Study Guide

The Nicomachean Ethics Book 7, Chapter 8 (1150b30-1151a29)

By Aristotle

Book 7, Chapter 8 (1150b30-1151a29)

  • People lacking self-restraint feel regret (unlike the licentious). So it is that those LSR are "curable" but the licentious are not.
  • Lack of self-restraint is not a vice, as licentiousness is. And vice has a tendency to go unnoticed by those who have it. Without the ability to self-diagnose, such things can't be cured.
  • It's better to be the impetuous version of lacking self-restraint, rather than the ignoring reason type.
  • Lack of self-restraint is not a vice. We repeat, lacking self-restraint is not a vice. Well, maybe it is, says Aristotle. But at least it doesn't proceed from choice, like most vices.
  • It's like a vice in terms of action. Though the origins may be different, both LSR and vice lead us to do stupid things.
  • To sum up: a person lacking self-restraint leaves reason behind to pursue pleasure, but he's not convinced that pleasure is life's sole aim.
  • This doesn't make him bad, corrupt or licentious.
  • His better half is the self-restrained person, who is BFFs with correct reason.