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P. 15 l. 16. “Goodness always implies the love of itself, an affection to goodness.” (Bishop Butler, Sermon xiii ) Aristotle describes pleasure in the Tenth Book of this Treatise as the result of any faculty of perception meeting with the corresponding object, vicious pleasure being as truly pleasure as the most refined and exalted. If Goodness then implies the love of itself, the percipient will always have its object present, and pleasure continually result.
P. 15, l. 32. In spite of theory, we know as a matter of fact that external circumstances are necessary to complete the idea of Happiness not that Happiness is capable of addition, but that when we assert it to be identical with virtuous action we must understand that it is to have a fair field; in fact, the other side of [Greek: bios teleios].
P. 16, l. 18. It is remarkable how Aristotle here again shelves what he considers an unpractical question. If Happiness were really a direct gift from Heaven, independently of human conduct, all motive to self-discipline and moral improvement would vanish He shows therefore that it is no depreciation of the value of Happiness to suppose it to come partly at least from ourselves, and he then goes on with other reasons why we should think with him.
P. 16, l. 26. This term is important, what has been maimed was once perfect; he does not contemplate as possible the case of a man being born incapable of virtue, and so of happiness.
P. 17, l. 3. But why give materials and instruments, if there is no work to do?
P. 18, l. 6. The supposed pair of ancestors.
P. 18, l. 12. Solon says, “Call no man happy till he is dead.” He must mean either, The man when dead is happy (a), or, The man when dead may be said to have been happy (b). If the former, does he mean positive happiness (a)? or only freedom from unhappiness ([Greek: B])? We cannot allow (a), Men’s opinions disallow ([Greek: B]), We revert now to the consideration of (b).
P. 18, l. 36. The difficulty was raised by the clashing of a notion commonly held, and a fact universally experienced. Most people conceive that Happiness should be abiding, every one knows that fortune is changeable. It is the notion which supports the definition, because we have therein based Happiness on the most abiding cause.
P. 20, l. 12. The term seems to be employed advisedly. The Choragus, of course, dressed his actors for their parts; not according to their fancies or his own.
Hooker has (E. P. v. ixxvi. 5) a passage which seems to be an admirable paraphrase on this.
“Again, that the measure of our outward prosperity be taken by proportion with that which every man’s estate in this present life requireth. External abilities are instruments of action. It contenteth wise artificers to have their instruments proportionable to their work, rather fit for use than huge and goodly to please the eye. Seeing then the actions of a servant do not need that which may be necessary for men of calling and place in the world, neither men of inferior condition many things which greater personages can hardly want; surely they are blessed in worldly respects who have wherewith to perform what their station and place asketh, though they have no more.”
P. 20, l. 18. Always bearing in mind that man “never continueth in one stay.”
P. 20, l. 11. The meaning is this: personal fortunes, we have said, must be in certain weight and number to affect our own happiness, this will be true, of course, of those which are reflected on us from our friends: and these are the only ones to which the dead are supposed to be liable? add then the difference of sensibility which it is fair to presume, and there is a very small residuum of joy or sorrow.
P. 21, l. 18. This is meant for an exhaustive division of goods, which are either so in esse or in posse.
If in esse, they are either above praise, or subjects of praise. Those in posse, here called faculties, are good only when rightly used. Thus Rhetoric is a faculty which may be used to promote justice or abused to support villainy. Money in like way.
P. 22, l. 4. Eudoxus, a philosopher holding the doctrine afterwards adopted by Epicurus respecting pleasure, but (as Aristotle testifies in the Tenth Book) of irreproachable character.
P. 22, l. 13. See the Rhetoric, Book I. chap ix.
P. 24, l. 23. The unseen is at least as real as the seen.
P. 24, l. 29. The terms are borrowed from the Seventh Book and are here used in their strict philosophical meaning. The [Greek: enkrates] is he who has bad or unruly appetites, but whose reason is strong enough to keep them under. The [Greek: akrates] is he whose appetites constantly prevail over his reason and previous good resolutions.
By the law of habits the former is constantly approximating to a state in which the appetites are wholly quelled. This state is called [Greek: sophrosyne], and the man in it [Greek: sophron]. By the same law the remonstrances of reason in the latter grow fainter and fainter till they are silenced for ever. This state is called [Greek: akolasia], and the man in it [Greek: akolastos].
P. 25, l. 2. This is untranslateable. As the Greek phrase, [Greek: echein logon tinos], really denotes substituting that person’s [Greek: logos] for one’s own, so the Irrational nature in a man of self-control or perfected self-mastery substitutes the orders of Reason for its own impulses. The other phrase means the actual possession of mathematical truths as part of the mental furniture, i.e. knowing them.
P 25, l. 16. [Greek: xin] may be taken as opposed to [Greek: energeian], and the meaning will be, to show a difference between Moral and Intellectual Excellences, that men are commended for merely having the latter, but only for exerting and using the former.
P. 26, l. 2. Which we call simply virtue.
P. 26, l. 4. For nature must of course supply the capacity.
P. 26, l. 18. Or “as a simple result of nature.”
P. 28, l. 12. This is done in the Sixth Book.
P. 28, l. 21. It is, in truth, in the application of rules to particular details of practice that our moral Responsibility chiefly lies no rule can be so framed, that evasion shall be impossible. See Bishop Butler’s Sermon on the character of Balaam, and that on Self-Deceit. P. 29, l. 32. The words [Greek: akolastos] and [Greek: deilos] are not used here in their strict significations to denote confirmed states of vice the [Greek: enkrates] necessarily feels pain, because he must always be thwarting passions which are a real part of his nature, though this pain will grow less and less as he nears the point of [Greek: sophrosyne] or perfected Self-Mastery, which being attained the pain will then, and then only, cease entirely. So a certain degree of fear is necessary to the formation of true courage. All that is meant here is, that no habit of courage or self-mastery can be said to be matured, until pain altogether vanishes.