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Book 7, Chapter 5 (1148b15-1149a24)
- Aristotle shifts to a discussion of brutishness. He uses the example of women who rip unborn babies from the wombs of pregnant women and eat them. Um. What? Whoa.
- Happily, this isn't the norm for the human condition. This horrifying behavior usually happens through disease or mental illness.
- But there are some habits that happen naturally or from habit, like eating non-food items, self-harming, and even homosexuality (according to Aristotle) that are considered aberrant.
- Those who are like this by nature do not lack self-restraint.
- The same is true for those who behave brutishly through illness.
- These are "outside the defining boundaries of vice."
- Excessive vice is always accompanied by illness or brutishness.
- Aristotle believes there are people who have despicable impulses but who don't act on them. Others are overcome by them.
- When speaking of lack of self-restraint, Aristotle says we have to confine ourselves to things that licentiousness and moderation deal with.
- Anything greater or lesser does not fit in this category.
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