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Ἠθικὰ Νικομάχεια

[ed. J. Bywater, Aristotle's Ethica Nicomachea. Oxford, 1894]

translated by William David Ross
Clarendon Press 1908

Βιβλίο III, 3-5

  3. The nature of deliberation and its objects: choice is the deliberate desire of things in our own power.
βουλεύονται δὲ πότερον περὶ πάντων, καὶ πᾶν βουλευτόν ἐστιν, ἢ περὶ ἐνίων οὐκ ἔστι βουλή; λεκτέον δ᾽ ἴσως βουλευτὸν (20) οὐχ ὑπὲρ οὗ βουλεύσαιτ᾽ ἄν τις ἠλίθιος ἢ μαινόμενος, ἀλλ᾽ ὑπὲρ ὧν ὁ νοῦν ἔχων.     Do we deliberate about everything, and is everything a possible subject of deliberation, or is deliberation impossible about some things? We ought presumably to call not what a fool or a madman would deliberate about, but what a sensible man would deliberate about, a subject of deliberation.
περὶ δὴ τῶν ἀιδίων οὐδεὶς βουλεύεται, οἷον περὶ τοῦ κόσμου ἢ τῆς διαμέτρου καὶ τῆς πλευρᾶς, ὅτι ἀσύμμετροι. Now about eternal things no one deliberates, e.g. about the material universe or the incommensurability of the diagonal and the side of a square.
ἀλλ᾽ οὐδὲ περὶ τῶν ἐν κινήσει, ἀεὶ δὲ κατὰ ταὐτὰ γινομένων, εἴτ᾽ ἐξ ἀνάγκης εἴτε καὶ (25) φύσει ἢ διά τινα αἰτίαν ἄλλην, οἷον τροπῶν καὶ ἀνατολῶν. οὐδὲ περὶ τῶν ἄλλοτε ἄλλως, οἷον αὐχμῶν καὶ ὄμβρων. οὐδὲ περὶ τῶν ἀπὸ τύχης, οἷον θησαυροῦ εὑρέσεως. But no more do we deliberate about the things that involve movement but always happen in the same way, whether of necessity or by nature or from any other cause, e.g. the solstices and the risings of the stars; nor about things that happen now in one way, now in another, e.g. droughts and rains; nor about chance events, like the finding of treasure.
ἀλλ᾽ οὐδὲ περὶ τῶν ἀνθρωπίνων ἁπάντων, οἷον πῶς ἂν Σκύθαι ἄριστα πολιτεύοιντο οὐδεὶς Λακεδαιμονίων βουλεύεται. (30) οὐ γὰρ γένοιτ᾽ ἂν τούτων οὐθὲν δι᾽ ἡμῶν. But we do not deliberate even about all human affairs; for instance, no Spartan deliberates about the best constitution for the Scythians. For none of these things can be brought about by our own efforts.
βουλευόμεθα δὲ περὶ τῶν ἐφ᾽ ἡμῖν καὶ πρακτῶν· ταῦτα δὲ καὶ ἔστι λοιπά. αἰτίαι γὰρ δοκοῦσιν εἶναι φύσις καὶ ἀνάγκη καὶ τύχη, ἔτι δὲ νοῦς καὶ πᾶν τὸ δι᾽ ἀνθρώπου. τῶν δ᾽ ἀνθρώπων ἕκαστοι βουλεύονται περὶ τῶν δι᾽ αὑτῶν πρακτῶν.     We deliberate about things that are in our power and can be done; and these are in fact what is left. For nature, necessity, and chance are thought to be causes, and also reason and everything that depends on man. Now every class of men deliberates about the things that can be done by their own efforts.
[1112b] (1) καὶ περὶ μὲν τὰς ἀκριβεῖς καὶ αὐτάρκεις τῶν ἐπιστημῶν οὐκ ἔστι βουλή, οἷον περὶ γραμμάτων (οὐ γὰρ διστάζομεν πῶς γραπτέον)· ἀλλ᾽ ὅσα γίνεται δι᾽ ἡμῶν, μὴ ὡσαύτως δ᾽ ἀεί, περὶ τούτων βουλευόμεθα, οἷον περὶ τῶν κατ᾽ ἰατρικὴν καὶ χρηματιστικήν, (5) καὶ περὶ κυβερνητικὴν μᾶλλον ἢ γυμναστικήν, ὅσῳ ἧττον διηκρίβωται, καὶ ἔτι περὶ τῶν λοιπῶν ὁμοίως, μᾶλλον δὲ καὶ περὶ τὰς τέχνας ἢ τὰς ἐπιστήμας· μᾶλλον γὰρ περὶ ταύτας διστάζομεν. And in the case of exact and self-contained sciences there is no deliberation, e.g. about the letters of the alphabet (for we have no doubt how they should be written); but the things that are brought about by our own efforts, but not always in the same way, are the things about which we deliberate, e.g. questions of medical treatment or of money-making. And we do so more in the case of the art of navigation than in that of gymnastics, inasmuch as it has been less exactly worked out, and again about other things in the same ratio, and more also in the case of the arts than in that of the sciences; for we have more doubt about the former.
τὸ βουλεύεσθαι δὲ ἐν τοῖς ὡς ἐπὶ τὸ πολύ, ἀδήλοις δὲ πῶς ἀποβήσεται, καὶ ἐν οἷς ἀδιόριστον. Deliberation is concerned with things that happen in a certain way for the most part, but in which the event is obscure, and with things in which it is indeterminate.
(10) συμβούλους δὲ παραλαμβάνομεν εἰς τὰ μεγάλα, ἀπιστοῦντες ἡμῖν αὐτοῖς ὡς οὐχ ἱκανοῖς διαγνῶναι. We call in others to aid us in deliberation on important questions, distrusting ourselves as not being equal to deciding.
βουλευόμεθα δ᾽ οὐ περὶ τῶν τελῶν ἀλλὰ περὶ τῶν πρὸς τὰ τέλη. οὔτε γὰρ ἰατρὸς βουλεύεται εἰ ὑγιάσει, οὔτε ῥήτωρ εἰ πείσει, οὔτε πολιτικὸς εἰ εὐνομίαν ποιήσει, οὐδὲ τῶν λοιπῶν οὐδεὶς (15) περὶ τοῦ τέλους· ἀλλὰ θέμενοι τὸ τέλος τὸ πῶς καὶ διὰ τίνων ἔσται σκοποῦσι· καὶ διὰ πλειόνων μὲν φαινομένου γίνεσθαι διὰ τίνος ῥᾷστα καὶ κάλλιστα ἐπισκοποῦσι, δι᾽ ἑνὸς δ᾽ ἐπιτελουμένου πῶς διὰ τούτου ἔσται κἀκεῖνο διὰ τίνος, ἕως ἂν ἔλθωσιν ἐπὶ τὸ πρῶτον αἴτιον, ὃ ἐν τῇ εὑρέσει ἔσχατόν (20) ἐστιν.     We deliberate not about ends but about means. For a doctor does not deliberate whether he shall heal, nor an orator whether he shall persuade, nor a statesman whether he shall produce law and order, nor does any one else deliberate about his end. They assume the end and consider how and by what means it is to be attained; and if it seems to be produced by several means they consider by which it is most easily and best produced, while if it is achieved by one only they consider how it will be achieved by this and by what means this will be achieved, till they come to the first cause, which in the order of discovery is last.
ὁ γὰρ βουλευόμενος ἔοικε ζητεῖν καὶ ἀναλύειν τὸν εἰρημένον τρόπον ὥσπερ διάγραμμα (φαίνεται δ᾽ ἡ μὲν ζήτησις οὐ πᾶσα εἶναι βούλευσις, οἷον αἱ μαθηματικαί, ἡ δὲ βούλευσις πᾶσα ζήτησις), καὶ τὸ ἔσχατον ἐν τῇ ἀναλύσει πρῶτον εἶναι ἐν τῇ γενέσει. For the person who deliberates seems to investigate and analyse in the way described as though he were analysing a geometrical construction (not all investigation appears to be deliberation- for instance mathematical investigations- but all deliberation is investigation), and what is last in the order of analysis seems to be first in the order of becoming.
κἂν μὲν ἀδυνάτῳ ἐντύχωσιν, (25) ἀφίστανται, οἷον εἰ χρημάτων δεῖ, ταῦτα δὲ μὴ οἷόν τε πορισθῆναι· ἐὰν δὲ δυνατὸν φαίνηται, ἐγχειροῦσι πράττειν. And if we come on an impossibility, we give up the search, e.g. if we need money and this cannot be got; but if a thing appears possible we try to do it.
δυνατὰ δὲ ἃ δι᾽ ἡμῶν γένοιτ᾽ ἄν· τὰ γὰρ διὰ τῶν φίλων δι᾽ ἡμῶν πως ἐστίν· ἡ γὰρ ἀρχὴ ἐν ἡμῖν. By 'possible' things I mean things that might be brought about by our own efforts; and these in a sense include things that can be brought about by the efforts of our friends, since the moving principle is in ourselves.
ζητεῖται δ᾽ ὁτὲ μὲν τὰ ὄργανα ὁτὲ δ᾽ ἡ χρεία αὐτῶν· (30) ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ ἐν τοῖς λοιποῖς ὁτὲ μὲν δι᾽ οὗ ὁτὲ δὲ πῶς ἢ διὰ τίνος. The subject of investigation is sometimes the instruments, sometimes the use of them; and similarly in the other cases- sometimes the means, sometimes the mode of using it or the means of bringing it about.
ἔοικε δή, καθάπερ εἴρηται, ἄνθρωπος εἶναι ἀρχὴ τῶν πράξεων· ἡ δὲ βουλὴ περὶ τῶν αὑτῷ πρακτῶν, αἱ δὲ πράξεις ἄλλων ἕνεκα. It seems, then, as has been said, that man is a moving principle of actions; now deliberation is about the things to be done by the agent himself, and actions are for the sake of things other than themselves.
οὐ γὰρ ἂν εἴη βουλευτὸν τὸ τέλος ἀλλὰ τὰ πρὸς τὰ τέλη· οὐδὲ δὴ τὰ καθ᾽ ἕκαστα, [1113a] (1) οἷον εἰ ἄρτος τοῦτο ἢ πέπεπται ὡς δεῖ· αἰσθήσεως γὰρ ταῦτα. For the end cannot be a subject of deliberation, but only the means; nor indeed can the particular facts be a subject of it, as whether this is bread or has been baked as it should; for these are matters of perception.
εἰ δὲ ἀεὶ βουλεύσεται, εἰς ἄπειρον ἥξει. If we are to be always deliberating, we shall have to go on to infinity.
βουλευτὸν δὲ καὶ προαιρετὸν τὸ αὐτό, πλὴν ἀφωρισμένον ἤδη τὸ προαιρετόν· τὸ γὰρ ἐκ τῆς βουλῆς κριθὲν προαιρετόν (5) ἐστιν.     The same thing is deliberated upon and is chosen, except that the object of choice is already determinate, since it is that which has been decided upon as a result of deliberation that is the object of choice.
παύεται γὰρ ἕκαστος ζητῶν πῶς πράξει, ὅταν εἰς αὑτὸν ἀναγάγῃ τὴν ἀρχήν, καὶ αὑτοῦ εἰς τὸ ἡγούμενον· τοῦτο γὰρ τὸ προαιρούμενον. For every one ceases to inquire how he is to act when he has brought the moving principle back to himself and to the ruling part of himself; for this is what chooses.
δῆλον δὲ τοῦτο καὶ ἐκ τῶν ἀρχαίων πολιτειῶν, ἃς Ὅμηρος ἐμιμεῖτο· οἱ γὰρ βασιλεῖς ἃ προείλοντο ἀνήγγελλον τῷ δήμῳ. This is plain also from the ancient constitutions, which Homer represented; for the kings announced their choices to the people.
ὄντος δὲ τοῦ (10) προαιρετοῦ βουλευτοῦ ὀρεκτοῦ τῶν ἐφ᾽ ἡμῖν, καὶ ἡ προαίρεσις ἂν εἴη βουλευτικὴ ὄρεξις τῶν ἐφ᾽ ἡμῖν· ἐκ τοῦ βουλεύσασθαι γὰρ κρίναντες ὀρεγόμεθα κατὰ τὴν βούλευσιν. The object of choice being one of the things in our own power which is desired after deliberation, choice will be deliberate desire of things in our own power; for when we have decided as a result of deliberation, we desire in accordance with our deliberation.
ἡ μὲν οὖν προαίρεσις τύπῳ εἰρήσθω, καὶ περὶ ποῖά ἐστι καὶ ὅτι τῶν πρὸς τὰ τέλη.     We may take it, then, that we have described choice in outline, and stated the nature of its objects and the fact that it is concerned with means.
  4. The object of rational wish is the end, i.e. the good or the apparent good.
(15) ἡ δὲ βούλησις ὅτι μὲν τοῦ τέλους ἐστὶν εἴρηται, δοκεῖ δὲ τοῖς μὲν τἀγαθοῦ εἶναι, τοῖς δὲ τοῦ φαινομένου ἀγαθοῦ.     That wish is for the end has already been stated; some think it is for the good, others for the apparent good.
συμβαίνει δὲ τοῖς μὲν [τὸ] βουλητὸν τἀγαθὸν λέγουσι μὴ εἶναι βουλητὸν ὃ βούλεται ὁ μὴ ὀρθῶς αἱρούμενος (εἰ γὰρ ἔσται βουλητόν, καὶ ἀγαθόν· ἦν δ᾽, εἰ οὕτως ἔτυχε, κακόν), (20) τοῖς δ᾽ αὖ τὸ φαινόμενον ἀγαθὸν βουλητὸν λέγουσι μὴ εἶναι φύσει βουλητόν, ἀλλ᾽ ἑκάστῳ τὸ δοκοῦν· ἄλλο δ᾽ ἄλλῳ φαίνεται, καὶ εἰ οὕτως ἔτυχε, τἀναντία. Now those who say that the good is the object of wish must admit in consequence that that which the man who does not choose aright wishes for is not an object of wish (for if it is to be so, it must also be good; but it was, if it so happened, bad); while those who say the apparent good is the object of wish must admit that there is no natural object of wish, but only what seems good to each man. Now different things appear good to different people, and, if it so happens, even contrary things.
εἰ δὲ δὴ ταῦτα μὴ ἀρέσκει, ἆρα φατέον ἁπλῶς μὲν καὶ κατ᾽ ἀλήθειαν βουλητὸν εἶναι τἀγαθόν, ἑκάστῳ δὲ τὸ φαινόμενον; (25) τῷ μὲν οὖν σπουδαίῳ τὸ κατ᾽ ἀλήθειαν εἶναι, τῷ δὲ φαύλῳ τὸ τυχόν, ὥσπερ καὶ ἐπὶ τῶν σωμάτων τοῖς μὲν εὖ διακειμένοις ὑγιεινά ἐστι τὰ κατ᾽ ἀλήθειαν τοιαῦτα ὄντα, τοῖς δ᾽ ἐπινόσοις ἕτερα, ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ πικρὰ καὶ γλυκέα καὶ θερμὰ καὶ βαρέα καὶ τῶν ἄλλων ἕκαστα· ὁ σπουδαῖος γὰρ (30) ἕκαστα κρίνει ὀρθῶς, καὶ ἐν ἑκάστοις τἀληθὲς αὐτῷ φαίνεται.     If these consequences are unpleasing, are we to say that absolutely and in truth the good is the object of wish, but for each person the apparent good; that that which is in truth an object of wish is an object of wish to the good man, while any chance thing may be so the bad man, as in the case of bodies also the things that are in truth wholesome are wholesome for bodies which are in good condition, while for those that are diseased other things are wholesome- or bitter or sweet or hot or heavy, and so on; since the good man judges each class of things rightly, and in each the truth appears to him?
καθ᾽ ἑκάστην γὰρ ἕξιν ἴδιά ἐστι καλὰ καὶ ἡδέα, καὶ διαφέρει πλεῖστον ἴσως ὁ σπουδαῖος τῷ τἀληθὲς ἐν ἑκάστοις ὁρᾶν, ὥσπερ κανὼν καὶ μέτρον αὐτῶν ὤν. For each state of character has its own ideas of the noble and the pleasant, and perhaps the good man differs from others most by seeing the truth in each class of things, being as it were the norm and measure of them.
ἐν τοῖς πολλοῖς δὲ ἡ ἀπάτη διὰ τὴν ἡδονὴν ἔοικε γίνεσθαι· οὐ γὰρ οὖσα ἀγαθὸν φαίνεται. [1113b] (1) αἱροῦνται οὖν τὸ ἡδὺ ὡς ἀγαθόν, τὴν δὲ λύπην ὡς κακὸν φεύγουσιν. In most things the error seems to be due to pleasure; for it appears a good when it is not. We therefore choose the pleasant as a good, and avoid pain as an evil.
  5. We are responsible for bad as well as for good actions.
ὄντος δὴ βουλητοῦ μὲν τοῦ τέλους, βουλευτῶν δὲ καὶ προαιρετῶν τῶν πρὸς τὸ τέλος, αἱ περὶ ταῦτα πράξεις (5) κατὰ προαίρεσιν ἂν εἶεν καὶ ἑκούσιοι. αἱ δὲ τῶν ἀρετῶν ἐνέργειαι περὶ ταῦτα. ἐφ᾽ ἡμῖν δὴ καὶ ἡ ἀρετή, ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ ἡ κακία.     The end, then, being what we wish for, the means what we deliberate about and choose, actions concerning means must be according to choice and voluntary. Now the exercise of the virtues is concerned with means. Therefore virtue also is in our own power, and so too vice.
ἐν οἷς γὰρ ἐφ᾽ ἡμῖν τὸ πράττειν, καὶ τὸ μὴ πράττειν, καὶ ἐν οἷς τὸ μή, καὶ τὸ ναί· ὥστ᾽ εἰ τὸ πράττειν καλὸν ὂν ἐφ᾽ ἡμῖν ἐστί, καὶ τὸ μὴ πράττειν ἐφ᾽ ἡμῖν (10) ἔσται αἰσχρὸν ὄν, καὶ εἰ τὸ μὴ πράττειν καλὸν ὂν ἐφ᾽ ἡμῖν, καὶ τὸ πράττειν αἰσχρὸν ὂν ἐφ᾽ ἡμῖν. For where it is in our power to act it is also in our power not to act, and vice versa; so that, if to act, where this is noble, is in our power, not to act, which will be base, will also be in our power, and if not to act, where this is noble, is in our power, to act, which will be base, will also be in our power.
εἰ δ᾽ ἐφ᾽ ἡμῖν τὰ καλὰ πράττειν καὶ τὰ αἰσχρά, ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ τὸ μὴ πράττειν, τοῦτο δ᾽ ἦν τὸ ἀγαθοῖς καὶ κακοῖς εἶναι, ἐφ᾽ ἡμῖν ἄρα τὸ ἐπιεικέσι καὶ φαύλοις εἶναι. Now if it is in our power to do noble or base acts, and likewise in our power not to do them, and this was what being good or bad meant, then it is in our power to be virtuous or vicious.
τὸ δὲ λέγειν ὡς οὐδεὶς ἑκὼν (15) πονηρὸς οὐδ᾽ ἄκων μακάριος ἔοικε τὸ μὲν ψευδεῖ τὸ δ᾽ ἀληθεῖ· μακάριος μὲν γὰρ οὐδεὶς ἄκων, ἡ δὲ μοχθηρία ἑκούσιον.     The saying that 'no one is voluntarily wicked nor involuntarily happy' seems to be partly false and partly true; for no one is involuntarily happy, but wickedness is voluntary.
ἢ τοῖς γε νῦν εἰρημένοις ἀμφισβητητέον, καὶ τὸν ἄνθρωπον οὐ φατέον ἀρχὴν εἶναι οὐδὲ γεννητὴν τῶν πράξεων ὥσπερ καὶ τέκνων. Or else we shall have to dispute what has just been said, at any rate, and deny that man is a moving principle or begetter of his actions as of children.
εἰ δὲ ταῦτα φαίνεται καὶ μὴ ἔχομεν (20) εἰς ἄλλας ἀρχὰς ἀναγαγεῖν παρὰ τὰς ἐν ἡμῖν, ὧν καὶ αἱ ἀρχαὶ ἐν ἡμῖν, καὶ αὐτὰ ἐφ᾽ ἡμῖν καὶ ἑκούσια. But if these facts are evident and we cannot refer actions to moving principles other than those in ourselves, the acts whose moving principles are in us must themselves also be in our power and voluntary.
τούτοις δ᾽ ἔοικε μαρτυρεῖσθαι καὶ ἰδίᾳ ὑφ᾽ ἑκάστων καὶ ὑπ᾽ αὐτῶν τῶν νομοθετῶν· κολάζουσι γὰρ καὶ τιμωροῦνται τοὺς δρῶντας μοχθηρά, ὅσοι μὴ βίᾳ ἢ δι᾽ ἄγνοιαν ἧς μὴ αὐτοὶ (25) αἴτιοι, τοὺς δὲ τὰ καλὰ πράττοντας τιμῶσιν, ὡς τοὺς μὲν προτρέψοντες τοὺς δὲ κωλύσοντες.     Witness seems to be borne to this both by individuals in their private capacity and by legislators themselves; for these punish and take vengeance on those who do wicked acts (unless they have acted under compulsion or as a result of ignorance for which they are not themselves responsible), while they honour those who do noble acts, as though they meant to encourage the latter and deter the former.
καίτοι ὅσα μήτ᾽ ἐφ᾽ ἡμῖν ἐστὶ μήθ᾽ ἑκούσια, οὐδεὶς προτρέπεται πράττειν, ὡς οὐδὲν πρὸ ἔργου ὂν τὸ πεισθῆναι μὴ θερμαίνεσθαι ἢ ἀλγεῖν ἢ πεινῆν ἢ ἄλλ᾽ ὁτιοῦν τῶν τοιούτων· οὐθὲν γὰρ ἧττον πεισόμεθα (30) αὐτά. But no one is encouraged to do the things that are neither in our power nor voluntary; it is assumed that there is no gain in being persuaded not to be hot or in pain or hungry or the like, since we shall experience these feelings none the less.
καὶ γὰρ ἐπ᾽ αὐτῷ τῷ ἀγνοεῖν κολάζουσιν, ἐὰν αἴτιος εἶναι δοκῇ τῆς ἀγνοίας, οἷον τοῖς μεθύουσι διπλᾶ τὰ ἐπιτίμια· ἡ γὰρ ἀρχὴ ἐν αὐτῷ· κύριος γὰρ τοῦ μὴ μεθυσθῆναι, τοῦτο δ᾽ αἴτιον τῆς ἀγνοίας. Indeed, we punish a man for his very ignorance, if he is thought responsible for the ignorance, as when penalties are doubled in the case of drunkenness; for the moving principle is in the man himself, since he had the power of not getting drunk and his getting drunk was the cause of his ignorance.
καὶ τοὺς ἀγνοοῦντάς τι τῶν ἐν τοῖς νόμοις, ἃ δεῖ ἐπίστασθαι καὶ μὴ χαλεπά ἐστι, [1114a] (1) κολάζουσιν, ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ ἐν τοῖς ἄλλοις, ὅσα δι᾽ ἀμέλειαν ἀγνοεῖν δοκοῦσιν, ὡς ἐπ᾽ αὐτοῖς ὂν τὸ μὴ ἀγνοεῖν· τοῦ γὰρ ἐπιμεληθῆναι κύριοι. And we punish those who are ignorant of anything in the laws that they ought to know and that is not difficult, and so too in the case of anything else that they are thought to be ignorant of through carelessness; we assume that it is in their power not to be ignorant, since they have the power of taking care.
ἀλλ᾽ ἴσως τοιοῦτός ἐστιν ὥστε μὴ ἐπιμεληθῆναι. ἀλλὰ τοῦ τοιούτους γενέσθαι αὐτοὶ αἴτιοι (5) ζῶντες ἀνειμένως, καὶ τοῦ ἀδίκους ἢ ἀκολάστους εἶναι, οἳ μὲν κακουργοῦντες, οἳ δὲ ἐν πότοις καὶ τοῖς τοιούτοις διάγοντες· αἱ γὰρ περὶ ἕκαστα ἐνέργειαι τοιούτους ποιοῦσιν.     But perhaps a man is the kind of man not to take care. Still they are themselves by their slack lives responsible for becoming men of that kind, and men make themselves responsible for being unjust or self-indulgent, in the one case by cheating and in the other by spending their time in drinking bouts and the like; for it is activities exercised on particular objects that make the corresponding character.
τοῦτο δὲ δῆλον ἐκ τῶν μελετώντων πρὸς ἡντινοῦν ἀγωνίαν ἢ πρᾶξιν· διατελοῦσι γὰρ ἐνεργοῦντες. τὸ μὲν οὖν ἀγνοεῖν ὅτι ἐκ τοῦ (10) ἐνεργεῖν περὶ ἕκαστα αἱ ἕξεις γίνονται, κομιδῇ ἀναισθήτου. This is plain from the case of people training for any contest or action; they practise the activity the whole time. Now not to know that it is from the exercise of activities on particular objects that states of character are produced is the mark of a thoroughly senseless person.
ἔτι δ᾽ ἄλογον τὸν ἀδικοῦντα μὴ βούλεσθαι ἄδικον εἶναι ἢ τὂν ἀκολασταίνοντα ἀκόλαστον. εἰ δὲ μὴ ἀγνοῶν τις πράττει ἐξ ὧν ἔσται ἄδικος, ἑκὼν ἄδικος ἂν εἴη, οὐ μὴν ἐάν γε βούληται, ἄδικος ὢν παύσεται καὶ ἔσται δίκαιος. Again, it is irrational to suppose that a man who acts unjustly does not wish to be unjust or a man who acts self-indulgently to be self-indulgent. But if without being ignorant a man does the things which will make him unjust, he will be unjust voluntarily. Yet it does not follow that if he wishes he will cease to be unjust and will be just.
οὐδὲ γὰρ (15) ὁ νοσῶν ὑγιής. καὶ εἰ οὕτως ἔτυχεν, ἑκὼν νοσεῖ, ἀκρατῶς βιοτεύων καὶ ἀπειθῶν τοῖς ἰατροῖς. τότε μὲν οὖν ἐξῆν αὐτῷ μὴ νοσεῖν, προεμένῳ δ᾽ οὐκέτι, ὥσπερ οὐδ᾽ ἀφέντι λίθον ἔτ᾽ αὐτὸν δυνατὸν ἀναλαβεῖν· ἀλλ᾽ ὅμως ἐπ᾽ αὐτῷ τὸ βαλεῖν [καὶ ῥῖψαι]· ἡ γὰρ ἀρχὴ ἐν αὐτῷ. For neither does the man who is ill become well on those terms. We may suppose a case in which he is ill voluntarily, through living incontinently and disobeying his doctors. In that case it was then open to him not to be ill, but not now, when he has thrown away his chance, just as when you have let a stone go it is too late to recover it; but yet it was in your power to throw it, since the moving principle was in you.
οὕτω δὲ καὶ τῷ ἀδίκῳ (20) καὶ τῷ ἀκολάστῳ ἐξ ἀρχῆς μὲν ἐξῆν τοιούτοις μὴ γενέσθαι, διὸ ἑκόντες εἰσίν· γενομένοις δ᾽ οὐκέτι ἔστι μὴ εἶναι. So, too, to the unjust and to the self-indulgent man it was open at the beginning not to become men of this kind, and so they are unjust and selfindulgent voluntarily; but now that they have become so it is not possible for them not to be so.
οὐ μόνον δ᾽ αἱ τῆς ψυχῆς κακίαι ἑκούσιοί εἰσιν, ἀλλ᾽ ἐνίοις καὶ αἱ τοῦ σώματος, οἷς καὶ ἐπιτιμῶμεν· τοῖς μὲν γὰρ διὰ φύσιν αἰσχροῖς οὐδεὶς ἐπιτιμᾷ, τοῖς δὲ δι᾽ ἀγυμνασίαν καὶ (25) ἀμέλειαν.     But not only are the vices of the soul voluntary, but those of the body also for some men, whom we accordingly blame; while no one blames those who are ugly by nature, we blame those who are so owing to want of exercise and care.
ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ περὶ ἀσθένειαν καὶ πήρωσιν· οὐθεὶς γὰρ ἂν ὀνειδίσειε τυφλῷ φύσει ἢ ἐκ νόσου ἢ ἐκ πληγῆς, ἀλλὰ μᾶλλον ἐλεήσαι· τῷ δ᾽ ἐξ οἰνοφλυγίας ἢ ἄλλης ἀκολασίας πᾶς ἂν ἐπιτιμήσαι. τῶν δὴ περὶ τὸ σῶμα κακιῶν αἱ ἐφ᾽ ἡμῖν ἐπιτιμῶνται, αἱ δὲ μὴ ἐφ᾽ ἡμῖν οὔ. So it is, too, with respect to weakness and infirmity; no one would reproach a man blind from birth or by disease or from a blow, but rather pity him, while every one would blame a man who was blind from drunkenness or some other form of self-indulgence. Of vices of the body, then, those in our own power are blamed, those not in our power are not.
εἰ (30) δ᾽ οὕτω, καὶ ἐπὶ τῶν ἄλλων αἱ ἐπιτιμώμεναι τῶν κακιῶν ἐφ᾽ ἡμῖν ἂν εἶεν. And if this be so, in the other cases also the vices that are blamed must be in our own power.
εἰ δέ τις λέγοι ὅτι πάντες ἐφίενται τοῦ φαινομένου ἀγαθοῦ, τῆς δὲ φαντασίας οὐ κύριοι, [1114b] (1) ἀλλ᾽ ὁποῖός ποθ᾽ ἕκαστός ἐστι, τοιοῦτο καὶ τὸ τέλος φαίνεται αὐτῷ· εἰ μὲν οὖν ἕκαστος ἑαυτῷ τῆς ἕξεώς ἐστί πως αἴτιος, καὶ τῆς φαντασίας ἔσται πως αὐτὸς αἴτιος· εἰ δὲ μή, οὐθεὶς αὑτῷ αἴτιος τοῦ κακοποιεῖν, ἀλλὰ δι᾽ ἄγνοιαν τοῦ τέλους ταῦτα (5) πράττει, διὰ τούτων οἰόμενος αὑτῷ τὸ ἄριστον ἔσεσθαι, ἡ δὲ τοῦ τέλους ἔφεσις οὐκ αὐθαίρετος, ἀλλὰ φῦναι δεῖ ὥσπερ ὄψιν ἔχοντα, ᾗ κρινεῖ καλῶς καὶ τὸ κατ᾽ ἀλήθειαν ἀγαθὸν αἱρήσεται, καὶ ἔστιν εὐφυὴς ᾧ τοῦτο καλῶς πέφυκεν· τὸ γὰρ μέγιστον καὶ κάλλιστον, καὶ ὃ παρ᾽ ἑτέρου μὴ οἷόν (10) τε λαβεῖν μηδὲ μαθεῖν, ἀλλ᾽ οἷον ἔφυ τοιοῦτον ἕξει, καὶ τὸ εὖ καὶ τὸ καλῶς τοῦτο πεφυκέναι ἡ τελεία καὶ ἀληθινὴ ἂν εἴη εὐφυΐα.     Now some one may say that all men desire the apparent good, but have no control over the appearance, but the end appears to each man in a form answering to his character. We reply that if each man is somehow responsible for his state of mind, he will also be himself somehow responsible for the appearance; but if not, no one is responsible for his own evildoing, but every one does evil acts through ignorance of the end, thinking that by these he will get what is best, and the aiming at the end is not self-chosen but one must be born with an eye, as it were, by which to judge rightly and choose what is truly good, and he is well endowed by nature who is well endowed with this. For it is what is greatest and most noble, and what we cannot get or learn from another, but must have just such as it was when given us at birth, and to be well and nobly endowed with this will be perfect and true excellence of natural endowment.
εἰ δὴ ταῦτ᾽ ἐστὶν ἀληθῆ, τί μᾶλλον ἡ ἀρετὴ τῆς κακίας ἔσται ἑκούσιον; ἀμφοῖν γὰρ ὁμοίως, τῷ ἀγαθῷ καὶ τῷ κακῷ, τὸ τέλος φύσει ἢ ὁπωσδήποτε φαίνεται (15) καὶ κεῖται, τὰ δὲ λοιπὰ πρὸς τοῦτο ἀναφέροντες πράττουσιν ὁπωσδήποτε. If this is true, then, how will virtue be more voluntary than vice? To both men alike, the good and the bad, the end appears and is fixed by nature or however it may be, and it is by referring everything else to this that men do whatever they do.
εἴτε δὴ τὸ τέλος μὴ φύσει ἑκάστῳ φαίνεται οἱονδήποτε, ἀλλά τι καὶ παρ᾽ αὐτόν ἐστιν, εἴτε τὸ μὲν τέλος φυσικόν, τῷ δὲ τὰ λοιπὰ πράττειν ἑκουσίως τὸν σπουδαῖον ἡ ἀρετὴ ἑκούσιόν ἐστιν, οὐθὲν ἧττον καὶ ἡ κακία (20) ἑκούσιον ἂν εἴη· ὁμοίως γὰρ καὶ τῷ κακῷ ὑπάρχει τὸ δι᾽ αὐτὸν ἐν ταῖς πράξεσι καὶ εἰ μὴ ἐν τῷ τέλει.     Whether, then, it is not by nature that the end appears to each man such as it does appear, but something also depends on him, or the end is natural but because the good man adopts the means voluntarily virtue is voluntary, vice also will be none the less voluntary; for in the case of the bad man there is equally present that which depends on himself in his actions even if not in his end.
εἰ οὖν, ὥσπερ λέγεται, ἑκούσιοί εἰσιν αἱ ἀρεταί (καὶ γὰρ τῶν ἕξεων συναίτιοί πως αὐτοί ἐσμεν, καὶ τῷ ποιοί τινες εἶναι τὸ τέλος τοιόνδε τιθέμεθα), καὶ αἱ κακίαι ἑκούσιοι ἂν εἶεν· (25) ὁμοίως γάρ. If, then, as is asserted, the virtues are voluntary (for we are ourselves somehow partly responsible for our states of character, and it is by being persons of a certain kind that we assume the end to be so and so), the vices also will be voluntary; for the same is true of them.
κοινῇ μὲν οὖν περὶ τῶν ἀρετῶν εἴρηται ἡμῖν τό τε γένος τύπῳ, ὅτι μεσότητές εἰσιν καὶ ὅτι ἕξεις, ὑφ᾽ ὧν τε γίνονται, ὅτι τούτων πρακτικαὶ <καὶ> καθ᾽ αὑτάς, καὶ ὅτι ἐφ᾽ ἡμῖν καὶ ἑκούσιοι, καὶ οὕτως ὡς ἂν ὁ ὀρθὸς λόγος (30) προστάξῃ.     With regard to the virtues in general we have stated their genus in outline, viz. that they are means and that they are states of character, and that they tend, and by their own nature, to the doing of the acts by which they are produced, and that they are in our power and voluntary, and act as the right rule prescribes.
οὐχ ὁμοίως δὲ αἱ πράξεις ἑκούσιοί εἰσι καὶ αἱ ἕξεις· τῶν μὲν γὰρ πράξεων ἀπ᾽ ἀρχῆς μέχρι τοῦ τέλους κύριοί ἐσμεν, εἰδότες τὰ καθ᾽ ἕκαστα, τῶν ἕξεων δὲ τῆς ἀρχῆς, [1115a] (1) καθ᾽ ἕκαστα δὲ ἡ πρόσθεσις οὐ γνώριμος, ὥσπερ ἐπὶ τῶν ἀρρωστιῶν· ἀλλ᾽ ὅτι ἐφ᾽ ἡμῖν ἦν οὕτως ἢ μὴ οὕτω χρήσασθαι, διὰ τοῦτο ἑκούσιοι. But actions and states of character are not voluntary in the same way; for we are masters of our actions from the beginning right to the end, if we know the particular facts, but though we control the beginning of our states of character the gradual progress is not obvious any more than it is in illnesses; because it was in our power, however, to act in this way or not in this way, therefore the states are voluntary.
ἀναλαβόντες δὲ περὶ ἑκάστης εἴπωμεν τίνες εἰσὶ καὶ (5) περὶ ποῖα καὶ πῶς· ἅμα δ᾽ ἔσται δῆλον καὶ πόσαι εἰσίν. καὶ πρῶτον περὶ ἀνδρείας.     Let us take up the several virtues, however, and say which they are and what sort of things they are concerned with and how they are concerned with them; at the same time it will become plain how many they are. And first let us speak of courage.


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