Jealousy is both reasonable and belongs to reasonable men, while envy is base and belongs to the base, for the one makes himself get good things by jealousy, while the other does not allow his neighbour to have them through envy.
Persuasion is achieved by the speaker's personal character when the speech is so spoken as to make us think him credible. We believe good men more fully and more readily than others: this is true generally whatever the question is, and absolutely true where exact certainty is impossible and opinions are divided.
A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider god-fearing and pious. On the other hand, they do less easily move against him, believing that he has the gods on his side.
Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.
A sense is what has the power of receiving into itself the sensible forms of things without the matter, in the way in which a piece of wax takes on the impress of a signet-ring without the iron or gold.
In poverty and other misfortunes of life, true friends are a sure refuge. The young they keep out of mischief; to the old they are a comfort and aid in their weakness, and those in the prime of life they incite to noble deeds.
Some animals are cunning and evil-disposed, as the fox; others, as the dog, are fierce, friendly, and fawning. Some are gentle and easily tamed, as the elephant; some are susceptible of shame, and watchful, as the goose. Some are jealous and fond of ornament, as the peacock.
Some animals utter a loud cry. Some are silent, and others have a voice, which in some cases may be expressed by a word; in others, it cannot. There are also noisy animals and silent animals, musical and unmusical kinds, but they are mostly noisy about the breeding season.
The eyes of some persons are large, others small, and others of a moderate size; the last-mentioned are the best. And some eyes are projecting, some deep-set, and some moderate, and those which are deep-set have the most acute vision in all animals; the middle position is a sign of the best disposition.
Whether if soul did not exist time would exist or not, is a question that may fairly be asked; for if there cannot be someone to count there cannot be anything that can be counted, so that evidently there cannot be number; for number is either what has been, or what can be, counted.
Some kinds of animals burrow in the ground; others do not. Some animals are nocturnal, as the owl and the bat; others use the hours of daylight. There are tame animals and wild animals. Man and the mule are always tame; the leopard and the wolf are invariably wild, and others, as the elephant, are easily tamed.
The poet, being an imitator like a painter or any other artist, must of necessity imitate one of three objects - things as they were or are, things as they are said or thought to be, or things as they ought to be. The vehicle of expression is language - either current terms or, it may be, rare words or metaphors.
The wise man does not expose himself needlessly to danger, since there are few things for which he cares sufficiently; but he is willing, in great crises, to give even his life - knowing that under certain conditions it is not worthwhile to live.
The art of wealth-getting which consists in household management, on the one hand, has a limit; the unlimited acquisition of wealth is not its business. And therefore, in one point of view, all riches must have a limit; nevertheless, as a matter of fact, we find the opposite to be the case; for all getters of wealth increase their hard coin without limit.
It is just that we should be grateful, not only to those with whose views we may agree, but also to those who have expressed more superficial views; for these also contributed something, by developing before us the powers of thought.
For well-being and health, again, the homestead should be airy in summer, and sunny in winter. A homestead possessing these qualities would be longer than it is deep; and its main front would face the south.
Anybody can become angry - that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way - that is not within everybody's power and is not easy.
Whatever we learn to do, we learn by actually doing it; men come to be builders, for instance, by building, and harp players by playing the harp. In the same way, by doing just acts we come to be just; by doing self-controlled acts, we come to be self-controlled ; and by doing brave acts, we become brave.
Now that practical skills have developed enough to provide adequately for material needs, one of these sciences which are not devoted to utilitarian ends [mathematics] has been able to arise in Egypt, the priestly caste there having the leisure necessary for disinterested research.
A tragedy is the imitation of an action that is serious and also, as having magnitude, complete in itself . . . with incidents arousing pity and fear, wherewith to accomplish its catharsis of such emotions.
Rhetoric is the counterpart of logic; since both are conversant with subjects of such a nature as it is the business of all to have a certain knowledge of, and which belong to no distinct science. Wherefore all men in some way participate of both; since all, to a certain extent, attempt, as well to sift, as to maintain an argument; as well to defend themselves, as to impeach.
We are masters of our actions from the beginning up to the very end. But, in the case of our habits, we are only masters of their commencement--each particular little increase being as imperceptible as in the case of bodily infirmities. But yet our habits are voluntary, in that it was once in our power to adopt or not to adopt such or such a course of conduct.
Beauty depends on size as well as symmetry. No very small animal can be beautiful, for looking at it takes so small a portion of time that the impression of it will be confused. Nor can any very large one, for a whole view of it cannot be had at once, and so there will be no unity and completeness.
Suppose, then, that all men were sick or deranged, save one or two of them who were healthy and of right mind. It would then be the latter two who would be thought to be sick and deranged and the former not!
It is the mark of an educated mind to expect that amount of exactness which the nature of the particular subject admits. It is equally unreasonable to accept merely probable conclusions from a mathematician and to demand strict demonstration from an orator.
Anaximenes and Anaxagoras and Democritus say that its [the earth's] flatness is responsible for it staying still: for it does not cut the air beneath but covers it like a lid, which flat bodies evidently do: for they are hard to move even for the winds, on account of their resistance.
In the many forms of government which have sprung up there has always been an acknowledgement of justice and proportionate equality, although mankind fail in attaining them, as indeed I have already explained. Democracy, for example, arises out of the notion that those who are equal in any respect are equal in all respects; because men are equally free, they claim to be absolutely equal.
In the human species at all events there is a great diversity of pleasures. The same things delight some men and annoy others, and things painful and disgusting to some are pleasant and attractive to others.
Just as a royal rule, if not a mere name, must exist by virtue of some great personal superiority in the king, so tyranny, which is the worst of governments, is necessarily the farthest removed from a well-constituted form; oligarchy is little better, for it is a long way from aristocracy, and democracy is the most tolerable of the three.
Concerning the generation of animals akin to them, as hornets and wasps, the facts in all cases are similar to a certain extent, but are devoid of the extraordinary features which characterize bees; this we should expect, for they have nothing divine about them as the bees have.
We must not listen to those who advise us 'being men to think human thoughts, and being mortal to think mortal thoughts' but must put on immortality as much as possible and strain every nerve to live according to that best part of us, which, being small in bulk, yet much more in its power and honour surpasses all else.
Tyrants preserve themselves by sowing fear and mistrust among the citizens by means of spies, by distracting them with foreign wars, by eliminating men of spirit who might lead a revolution, by humbling the people, and making them incapable of decisive action...
Music directly imitates the passions or states of the soul...when one listens to music that imitates a certain passion, he becomes imbued withthe same passion; and if over a long time he habitually listens to music that rouses ignoble passions, his whole character will be shaped to an ignoble form.
True happiness comes from gaining insight and growing into your best possible self. Otherwise all you're having is immediate gratification pleasure, which is fleeting and doesn't grow you as a person.
Anger is always concerned with individuals, ... whereas hatred is directed also against classes: we all hate any thief and any informer. Moreover, anger can be cured by time; but hatred cannot. The one aims at giving pain to its object, the other at doing him harm; the angry man wants his victim to feel; the hater does not mind whether they feel or not.
Of the tyrant, spies and informers are the principal instruments. War is his favorite occupation, for the sake of engrossing the attention of the people, and making himself necessary to them as their leader.
Anything that we have to learn to do we learn by the actual doing of it; People become builders by building and instrumentalists by playing instruments. Similarily, we become just by performing just acts, temperate by performing temperate ones, brave by performing brave ones.
The right constitutions, three in number- kingship, aristocracy, and polity- and the deviations from these, likewise three in number - tyranny from kingship, oligarchy from aristocracy, democracy from polity.
The most perfect political community must be amongst those who are in the middle rank, and those states are best instituted wherein these are a larger and more respectable part, if possible, than both the other; or, if that cannot be, at least than either of them separate.
Friends hold a mirror up to each other; through that mirror they can see each other in ways that would not otherwise be accessible to them, and it is this mirroring that helps them improve themselves as persons.
Music has the power of producing a certain effect on the moral character of the soul, and if it has the power to do this, it is clear that the young must be directed to music and must be educated in it.
Friends are an aid to the young, to guard them from error; to the elderly, to attend to their wants and to supplement their failing power of action; to those in the prime of life, to assist them to noble deeds.
Money was intended to be used in exchange, but not to increase at interest. And this term interest, which means the birth of money from money, is applied to the breeding of money because the offspring resembles the parent. Wherefore of all modes of getting wealth this is the most unnatural.
The real difference between democracy and oligarchy is poverty and wealth. Wherever men rule by reason of their wealth, whether they be few or many, that is an oligarchy, and where the poor rule, that is a democracy.
There is an error common to both oligarchies and to democracies: in the latter the demagogues, when the multitude are above the law, are always cutting the city in two by quarrels with the rich, whereas they should always profess to be maintaining their cause; just as in oligarchies the oligarchs should profess to maintain the cause of the people, . .
The legislator should direct his attention above all to the education of youth; for the neglect of education does harm to the constitution. The citizen should be molded to suit the form of government under which he lives. For each government has a peculiar character which originally formed and which continues to preserve it. The character of democracy creates democracy, and the character of oligarchy creates oligarchy.
Anyone, without any great penetration, may distinguish the dispositions consequent on wealth; for its possessors are insolent and overbearing, from being tainted in a certain way by the getting of their wealth. For they are affected as though they possessed every good; since wealth is a sort of standard of the worth of other things; whence every thing seems to be purchasable by it.
If you string together a set of speeches expressive of character, and well finished in point and diction and thought, you will not produce the essential tragic effect nearly so well as with a play which, however deficient in these respects, yet has a plot and artistically constructed incidents.
A state is not a mere society, having a common place, established for the prevention of mutual crime and for the sake of exchange. . . .Political society exists for the sake of noble actions, and not mere companionship.
For it is not true, as some treatise-mongers lay down in their systems, of the probity of the speaker, that it contributes nothing to persuasion; but moral character nearly, I may say, carries with it the most sovereign efficacy in making credible.
It is through wonder that men now begin and originally began to philosophize; wondering in the first place at obvious perplexities, and then by gradual progression raising questions about the greater matters too.
Rhetoric is useful because truth and justice are in their nature stronger than their opposites; so that if decisions be made, not in conformity to the rule of propriety, it must have been that they have been got the better of through fault of the advocates themselves: and this is deserving reprehension.
In all well-attempered governments there is nothing which should be more jealously maintained than the spirit of obedience to law, more especially in small matters; for transgression creeps in unperceived and at last ruins the state, just as the constant recurrence of small expenses in time eats up a fortune.
Man is by nature a social animal; an individual who is unsocial naturally and not accidentally is either beneath our notice or more than human. Society is something that precedes the individual. Anyone who either cannot lead the common life or is so self-sufficient as not to need to, and therefore does not partake of society, is either a beast or a god.
And it will often happen that a man with wealth in the form of coined money will not have enough to eat; and what a ridiculous kind of wealth is that which even in abundance will not save you from dying with hunger!
The happy life is thought to be one of excellence; now an excellent life requires exertion, and does not consist in amusement. If Eudaimonia, or happiness, is activity in accordance with excellence, it is reasonable that it should be in accordance with the highest excellence; and this will be that of the best thing in us.
Wretched, ephemeral race, children of chance and tribulation, why do you force me to tell you the very thing which it would be most profitable for you not to hear? The very best thing is utterly beyond your reach: not to have been born, not to be, to be nothing. However, the second best thing for you is: to die soon.
The activity of God, which is transcendent in blessedness, is the activity of contemplation; and therefore among human activities that which is most akin to the divine activity of contemplation will be the greatest source of happiness.
But if nothing but soul, or in soul mind, is qualified to count, it is impossible for there to be time unless there is soul, but only that of which time is an attribute, i.e. if change can exist without soul.
The true and the approximately true are apprehended by the same faculty; it may also be noted that men have a sufficient natural instinct for what is true, and usually do arrive at the truth. Hence the man who makes a good guess at truth is likely to make a good guess at probabilities.
Where your talents and the needs of the world cross, therein lies your vocation. These two, your talents and the needs of the world, are the great wake up calls to your true vocation in life... to ignore this, is in some sense, is to lose your soul.
Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives - choice, not chance, determines your destiny.
The duty of rhetoric is to deal with such matters as we deliberate upon without arts or systems to guide us, in the hearing of persons who cannot take in at a glance a complicated argument or follow a long chain of reasoning.
In constructing the plot and working it out with the proper diction, the poet should place the scene, as far as possible, before his eyes. In this way, seeing everything with the utmost vividness, as if he were a spectator of the action, he will discover what is in keeping with it, and be most unlikely to overlook inconsistencies.
The sun, moving as it does, sets up processes of change and becoming and decay, and by its agency the finest and sweetest water is every day carried up and is dissolved into vapour and rises to the upper region, where it is condensed again by the cold and so returns to the earth. This, as we have said before, is the regular course of nature.
In a word, acts of any kind produce habits or characters of the same kind. Hence we ought to make sure that our acts are of a certain kind; for the resulting character varies as they vary. It makes no small difference, therefore, whether a man be trained in his youth up in this way or that, but a great difference, or rather all the difference.
There is nothing grand or noble in having the use of a slave, in so far as he is a slave; or in issuing commands about necessary things. But it is an error to suppose that every sort of rule is despotic like that of a master over slaves, for there is as great a difference between the rule over freemen and the rule over slaves as there is between slavery by nature and freedom by nature . .
One can aim at honor both as one ought, and more than one ought, and less than one ought. He whose craving for honor is excessive is said to be ambitious, and he who is deficient in this respect unambitious; while he who observes the mean has no peculiar name.
We ought, so far as it lies within our power, to aspire to immortality, and do all that we can to live in conformity with the highest that is within us; for even if it is small in quantity, in power and preciousness, it far excels all the rest.
The purpose of the present study is not as it is in other inquiries, the attainment of knowledge, we are not conducting this inquiry in order to know what virtue is, but in order to become good, else there would be no advantage in studying it. For that reason, it becomes necessary to examine the problem of our actions and to ask how they are to be performed. For as we have said, the actions determine what kind of characteristics are developed.
They - Young People have exalted notions, because they have not been humbled by life or learned its necessary limitations; moreover, their hopeful disposition makes them think themselves equal to great things - and that means having exalted notions. They would always rather do noble deeds than useful ones: Their lives are regulated more by moral feeling than by reasoning - all their mistakes are in the direction of doing things excessively and vehemently. They overdo everything - they love too much, hate too much, and the same with everything else.
Emotions of any kind are produced by melody and rhythm; therefore by music a man becomes accustomed to feeling the right emotions; music has thus the power to form character, and the various kinds of music based on various modes may be distinguished by their effects on character.
Hence both women and children must be educated with an eye to the constitution, if indeed it makes any difference to the virtue of a city-state that its children be virtuous, and its women too. And it must make a difference, since half the free population are women, and from children come those who participate in the constitution.
But since there is but one aim for the entire state, it follows that education must be one and the same for all, and that the responsibility for it must be a public one, not the private affair which it now is, each man looking after his own children and teaching them privately whatever private curriculum he thinks they ought to study.
If there is some end of the things we do, which we desire for its own sake, clearly this must be the good. Will not knowledge of it, then, have a great influence on life? Shall we not, like archers who have a mark to aim at, be more likely to hit upon what we should? If so, we must try, in outline at least, to determine what it is.
There are two distinctive peculiarities by reference to which we characterize the soul (1) local movement and (2) thinking, discriminating, and perceiving. Thinking both speculative and practical is regarded as akin to a form of perceiving; for in the one as well as the other the soul discriminates and is cognizant of something which is.
Nor was civil society founded merely to preserve the lives of its members; but that they might live well: for otherwise a state might be composed of slaves, or the animal creation... nor is it an alliance mutually to defend each other from injuries, or for a commercial intercourse. But whosoever endeavors to establish wholesome laws in a state, attends to the virtues and vices of each individual who composes it; from whence it is evident, that the first care of him who would found a city, truly deserving that name, and not nominally so, must be to have his citizens virtuous.
Every man should be responsible to others, nor should anyone be allowed to do just as he pleases; for where absolute freedom is allowed there is nothing to restrain the evil which is inherent in every man. But the principle of responsibility secures that which is the greatest good in states; the right persons rule and are prevented from doing wrong, and the people have their due. It is evident that this is the best kind of democracy, and why? because the people are drawn from a certain class.
For legislators make the citizens good by forming habits in them, and this is the wish of every legislator, and those who do not effect it miss their mark, and it is in this that a good constitution differs from a bad one.
Those who assert that the mathematical sciences say nothing of the beautiful or the good are in error. For these sciences say and prove a great deal about them; if they do not expressly mention them, but prove attributes which are their results or definitions, it is not true that they tell us nothing about them. The chief forms of beauty are order and symmetry and definiteness, which the mathematical sciences demonstrate in a special degree.
The structural unity of the parts is such that, if any one of them is displaced or removed, the whole will be disjointed and disÂturbed. For a thing whose presence or absence makes no visible difference is not an organic part of the whole.
A young man is not a proper hearer of lectures on political science; for he is inexperienced in the actions that occur in life, but its discussions start from these and are about these; and, further, since he tends to follow his passions, his study will be vain and unprofitable, because the end that is aimed at is not knowledge but action. And it makes no difference whether he is young in years or youthful in character.
The argument of Alcidamas: Everyone honours the wise. Thus the Parians have honoured Archilochus, in spite of his bitter tongue; the Chians Homer, though he was not their countryman; the Mytilenaeans Sappho, though she was a woman; the Lacedaemonians actually made Chilon a member of their senate, though they are the least literary of men; the inhabitants of Lampsacus gave public burial to Anaxagoras, though he was an alien, and honour him even to this day.
[Prudence] is the virtue of that part of the intellect [the calculative] to which it belongs; and . . . our choice of actions will not be right without Prudence any more than without Moral Virtue, since, while Moral Virtue enables us to achieve the end, Prudence makes us adopt the right means to the end.
Governments which have a regard to the common interest are constituted in accordance with strict principles of justice, and are therefore true forms; but those which regard only the interest of the rulers are all defective and perverted forms, for they are despotic, whereas a state is a community of freemen.
The good of man is the active exercise of his soul's faculties. This exercise must occupy a complete lifetime. One swallow does make a spring, nor does one fine day. Excellence is a habit, not an event.
For as the interposition of a rivulet, however small, will occasion the line of the phalanx to fluctuate, so any trifling disagreement will be the cause of seditions; but they will not so soon flow from anything else as from the disagreement between virtue and vice, and next to that between poverty and riches.
What is the highest good in all matters of action? To the name, there is almost complete agreement; for uneducated and educated alike call it happiness, and make happiness identical with the good life and successful living. They disagree, however, about the meaning of happiness.
Happiness is something final and complete in itself, as being the aim and end of all practical activities whatever .... Happiness then we define as the active exercise of the mind in conformity with perfect goodness or virtue.
All men naturally desire knowledge. An indication of this is our esteem for the senses; for apart from their use we esteem them for their own sake, and most of all the sense of sight. Not only with a view to action, but even when no action is contemplated, we prefer sight, generally speaking, to all the other senses. The reason of this is that of all the senses sight best helps us to know things, and reveals many distinctions.
For imitation is natural to man from his infancy. Man differs from other animals particularly in this, that he is imitative, and acquires his rudiments of knowledge in this way; besides, the delight in it is universal.
All three states - the Lacedaemonian, the Cretan, and the Carthaginian - nearly resemble one another, and are very different from any others. Many of the Carthaginian institutions are excellent. The superiority of their constitution is proved by the fact that the common people remains loyal to the constitution; the Carthaginians have never had any rebellion worth speaking of, and have never been under the rule of a tyrant.
That the equalization of property exercises an influence on political society was clearly understood even by some of the old legislators. Laws were made by Solon and others prohibiting an individual from possessing as much land as he pleased;
Neither should men study war with a view to the enslavement of those who do not deserve to be enslaved; but first of all they should provide against their own enslavement, and in the second place obtain empire for the good of the governed, and not for the sake of exercising a general despotism, and in the third place they should seek to be masters only over those who deserve to be slaves.
For man, when perfected, is the best of animals, but, when separated from law and justice, he is the worst of all; since armed injustice is the more dangerous, and he is equipped at birth with the arms of intelligence and with moral qualities which he may use for the worst ends. Wherefore, if he have not virtue, he is the most unholy and the most savage of animals, and the most full of lust and gluttony. But justice is the bond of men in states, and the administration of justice, which is the determination of what is just, is the principle of order in political society.
Since the branch of philosophy on which we are at present engaged differs from the others in not being a subject of merely intellectual interest â I mean we are not concerned to know what goodness essentially is, but how we are to become good men, for this alone gives the study its practical value â we must apply our minds to the solution of the problems of conduct.
Plants, again, inasmuch as they are without locomotion, present no great variety in their heterogeneous pacts. For, when the functions are but few, few also are the organs required to effect them. ... Animals, however, that not only live but perceive, present a great multiformity of pacts, and this diversity is greater in some animals than in others, being most varied in those to whose share has fallen not mere life but life of high degree. Now such an animal is man.
For the real difference between humans and other animals is that humans alone have perception of good and evil, just and unjust, etc. It is the sharing of a common view in these matters that makes a household and a state.
It is clear, then, that wisdom is knowledge having to do with certain principles and causes. But now, since it is this knowledge that we are seeking, we must consider the following point: of what kind of principles and of what kind of causes is wisdom the knowledge?
Everything necessarily is or is not, and will be or will not be; but one cannot divide and say that one or the other is necessary.I mean, for example: it is necessary for there to be or not to be a sea-battle tomorrow; but it is not necessary for a sea-battle to take place tomorrow, or for one not to take place--though it is necessary for one to take place or not to take place.
Every effort therefore must be made to perpetuate prosperity. And, since that is to the advantage of the rich as well as the poor, all that accrues from the revenues should be collected into a single fund and distributed in block grants to those in need, if possible in lump sums large enough for the acquisition of a small piece of land, but if not, enough to start a business, or work in agriculture. And if that cannot be done for all, the distribution might be by tribes or some other division each in turn.
But the whole vital process of the earth takes place so gradually and in periods of time which are so immense compared with the length of our life, that these changes are not observed, and before their course can be recorded from beginning to end whole nations perish and are destroyed.
We ought to be able to persuade on opposite sides of a question; as also we ought in the case of arguing by syllogism: not that we should practice both, for it is not right to persuade to what is bad; but in order that the bearing of the case may not escape us, and that when another makes an unfair use of these reasonings, we may be able to solve them.
Neither should we forget the mean, which at the present day is lost sight of in perverted forms of government; for many practices which appear to be democratical are the ruin of democracies, . . Those who think that all virtue is to be found in their own party principles push matters to extremes; they do not consider that disproportion destroys a state.
But it is not at all certain that this superiority of the many over the sound few is possible in the case of every people and every large number. There are some whom it would be impossible: otherwise the theory would apply to wild animals- and yet some men are hardly any better than wild animals.
If the consequences are the same it is always better to assume the more limited antecedent, since in things of nature the limited, as being better, is sure to be found, wherever possible, rather than the unlimited.
Just as at the Olympic games it is not the handsomest or strongest men who are crowned with victory but the successful competitors, so in life it is those who act rightly who carry off all the prizes and rewards.
The life of theoretical philosophy is the best and happiest a man can lead. Few men are capable of it and then only intermittently. For the rest there is a second-best way of life, that of moral virtue and practical wisdom.
For even they who compose treatises of medicine or natural philosophy in verse are denominated Poets: yet Homer and Empedocles have nothing in common except their metre; the former, therefore, justly merits the name of the Poet; while the other should rather be called a Physiologist than a Poet.
That which is common to the greatest number has the least care bestowed upon it. Every one thinks chiefly of his own, hardly at all of the common interest; and only when he is himself concerned as an individual. For besides other considerations, everybody is more inclined to neglect the duty which he expects another to fulfill.
Property should be in a certain sense common, but, as a general rule, private; for, when every one has a distinct interest, men will not complain of one another, and they will make more progress, because every one will be attending to his own business.
The error of Socrates must be attributed to the false notion of unity from which he starts. Unity there should be, both of the family and of the state, but in some respects only. For there is a point at which a state may attain such a degree of unity as to be no longer a state, or at which, without actually ceasing to exist, it will become an inferior state, like harmony passing into unison, or rhythm which has been reduced to a single foot. The state, as I was saying, is a plurality which should be united and made into a community by education
In the Laws it is maintained that the best constitution is made up of democracy and tyranny, which are either not constitutions at all, or are the worst of all. But they are nearer the truth who combine many forms; for the constitution is better which is made up of more numerous elements. The constitution proposed in the Laws has no element of monarchy at all; it is nothing but oligarchy and democracy, leaning rather to oligarchy.
Some things the legislator must find ready to his hand in a state, others he must provide. And therefore we can only say: May our state be constituted in such a manner as to be blessed with the goods of which fortune disposes (for we acknowledge her power): whereas virtue and goodness in the state are not a matter of chance but the result of knowledge and purpose. A city can be virtuous only when the citizens who have a share in the government are virtuous, and in our state all the citizens share in the government;
The government of freemen is nobler and implies more virtue than despotic government. Neither is a city to be deemed happy or a legislator to be praised because he trains his citizens to conquer and obtain dominion over their neighbors, for there is great evil in this.
That in the soul which is called mind (by mind I mean that whereby the soul thinks and judges) is, before it thinks, not actually any real thing. For this reason it cannot reasonably be regarded as blended with the body
But then in what way are things called good? They do not seem to be like the things that only chance to have the same name. Are goods one then by being derived from one good or by all contributing to one good, or are they rather one by analogy? Certainly as sight is in the body, so is reason in the soul, and so on in other cases.
Young men have strong passions and tend to gratify them indiscriminately. Of the bodily desires, it is the sexual by which they are most swayed and in which they show absence of control...They are changeable and fickle in their desires which are violent while they last, but quickly over: their impulses are keen but not deep rooted.
We must speak first about the division of land and about those who cultivate it: who should they be and what kind of person? We do not agree with those who have said that property should be communally owned, but we do believe that there should be a friendly arrangement for its common use, and that none of the citizens should be without means of support.
The aim of education is to make the pupil like and dislike what he ought....The little human animal will not at first have the right responses. It must be trained to feel pleasure, liking, disgust, and hatred at those things which really are pleasant, likable, disgusting, and hateful.
Yet the true friend of the people should see that they be not too poor, for extreme povery lowers the character of the democracy; measures therefore should be taken which will give them lasting prosperity; and as this is equally the interest of all classes, the proceeds of the public revenues should be accumulated and distributed among its poor, if possible, in such quantities as may enable them to purchase a little farm, or, at any rate, make a beginning in trade or husbandry.
Now, the causes being four, it is the business of the student of nature to know about them all, and if he refers his problems back to all of them, he will assign the "why" in the way proper to his science-the matter, the form, the mover, that for the sake of which.
For contemplation is both the highest form of activity (since the intellect is the highest thing in us, and the objects that it apprehends are the highest things that can be known), and also it is the most continuous, because we are more capable of continuous contemplation than we are of any practical activity.
. .we would have to say that hereditary succession is harmful. You may say the king, having sovereign power, will not in that case hand over to his children. But it is hard to believe that: it is a difficult achievement, which expects too much virtue of human nature.
Hence intellect[ual perception] is both a beginning and an end, for the demonstrations arise from these, and concern them. As a result, one ought to pay attention to the undemonstrated assertions and opinions of experienced and older people, or of the prudent, no less than to demonstrations, for, because the have an experienced eye, they see correctly.
Of means of persuading by speaking there are three species: some consist in the character of the speaker; others in the disposing the hearer a certain way; others in the thing itself which is said, by reason of its proving, or appearing to prove the point.
And inasmuch as the great-souled man deserves most, he must be the best of men; for the better a man is the more he deserves, and he that is best deserves most. Therefore the truly great-souled man must be a good man. Indeed greatness in each of the virtues would seem to go with greatness of soul.
If the state cannot be entirely composed of good men, and yet each citizen is expected to do his own business well, and must therefore have virtue, still inasmuch as all the citizens cannot be alike, the virtue of the citizen and of the good man cannot coincide. All must have the virtue of the good citizen - thus, and thus only, can the state be perfect; but they will not have the virtue of a good man, unless we assume that in the good state all the citizens must be good.
Actual knowledge is identical with its object: in the individual, potential knowledge is in time prior to actual knowledge, but in the universe as a whole it is not prior even in time. Mind is not at one time knowing and at another not. When mind is set free from its present conditions it appears as just what it is and nothing more: this alone is immortal and eternal (we do not, however, remember its former activity because, while mind in this sense is impassible, mind as passive is destructible), and without it nothing thinks.
A poet's object is not to tell what actually happened but what could or would happen either probably or inevitably.... For this reason poetry is something more scientific and serious than history, because poetry tends to give general truths while history gives particular facts.
If thinking is like perceiving, it must be either a process in which the soul is acted upon by what is capable of being thought, or a process different from but analogous to that. The thinking part of the soul must therefore be, while impassable, capable of receiving the form of an object; that is, must be potentially identical in character with its object without being the object. Mind must be related to what is thinkable, as sense is to what is sensible.
In cases of this sort, let us say adultery, rightness and wrongness do not depend on committing it with the right woman at the right time and in the right manner, but the mere fact of committing such action at all is to do wrong.
Human good turns out to be activity of soul exhibiting excellence, and if there is more than one sort of excellence, in accordance with the best and most complete.Foroneswallowdoesnot makea summer, nor does one day; and so too one day, or a short time, does not make a man blessed and happy.
The fire at Lipara, Xenophanes says, ceased once for sixteen years, and came back in the seventeenth. And he says that the lavastream from Aetna is neither of the nature of fire, nor is it continuous, but it appears at intervals of many years.
To die, and thus avoid poverty or love, or anything painful, is not the part of a brave man, but rather of a coward; for it is cowardice to avoid trouble, and the suicide does not undergo death because it is honorable, but in order to avoid evil.
How strange it is that Socrates, after having made the children common, should hinder lovers from carnal intercourse only, but should permit love and familiarities between father and son or between brother and brother, than which nothing can be more unseemly, since even without them love of this sort is improper. How strange, too, to forbid intercourse for no other reason than the violence of the pleasure, as though the relationship of father and son or of brothers with one another made no difference.
If they do not share equally enjoyments and toils, those who labor much and get little will necessarily complain of those who labor little and receive or consume much. But indeed there is always a difficulty in men living together and having all human relations in common, but especially in their having common property.
Of actions some aim at what is necessary and useful, and some at what is honorable. And the preference given to one or the other class of actions must necessarily be like the preference given to one or other part of the soul and its actions over the other; there must be war for the sake of peace, business for the sake of leisure, things useful and necessary for the sake of things honorable.
If we state the function of man to be a certain kind of life, and this to be an activity or actions of the soul implying a rational principle, and the function of a good man to be the good and noble performance of these, and if any action is well performed when it is performed in accordance with the appropriate excellence human good turns out to be activity of the soul in accordance with virtue, and if there are more than one virtue, in accordance with the best and most complete.
Because the rich are generally few in number, while the poor are many, they appear to be antagonistic, and as the one or the other prevails they form the government. Hence arises the common opinion that there are two kinds of government - democracy and oligarchy.
Therefore the good man ought to be a lover of self, since he will then both benefit himself by acting nobly and aid his fellows; but the bad man ought not to be a lover of self, since he will follow his base passions, and so injure both himself and his neighbors. With the bad man therefore, what he does is not in accord with what he ought to do, but the good man does what he ought, since intelligence always chooses for itself that which is best, and the good man obeys his intelligence.
We maintain, and have said in the Ethics, if the arguments there adduced are of any value, that happiness is the realization and perfect exercise of virtue, and this not conditional, but absolute. And I used the term 'conditional' to express that which is indispensable, and 'absolute' to express that which is good in itself.
Take the case of just actions; just punishments and chastisements do indeed spring from a good principle, but they are good only because we cannot do without them - it would be better that neither individuals nor states should need anything of the sort - but actions which aim at honor and advantage are absolutely the best. The conditional action is only the choice of a lesser evil; whereas these are the foundation and creation of good. A good man may make the best even of poverty and disease, and the other ills of life;
Every community is an association of some kind and every community is established with a view to some good; for everyone always acts in order to obtain that which they think good. But, if all communities aim at some good, the state or political community, which is the highest of all, and which embraces all the rest, aims at good in a greater degree than any other, and at the highest good.
Of the modes of persuasion furnished by the spoken word there are three kinds. The first kind depends on the personal character ofthe speaker; the second on putting the audience into a certain frame of mind; the third on the proof, provided by the words of the speech itself.
For knowing is spoken of in three ways: it may be either universal knowledge or knowledge proper to the matter in hand or actualising such knowledge; consequently three kinds of error also are possible.
Bravery is a mean state concerned with things that inspire confidence and with things fearful ... and leading us to choose danger and to face it, either because to do so is noble, or because not to do so is base. But to court death as an escape from poverty, or from love, or from some grievous pain, is no proof of bravery, but rather of cowardice.
The goodness or badness, justice or injustice, of laws varies of necessity with the constitution of states. This, however, is clear, that the laws must be adapted to the constitutions. But if so, true forms of government will of necessity have just laws, and perverted forms of government will have unjust laws.
In bad or corrupted natures the body will often appear to rule over the soul, because they are in an evil and unnatural condition. At all events we may firstly observe in living creatures both a despotical and a constitutional rule; for the soul rules the body with a despotical rule, whereas the intellect rules the appetites with a constitutional and royal rule. And it is clear that the rule of the soul over the body, and of the mind and the rational element over the passionate, is natural and expedient; whereas the equality of the two or the rule of the inferior is always hurtful.
In [the soul] one part naturally rules, and the other is subject, and the virtue of the ruler we maintain to be different from that of the subject; the one being the virtue of the rational, and the other of the irrational part. Now, it is obvious that the same principle applies generally, and therefore almost all things rule and are ruled according to nature.
The trade of the petty usurer is hated with most reason: it makes a profit from currency itself, instead of making it from the process which currency was meant to serve. Their common characteristic is obviously their sordid avarice.
It is well said, then, that it is by doing just acts that the just man is produced, and by doing temperate acts the temperate man; without doing these no one would have even a prospect of becoming good. But most people do not do these, but take refuge in theory and think they are being philosophers and will become good in this way, behaving somewhat like patients who listen attentively to their doctors, but do none of the things they are ordered to do.
There are, then, these three means of effecting persuasion. The man who is to be in command of them must, it is clear, be able (1) to reason logically, (2) to understand human character and goodness in their various forms, and (3) to understand the emotions--that is, to name them and describe them, to know their causes and the way in which they are excited.
These, then, are the four kinds of royalty. First the monarchy of the heroic ages; this was exercised over voluntary subjects, but limited to certain functions; the king was a general and a judge, and had the control of religion The second is that of the barbarians, which is a hereditary despotic government in accordance with law. A third is the power of the so-called Aesynmete or Dictator; this is an elective tyranny. The fourth is the Lacedaemonian, which is in fact a generalship, hereditary and perpetual.
In seeking for justice men seek for the mean or neutral, for the law is the mean. Again, customary laws have more weight, and relate to more important matters, than written laws, and a man may be a safer ruler than the written law, but not safer than the customary law.
Soul and body, I suggest react sympathetically upon each other. A change in the state of the soul produces a change in the shape of the body and conversely, a change in the shape of the body produces a change in the state of the soul.
Men agree that justice in the abstract is proportion, but they differ in that some think that if they are equal in any respect they are equal absolutely, others that if they are unequal in any respect they should be unequal in all. The only stable principle of government is equality according to proportion, and for every man to enjoy his own.
But the virtues we get by first exercising them, as also happens in the case of the arts as well. For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them, e.g. men become builders by building and lyre players by playing the lyre; so too we become just by doing just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, brave by doing brave acts.
When their adventures do not succeed, however, they run away; but it was the mark of a brave man to face things that are, and seem, terrible for a man, because it is noble to do so and disgraceful not to do so.
For suppose that every tool we had could perform its task, either at our bidding or itself perceiving the need, and if-like the statues made by DÃ¦dalus or the tripods of HephÃ¦stus, of which the poet says that "self-moved they enter the assembly of the gods" - shuttles in a loom could fly to and fro and a plectrum play a lyre all self-moved, then master-craftsmen would have no need of servants nor masters of slaves.
Of governments there are said to be only two forms - democracy and oligarchy. For aristocracy is considered to be a kind of oligarchy, as being the rule of a few, and the so-called constitutional government to be really a democracy.
As to adultery, let it be held disgraceful, in general, for any man or woman to be found in any way unfaithful when they are married, and called husband and wife. If during the time of bearing children anything of the sort occur, let the guilty person be punished with a loss of privileges in proportion to the offense.
Some persons hold that, while it is proper for the lawgiver to encourage and exhort men to virtue on moral grounds, in the expectation that those who have had a virtuous moral upbringing will respond, yet he is bound to impose chastisement and penalties on the disobedient and ill-conditioned, and to banish the incorrigible out of the state altogether. For (they argue) although the virtuous man, who guides his life by moral ideals, will be obedient to reason, the base, whose desires are fixed on pleasure, must be chastised by pain, like a beast of burden.
A life of wealth and many belongings is only a means to happiness. Honor, power, and success cannot be happiness because they depend on the whims of others, and happiness should be self-contained, complete in itself.
There is a cropping-time in the races of men, as in the fruits of the field; and sometimes, if the stock be good, there springs up for a time a succession of splendid men; and then comes a period of barrenness.
...we are all inclined to ... direct our inquiry not by the matter itself, but by the views of our opponents; and, even when interrogating oneself, one pushes the inquiry only to the point at which one can no longer offer any opposition. Hence a good inquirer will be one who is ready in bringing forward the objections proper to the genus, and that he will be when he has gained an understanding of the differences.
If there is any kind of animal which is female and has no male separate from it, it is possible that this may generate a young one from itself. No instance of this worthy of any credit has been observed up to the present at any rate, but one case in the class of fishes makes us hesitate. No male of the so-called erythrinus has ever yet been seen, but females, and specimens full of roe, have been seen. Of this, however, we have as yet no proof worthy of credit.
While most of those who hold that the whole heaven is finite say that the earth lies at the center, the philosophers of Italy, the so-called Pythagoreans, assert the contrary. They say that in the middle there is fire, and that the earth is one of the stars, and by its circular motion round the center produces night and day.
If a man of good natural disposition acquires Intelligence [as a whole], then he excels in conduct, and the disposition which previously only resembled Virtue, will now be Virtue in the true sense. Hence just as with the faculty of forming opinions [the calculative faculty] there are two qualities, Cleverness and Prudence, so also in the moral part of the soul there are two qualities, natural virtue and true Virtue; and true Virtue cannot exist without Prudence.
Now the greatest external good we should assume to be the thing which we offer as a tribute to the gods, and which is most coveted by men of high station, and is the prize awarded for the noblest deeds; and such a thing is honor, for honor is clearly the greatest of external goods.
Laws, when good, should be supreme; and that the magistrate or magistrates should regulate those matters only on which the laws are unable to speak with precision owing to the difficulty of any general principle embracing all particulars.
The male has more teeth than the female in mankind, and sheep and goats, and swine. This has not been observed in other animals. Those persons which have the greatest number of teeth are the longest lived; those which have them widely separated, smaller, and more scattered, are generally more short lived.
You'll understand what life is if you think about the act of dying. When I die, how will I be different from the way I am right now? In the first moments after death, my body will be scarcely different in physical terms than it was in the last seconds of life, but I will no longer move, no longer sense, nor speak, nor feel, nor care. It's these things that are life. At that moment, the psyche takes flight in the last breath.
Whereas young people become accomplished in geometry and mathematics, and wise within these limits, prudent young people do not seem to be found. The reason is that prudence is concerned with particulars as well as universals, and particulars become known from experience, but a young person lacks experience, since some length of time is needed to produce it.
We have no evidence as yet about mind or the power to think; it seems to be a widely different kind of soul, differing as what is eternal from what is perishable; it alone is capable of existence in isolation from all other psychic powers.
The soul is the cause or source of the living body. The terms cause and source have many senses. But the soul is the cause of its body alike in all three senses which we explicitly recognize. It is (a) the source or origin of movement, it is (b) the end, it is (c) the essence of the whole living body.
The ensouled is distinguished from the unsouled by its being alive. Now since being alive is spoken of in many ways, even if only one of these is present, we say that the thing is alive, if, for instance, there is intellect or perception or spatial movement and rest or indeed movement connected with nourishment and growth and decay. It is for this reason that all the plants are also held to be alive . . .
So we must lay it down that the association which is a state exists not for the purpose of living together but for the sake of noble actions. Those who contribute most to this kind of association are for that very reason entitled to a larger share in the state than those who, though they may be equal or even superior in free birth and in family, are inferior in the virtue that belongs to a citizen. Similarly they are entitled to a larger share than those who are superior in riches but inferior in virtue.
Those who have the command of the arms in a country are masters of the state, and have it in their power to make what revolutions they please. [Thus,] there is no end to observations on the difference between the measures likely to be pursued by a minister backed by a standing army, and those of a court awed by the fear of an armed people.
Man perfected by society is the best of all animals; he is the most terrible of all when he lives without law and without justice. If he finds himself an individual who cannot live in society, or who pretends he has need of only his own resources do not consider him as a member of humanity; he is a savage beast or a god.
Again, it is possible to fail in many ways (for evil belongs to the class of the unlimited and good to that of the limited), while to succeed is possible only in one way (for which reason also one is easy and the other difficultâto miss the mark easy, to hit it difficult); for these reasons also, then, excess and defect are characteristic of vice, and the mean of virtue; For men are good in but one way, but bad in many.
Rhetoric is useful because the true and the just are naturally superior to their opposites, so that, if decisions are improperly made, they must owe their defeat to their own advocates; which is reprehensible. Further, in dealing with certain persons, even if we possessed the most accurate scientific knowledge, we should not find it easy to persuade them by the employment of such knowledge. For scientific discourse is concerned with instruction, but in the case of such persons instruction is impossible.
There are three qualifications required in those who have to fill the highest offices, - (1) first of all, loyalty to the established constitution; (2) the greatest administrative capacity; (3) virtue and justice of the kind proper to each form of government.
Once more: there are three offices according to whose directions the highest magistrates are chosen in certain states - guardians of the law, probuli, councilors - of these, the guardians of the law are an aristocratical, the probuli an oligarchical, the council a democratical institution.
When several villages are united in a single complete community, large enough to be nearly or quite self-sufficing, the state comes into existence, originating in the bare needs of life, and continuing in existence for the sake of a good life.
But nothing is yet clear on the subject of the intellect and the contemplative faculty. However, it seems to be another kind of soul, and this alone admits of being separated, as that which is eternal from that which is perishable, while it is clear from these remarks that the other parts of the soul are not separable, as some assert them to be, though it is obvious that they are conceptually distinct.
If, then, there is some end of the things we do, which we desire for its own sake (everything else being desired for the sake of this), and if we do not choose everything for the sake of something else (for at that rate the process would go on to infinity, so that our desire would be empty and vain), clearly this must be the good and the chief good.
That which is in locomotion must arrive at the half-way stage before it arrives at the goal. (Travel over any finite distance can neither be completed nor begun, and so all motion must be an illusion.)
There are three things that are the motives of choice and three that are the motives of avoidance; namely, the noble, the expedient, and the pleasant, and their opposites, the base, the harmful, and the painful. Now in respect of all these the good man is likely to go right and the bad to go wrong, but especially in respect of pleasure; for pleasure is common to man with the lower animals, and also it is a concomitant of all the objects of choice, since both the noble and the expedient appear to us pleasant.
What has soul in it differs from what has not, in that the former displays life. Now this word has more than one sense, and provided any one alone of these is found in a thing we say that thing is living. Living, that is, may mean thinking or perception or local movement and rest, or movement in the sense of nutrition, decay and growth. Hence we think of plants also as living, for they are observed to possess in themselves an originative power through which they increase or decrease in all spatial directions;
Of ill-temper there are three kinds: irascibility, bitterness, sullenness. It belongs to the ill-tempered man to be unable to bear either small slights or defeats but to be given to retaliation and revenge, and easily moved to anger by any chance deed or word. Ill-temper is accompanied by excitability of character, instability, bitter speech, and liability to take offence at trifles and to feel these feelings quickly and on slight occasions.
And so long as they were at war, their power was preserved, but when they had attained empire they fell, for of the arts of peace they knew nothing, and had never engaged in any employment higher than war.
So it is naturally with the male and the female; the one is superior, the other inferior; the one governs, the other is governed; and the same rule must necessarily hold good with respect to all mankind.
The majority of mankind would seem to be beguiled into error by pleasure, which, not being really a good, yet seems to be so. So that they indiscriminately choose as good whatsoever gives them pleasure, while they avoid all pain alike as evil.
Phronimos, possessing practical wisdom . But the only virtue special to a ruler is practical wisdom; all the others must be possessed, so it seems, both by rulers and ruled. The virtue of a person being ruled is not practical wisdom but correct opinion; he is rather like a person who makes the pipes, while the ruler is the one who can play them.
But obviously a state which becomes progressively more and more of a unity will cease to be a state at all. Plurality of numbers is natural in a state; and the farther it moves away from plurality towards unity, the less of a state it becomes and the more a household, and the household in turn an individual.
It belongs to small-mindedness to be unable to bear either honor or dishonor, either good fortune or bad, but to be filled with conceit when honored and puffed up by trifling good fortune, and to be unable to bear even the smallest dishonor and to deem any chance failure a great misfortune, and to be distressed and annonyed at everything. Moreover the small-minded man is the sort of person to call all slights an insult and dishonor, even those that are due to ignorance or forgetfulness. Small-mindedness is accompanied by pettiness, querulousness, pessimism and self-abasement.
The true forms of government, therefore, are those in which the one, or the few, or the many, govern with a view to the common interest; but governments which rule with a view to the private interest, whether of the one or of the few, or of the many, are perversions. For the members of a state, if they are truly citizens, ought to participate in its advantages.
Even if you must have regard to wealth, in order to secure leisure, yet it is surely a bad thing that the greatest offices, such as those of kings and generals, should be bought. The law which allows this abuse makes wealth of more account than virtue, and the whole state becomes avaricious.
The investigation of the truth is in one way hard, in another easy. An indication of this is found in the fact that no one is able to attain the truth adequately, while, on the other hand, no one fails entirely, but everyone says something true about the nature of all things, and while individually they contribute little or nothing to the truth, by the union of all a considerable amount is amassed.
It is this simplicity that makes the uneducated more effective than the educated when addressing popular audiences-makes them, as the poets tell us, 'charm the crowd's ears more finely.' Educated men lay down broad general principles; uneducated men argue from common knowledge and draw obvious conclusions.
There is an ideal of excellence for any particular craft or occupation; similarly there must be an excellent that we can achieve as human beings. That is, we can live our lives as a whole in such a way that they can be judged not just as excellent in this respect or in that occupation, but as excellent, period. Only when we develop our truly human capacities sufficiently to achieve this human excellent will we have lives blessed with happiness.
A thing chosen always as an end and never as a means we call absolutely final. Now happiness above all else appears to be absolutely final in this sense, since we always choose it for its own sake and never as a means to something else.
There are, then, three states of mind ... two vices--that of excess, and that of defect; and one virtue--the mean; and all these are in a certain sense opposed to one another; for the extremes are not only opposed to the mean, but also to one another; and the mean is opposed to the extremes.
Memory is therefore, neither Perception nor Conception, but a state or affection of one of these, conditioned by lapse of time. As already observed, there is no such thing as memory of the present while present, for the present is object only of perception, and the future, of expectation, but the object of memory is the past. All memory, therefore, implies a time elapsed; consequently only those animals which perceive time remember, and the organ whereby they perceive time is also that whereby they remember.
The knowledge of the soul admittedly contributes greatly to the advance of truth in general, and, above all, to our understanding of Nature, for the soul is in some sense the principle of animal life.
But a man's best friend is the one who not only wishes him well but wishes it for his own sake (even though nobody will ever know it): and this condition is best fulfilled by his attitude towards himself - and similarly with all the other attributes that go to define a friend. For we have said before that all friendly feelings for others are extensions of a man's feelings for himself.
The tyrant, who in order to hold his power, suppresses every superiority, does away with good men, forbids education and light, controls every movement of the citizens and, keeping them under a perpetual servitude, wants them to grow accustomed to baseness and cowardice, has his spies everywhere to listen to what is said in the meetings, and spreads dissension and calumny among the citizens and impoverishes them, is obliged to make war in order to keep his subjects occupied and impose on them permanent need of a chief.
There are still two forms besides democracy and oligarchy; one of them is universally recognized and included among the four principal forms of government, which are said to be (1) monarchy, (2) oligarchy, (3) democracy, and (4) the so-called aristocracy or government of the best. But there is also a fifth, which retains the generic name of polity or constitutional government;
They who have drunk beer, fall on their back, but there is a peculiarity in the effects of the drink made from barley, for they that get drunk on other intoxicating liquors fall on all parts of their body, they fall on the left side, on the right side, on their faces, and and on their backs. But it is only those who get drunk on beer that fall on their backs with their faces upward.
The business of every art is to bring something into existence, and the practice of an art involves the study of how to bring into existence something which is capable of having such an existence and has its efficient cause in the maker and not in itself.
When you have thrown a stone, you cannot afterwards bring it back again, but nevertheless you are responsible for having taken up the stone and flung it, for the origin of the act was within you. Similarly the unjust and profligate might at the outset have avoided becoming so, and therefore they are so voluntarily, although when they have become unjust and profligate it is no longer open to them not to be so.
For it is owing to their wonder that men both now begin and at first began to philosophize.... And a man who is puzzled and wonders thinks himself ignorant ...; therefore since they philosophized in order to escape from ignorance, evidently they were pursuing science in order to know, and not for any utilitarian end.
Error is multiform (for evil is a form of the unlimited, as in the old Pythagorean imagery, and good of the limited), whereas success is possible in one way only (which is why it is easy to fail and difficult to succeed - easy to miss the target and difficult to hit it); so this is another reason why excess and deficiency are a mark of vice, and observance of the mean a mark of virtue: Goodness is simple, badness is manifold.
For just as for a flute-player, a sculptor, or an artist, and, in general, for all things that have a function or activity, the good and the well is thought to reside in the function, so would it seem to be for man, if he has a function.
Now what is just and right is to be interpreted in the sense of 'what is equal'; and that which is right in the sense of being equal is to be considered with reference to the advantage of the state, and the common good of the citizens. And a citizen is one who shares in governing and being governed. He differs under different forms of government, but in the best state he is one who is able and willing to be governed and to govern with a view to the life of virtue.
Greatness of spirit is to bear finely both good fourtune and bad, honor and disgrace, and not to think highly of luxury or attention or power or victories in contests, and to possess a certain depth and magnitude of spirit.
Salt water when it turns into vapour becomes sweet, and the vapour does not form salt water when it condenses again. This I know by experiment. The same thing is true in every case of the kind: wine and all fluids that evaporate and condense back into a liquid state become water. They all are water modified by a certain admixture, the nature of which determines their flavour.
What we know is not capable of being otherwise; of things capable of being otherwise we do not know, when they have passed outsideour observation, whether they exist or not. Therefore the object of knowledge is of necessity. Therefore it is eternal; for things that are of necessity in the unqualified sense are all eternal; and things that are eternal are ungenerated and imperishable.
Now property is part of a household, and the acquisition of property part of household-management; for neither life itself nor the good life is possible without a certain minimum supply of the necessities.
Thus it is thought that justice is equality; and so it is, but not for all persons, only for those that are equal. Inequality also is thought to be just; and so it is, but not for all, only for the unequal. We make bad mistakes if we neglect this for whom when we are deciding what is just. The reason is that we are making judgements about ourselves, and people are generally bad judges where their own interests are involved.
The greatest thing by far is to be a master of metaphor; it is the one thing that cannot be learned from others; and it is also a sign of genius, since a good metaphor implies an intuitive perception of the similarity of the dissimilar.
Why is it that all those who have become eminent in philosophy, politics, poetry, or the arts are clearly of an atrabilious temperament and some of them to such an extent as to be affected by diseases caused by black bile?
All men agree that a just distribution must be according to merit in some sense; they do not all specify the same sort of merit, but democrats identify it with freemen, supporters of oligarchy with wealth (or noble birth), and supporters of aristocracy with excellence.
For both excessive and insufficient exercise destroy one's strength, and both eating and drinking too much or too little destroy health, whereas the right quantity produces, increases and preserves it. So it is the same with temperance, courage and the other virtues. This much then, is clear: in all our conduct it is the mean that is to be commended.
Happiness itself is sufficient excuse. Beautiful things are right and true; so beautiful actions are those pleasing to the gods. Wise men have an inward sense of what is beautiful, and the highest wisdom is to trust this intuition and be guided by it. The answer to the last appeal of what is right lies within a man's own breast. Trust thyself.
It is absurd to hold that a man should be ashamed of an inability to defend himself with his limbs, but not ashamed of an inability to defend himself with speech and reason; for the use of rational speech is more distinctive of a human being than the use of his limbs.
Persuasion is effected through the medium of the hearers, when they shall have been brought to a state of excitement under the influence of speech; for we do not, when influenced by pain or joy, or partiality or dislike, award our decisions in the same way; about which means of persuasion alone, I declare that the system-mongers of the present day busy themselves.
...the life which is best for men, both separately, as individuals, and in the mass, as states, is the life which has virtue sufficiently supported by material resources to facilitate participation in the actions that virtue calls for.
The soul consists of two parts, one irrational and the other capable of reason. (Whether these two parts are really distinct in the sense that the parts of the body or of any other divisible whole are distinct, or whether though distinguishable in thought as two they are inseparable in reality, like the convex and concave of a curve, is a question of no importance for the matter in hand.)
Most men appear to think that the art of despotic government is statesmanship, and what men affirm to be unjust and inexpedient in their own case they are not ashamed of practicing towards others; they demand just rule for themselves, but where other men are concerned they care nothing about it. Such behavior is irrational; unless the one party is, and the other is not, born to serve, in which case men have a right to command, not indeed all their fellows, but only those who are intended to be subjects; just as we ought not to hunt mankind, whether for food or sacrifice . .
In the case of some people, not even if we had the most accurate scientific knowledge, would it be easy to persuade them were we to address them through the medium of that knowledge; for a scientific discourse, it is the privilege of education to appreciate, and it is impossible that this should extend to the multitude.
Of old, the demagogue was also a general, and then democracies changed into tyrannies. Most of the ancient tyrants were originally demagogues. They are not so now, but they were then; and the reason is that they were generals and not orators, for oratory had not yet come into fashion.
The so-called Pythagoreans, who were the first to take up mathematics, not only advanced this subject, but saturated with it, they fancied that the principles of mathematics were the principles of all things.
Virtue means doing the right thing, in relation to the right person, at the right time, to the right extent, in the right manner, and for the right purpose. Thus, to give money away is quite a simple task, but for the act to be virtuous, the donor must give to the right person, for the right purpose, in the right amount, in the right manner, and at the right time.
Happiness, whether consisting in pleasure or virtue, or both, is more often found with those who are highly cultivated in their minds and in their character, and have only a moderate share of external goods, than among those who possess external goods to a useless extent but are deficient in higher qualities.
Gentleness is the ability to bear reproaches and slights with moderation, and not to embark on revenge quickly, and not to be easily provoked to anger, but be free from bitterness and contentiousness, having tranquility and stability in the spirit.
...happiness does not consist in amusement. In fact, it would be strange if our end were amusement, and if we were to labor and suffer hardships all our life long merely to amuse ourselves.... The happy life is regarded as a life in conformity with virtue. It is a life which involves effort and is not spent in amusement....
The most important relationship we can all have is the one you have with yourself, the most important journey you can take is one of self-discovery. To know yourself, you must spend time with yourself, you must not be afraid to be alone. Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.
To let them share in the highest offices is to take a risk; inevitably, their unjust standards will cause them to commit injustice, and their lack of judgement will lead them into error. On the other hand there is a risk in not giving them a share, and in their non participation, for when there are many who have no property and no honours they inevitably constitute a huge hostile element in the state. But it can still remain open to them to participate in deliberating and judging.
One would have thought that it was even more necessary to limit population than property; and that the limit should be fixed by calculating the chances of mortality in the children, and of sterility in married persons. The neglect of this subject, which in existing states is so common, is a never-failing cause of poverty among the citizens; and poverty is the parent of revolution and crime.
A democracy exists whenever those who are free and are not well-off, being in the majority, are in sovereign control of government, an oligarchy when control lies with the rich and better-born, these being few.
First, have a definite, clear practical ideal; a goal, an objective. Second, have the necessary means to achieve your ends; wisdom, money, materials, and methods. Third, adjust all your means to that end.
We ought not to listen to those who exhort us, because we are human, to think of human things....We ought rather to take on immortality as much as possible, and do all that we can to live in accordance with the highest element within us; for even if its bulk is small, in its power and value it far exceeds everything.
... the friendship of worthless people has a bad effect (because they take part, unstable as they are, in worthless pursuits, and actually become bad through each other's influence). But the friendship of the good is good, and increases in goodness because of their association. They seem even to become better men by exercising their friendship and improving each other; for the traits that they admire in each other get transferred to themselves.
Great and frequent reverses can crush and mar our bliss both by the pain they cause and by the hindrance they offer to many activities. Yet nevertheless even in adversity nobility shines through, when a man endures repeated and severe misfortune with patience, not owing to insensibility but from generosity and greatness of soul.
Now the goodness that we have to consider is clearly human goodness, since the good or happiness which we set out to seek was human good and human happiness. But human goodness means in our view excellence of soul, not excellence of body;
Now if there is any gift of the gods to men, it is reasonable that happiness should be god-given, and most surely god-given of all human things inasmuch as it is the best. But this question would perhaps be more appropriate to another inquiry; happiness seems, however, even if it is not god-sent but comes as a result of virtue and some process of learning and training, to be among the most god-like things; for that which is the prize and end of virtue seems to be the best thing in the world, and something god-like and blessed.
Also our fellow competitors, who are indeed the people just mentioned - we do not compete with men who lived a hundred centuries ago, or those yet not born, or the dead, or those who dwell near the Pillars of Hercules, or those whom, in our opinion or that of others, we take to be far below us or far above us. So too we compete with those who follow the same ends as ourselves; we compete with our rivals in sport or in love, and generally with those who are after the same things; and it is therefore these whom we are bound to envy beyond all others. Hence the saying:
Even when laws have been written down, they ought not always to remain unaltered. As in other sciences, so in politics, it is impossible that all things should be precisely set down in writing; for enactments must be universal, but actions are concerned with particulars. Hence we infer that sometimes and in certain cases laws may be changed;
At first he who invented any art that went beyond the common perceptions of man was naturally admired by men, not only because there was something useful in the inventions, but because he was thought wise and superior to the rest. But as more arts were invented, and some were directed to the necessities of life, others to its recreation, the inventors of the latter were always regarded as wiser than the inventors of the former, because their branches of knowledge did not aim at utility.
There is more evidence to prove that saltness [of the sea] is due to the admixture of some substance, besides that which we have adduced. Make a vessel of wax and put it in the sea, fastening its mouth in such a way as to prevent any water getting in. Then the water that percolates through the wax sides of the vessel is sweet, the earthy stuff, the admixture of which makes the water salt, being separated off as it were by a filter.
Nature does nothing without a purpose. In children may be observed the traces and seeds of what will one day be settled psychological habits, though psychologically a child hardly differs for the time being from an animal.
The saying of Protagoras is like the views we have mentioned; he said that man is the measure of all things, meaning simply that that which seems to each man assuredly is. If this is so, it follows that the same thing both is and is not, and is bad and good, and that the contents of all other opposite statements are true, because often a particular thing appears beautiful to some and ugly to others, and that which appears to each man is the measure
The same thing may have all the kinds of causes, e.g. the moving cause of a house is the art or the builder, the final cause is the function it fulfils, the matter is earth and stones, and the form is the definitory formula.
Since we think we understand when we know the explanation, and there are four types of explanation (one, what it is to be a thing; one, that if certain things hold it is necessary that this does; another, what initiated the change; and fourth, the aim), all these are proved through the middle term.
For any two portions of fire, small or great, will exhibit the same ratio of solid to void; but the upward movement of the greater is quicker than that of the less, just as the downward movement of a mass of gold or lead, or of any other body endowed with weight, is quicker in proportion to its size.
And this activity alone would seem to be loved for its own sake; for nothing arises from it apart from the contemplating, while from practical activities we gain more or less apart from the action. And happiness is thought to depend on leisure; for we are busy that we may have leisure, and make war that we may live in peace.
Should a man live underground, and there converse with the works of art and mechanism, and should afterwards be brought up into the open day, and see the several glories of the heaven and earth, he would immediately pronounce them the work of such a Being as we define God to be.
Most persons think that a state in order to be happy ought to be large; but even if they are right, they have no idea of what is a large and what a small state.... To the size of states there is a limit, as there is to other things, plants, animals, implements; for none of these retain their natural power when they are too large or too small, but they either wholly lose their nature, or are spoiled.
In practical matters the end is not mere speculative knowledge of what is to be done, but rather the doing of it. It is not enough to know about Virtue, then, but we must endeavor to possess it, and to use it, or to take any other steps that may make.
Everything that depends on the action of nature is by nature as good as it can be, and similarly everything that depends on art or any rational cause, and especially if it depends on the best of all causes.
I call that law universal, which is conformable merely to dictates of nature; for there does exist naturally an universal sense of right and wrong, which, in a certain degree, all intuitively divine, even should no intercourse with each other, nor any compact have existed.
It would then be most admirably adapted to the purposes of justice, if laws properly enacted were, as far as circumstances admitted, of themselves to mark out all cases, and to abandon as few as possible to the discretion of the judge.
Moral virtue is ... a mean between two vices, that of excess and that of defect, and ... it is no small task to hit the mean in each case, as it is not, for example, any chance comer, but only the geometer, who can find the center of a given circle.
One citizen differs from another, but the salvation of the community is the common business of them all. This community is the constitution; the virtue of the citizen must therefore be relative to the constitution of which he is a member.
Any change of government which has to be introduced should be one which men, starting from their existing constitutions, will be both willing and able to adopt, since there is quite as much trouble in the reformation of an old constitution as in the establishment of a new one, just as to unlearn is as hard as to learn.
The laws are, and ought to be, relative to the constitution, and not the constitution to the laws. A constitution is the organization of offices in a state, and determines what is to be the governing body, and what is the end of each community. But laws are not to be confounded with the principles of the constitution; they are the rules according to which the magistrates should administer the state, and proceed against offenders.
If what was said in the Ethics is true, that the happy life is the life according to virtue lived without impediment, and that virtue is a mean, then the life which is in a mean, and in a mean attainable by every one, must be the best. And the same principles of virtue and vice are characteristic of cities and of constitutions; for the constitution is in a figure the life of the city.
The citizens begin by giving up some part of the constitution, and so with greater ease the government change something else which is a little more important, until they have undermined the whole fabric of the state.
In the first place, then, men should guard against the beginning of change, and in the second place they should not rely upon the political devices of which I have already spoken invented only to deceive the people, for they are proved by experience to be useless.
That which most contributes to the permanence of constitutions is the adaptation of education to the form of government, and yet in our own day this principle is universally neglected. The best laws, though sanctioned by every citizen of the state, will be of no avail unless the young are trained by habit and education in the spirit of the constitution.
Democracy appears to be safer and less liable to revolution than oligarchy. For in oligarchies there is the double danger of the oligarchs falling out among themselves and also with the people; but in democracies there is only the danger of a quarrel with the oligarchs. No dissension worth mentioning arises among the people themselves. And we may further remark that a government which is composed of the middle class more nearly approximates to democracy than to oligarchy, and is the safest of the imperfect forms of government.
Inasmuch as every family is a part of a state, and these relationships are the parts of a family, and the virtue of the part must have regard to the virtue of the whole, women and children must be trained by education with an eye to the constitution, if the virtues of either of them are supposed to make any difference in the virtues of the state. And they must make a difference: for the children grow up to be citizens, and half the free persons in a state are women.
Special care should be taken of the health of the inhabitants, which will depend chiefly on the healthiness of the locality and of the quarter to which they are exposed, and secondly on the use of pure water; this latter point is by no means a secondary consideration. For the elements which we use the most and oftenest for the support of the body contribute most to health, and among those are water and air. Wherefore, in all wise states, if there is want of pure water, and the supply is not all equally good, the drinking water ought to be separated from that which is used for other purposes.
Men must be able to engage in business and go to war, but leisure and peace are better; they must do what is necessary and indeed what is useful, but what is honorable is better. On such principles children and persons of every age which requires education should be trained.
Women who are with child should be careful of themselves; they should take exercise and have a nourishing diet. The first of these prescriptions the legislator will easily carry into effect by requiring that they should take a walk daily to some temple, where they can worship the gods who preside over birth. Their minds, however, unlike their bodies, they ought to keep quiet, for the offspring derive their natures from their mothers as plants do from earth.
Youth should be kept strangers to all that is bad, and especially to things which suggest vice or hate. When the five years have passed away, during the two following years they must look on at the pursuits which they are hereafter to learn. There are two periods of life with reference to which education has to be divided, from seven to the age of puberty, and onwards to the age of one and twenty.
Since the whole city has one end, it is manifest that education should be one and the same for all, and that it should be public, and not private - not as at present, when every one looks after his own children separately, and gives them separate instruction of the sort which he thinks best; the training in things which are of common interest should be the same for all. Neither must we suppose that any one of the citizens belongs to himself, for they all belong to the state, and are each of them a part of the state, and the care of each part is inseparable from the care of the whole.
That education should be regulated by law and should be an affair of state is not to be denied, but what should be the character of this public education, and how young persons should be educated, are questions which remain to be considered. As things are, there is disagreement about the subjects. For mankind are by no means agreed about the things to be taught, whether we look to virtue or the best life. Neither is it clear whether education is more concerned with intellectual or with moral virtue.
Nature herself, as has been often said, requires that we should be able, not only to work well, but to use leisure well; for, as I must repeat once again, the first principle of all action is leisure. Both are required, but leisure is better than occupation and is its end.
There are branches of learning and education which we must study merely with a view to leisure spent in intellectual activity, and these are to be valued for their own sake; whereas those kinds of knowledge which are useful in business are to be deemed necessary, and exist for the sake of other things.
It has been well said that 'he who has never learned to obey cannot be a good commander.' The two are not the same, but the good citizen ought to be capable of both; he should know how to govern like a freeman, and how to obey like a freeman - these are the virtues of a citizen.
Whereas happiness is the highest good, being a realization and perfect practice of virtue, which some can attain, while others have little or none of it, the various qualities of men are clearly the reason why there are various kinds of states and many forms of government; for different men seek after happiness in different ways and by different means, and so make for themselves different modes of life and forms of government.
Those who merely possess the goods of fortune may be haughty and insolent; . . . they try to imitate the great-souled man without being really like him, and only copy him in what they can, reproducing his contempt for others but not his virtuous conduct. For the great-souled man is justified in despising other people - his estimates are correct; but most proud men have no good ground for their pride.
When we look at the matter from another point of view, great caution would seem to be required. For the habit of lightly changing the laws is an evil, and, when the advantage is small, some errors both of lawgivers and rulers had better be left; the citizen will not gain so much by making the change as he will lose by the habit of disobedience.
The soul has two parts, one rational and the other irrational. Let us now similarly divide the rational part, and let it be assumed that there are two rational faculties, one whereby we contemplate those things whose first principles are invariable, and one whereby we contemplate those things which admit of variation.
These two rational faculties may be designated the Scientific Faculty and the Calculative Faculty respectively; since calculation is the same as deliberation, and deliberation is never exercised about things that are invariable, so that the Calculative Faculty is a separate part of the rational half of the soul.
The virtue of a faculty is related to the special function which that faculty performs. Now there are three elements in the soul which control action and the attainment of truth: namely, Sensation, Intellect, and Desire. Of these, Sensation never originates action, as is shown by the fact that animals have sensation but are not capable of action.
Now the soul of man is divided into two parts, one of which has a rational principle in itself, and the other, not having a rational principle in itself, is able to obey such a principle. And we call a man in any way good because he has the virtues of these two parts.
The virtues [moral excellence] therefore are engendered in us neither by nature nor yet in violation of nature; nature gives us the capacity to receive them, and this capacity is brought to maturity by habit.
If then, as we say, good craftsmen look to the mean as they work, and if virtue, like nature, is more accurate and better than any form of art, it will follow that virtue has the quality of hitting the mean. I refer to moral virtue [not intellectual], for this is concerned with emotions and actions, in which one can have excess or deficiency or a due mean.
Not every action or emotion however admits of the observance of a due mean. Indeed the very names of some directly imply evil, for instance malice, shamelessness, envy, and, of actions, adultery, theft, murder. All these and similar actions and feelings are blamed as being bad in themselves; it is not the excess or deficiency of them that we blame. It is impossible therefore ever to go right in regard to them - one must always be wrong;
Moral virtue is a mean . . . between two vices, one of excess and the other of defect; . . . it is such a mean because it aims at hitting the middle point in feelings and in actions. This is why it is a hard task to be good, for it is hard to find the middle point in anything.
Virtue also depends on ourselves. And so also does vice. For where we are free to act we are also free to refrain from acting, and where we are able to say No we are also able to say Yes; if therefore we are responsible for doing a thing when to do it right, we are also responsible for not doing it when not to do it is wrong, and if we are responsible for rightly not doing a thing, we are also responsible for wrongly doing it.
Our virtues are voluntary (and in fact we are in a sense ourselves partly the cause of our moral dispositions, and it is our having a certain character that makes us set up an end of a certain kind), it follows that our vices are voluntary also; they are voluntary in the same manner as our virtues.
Greatness of Soul seems therefore to be as it were a crowning ornament of the virtues; it enhances their greatness, and it cannot exist without them. Hence it is hard to be truly great-souled, for greatness of soul is impossible without moral nobility.
Of cases where a man is truthful both in speech and conduct when no considerations of honesty come in, from an habitual sincerity of disposition. Such sincerity may be esteemed a moral excellence; for the lover of truth, who is truthful even when nothing depends on it, will a fortiori be truthful when some interest is at stake, since having all along avoided falsehood for its own sake, he will assuredly avoid it when it is morally base; and this is a disposition that we praise.
Prudence as well as Moral Virtue determines the complete performance of a man's proper function: Virtue ensures the rightness of the end we aim at, Prudence ensures the rightness of the means we adopt to gain that end.
[the virtues] cannot exist without Prudence. A proof of this is that everyone, even at the present day, in defining Virtue, after saying what disposition it is [i.e. moral virtue] and specifying the things with which it is concerned, adds that it is a disposition determined by the right principle; and the right principle is the principle determined by Prudence.
One kind of justice is that which is manifested in distributions of honour or money or the other things that fall to be divided among those who have a share in the constitution ... and another kind is that which plays a rectifying part in transactions.
Excellence or virtue is a settled disposition of the mind that determines our choice of actions and emotions and consists essentially in observing the mean relative to us ... a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.
The Good of man is the active exercise of his soul's faculties in conformity with excellence or virtue, or if there be several human excellences or virtues, in conformity with the best and most perfect among them.
So virtue is a purposive disposition, lying in a mean that is relative to us and determined by a rational principle, and by that which a prudent man would use to determine it. It is a mean between two kinds of vice, one of excess and the other of deficiency...
It [Justice] is complete virtue in the fullest sense, because it is the active exercise of complete virtue; and it is complete because its possessor can exercise it in relation to another person, and not only by himself.
Happiness, then, is co-extensive with contemplation, and the more people contemplate, the happier they are; not incidentally, but in virtue of their contemplation, because it is in itself precious. Thus happiness is a form of contemplation.
It makes no difference whether a good man has defrauded a bad man, or a bad man defrauded a good man, or whether a good or bad man has committed adultery: the law can look only to the amount of damage done.
Tragedy is an imitation not only of a complete action, but of events inspiring fear and pity. Such an effect is best produced when the events come on us by surprise; and the effect is heightened when, at the same time, they follow as cause and effect. The tragic wonder will then be great than if they happened of themselves or by accident; for even coincidences are most striking when they have an air of design.
Those whose days are consumed in the low pursuits of avarice, or the gaudy frivolties of fashion, unobservant of nature's lovelinessof demarcation, nor on which side thereof an intermediate form should lie.
It has been handed down in mythical form from earliest times to posterity, that there are gods, and that the divine (Deity) compasses all nature. All beside this has been added, after the mythical style, for the purpose of persuading the multitude, and for the interests of the laws, and the advantage of the state.
And what has come to prevail in democracies is the very reverse of beneficial, in those, that is, which are regarded as the most democratically run. The reason for this lies in the failure properly to define liberty. For there are two marks by which democracy is thought to be defined: "sovereignty of the majority" and "liberty." "Just" is equated with what is equal, and the decision of the majority as to what is equal is regarded as sovereign; and liberty is seen in terms of doing what one wants.
Property should be in a general sense common, but as a general rule private... In well-ordered states, although every man has his own property, some things he will place at the disposal of his friends, while of others he shares the use of them.
The first essential responsibility of the state is control of the market-place: there must be some official charged with the duty of seeing that honest dealing and good order prevail. For one of the well-nigh essential activities of all states is the buying and selling of goods to meet their mutual basic needs; this is the quickest way to self-sufficiency, which seems to be what moves men to combine under a single constitution.
Tools may be animate as well as inanimate; for instance, a ship's captain uses a lifeless rudder, but a living man for watch; for a servant is, from the point of view of his craft, categorized as one of its tools. So any piece of property can be regarded as a tool enabling a man to live, and his property is an assemblage of such tools; a slave is a sort of living piece of property; and like any other servant is a tool in charge of other tools.
The happy man . . . will be always or at least most often employed in doing and contemplating the things that are in conformity with virtue. And he will bear changes of fortunes most nobly, and with perfect propriety in every way.
Happiness is a thing honored and perfect. This seems to be borne out by the fact that it is a first principle or starting-point, since all other things that all men do are done for its sake; and that which is the first principle and cause of things good we agree to be something honorable and divine.
Happiness is essentially perfect; so that the happy man requires in addition the goods of the body, external goods and the gifts of fortune, in order that his activity may not be impeded through lack of them.
It must not be supposed that happiness will demand many or great possessions; for self-sufficiency does not depend on excessive abundance, nor does moral conduct, and it is possible to perform noble deeds even without being ruler of land and sea: one can do virtuous acts with quite moderate resources. This may be clearly observed in experience: private citizens do not seem to be less but more given to doing virtuous actions than princes and potentates. It is sufficient then if moderate resources are forthcoming; for a life of virtuous activity will be essentially a happy life.
Although it may be difficult in theory to know what is just and equal, the practical difficulty of inducing those to forbear who can, if they like, encroach, is far greater, for the weaker are always asking for equality and justice, but the stronger care for none of these things.
Every man should be responsible to others, nor should any one be allowed to do just as he pleases; for where absolute freedom is allowed, there is nothing to restrain the evil which is inherent in every man.
All are agreed that the various moral qualities are in a sense bestowed by nature: we are just, and capable of temperance, and brave, and possessed of the other virtues from the moment of our birth. But nevertheless we expect to find that true goodness is something different, and that the virtues in the true sense come to belong to us in another way. For even children and wild animals possess the natural dispositions, yet without Intelligence these may manifestly be harmful.
Both Self-restraint and Unrestraint are a matter of extremes as compared with the character of the mass of mankind; the restrained man shows more and the unrestrained man less steadfastness than most men are capable of.
As the pleasures of the body are the ones which we most often meet with, and as all men are capable of these, these have usurped the family title; and some men think these are the only pleasures that exist, because they are the only ones which they know.
All men, or most men, wish what is noble but choose what is profitable; and while it is noble to render a service not with an eye to receiving one in return, it is profitable to receive one. One ought therefore, if one can, to return the equivalent of services received, and to do so willingly; for one ought not to make a man one's friend if one is unwilling to return his favors.