Book III, Chapter 1
Since, therefore, virtue is conversant with passions and actions, and praise and blame accompany things of a voluntary nature, but pardon, and sometimes pity, such as are voluntary, it is perhaps necessary that those who speculate concerning virtue, should define the voluntary and involuntary. This will also be useful to legislators, in conferring rewards, and inflicting punishments. But those actions appear to be involuntary which are done by force, or through ignorance. And the violent is that the principle of which is external, being of such a nature, that it contributes nothing to the advantage of him who acts, or of him who suffers; as if, for instance, the wind, or men who are the masters of some one, should bring him to a certain place. With respect to such things, however, as are performed through the fear of greater evils, or for the sake of something beautiful in conduct; as if a tyrant who is the lord of parents and children, should command some one to do a certain base action, and on these conditions, that if he did it, his parents and children should be saved, but if he did not, they should die;—with respect to such things as these, it is dubious whether they are involuntary, or voluntary. Something of the like kind also happens in losses at sea, when in a tempest the goods of the ship are thrown overboard; for simply considered, no one throws them into the sea willingly, but every one who is endued with intellect does so for his own safety and that of the rest of the crew. Such like actions, therefore, are mixed; but they are more similar to voluntary actions; for they are then eligible when they are performed; but the end of the action is according to opportunity. A thing, there. fore, must be said to be done voluntarily or involuntarily, then when it is done. But he threw his goods into the sea voluntarily; for the principle of moving the organic arts in such like actions is in the man himself. But those things of which the principle is in himself, he has the power to perform or not. Such things, therefore, are voluntary. Simply considered, however, they are perhaps involuntary; for no one would choose any one of these on its own account. But in such like actions, men are sometimes praised, when they endure something disgraceful or painful, for the sake of great and beautiful circumstances; and if they do otherwise, they are blamed. For to endure the most disgraceful things, with a view to nothing beautiful or moderate, is the part of a bad man. To other things, however, no praise is given, but pardon is granted to them, when a man does what he ought not to do, in consequence of being compelled by such things as surpass human nature, and which no one can endure. And perhaps there are some things which we ought never to do by any compulsion, but we ought to suffer the most dreadful evils, and die rather than do
37 them; for those circumstances appear to be ridiculous which compelled the Alcmaeon of Euripides to kill his mother. It is, however, sometimes difficult to judge what is to be chosen in preference to something else, and whether this is to be endured instead of that; and it is still more difficult to persevere in our decisions; since, for the most part, things which are expected, are attended with molestation, and things which we are compelled to do are base. Hence, both praise and blame are given to those that act from compulsion, and to those who do not. What kind of things, therefore, are to be called violent? Shall we say, that they are then simply to be called so, when the cause is in things external, and the agent contributes nothing to the action? But things which are of themselves involuntary, indeed, but are now eligible, and are eligible instead of certain other things, and the principle of which is in the agent, these are of themselves indeed, involuntary, but now, and instead of certain other things, are voluntary. They are, however, more similar to voluntary actions; for actions are conversant with particulars; and these are voluntarily performed. It is not, however, easy to show what things are to be chosen in preference to others, for there are many differences in particulars. But if it should be said that things delectable and beautiful are violent; for they compel us to act, being external;—if this should be said, all things will thus be violent. For all men do everything for the sake of these. And those, indeed, who act from violence, and unwillingly, act painfully; but those who are influenced by the delectable, act with plea. sure. It is therefore ridiculous for a man to accuse external things, and not himself, when he is easily captivated by things of this kind, and to consider himself as the cause of beautiful actions, but delectable things as the causes of his base actions. Hence, the violent appears to be that the principle of which is external, and to which the thing compelled contributes nothing. Everything, however, which is done from ignorance is not voluntary. But that is involuntary which is attended with pain and repentance. For he who does any thing from ignorance, and is not at all indignant with the action, does not indeed perform it willingly, because he acts from ignorance; nor yet again, does he perform it unwillingly, in consequence of feeling no pain from the action. Of those, therefore, who act from ignorance, he who repents of what he has done, appears to have acted unwillingly; but he who does not repent, since he is a different character from the other, may be said to have acted not willingly. For since he is a different character, it is better that he should have a proper name. To act from ignorance, likewise, appears to be a different thing from acting ignorantly; for he who is intoxicated or enraged, does not appear to act from ignorance, but from some one of the above-mentioned circumstances; yet not knowingly, but ignorantly. Every depraved man, therefore, is ignorant what ought to be done, and from what actions he should abstain; and from error of this kind, men become unjust, and in short bad. But an action ought to be called
38 involuntary, not if he who does it is ignorant of what is advantageous; for ignorance in the deliberate choice of a thing, is not the cause of involuntary conduct, but of depravity. Nor is the ignorance of universal, the cause of it; for men are blamed on this account; but it arises from the ignorance of particulars, in which, and about which, every action is conversant. For in these there is pity and pardon; since he who is ignorant of any one of these, acts involuntarily. Perhaps, however, it will not be amiss, to define what, and how many (the particular circumstances are which render an action involuntary.) They are, therefore, the circumstance of the principal agent, the circumstance of the instrumental agent, the circumstance of the end, and the circumstances of the action itself. No one, therefore, will be ignorant of all these unless he is insane. But it is evident that neither will he who acts be ignorant of them; for how can he be ignorant of himself. : A man, however, may be ignorant of what he does; as is the case with those who say that they have spoken unawares, or that they did not know that what they said was arcane, as Æschylus with respect to the mysteries;" or as when some one throws a catapulta, not knowing what he throws. A person, also, may fancy, like Merope, that a son is an enemy, and that a spear which has a sharp point, is blunt like a ball, or that a stone is a pumice. A man, likewise, striking another with a view to his safety, may kill him, and wishing to show the mode of exercise in wrestling, he may strike him whom he wished to instruct. As there is ignorance, therefore, in all these particulars, in which there is action, he who is ignorant of some one of them, appears to have acted involuntarily, and especially in those things which are of principal importance. But those appear to be of principal importance, in which there is action, and that for the sake of which action is undertaken. Since the involuntary, therefore, is denominated from an ignorance of this kind, it is besides this necessary that the action should be painful, and attended with repentance. But as the involuntary is that which is done from violence, and through ignorance, the voluntary will appear to be that of which the principle is in the agent, who knows the particulars in which the action consists. For perhaps it is not well said, that actions which are produced through anger or desire are involuntary. For in the first place, indeed, if this were admitted, no other animal would act voluntarily, nor would children. And in the next place, whether are any of the actions which we perform through the influence of desire or anger, done by us voluntarily Or, shall we say that worthy actions are performed by us voluntarily, but base actions involuntarily? Or would not this be ridiculous, since there is one cause of both these? Perhaps too, it is absurd, to call those things involuntary, after which it is requisite to aspire. But it is necessary to be angry with certain things, and to desire others, such as health and discipline. It appears, however, that things involuntary are painful, but that those which are the objects of desire are delectable. Again, what difference is there between the errors which are caused by reason or by anger, with respect to their being involuntary. For both are to be avoided. The irrational passions, also, do not appear to be less human; but the actions of man proceed both from anger and desire. It would be absurd, therefore, to consider these as involuntary.
Book III, Chapter 2
Having, therefore, defined the voluntary and involuntary, it follows that we should discuss pre-election, or deliberate choice. For deliberate choice appears to be most allied to virtue, and by this (as a rule) a judgment may be formed of manners more than by actions. Deliberate choice, therefore, appears indeed to be a voluntary thing, yet it is not the same with what is voluntary, but the voluntary is more extended. For of the voluntary, children, and other animals, partake, but they do not partake of deliberate choice. And we say, indeed, that things which we do suddenly, are done voluntarily, but not according to deliberate choice. But those who call it desire, or anger, or will, or a certain opinion, do not appear to speak rightly. For deliberate choice is not common to us and irrational animals; but desire and anger are. And the incontinent man, indeed, acts from the influence of desire, but not from deliberate choice. On the contrary, the continent man acts from deliberate choice, and not from the impulse of desire. And desire indeed is contrary to deliberate choice, but desire is not contrary to desire. Desire, likewise, is conversant both with that which is delectable, and that which is painful; but deliberate choice is neither conversant with the painful, nor the delectable. Much less is deliberate choice anger; for in the smallest degree do things which are effected through anger appear to be effected by deliberate choice. Nor yet is it will, though will appears to be near to it. For deliberate choice, indeed, is not among the number of things impossible; and if any bne should say that he deliberately chooses impossibilities, he would appear to be stupid. The will, however, is directed to things which are impossible, as, for instance, to immortality. And the will, indeed, is also conversant with things which can by no means be accomplished by him who wills; as that a certain player, or person engaged in athletic contests, may be victorious. No one, however, deliberately chooses things of this kind, but such only as he thinks can be effected through himself. Farther still, the will, indeed, is more directed to the end, but deliberate choice to things pertaining to the end. Thus, we wish to be well, but we deliberately choose those things through which we become well; and we wish indeed to be happy, and we say that this is our wish; but it is not fit to say, that we deliberately choose to be happy. For, in short, deliberate choice appears to be conversant with the things that are in our power. Neither, therefore, will deliberate choice be opinion; for opinion, indeed, appears to be conversant with all things, and no less with things eternal and impossible, than with things in our power. Opinion, likewise, is divided into the false and the true, and not into
40 good and evil; but deliberate choice is rather divided into the latter than into the former. In short, therefore, perhaps no one will say that deliberate choice is either the same with opinion (in general, or with some particular opinion. For by deliberately choosing good or evil, we become affected with a certain quality; but this does not happen to us through forming an opinion. And we deliberately choose indeed, to obtain, or avoid, or to do something of the like kind; but we form an opinion of what it is, or to what it is advantageous, or in what manner; and we do not very much opine to obtain or avoid it. And deliberate choice indeed is praised, because it pertains to that of which it is necessary to partake more abundantly, or with rectitude; but opinion is praised for its truth. We likewise deliberately choose those things which we especially know to be good; but we form an opinion of things which are not very much known to us. And the same persons do not appear to deliberately choose and opine the most excellent things; but some indeed opine that which is better, but from vice choose those things which ought not to be the objects of choice. It is, however, of no consequence whether opinion precedes or follows deliberate choice; for our attention is not directed to this, but to the consideration whether deliberate choice is the same with a certain opinion. What then, or what kind of a thing is deliberate choice, since it is no one of the above-mentioned particulars? It appears, therefore, to be a voluntary thing. Not everything, however, which is voluntary is the object of deliberate choice, but that which has been the subject of previous deliberation; for deliberate choice is accompanied with reason and the discursive energy of reason. And this the name appears to signify, the object of deliberate choice being that which is eligible in preference to other things.
Book III, Chapter 3
But whether do men consult about all things, and is everything a subject of consultation, or about certain things is there no consultation? Perhaps, however, that must be called a subject of consultation, not about which some stupid or insane person consults, but which is an object of consultation to a man endued with intellect. Concerning eternal things, however, no one consults, such … as concerning the world, or the diagonal and side of a square, because they are incommensurable. Nor does any one consult about things which are in motion, but which are always passing into existence after the same manner," whether from necessity, or naturally, or from some other cause, such as conversions and risings. Nor does any one consult about things which subsist differently at different times, such as about drought and rain; nor about fortuitous events, such as the discovery of a treasure; nor yet about all human concerns; for no Lacedaemonian consults how the polity of the Scythians may be governed in the
41 best manner; since none of these things can be effected by us. But we consult about things which can be performed by us; and these are the rest of things which we have not mentioned. For nature, necessity, and fortune, appear to be causes; and besides these intellect, and everything which energizes through man. The individuals, however, of the human species consult about things which may be performed by them. And indeed in those sciences which are accurate and sufficient to themselves, there is no consultation; as for instance, there is no consultation about letters; for there is no contention how we should write. But such things as are effected by us, yet not always after the same manner, about these we consult; as about things pertaining to medicine, and the art of procuring money, and about the art of the pilot more than about the gymnastic art, because the former is much less accurate than the latter. In a similar manner also, we consult about the rest; but we consult more in the arts than in the sciences; for we dissent more about them. Consultation, however, takes place in things which have a frequency of subsistence, but of which the event is immanifest, and in things in which there is the indefinite. In things also which are of great importance, we employ counsellors, distrusting our own judgment as not sufficient. We consult, however, not about ends, but about things pertaining to ends. For neither does a physician consult whether he shall heal the sick, nor a rhetorician whether he shall persuade, nor the politician whether he shall establish equitable legislation, nor does any one of the remaining characters consult about the end; but proposing a certain end, they consider how, and by what means it may be obtained. If also it appears that this end is to be obtained through many media, they consider through which of them it may be obtained in the easiest and best manner. But if through one medium, they consider how it may be accomplished through this, and through what likewise this may be obtained, until they arrive at the first cause, which is discovered in the last place. For he who consults appears to investigate and analyze in the above-mentioned manner, as if he were investigating and analyzing a diagram." It appears, however, that not every investigation is a consultation; for mathematical inquiries are not consultations; but every consultation is an investigation; and that which is last in analysis is first in generation. And if indeed in consulting, we meet with an impossibility, we desist from consultation; as if there should be occasion for money, and this cannot be procured. But if that about which we consult appears to be possible, then we endeavour to obtain it. Those things, however, are possible which may be accomplished through ourselves; for things which are accomplished through our friends, are in a certain respect effected He who consults, the end being proposed which is not immediately in his power, investigates the medium by which it may be obtained; and if this medium also is not immediately in his power, he explores another, and afterwards another, till he discovers the first medium, which is immediately in his power, and in the
42 discovery of which the consultation is terminated, and the accomplishment begins, through which the end is generated and obtained. The first medium, therefore, which is the last in the analysis, or investigation, is the first in generation or accomplishment. For that which is immediately in our power, as it is discovered last, is arranged first through ourselves; since the principle is in us. But at one time instruments are explored, and at another time the use of them, and in a similar manner in other things; at one time, indeed, that being investigated through which (the end may be obtained, and at another time the manner. Man, therefore, as we have said, appears to be the principle of actions; but consultation is about things which may be performed by man; and actions are for the sake of other things. Hence the end will not be the object of consultation, but things which pertain to ends. Neither, therefore, will particulars be the objects of consultation; as, whether this thing is bread, or is well baked, or is made as it ought to be; for these things pertain to sense; but if a man always consults, there will be a procession to infinity. The object of consultation, however, and the pre- eligible or object of deliberate choice, are the same, except that the object of preelection or deliberate choice is something which is now definite; for the pre- eligible is that which is preferred jrom consultation. For every one ceases to investigate how he shall act, when he has reduced the principle to himself, and to that part of himself which ranks as the leader; since this part is that which he deliberately chooses. But this also is evident from the ancient polities which Homer has imitated; for the kings of these polities announced to the people what they had deliberately chosen to do. Since, however, that which is preeligible is an object of consultation, appetible of things which are in our power, pre-election also, or deliberate choice, will be an appetite of or tendency to things in our power, accompanied with consultation; for forming a judgment in consequence of having consulted, we desire conformably to consultation. We have, therefore, adumbrated what pre-election is, and what the things are with which it is conversant, and have shown that it belongs to things which have reference to ends.
Book III, Chapter 4
That will, however, pertains to the end, we have shown; but this end to some persons appears to be the good, and to others apparent good. But it happens to those who say that the object of the will is the good, that what he wills who does not choose rightly, is not an object of will; for if it were an object of will, it would also be good. It may, however, happen to be bad. And it happens to those who say that the object of the will is apparent good, that the object of the will has not a natural subsistence, but is what appears to any one (to be eligible). A different thing, however, appears to be eligible to a different person; and if it should so happen, contraries appear to be eligible. If, therefore, these things are not approved, we must say that simply and in reality the good is indeed the object of the will, but that apparent good is the object of the will to every one. To the worthy man, therefore, real good is the object of the will, but to the bad man casual good; just as in bodies, to such as are well-disposed, those things are salubrious which are in reality so, but other things to such as are diseased. And the like takes place in things that are bitter, sweet, hot, heavy, and each of the rest. For the worthy man judges of everything rightly, and in everything the truth presents itself to his view. For according to every habit, there are things beautiful and delectable which are peculiar to that habit. And perhaps the worthy man very much excels others in this, that he sees the truth in everything, being as it were the rule and measure of things. But with the multitude deception is present on account of pleasure; for pleasure, though not good, appears to be so. The multitude, therefore, choose the delectable as good, but fly from pain as an evil.
Book III, Chapter 5
Since the end, therefore, is the object of the will, but things pertaining to the end are the objects of consultation and deliberate choice, the actions which are conversant with these, will be actions of deliberate choice and voluntary. But with these the energies of the virtues are conversant. Virtue, therefore, also is in our power; and in a similar manner vice. For in those things in which to act is in our power, not to act is also in our power; and in those things in which we have the power not to act, we have likewise the power to act. Hence, if to act worthily is in our power, not to act basely will likewise be in our power; and if we have the power of not acting worthily, we have also the power of acting basely. But if to act, and in a similar manner not to act worthily and basely, are in our power, and this is to be good or bad, it will be in our power to be worthy or depraved characters. And to say (with a certain tragic poet, that “No one is willingly depraved nor unwillingly blessed,” seems to be partly false, and partly true. For no one is unwillingly blessed, but depravity is voluntary; or unless this is admitted, what we have just now asserted must be controverted, and it must not be said that man is the principle and generator of actions in the same manner as he is of children. But if these things are admitted, and we cannot refer them to any other principles than those which are in our power, it follows that those things are in our power, and are voluntary, of which also the principles are in our power. The truth of this appears to be attested, both privately by individuals, and publicly by legislators themselves; for they castigate and punish those who act depravedly, if they do not act from compulsion or from ignorance of which they were not the causes. But they honour those that act well, in order that they may excite these, and impede those. No one, however, exhorts others to the performance of such actions, as are neither in our power, nor are voluntary; because no advantage can be derived from persuading us not to be hot, or be in pain, or be hungry, or any thing else of the like kind; for notwithstanding the persuasion we shall no less suffer these things. For legislators also punish a man for his ignorance, if he appears to be the cause of his ignorance. Thus double punishments are ordained for those that are intoxicated; for the principle is in themselves, because they have the power of not becoming intoxicated; and this (i.e., intoxication) is the cause of their ignorance. They likewise punish those who are ignorant of any thing which is legally established, which ought to be known, and which it is not difficult to know. And in a similar manner in other things, which men appear to be ignorant of from negligence, and of which it is in their power not to be ignorant; for it is in our power to pay attention to what ought to be known. Perhaps, however, (it may be said that) a man is a person of such a character, that he cannot pay attention; but such persons are themselves the causes of their characteristic qualities, in consequence of living negligently. The causes likewise of men being unjust, or intemperate, are in themselves, in consequence of the former acting wickedly, and of the latter spending their time in drinking, and things of the like kind. For energies in everything render those who employ them similar to such energies. . This, however, is evident from those who exercise themselves in any contest or action; for they persevere in energizing. To be ignorant, therefore, that in everything, from energizing about that thing, habits are produced, is the province of a very insensate man. Again, it is absurd to suppose, that he who acts unjustly is unwilling to be unjust, or that he who acts intemperately is unwilling to be intemperate. But if any one does those things from which he will be unjust, not ignorantly, he will be unjust willingly. Nevertheless, though he should wish, he will not cease to be unjust, and become just; for neither does he who is diseased become well (by wishing to be so, even though it should happen that he is voluntarily diseased, by living intemperately and disobeying his physicians. Prior, therefore, to his living intemperately, it was in his power not to be diseased, but after having abandoned himself to intemperance, it was no longer possible; as neither is it possible for him who has thrown a stone, to resume it. At the same time it was in his power to emit from his hand and hurl the stone; for he contained the principle of action in himself. Thus, also, to the unjust and intemperate man, it was possible, from the beginning, not to be unjust and intemperate; on which account they are voluntarily so; but when they are become such characters, it is no longer possible for them not to be so.
Not only, however, the vices of the soul are voluntary, but in some persons, also, the vices of the body, which likewise wereprehended; for no one reprehends those who are naturally deformed; but we blame those who are so through the want of exercise, and from negligence. The like also takes place in imbecility, and mutilation. For no one would reproach a man who is blind from nature, or disease, or a blow, but would rather pity him; but every one would reprove him who is blind from drinking wine to excess, or from any other species of intemperance. Of the vices, therefore, pertaining to the body, those indeed that are in our power are blamed, but those which are not, are not reprehended. But if this be the case, in other things, also, the vices which are reprehended, will be in our power. If, however, some one should say that all men aspire after apparent good, but that we have no authority over the phantasy, and that such as every one is, such also does the end appear to him to be;—if, indeed, every one is to himself in a certain respect the cause of habit, he will also be in a certain respect the cause to himself of the phantasy (i.e., of the conception which he forms of a thing in his imagination). But if no one is the cause to himself of bad conduct, but he acts evilly from an ignorance of the end, fancying that by so acting, he shall obtain the greatest good; and if the desire of the end is not spontaneous, but it is requisite that every one should be born endued as it were with sight, by which he may judge rightly, and may choose real good; and if, also, he is naturally of a good disposition in whom this is well implanted by nature; for that which is greatest and most beautiful, and which can neither be obtained nor learnt from another person, but which such as a man is naturally, such he possesses, and to be naturally inclined to this well and beautifully, will be a perfect and true natural goodness of disposition; —if these things are true, why will virtue more than vice be voluntary. For the end appears, and is similarly posited both to the good and the bad man, either by nature, or in some other way; but referring other things to this, they act in any manner whatever. Whether, therefore, the end, whatever it may be, is not apparent to every one from nature, but there is also something with him (who acts, or whether the end is natural, yet because a worthy man performs other things voluntarily, and therefore virtue is voluntary, vice also will be no less voluntary. For in a bad as well as in a good man, there is similarly a power of acting from himself in what he does, though the intention of the end is not in our power. If, therefore, as we have said, the virtues are voluntary; for we ourselves in a certain respect are the concauses of habits, and in consequence of being disposed in a certain way, we propose to ourselves a certain end;—if this be the case, the vices also will be voluntary, for a similar reason. We have, therefore, spoken in common concerning the virtues, have adumbrated the genus of them, and have shown that they are media and habits; we have likewise unfolded what the things are from which they are produced, and have shown that they are caused by energies, and are the principles of energies, similar to those by which they are generated; that they are likewise in our power, and are voluntary things,and this in such a way as right reason shall ordain. Actions, however, and habits are not similarly voluntary; for of actions we are the lords from the beginning to the end, since we have a knowledge of particulars; but of habits, we are only lords of the principle. The accession, however, of particulars is not known as it is indiseases; but because it is in our power thus to use, or not to use particulars; on this account our habits are voluntary. Resuming, therefore, the discussion of each of the virtues, let us show what they are, what the quality of the things is with which they are conversant, and how they subsist; but at the same time it will be manifest how many there are. And in the first place let us consider fortitude.
Book III, Chapter 6
That fortitude, therefore, is indeed a medium which is conversant with fear and audacity, has been already observed by us. But we evidently fear things of a terrible nature; and these are, in short, evils. Hence, also, fear is defined to be the expectation of evil. We fear, therefore, all things that are evil; such as infamy, poverty, disease, the want of friends, and death. The brave man, however, does not appear to be conversant with all evils; for it is necessary and beautiful to be afraid of some things, and not to be afraid of them is base; as for instance, not-to be afraid of infamy. For he who is afraid of this, is a worthy and modest man; but he who is not afraid of it is impudent. He is, however, metaphorically called by some a brave man, for he has something similar to the brave man, since the brave man also is fearless. But perhaps it is not proper to fear poverty or disease, or, in short, such things as neither proceed from vice, nor from ourselves; yet neither is he who is fearless with respect to these a brave man. We denominate him, however, brave from similitude; for some men, who in the dangers of war are timid, are liberal, and possess a proper confidence in the loss of money. Neither, therefore, is he timid who dreads insolent conduct towards his children and wife, or envy, or anything of the like kind; nor is he a brave man if he is confident when he is about to be whipt. With what kind of dreadful things, therefore, is the brave man conversant? Shall we say with such as are the greatest? For no one endures dreadful things better. But death is the most dreadful of things; for it is the end (of life); and nothing farther appears to remain for him who is dead, either good or bad.' But neither does the brave man appear to be conversant with every kind of death; as, for instance, death in the sea, or from disease. With what kinds of death, therefore, is he conversant? Shall we not say, with those that are most beautiful? But these are the deaths which happen in war; for such a death is attended with the greatest and most beautiful danger. And the truth of this is confirmed by the honours which cities and monarchs confer on those who conduct themselves bravely in war. He, therefore, may properly be called a brave man who is intrepid with respect to a beautiful death, and such things as are the causes of death when they are near. But things of this kind are especially such as happen in war. Nevertheless in the sea, and in diseases, the brave man is intrepid; yet not in the same manner as sailors are; for brave men, when they despair of their safety, indignantly bear a death of this kind; but sailors have good hope of escaping, from their experience. At the same time brave men act with fortitude in those things in which strength of mind is requisite, or it is beautiful to die; but neither of these exists in such-like destructions as we have mentioned.
Book III, Chapter 7
The same thing; however, is not terrible to all men; but we say that there is also something which is above man; 'this, therefore, is indeed terrible to every one endued with intellect. But the terrible things which do not exceed the endurance of human nature, differ in magnitude, and in the more and the less. And the like takes place in things pertaining to confidence. The brave man, however, is unterrified, as a man. He will therefore, indeed, dread things of this kind, yet in such a manner as is proper, and as reason prescribes, for the sake of the beautiful in conduct; for this is the end of virtue. But it is possible to be terrified at these in a greater and less degree, and it is also possible to dread things which are not dreadful, as if they were so. Of the errors, however, in the endurance of things terrible, one consists in dreading what it is not proper to dread, another, in dreading not as is proper, but another, in not. dreading when it is proper, or something of this kind. And in a similar manner in what pertains to confidence. He, therefore, who endures and fears things which it is requisite to endure and fear, and for the sake of that for which it is requisite, and in such a way as and when it is requisite, and in a similar manner he who thus confides, is a brave man; for the brave man suffers and acts according to the importance of the thing, and conformably to reason. But the end of every energy is the end according to habit, (i.e., the beautiful in conduct;) and to the brave man fortitude is beautiful. The end, also, is a thing of this kind; for everything is defined by the tend. For the sake of the beautiful in conduct, there'fore, the brave man endures and performs all that pertains to fortitude. Of the characters, however, which exceed, he indeed who exceeds in fearlessness, is anonymous; but it has been before observed by us, that many things are anonymous. He, however, who fears nothing, neither earthquakes, nor inundations, as it is said of the Celtae, will be an insane person, or one who has no sense of pain; but he who exceeds in confidence respecting things of a terrible nature, will be audacious. The audacious man also appears to be arrogant, and a pretender to fortitude. Such, therefore, as the brave man is with respect to things of a terrible nature, such does the audacious man wish to appear; and hence, in those things in which he is able, he imitates him. On this account, also, many audacious persons have timidity united with audacity; for in consequence of their audacity when danger is not imminent, they do not endure things of a dreadful nature (when they occur). But he who exceeds in fearing is timid; for he fears what he ought not, and in such a manner as he ought not to fear, and all such things are consequent to him; but he is deficient in confiding. As he exceeds, however, in pains, he is more apparent. The timid man, therefore, is hopeless; for he fears all things. But the brave man is the contrary; for confidence is the province of the man who hopes for the best. The timid, the audacious, and the brave man, therefore, are conversant with the same things; but they are differently affected towards them. For the timid and the audacious man exceed and are deficient; but the brave man is disposed towards things dreadful in the middle way, and in such a manner as is proper. And audacious men, indeed, are precipitate, and wish to encounter dangers before they arrive; but when they arrive they are deficient in fortitude. Brave men, however, are ardent in encountering danger, but before it arrives they are quiet. As we have said, therefore, fortitude is a medium conversant with those things of a dreadful nature, and such as pertain to confidence, which we have mentioned; and it chooses and endures them, because it is beautiful to do so, or not to do so is base. But to die, in order to avoid poverty, or on account of love, or something painful, is not the province of a brave, but rather of a timid man. For it is effeminate to fly from things laborious; and such do not endure death because it is beautiful to endure it, but in order to fly from evil. Fortitude, therefore, is a certain thing of this kind.
Book III, Chapter 8
Other kinds of fortitude, also, are denominated according to four modes; and in the first place, indeed, political fortitude, since this most resembles fortitude truly so called. For citizens appear to endure dangers, on account of the punishments and disgrace inflicted by the laws, and also on account of the honours they confer. Hence, the most brave men appear to be found among those with whom the timid are disgraced, and the brave are honoured. Homer, likewise, introduces such persons, as, for instance, Diomed and Hector: Shall proud Polydamas before the gate Proclaim, his counsels are obey'd too late, Which timely follow'd but the former night, What numbers had been saved by Hector’s flight. And Diomed:
But ah! what grief should haughty Hector boast; I fled inglorious to the guarded coast! This species of fortitude, however, is especially similar to the before-mentioned, because it is produced from virtue; for it is generated through shame and a desire of the beautiful in conduct, for it is through a desire of honour and a flight from disgrace, which is dishonourable. Those also may be ranked among brave men, who are compelled to be brave by their rulers; but they are inferior to the former (i.e., the politically brave, because their conduct is not produced through shame, but through fear, and is not the consequence of flying from what is base, but from what is painful; for they are compelled by their masters. Thus Hector— On rush’d bold Hector, gloomy as the night; Forbids to plunder, animates the fight; Points to the fleet; for by the gods, who flies, Who dares but linger, by this hand he dies; No weeping sister his cold eye shall close, No friendly hand his funeral pile compose. Who stops to plunder at this signal hour, The birds shall, tear him, and the dogs devour. And the generals scourge the soldiers if they desert their ranks. The same thing also is done by those who dispose their troops before losses, and adopt other methods of the like kind; for all these employ force. It is necessary, however, not to be brave from necessity, but because it is beautiful to be so. But experience about particulars appears to be a certain fortitude; whence also Socrates thought that fortitude was a science.’ And indeed, there are other such persons in other things; but soldiers are such in warlike affairs. For it seems that there are many vain terrors in war,” of which soldiers are especially aware. Soldiers, therefore, appear to be brave, because other persons do not understand the nature of these alarms. In the next place, they are especially able, from their experience, to attack their enemies without receiving any injury themselves. They also know how to guard against, and strike their enemies, in consequence of being able to use their arms, and having armour of such a kind, as is most excellent for the purpose of attacking, without being injured by their adversaries. They fight, therefore, like armed with unarmed men,” and like athletae with those that are unskilled in athletic exercises. For in such-like contests, not the most brave are the most adapted to fight, but those who are most strong, and whose bodies are in the most excellent condition. But soldiers become timid when the danger is excessive, and they are deficient in numbers and warlike apparatus. For (the merely skilful are) the first that fly; but those who act bravely, according to political circumstances, die remaining at their post, as it happened at the Hermaeus; since to citizens flight is base, and death is more eligible than such a preservation. But the soldiers (in this battle at Hermaeus) encountered the danger at first, as thinking themselves superior to their enemies; but when they saw the full extent of the danger, they fled, dreading death more than disgrace. The brave man, however, is not a person of this description. Anger, also, is referred to fortitude; for men likewise appear to be brave on account of anger, just as wild beasts rush on those that wound them; because: brave men also are irascible. Whence Homer says, Strength be to anger added. and, his ardour and his wrath he rous’d. and, Pungent fury from his nostrils flow’d. and, his blood boil’d. For everything of this kind appears to signify the energy and impulse of anger. Brave men, therefore, act on account of the beautiful in conduct; but anger cooperates with them. And savage animals act through the influence of pain; for they act because they are wounded or terrified; since if they are in a wood, or in a marsh, they do not attack any one. Hence those persons are not brave who are impelled to danger by pain and anger, foreseeing nothing that is dreadful; since thus asses also would be brave when they are hungry; for they cannot, even by blows, be driven from their pasture. Adulterers, likewise, perform many audacious. deeds through their lustful desire. Those, therefore, are not brave, who are impelled to danger through pain or anger. The fortitude, however, appears to be most natural, which subsists on account of anger, and which assumes deliberate choice, and that for the sake of which a thing is done, (or the final cause). Men, also, when they are angry, are pained, but are delighted when they take vengeance on the authors of their anger. Those, however, who act under the influence of these causes are indeed pugnacious, but not brave; for they do not act with a view to the beautiful in conduct, nor from the dictates of reason, but from the influence of passion. But they possess something similar to fortitude. Nor yet are those who are full of good hope brave: for in consequence of having frequently conquered, and conquered many, they are confident in dangers. But they are similar to brave men, because both these characters are confident. Brave men, however, are indeed confident, for the reasons we have already assigned; but these, because they fancy they are superior to others, and that they shall suffer no evil from their opponents. Those also that are intoxicated act after this manner: for they become full of good hope; but when they are frustrated of their expectations, they fly from danger. It is, however, the province of a brave man to endure things which are, and appear to be dreadful to man, because it is beautiful to do so, and base not to endure them. Hence also it appears to be the part of a more brave man, to be fearless and without perturbation in sudden terrors, rather than in such as were foreseen. For this rather proceeds from habit, and in a less degree from preparation. For things, indeed, which were foreseen, may be chosen from deliberation and reason; but in things which suddenly happen, a man can only conduct himself fearlessly from the habit of fortitude. Those persons, likewise, appear to be brave, who are ignorant of danger; and they are not very remote from those who are full of good hope. They are, however, inferior to them, because they have no preconceived opinion of vanquishing the evil; but the former have. Hence, the fortitude of those who are full of good hope continues for a certain time; but the fortitude of those who are ignorant of danger ceases as soon as the deception is apparent; as was the case with the Argives, when they met with the Lacedaemonians, and thought them to be the Sicyonians. And thus we have shown what kind of men the brave are, and those who appear to be brave.
Book III, Chapter 9
Since, however, fortitude is conversant with confidence and fear, yet it is not similarly conversant with both, but in a greater degree with things of a terrible nature. For he who is without perturbation in these, and who conducts himself in them as he ought, is more brave than he who does so in things pertaining to confidence. Brave men, therefore, as we have before observed, are called brave, from enduring things of a painful nature. Hence also fortitude is unaccompanied with pain, and is justly praised; for it is more difficult to endure pain, than to abstain from pleasure. Nevertheless the end, according to fortitude, may appear to be pleasant, but to be obscured and obliterated by surrounding circumstances; just as it happens in gymnastic contests. For to pugilists, indeed, the end for the sake of which they contend is pleasing, viz. a crown and honours; but to be beat, since this pertains to the flesh, is painful, as is likewise every labour. Because, however, the circumstances which produce pain are many, and that for the sake of which they contend is small, it appears to possess nothing delectable. If, therefore, a thing of this kind also pertains to fortitude, death indeed and wounds
52 will be painful to a brave man, and to one who is unwilling to endure them. The brave-man, however, endures them because it is beautiful so to do, or because it is base not to endure them. And, by how much the more he possesses every virtue, and is more happy, by so much the more will he be pained by death." For such a man most eminently deserves to live, and he is knowingly deprived (by death) of the greatest goods; but this is painful. He is, however, no less brave; and perhaps he is more brave, because he chooses that conduct in battlewhich is beautiful, in preference to these goods. To energize, therefore, delectably, does not pertain to all the virtues, except so far as they come into contact with the end. But perhaps nothing prevents not only those from being most excellent soldiers, who are most brave; but also those who are less brave, and possess no other good; for these are prepared for danger, and to lose their life for a small gain. And thus much concerning fortitude. And it is not difficult from what has been said to adumbrate what it is.
Book III, Chapter 10
In the next place, let us speak concerning temperance; for these (i.e., fortitude and temperance) appear to be the virtues of the irrational parts. That temperance, therefore, is a medium conversant with pleasures, has been already observed by us; for it is conversant in a less degree, and not similarly with pains; but about pleasures and pains intemperance also is employed. What the pleasures, therefore, are, with which temperance is conversant, we must now explain. Let pleasures, however, be divided into those pertaining to the soul, and those pertaining to the body. Thus, for instance, the pleasures pertaining to the soul are, ambition, and the love of learning; for each of these is delighted with that which is the object of its desire, the body not being at all affected, but rather the rational part; and those who are conversant with such-like pleasures, are neither denominated temperate, nor intemperate. Thus too, with respect to such other pleasures as are not corporeal; for we call those who are lovers of fables and narrations, and who consume the day in such casual circumstances as present themselves, triflers, but not intemperate. Nor do we call those intemperate who are pained by the loss of riches or friends. Temperance, however, will be conversant with corporeal pleasures, yet neither will it be conversant with all such pleasures. For those persons are not called either temperate or intemperate who are delighted with objects of sight, such as colours, and figures, and pictures; though it would seem that there is also a proper manner of being delighted with these, and that it is possible to be pleased with them according to excess and defect. Thus too in things pertaining to the hearing; for no one calls those persons intemperate, who are excessively delighted with melodies, or players; nor those temperate, who are delighted with them in a proper manner. Nor are those denominated temperate or intemperate, who are delighted with odours, except from accident. For we do not call those persons intemperate, who are delighted with the smell of apples, or roses, or odoriferous fumigations; but we rather denominate those persons so, who are delighted with the smell of ointments and food; for intemperate persons are pleased with these, because through these the recollection of the objects of their desires is produced. Others also may be seen, who when they are hungry are delighted with the smell of food; but to be delighted with things of this kind is the province of an intemperate man; for to such a one these things are objects of desire. Nor do other animals receive pleasure from these senses, except by accident. For neither are dogs delighted with the smell, but with the eating, of hares; the smell producing the sense (i.e., causing them to perceive food present;) nor is the lion delighted with the voice of the ox, but with eating him; but he perceives through the voice of the ox that he is near, and is seen to be delighted with this perception. In like manner, neither is the lion delighted with seeing or finding a stag, or a wild goat; but he is pleased on seeing that from which he shall obtain food. Temperance and intemperance, therefore, are conversant with pleasures of this kind, of which also irrational animals partake. Hence these pleasures appear to be servile and savage; and they are the pleasures pertaining to the touch and the taste. Temperance and intemperance, however, appear to use the taste, but in a small degree, or not at all; for the judgment of sapors is the province of the taste; which those persons employ who make trial of wines and season food. The intemperate, however, are not very much delighted with these sapors, but with the enjoyment of the food; the whole of which is effected through the touch, in meats and drinks, and in what are called venereal concerns. Hence, a certain person named Philoxenus, the son of Eryx, who was most voracious in eating, wished that he had a neck longer than that of a crane, as being one who was delighted with the touch. The touch, therefore, with which intemperance is conversant is the most common of all the senses; and will appear to be justly disgraceful, because it exists in us not so far as we are men, but so far. as we are animals. To be delighted, therefore, with, and especially enamoured of such pleasures, is beastly; for the most liberal of the pleasures which are perceived through the touch, are not to be numerated with these; such for instance as the pleasures in gymnastic exercises, produced through friction and heat; since the touch of the intemperate man does not pertain to the whole body, but to certain parts of it.
Book III, Chapter 11
Of desires, however, some appear to be common, but others peculiar and adventitious. Thus, for instance, the desire of food is indeed natural; for every one, when in want, desires either dry or moist nutriment; and sometimes both. And, as Homer' says, both the young man, and he who is in the vigour of his age, desire the joys of love; but every one does not desire this or that food, nor the same food. Hence, this desire appears to be properly ours; and it possesses also something natural; for different things are pleasing to different persons, and the same thing is more agreeable to some persons than to others. Few, therefore, err in natural desires; and they err in these in one way, viz. in excess; for to eat or drink what casually presents itself, till an excessive fulness is produced, is to surpass, in multitude, what is conformable to nature; since natural desire is the replenishing of indigence. Hence, such persons are called gluttons, as replenishing the indigence (of nature) beyond what is becoming; and those who are very servile become men of this description. But in those pleasures which are peculiar, or proper, many persons err, and in many ways; for they are denominated lovers of things of this kind, either from being delighted with things which are not proper, or being pleased with them more than is proper, as is the case with the multitude, or not in such away as is proper,or not in that respect in which it is proper. The intemperate, however, exceed in all things; for they are delighted with somethings with which it is not proper to be delighted, since they are odious; and if it is requisite to be delighted with some of such things, they are delighted with them more than is proper, and after the manner of the multitude. That excess, therefore, in pleasures is intemperance, and that it is blameable, is evident. In pains, however, a man is not said to be temperate by enduring them, as in fortitude; nor intemperate by not enduring them; but he indeed is intemperate, who is pained more than is requisite, because he does not partake of pleasures; so that the pleasure gives him pain (in consequence of being desired by him above measure.) And he is said to be a temperate man, who is not pained by the absence of pleasure, and by abstaining from it. The intemperate man, therefore, desires all pleasant things, or those which are most eminently pleasant; and is led by desire, so as to choose what is most pleasant in preference to other things. Hence, also, he is pained, both when he is frustrated of pleasure, and when he desires it; for desire is accompanied with pain; though it seems to be absurd that a man should be pained on account of pleasure. Those, however, who are deficient in pleasures, and are delighted with them less than is proper, are not very frequent. For an insensibility of this kind is not human; since other animals also distinguish food, and are delighted with some kinds of it, and not with others. But he to whom nothing is delectable, and with whom one thing does not differ from another, is very remote from human nature; such a one also is without a name, because he does not very frequently exist. The temperate man, however, with respect to these things, subsists in a middle condition; for neither is he delighted with those things with which the intemperate man is especially delighted, but he is rather indignant with them; nor, in short, does he rejoice in things in which he ought not, nor is he very much delighted with any thing of this kind; nor is he pained if it is absent; nor does he desire it, except moderately, nor more than is proper, nor at a time when he ought not, nor, in short, any thing of this kind. But such things as, being delectable, contribute to health, or to a good habit of body—these he desires moderately, and in such a way as is proper. He also desires other delectable things, which are not an impediment to these, or which are not adverse to the beautiful in conduct, or above his income; for he who is thus affected, loves such pleasures beyond their desert. The temperate man, however, is not a person of this description, but is one who acts conformably to right reason.
Book III, Chapter 12
Intemperance, however, appears to be more similar to the voluntary than timidity; for the former subsists on account of pleasure, but the latter on account of pain; of which, the one indeed is eligible, but the other is to be avoided. And pain indeed astounds and disturbs the nature of its possessor; but pleasure produces nothing of this kind. It is, therefore, more voluntary; and on this account also it is more disgraceful. For it is more easy to be accustomed to these things, since there are many such in life; and the being accustomed to them is unattended with danger. But the contrary takes place in things of a dreadful nature. Timidity, likewise, may appear not to be similarly voluntary with particulars. For timidity, indeed, is without pain; but particulars so astound men through pain, that they throw away their arms, and act in other things indecorously; and on this account they appear to be violent. The contrary, however, takes place with the intemperate man; for particulars with him are voluntary; since he desires them, and his appetite is directed to them. But the whole (of an intemperate lifel is less voluntary; for no one desires to be intemperate. We transfer also the name of intemperance to puerile errors; for they possess a certain similitude; but which of these is denominated from the other, is of no consequence to the present discussion. It is, however, evident, that the latter is denominated from the former; nor does the transition appear to be badly made. For that which desires what is base is to be punished, and which has an abundant increase. But desires in a child are especially a thing of this kind; for children live according to desire, and in these the appetite of the delectable especially flourishes. If, therefore, this appetite is not obedient, and subject to the governor (reason, l it increases abundantly. For the appetite of the delectable is insatiable, and in the stupid man is every way diffused; and the energy of desire increases that which is allied to it, so that if the desires are great and vehement, they expel the reasoning power. Hence, it is necessary that they should be moderate and few, and in no respect adverse to reason. But we call a thing of this kind obedient, and reformed by correction; for as it is necessary that a child should live conformably to the mandate of his preceptor, thus also it is requisite that the part of the soul which energizes according to desire should live conformably to reason. Hence it is necessary that this part of the soul in the temperate man should accord with reason; for the end proposed by both (i.e., by reason and desire in the temperate man) is the beautiful in conduct. And the temperate man desires those things which it is proper to desire, and as, and when it is proper. But reason likewise thus ordains. And thus much concerning temperance.