is a mental sensation, and that is to each pleasant of which he is said to be fond: a horse, for instance, to him who is fond of horses, and a sight to him who is fond of sights: and so in like manner just acts to him who is fond of justice, and more generally the things in accordance with virtue to him who is fond of virtue. Now in the case of the multitude of men the things which they individually esteem pleasant clash, because they are not such by nature, whereas to the lovers of nobleness those things are pleasant which are such by nature: but the actions in accordance with virtue are of this kind, so that they are pleasant both to the individuals and also in themselves.
So then their life has no need of pleasure as a kind of additional appendage, but involves pleasure in itself. For, besides what I have just mentioned, a man is not a good man at all who feels no pleasure in noble actions, just as no one would call that man just who does not feel pleasure in acting justly, or liberal who does not in liberal actions, and similarly in the case of the other virtues which might be enumerated: and if this be so, then the actions in accordance with virtue must be in themselves pleasurable. Then again they are certainly good and noble, and each of these in the highest degree; if we are to take as right the judgment of the good man, for he judges as we have said.
Thus then Happiness is most excellent, most noble, and most pleasant, and these attributes are not separated as in the well-known Delian inscription—
“Most noble is that which is most just, but best is health;
And naturally most pleasant is the obtaining one's desires.”
For all these co-exist in the best acts of working: and we say that Happiness is these, or one, that is, the best of them.
Still it is quite plain that it does require the addition of external goods, as we have said: because without appliances it is impossible, or at all events not easy, to do noble actions: for friends, money, and political influence are in a manner instruments whereby many things are done: 1099b some things
- 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 βίος τέλειος.