntarily, since he did not know what he was doing, noryet involuntarily, since he is not pained. Of people, then, who act by reasonof ignorance he who repents is thought an involuntary agent, and the man whodoes not repent may, since he is different, be called a not voluntary agent;for, since he differs from the other, it is better that he should have a nameof his own.
Perhaps it is just as well, therefore, to determine their nature and number.A man may be ignorant, then, of who he is, what he is doing, what or whom heis acting on, and sometimes also what (e.g. what instrument) he is doing itwith, and to what end (e.g. he may think his act will conduce to some one’ssafety), and how he is doing it (e.g. whether gently or violently). Now of allof these no one could be ignorant unless he were mad, and evidently also hecould not be ignorant of the agent; for how could he not know himself?
Again, what is the difference in respect of involuntariness between errorscommitted upon calculation and those committed in anger? Both are to beavoided, but the irrational passions are thought not less human than reason is,and therefore also the actions which proceed from anger or appetite are theman’s actions.
Choice is not opinion.
[Choice] seems to be voluntary, but not all that is voluntary to be an objectof choice.
Now about eternal things no one deliberates, e.g. about the material universeor the incommensurability of the diagonal and the side of a square. But nomore do we deliberate about the things that involve movement but always happenin the same way, whether of necessity or by nature or from any other cause,e.g. the solstices and the risings of the stars; nor about things that happennow in one way, now in another, e.g. droughts and rains; nor about chanceevents, like the finding of treasure. But we do not deliberate even about allhuman affairs; for instance, no Spartan deliberates about the best constitutionfor the Scythians. For none of these things can be brought about by our ownefforts.
We deliberate not about ends but about means. For a doctor does notdeliberate whether he shall heal … They assume the end and consider how andby what means it is to be attained
It seems, then, as has been said, that man is a moving principle of actions;now deliberation is about the things to be done by the agent himself, andactions are for the sake of things other than themselves.
For the end cannot be a subject of deliberation, but only the means
If we are to be always deliberating, we shall have togo on to infinity.
- Wishes are for ends, not good or apparent good.
- We reply that if each man is somehow responsible for his state of mind, hewill also be himself somehow responsible for the appearance; but if not, noone is responsible for his own evildoing, but every one does evil acts throughignorance of the end, thinking that by these he will get what is best, and theaiming at the end is not self-chosen but one must be born with an eye, as itwere, by which to judge rightly and choose what is truly good, and he is wellendowed by nature who is well endowed with this. For it is what is greatest andmost noble, and what we cannot get or learn from another, but must have justsuch as it was when given us at birth, and to be well and nobly endowed withthis will be perfect and true excellence of natural endowment.
- Properly, then, he will be called brave who is fearless in face of a nobledeath
What is terrible is not the same for all men; but we say there are thingsterrible even beyond human strength. These, then, are terrible to every one
The man, then, who faces and who fears the right things and from the rightmotive, in the right way and from the right time, and who feels confidenceunder the corresponding conditions, is brave; for the brave man feels and actsaccording to the merits of the case and in whatever way the rule directs.
courage is a mean with respect to things that inspire confidence or fear
First comes the courage of the citizen-soldier; for this is most liketrue courage.
Experience with regard to particular facts is also thought to be courage;this is indeed the reason why Socrates thought courage was knowledge.
Passion also is sometimes reckoned as courage; those who act from passion,like wild beasts rushing at those who have wounded them (Those creatures arenot brave, then, which are driven on to danger by pain or passion.)
Nor are sanguine people brave; for they are confident in danger only becausethey have conquered often and against many foes.
People who are ignorant of the danger also appear brave, and they are notfar removed from those of a sanguine temper, but are inferior inasmuch as theyhave no self-reliance while these have.
- It is for facing what is painful, then, as has been said, that men are calledbrave.
- Temperance deals with physical self-indulgence in an animalistic fashion.
Plainly, then, excess with regard to pleasures is self-indulgence and isculpable;
Temperance is when excess pains are not endured from a lack of pleasures.
Self-indulgence is more like a voluntary state than cowardice.
for that which desires what is base and which develops quickly ought to bekept in a chastened condition, and these characteristics belong above all toappetite and to the child, since children in fact live at the beck and call ofappetite
this is what we call an obedient and chastened state – and as the childshould live according to the direction of his tutor,
· Book 4
Liberality is the “proper” giving and taking of money. Too much or thewrong kind of giving tends to prodigality while too little or the wrong kindof giving leads to meanness.
Meanness is worse than prodigality, for the prodigal may one day temperhis giving.
- Magnificent men are liberal, but not necessarily vice-versa. Basically thesame as liberal spending, ie the right way, but on a larger scale.
for he [the proud man] claims what is accordance with his merits, while theothers go to excess or fall short.
The extremes of pride are undue humility and vanity.
Pride, then, seems to be a sort of crown of the virtues; for it makes themgreater, and it is not found without them.
- Honor, like anything else, can be sought too much or too little. Theextremes are ambitious and unambitious; there is on name for the middleground.
- Temper can be correct, or wrong in a number of ways: timing, length, etc.The middle is the most praiseworthy, but men that stray towards excess ordefect are often also praised.
Don’t be obsequious or contentious, give pain or pleasure as is determinedby the circumstances. This is similar to friendship without affection.
For the sake of a great future pleasure, too, he will inflict small pains.
The boastful man, then, is thought to be apt to claim the things that bringglory, when he has not got them, or to claim more of them than he has, andthe mock-modest man on the other hand to disclaim what he has or belittle it,while the man who observes the mean is one who calls athing by its own name, being truthful both in life and in word, owning to whathe has, and neither more nor less.
For the man who loves truth, and is truthful where nothing is at stake, willstill more be truthful where something is at stake; he will avoid falsehoodas something base
The people you speak to and listen to will affect you.
Surrounding the mean of ready-witted are the buffoon and the boor, eachowing to too much or too little jesting.
Shame is not a virtue.
Youth, that are guided by emotion, are “praised” for feeling shame whenthey err. Good adults are expected to not partake in such activities thatwould cause shame in the first place.
· Book 5
Since the lawless man was seen to be unjust and the law-abiding man just,evidently all lawful acts are in a sense just acts; for the acts laid down bythe legislative art are lawful, and each of these, we say, is just.
Now the laws in their enactments on all subjects aim at the common advantageeither of all or of the best or of those who hold power, or something of thesort; so that in one sense we call those acts just thattend to produce and preserve happiness and its components for the politicalsociety.
therefore justice is often thought to be the greatest of virtues, and’neither evening nor morning star’ is so wonderful; and proverbially ‘injustice is every virtue comprehended’.
Justice allows one to exercise virtue on other people.
the best man is not he who exercises his virtue towards himself but he whoexercises it towards another
all other unjust acts are ascribed invariably to some particular kind ofwickedness, e.g. adultery to self-indulgence, the desertion of a comrade inbattle to cowardice, physical violence to anger; but if a man makes gain, hisaction is ascribed to no form of wickedness but injustice.
for practically the majority of the acts commanded by the law are those whichare prescribed from the point of view of virtue taken as a whole; for the lawbids us practise every virtue and forbids us to practise any vice.
this is the origin of quarrels and complaints – when either equals have andare awarded unequal shares, or unequals equal shares. Further, this is plainfrom the fact that awards should be ‘according to merit’; for all men agreethat what is just in distribution must be according to merit in some sense,though they do not all specify the same sort of merit, but democrats identify it with the status of freeman, supportersof oligarchy with wealth (or with noble birth), and supporters of aristocracywith excellence.
The just, then, is a species of the proportionate (proportion being not aproperty only of the kind of number which consists of abstract units, but ofnumber in general). For proportion is equality of ratios, and involves fourterms at least
This, then, is what the just is – the proportional; the unjust is whatviolates the proportion. Hence one term becomes too great, the other toosmall,
- corrective justice will be the intermediate betweenloss and gain. This is why, when people dispute, they take refuge inthe judge; and to go to the judge is to go to justice; for the nature of thejudge is to be a sort of animate justice; and they seek the judge as anintermediate,
It is for this end that money has been introduced, and it becomes in a sensean intermediate; for it measures all things, and therefore the excess and thedefect – how many shoes are equal to a house or to a given amount of food.
All goods must therefore be measured by some onething, as we said before. Now this unit is in truth demand, which holds allthings together (for if men did not need one another’s goods at all, or did notneed them equally, there would be either no exchange or not the same exchange);but money has become by convention a sort of representative of demand; and thisis why it has the name ‘money’ (nomisma) – because it exists not by nature butby law (nomos) and it is in our power to change it and make it useless.
That demand holds things together as a single unit is shown by the fact thatwhen men do not need one another, i.e. when neither needs the other or onedoes not need the other, they do not exchange
Now the same thing happens to money itself as to goods – it is not alwaysworth the same; yet it tends to be steadier.
There must, then, be a unit, and that fixed by agreement (for which reason itis called money); for it is this that makes all things commensurate, since all things are measured by money.
it is plain that just action is intermediate between acting unjustly andbeing unjustly treated; for the one is to have too much and the other to havetoo little. Justice is a kind of mean, but not in the same way as the othervirtues, but because it relates to an intermediate amount, while injusticerelates to the extremes.
one who will distribute either between himself and another or between twoothers not so as to give more of what is desirable to himself and less to hisneighbour (and conversely with what is harmful), but so as to give what isequal in accordance with proportion; and similarly in distributing between twoother persons.
A man may commit an unjust act without being an unjust man. Similarly witha just man.
Magistrates, not tyrants, can equitably assign rewards and punishments inthe name of the law.
- Political justice is a combination of natural justice and legal justice.
Whether an act is or is not one of injustice (or of justice) is determined byits voluntariness or involuntariness
Therefore that which is done in ignorance, or though not done in ignorance isnot in the agent’s power, or is done under compulsion, is involuntary
(1) the injury takes place contrary to reasonable expectation, it is amisadventure. When (2) it is not contrary to reasonable expectation, but doesnot imply vice, it is a mistake (for a man makes a mistake when the faultoriginates in him, but is the victim of accident when the origin lies outsidehim). When (3) he acts with knowledge but not after deliberation, it is an actof injustice … but this does not imply that the doers are unjust or wicked;for the injury is not due to vice. But when (4) a man acts from choice, he isan unjust man and a vicious man
Hence acts proceeding from anger are rightly judged not to be done of maliceaforethought; for it is not the man who acts in angerbut he who enraged him that starts the mischief.
Men think being just is easy, but to know how and how much to appropriate,wealth, honor, etc, “is no less an achievement than that of being aphysician."
just as to practise medicine and healing consists not in applying or notapplying the knife, in using or not using medicines, but in doing so in acertain way.
- And this is the nature of the equitable, a correction of law where it isdefective owing to its universality. In fact this is the reason why allthings are not determined by law, that about some things it is impossible tolay down a law, so that a decree is needed.
e.g. the law does not expressly permit suicide, and what it does not expresslypermit it forbids.
he who through anger voluntarily stabs himself does this contrary to theright rule of life, and this the law does not allow; therefore he is actingunjustly. But towards whom? Surely towards the state, not towards himself. Forhe suffers voluntarily, but no one is voluntarily treated unjustly. This is also the reason why the state punishes; a certainloss of civil rights attaches to the man who destroys himself, on the groundthat he is treating the state unjustly.
· Book 6
We said before that there are two parts of the soul – that which grasps arule or rational principle, and the irrational; let us now draw a similardistinction within the part which grasps a rational principle.
And let it be assumed that there are two parts which grasp a rationalprinciple – one by which we contemplate the kind of things whose originativecauses are invariable, and one by which we contemplate variable things
Now there are three things in the soul which controlaction and truth – sensation, reason, desire.
of the intellect which is contemplative, not practical nor productive, thegood and the bad state are truth and falsityrespectively (for this is the work of everything intellectual)
The origin of action – its efficient, not its finalcause – is choice, and that of choice is desire and reasoning with aview to an end. This is why choice cannot exist eitherwithout reason and intellect or without a moral state
We don’t deliberate about the past because:hence Agathon is right in saying: For this alone is lacking even to God, Tomake undone things that have once been done.
The work of both the intellectual parts, then, is truth.
Let it be assumed that the states by virtue of which the soul possesses truthby way of affirmation or denial are five in number, i.e. art, scientificknowledge, practical wisdom, philosophic wisdom, intuitive reason
In accordance with scientific knowledge: “We allsuppose that what we know is not even capable of being otherwise”. Seems very incorrect, I COULD be wrong about anything.
all teaching starts from what is already known
induction is the starting-point which knowledge evenof the universal presupposes
Scientific knowledge is, then, a state of capacity to demonstrate
- Making and acting being different, art must be a matter of making, not ofacting. And in a sense chance and art are concerned with the same objects; asAgathon says, ‘art loves chance and chance loves art’. Art, then, as has beenis a state concerned with making, involving a true course of reasoning
- Practical wisdom, then, must be a reasoned and true state of capacity to actwith regard to human goods.
Scientific knowledge is judgement about things that are universal andnecessary, and the conclusions of demonstration, andall scientific knowledge, follow from first principles
it is intuitive reason that grasps the first principles.
Therefore wisdom must plainly be the most finished of the forms ofknowledge.
Therefore wisdom must be intuitive reason combined with scientific knowledge
philosophic wisdom is scientific knowledge, combined with intuitive reason,of the things that are highest by nature. This is why we say Anaxagoras,Thales, and men like them have philosophic but not practical wisdom, when wesee them ignorant of what is to their own advantage, and why we say that theyknow things that are remarkable, admirable, difficult, and divine, but useless;viz. because it is not human goods that they seek.
Practical wisdom on the other hand is concerned with things human and thingsabout which it is possible to deliberate
- the man who knows and concerns himself with his own interests is thought tohave practical wisdom, while politicians are thought to be busybodies
- excellence in deliberation, which is rightness with regard to the expedient– rightness in respect both of the end, the manner, and the time.
Hence it [understanding] is about the same objects as practical wisdom; butunderstanding and practical wisdom are not the same. For practical wisdomissues commands, since its end is what ought to be done or not to be done; butunderstanding only judges.
- Good understanding comes from from the application of the word to the grasping ofscientific truth; for we often call such grasping understanding.
judgement’, is the right discrimination of the equitable.
The other states, such as understanding or practicalwisdom, are converged into the same person and seen as the ability to utilizegood or sympathetic judgement. This requires practical wisdom (etc) to beunderstood before it can be judged.
You can be born with this natural quality. You do notlearn it as one learns mathematics or philosophy.
Practical wisdom doesn’t help us act noble and good, insuch the same way that knowledge of medicine does not produce health.
Therefore it is evident that it is impossible to be practically wise withoutbeing good.
virtues are present from birth, but children and bruteshave no idea of how to use them. Only when man acquires reason can strictvirtue be had and acted upon.
it is not possible to be good in the strict sense without practical wisdom,nor practically wise without moral virtue.
· Book 7
Let us now make a fresh beginning and point out that of moral states to beavoided there are three kinds – vice, incontinence, brutishness.
Now (1) both continence and endurance are thought to be included among thingsgood and praiseworthy, and both incontinence and softnessamong things bad and blameworthy; and the same man is thought to becontinent and ready to abide by the result of his calculations, or incontinentand ready to abandon them.
Socrates thinks there is no incontinence, that menact in such a way out of ignorance. Others think those without knowledge act onopinion.
There is an argument from which it follows that folly coupled withincontinence is virtue; for a man does the opposite of what he judges, owingto incontinence, but judges what is good to be evil and something that heshould not do, and consequence he will do what is good and not what is evil.
- It is plain, then, that incontinent people must be said to be in a similarcondition to men asleep, mad, or drunk.
- I mean (A) the brutish states, as in the case of the female who, they say,rips open pregnant women and devours the infants,or of the things in which some of the tribes about the Black Sea that have gonesavage are said to delight – in raw meat or in humanflesh, or in lending their children to one another to feast upon – orof the story told of Phalaris.
- Men can be reasoned with when angry, at least intheory, while incontinent men can’t be reasoned with.
it possible to be in such a state as to be defeated even by those of themwhich most people master, or to master even those by which most people aredefeated
The lover of amusement, too, is thought to be self-indulgent, but is reallysoft. For amusement is a relaxation, since it is a rest from work;
- both the continent man and the temperate man are such as to do nothingcontrary to the rule for the sake of the bodily pleasures, but the former hasand the latter has not bad appetites, and the latter is such as not to feelpleasure contrary to the rule, while the former is such as to feel pleasure butnot to be led by it. And the incontinent and the self-indulgent man are alsolike another; they are different, but both pursue bodily pleasures – thelatter, however, also thinking that he ought to do so, while the former doesnot think this.
of the two types of incontinent man the one does not abide by the conclusionsof his deliberation, while the excitable man does not deliberate at all.
Now incontinence and continence are concerned with that which is in excess ofthe state characteristic of most men; for the continent man abides by hisresolutions more and the incontinent man less than most men can.
The study of pleasure and pain belongs to the province of the political philosopher; for he is the architect of theend, with a view to which we call one thing bad and another good withoutqualification.
Now (1) some people think that no pleasure is a good,either in itself or incidentally
(1) The reasons given for the view that pleasure isnot a good at all are (a) that every pleasure is a perceptible process to anatural state, and that no process is of the same kind as its end, e.g. noprocess of building of the same kind as a house. (b) A temperate man avoidspleasures. (c) A man of practical wisdom pursues what is free from pain, notwhat is pleasant. (d) The pleasures are a hindrance to thought, and the more sothe more one delights in them, e.g. in sexual pleasure; for no one could thinkof anything while absorbed in this. (e) There is no art of pleasure; but everygood is the product of some art. (f) Children and the brutes pursuepleasures.
some say the end is better than the process
Refutes the above claim of no pleasure is good.
Pleasure, then, is necessarily a good.
And (F) if certain pleasures are bad, that does not prevent the chief goodfrom being some pleasure, just as the chief good may be some form ofknowledge though certain kinds of knowledge are bad.
Perhaps it is even necessary, if each disposition has unimpeded activities,that, whether the activity (if unimpeded) of all our dispositions or that ofsome one of them is happiness, this should be the thing most worthy of ourchoice; and this activity is pleasure. Thus the chief goodwould be some pleasure
Pleasure is not good or evil. A happy or good man canhave pleasure or pain like anyone else.
· Book 8
For without friends no one would choose to live, though he had all othergoods; even rich men and those in possession of office and of dominatingpower are thought to need friends most of all
Some say friends are like: “birds of a feather flocktogether”, while others the opposite.
Heraclitus that “it is what opposes that helps” and “from different tonescomes the fairest tune” and “all things are produced through strife”;
My opinion is the same as Heraclitus, I believe strifeis the primary motivator.
- To be friends, then, the must be mutually recognized as bearing goodwill andwishing well to each other
Therefore those who love for the sake of utility lovefor the sake of what is good for themselves, and those who love for the sake ofpleasure do so for the sake of what is pleasant to themselves, and not in sofar as the other is the person loved but in so far as he is useful orpleasant. And thus these friendships are only incidental; for it is notas being the man he is that the loved person is loved, but as providing somegood or pleasure. Such friendships, then, are easily dissolved, if the partiesdo not remain like themselves; for if the one party is no longer pleasant oruseful the other ceases to love him.
Perfect friendship is the friendship of men who are good, and alike in virtue
But it is natural that such friendships should beinfrequent; for such men are rare. Further, such friendship requirestime and familiarity; as the proverb says, men cannot know each other till theyhave ’eaten salt together’
- Bad men may be friends, but only for incidentalprofit. Only true friendship can be had between good men withoutqualification.
- Neither old people nor sour people seem to make friends easily; for there islittle that is pleasant in them
such men [unfriendly] may bear goodwill to each other; for they wish oneanother well and aid one another in need; but they are hardly friends becausethey do not spend their days together nor delight in each other
People in positions of authority seem to have friends who fall into distinctclasses; some people are useful to them and others are pleasant, but the samepeople are rarely both
for pleasure they seek for ready-witted people, andtheir other friends they choose as being clever at doing what they are told,and these characteristics are rarely combined.
- Equality in friendship and justice are not the same.In justice it is more qualitative based on merit, while in friendship it isprimarily quantitative.
- Love seems greater than honor or friendship.
- friendship and justice exist between the same persons and have an equalextension.
The constitutions are monarchy, aristocracy, andthirdly that which is based on a property qualification
The best of these is monarchy, the worst timocracy. The deviation frommonarchy is tyranny; for both are forms of one-man rule, but there is thegreatest difference between them
Aristocracy passes over into oligarchy by thebadness of the rulers, who distribute contrary to equity what belongs to thecity – all or most of the good things to themselves, and office always to thesame people, paying most regard to wealth; thus the rulers are few and are badmen instead of the most worthy. Timocracy passes over into democracy
One may find resemblances to the constitutions and, as it were, patterns ofthem even in households.
Democracy is found chiefly in masterless dwellings(for here every one is on an equality), and in those in which the ruler isweak and every one has licence to do as he pleases.
- the slave is a living tool and the tool a lifelessslave
Two things that contribute greatly to friendship are a common upbringing andsimilarity of age
And children seem to be a bond of union (which is the reason why childlesspeople part more easily); for children are a good common to both and what iscommon holds them together.
all or most men, while they wish for what is noble,choose what is advantageous
It is disputable whether we ought to measure a service by its utility to thereceiver and make the return with a view to that, or by the benevolence ofthe giver. For those who have received say they have received from theirbenefactors what meant little to the latter and what they might have got fromothers – minimizing the service; while the givers, on the contrary, say it wasthe biggest thing they had, and what could not have been got from others, andthat it was given in times of danger or similar need.
When someone asks for “just” 5 minutes or dollars itis no big deal to the receiver, but the opposite to the giver.
- friendship asks a man to do what he can, not what is proportional to themerits of the case
· Book 9
Friendship is only real when both give on the sameterms. When on gives love and the other expects money, there is nofriendship.
The law holds that it is more just that the person towhom credit was given should fix the terms than that the person who gavecredit should do so.
- For sometimes it is not even fair to return the equivalent of what one hasreceived, when the one man has done a service to one whom he knows to begood, while the other makes a return to one whom he believes to be bad.
- When the interval is great this becomes most plain, e.g. in the case ofchildish friendships; if one friend remained a child in intellect while theother became a fully developed man, how could they be friends when they neitherapproved of the same things nor delighted in and were pained by the samethings?
- Goodwill seems, then, to be a beginning of friendship, as the pleasure of theeye is the beginning of love.
Unanimity seems, then, to be politicalfriendship, as indeed it is commonly said to be; for it is concernedwith things that are to our interest and have an influence on our life.
Now such unanimity is found among good men;for they are unanimous both in themselves and with one another, being, so tosay, of one mind
in the case of loans, debtors wish their creditors did not exist, whilecreditors actually take care of the safety of their debtors
all men love more what they have won by labour; e.g. those who have madetheir money love it more than those who have inherited it; and to be welltreated seems to involve no labour, while to treat others well is a laborioustask.
Should a man love himself?
a city or any other systematic whole is most properly identified with themost authoritative element in it
Therefore the good man should be a lover of self (for he will both himselfprofit by doing noble acts, and will benefit his fellows), but the wicked manshould not; for he will hurt both himself and his neighbours, following as hedoes evil passions.
In all the actions, therefore, that men are praised for, the good man is seento assign to himself the greater share in what is noble. In this sense, then,as has been said, a man should be a lover of self; but in the sense in whichmost men are so, he ought not.
whence the saying “when fortune is kind, what need of friends?”
friends, who are thought the greatest of external goods.
Even the wealthy want someone to be good to.
Therefore the happy man needs friends.
we can contemplate our neighbours better thanourselves and their actions better than our own
a virtuous friend seems to be naturally desirable for a virtuous man
friends in excess of those who are sufficient for our own life aresuperfluous, and hindrances to the noble life
Of friends made with a view to pleasure, also, few are enough, as a littleseasoning in food is enough.
as many [good friends] as are enough for the purpose of living together
Those who have many friends and mix intimately with them all are thought tobe no one’s friend
Friendship, then, is more necessary in bad fortune, and so it is usefulfriends that one wants in this case; but it is more noble in good fortune
we ought to summon our friends readily to share our good fortunes (for thebeneficent character is a noble one), but summon them to our bad fortuneswith hesitation; for we ought to give them as little a share as possible in ourevils whence the saying ’enough is my misfortune’.
The presence of friends, then, seems desirable in all circumstances.
- And whatever existence means for each class of men, whatever it is for whosesake they value life, in that they wish to occupy themselves with theirfriends; and so some drink together, others dice together, others join inathletic exercises and hunting, or in the study of philosophy, each classspending their days together in whatever they love most in life
· Book 10
- Those who object that that at which all things aim is not necessarily goodare, we may surmise, talking nonsense. For we saythat that which every one thinks really is so;
- no one would choose to live with the intellect of a child throughout hislife, however much he were to be pleased at the things that children arepleased at
- Some things delight us when they are new, but later do so less, for the samereason; for at first the mind is in a state of stimulation and intenselyactive about them, as people are with respect to their vision when they lookhard at a thing, but afterwards our activity is not of this kind, but has grownrelaxed; for which reason the pleasure also is dulled.
those who are fond of music or of building, and so on, make progress in theirproper function by enjoying it; so the pleasures intensify the activities,and what intensifies a thing is proper to it
when one is active about two things at once; the more pleasant activitydrives out the other
alien pleasures have been stated to do much the same as pain; they destroythe activity, only not to the same degree.
in the case of men at least; the same things delight some people and painothers, and are painful and odious to some, and pleasant to and liked byothers.
Pleasant amusements also are thought to be of this nature [desired for theirown sake]; we choose them not for the sake of other things; for we areinjured rather than benefited by them, since we are led to neglect our bodiesand our property.
Happiness, therefore, does not lie in amusement;
Now to exert oneself and work for the sake ofamusement seems silly and utterly childish. But to amuse oneself inorder that one may exert oneself, as Anacharsis puts it, seems right; foramusement is a sort of relaxation, and we need relaxation because we cannotwork continuously. Relaxation, then, is not an end; for it is taken for thesake of activity.
Contemplation is the “pleasantest of virtuousactivities”. The philosopher can contemplate alone, where the brave andnoble men require other men to be brave and noble towards.
If reason is divine, then, in comparison with man, the life according to itis divine in comparison with human life.
so far as we can, make ourselves immortal, and strainevery nerve to live in accordance with the best thing in us;
Friends can even be a hindrance tocontemplation.
Why would the Gods need justice or temperance? Isn’t thatbeneath their greatness? What virtue is left but contemplation.
Therefore the activity of God, which surpasses all others in blessedness,must be contemplative;
Anaxagoras also seems to have supposed the happy man not to be rich nor adespot, when he said that he would not be surprised if the happy man were toseem to most people a strange person; for they judge by externals, since theseare all they perceive.
Surely, as the saying goes, where there are things to be done the end is notto survey and recognize the various things, but rather to do them; withregard to virtue, then, it is not enough to know, butwe must try to have and use it, or try any other way there may be ofbecoming good.
It is hard, if not impossible, to remove by argument the traits that havelong since been incorporated in the character;
But it is difficult to get from youth up a right training for virtue if onehas not been brought up under right laws; for to live temperately and hardilyis not pleasant to most people, especially when they are young. For this reasontheir nurture and occupations should be fixed by law; for they will not bepainful when they have become customary. But it is surely not enough that whenthey are young they should get the right nurture and attention; since theymust, even when they are grown up, practise and be habituated to them, we shallneed laws for this as well, and generally speaking to cover the whole of life;for most people obey necessity rather than argument, and punishments ratherthan the sense of what is noble.