The Nicomachean Ethics Book 3, Chapter 11 (1118b9-1119a20)
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Book 3, Chapter 11 (1118b9-1119a20)
- The desire for sex and food is natural for humans and common to all of us. But other than these, we're each unique in what we desire.
- These "natural" desires tend to be abused in one way: through excess.
- In the more bizarre desires, however, there are many ways to err. We might enjoy things we shouldn't, or just enjoy these things too much.
- A licentious person suffers pain but it isn't the same kind of pain suffered by a courageous person. Instead, they feel pain when pleasure is taken away from them.
- A moderate person is never bothered by having to give up pleasures.
- Also, a licentious person makes all of his decisions based on getting pleasure, which will lead him to bad behavior at some point.
- So here's a paradox: extreme pleasure-seekers suffer more pain than the moderates, since they are pained when they miss out on pleasure and pained when they choose badly because of it.
- A moderate person enjoys pleasure, but only the kind that leads to health and happiness.