But precisely because these virtues are rational only in this derivative way, they are a less important component of our ultimate end than is the intellectual virtue—practical wisdom—with which they are integrated.
This is why Aristotle often talks in term of a practical syllogism, with a major premise that identifies some good to be achieved, and a minor premise that locates the good in some present-to-hand situation.
The larger question we should ask is whether, as a matter of policy, we should ever encourage the use of a technique the tendency if not the intention of which is psychologically pathogenic. Aristotle places those who suffer from such internal disorders into one of three categories: She removes all the darkness from our life and brings out light.
This energy is utilized for two purposes: Although it really is a pleasure and so something can be said in its favor, it is so inferior to other goods that ideally one ought to forego it.
In Book II of the Republic, we are told that the best type of good is one that is desirable both in itself and for the sake of its results da.
Consider someone who loves to wrestle, for example. His examples are people who are asleep, mad, or drunk; he also compares the akratic to a student who has just begun to learn a subject, or an actor on the stage a10— By contrast, Aristotle assumes that if A is desirable for the sake of B, then B is better than A a14—16 ; therefore, the highest kind of good must be one that is not desirable for the sake of anything else.
A Madison Avenue man might call this persuasion; I prefer the greater candor of the word coercion. This is therefore an ethics that invokes external sanctions as a reason for doing what is right.
Friendships based on character are the ones in which each person benefits the other for the sake of other; and these are friendships most of all. We can make little progress in working toward optimum population size until we explicitly exorcise the spirit of Adam Smith in the field of practical demography.
Parents who bred too exuberantly would leave fewer descendants, not more, because they would be unable to care adequately for their children. To be adequately equipped to live a life of thought and discussion, one will need practical wisdom, temperance, justice, and the other ethical virtues.
The prodigious amount of supermarket impulse buying is apparently due to the fact that many women, during supermarket shopping, fall into a light trance perhaps the result of the profusion of goods that once were available only to royalty.
He lies between the coward, who flees every danger and experiences excessive fear, and the rash person, who judges every danger worth facing and experiences little or no fear. Furthermore, when he has decided what to do, he does not have to contend with internal pressures to act otherwise.
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