The Nicomachean Ethics of Aristotle

By F. H. Peters; Aristotle | Go to book overview

BOOK IV.
THE SAME--Continued

1. LIBERALITY, of which we will next speak, seems to be. moderation in the matter of wealth. What we commend in a liberal man is his behaviour, not in war, nor in those circumstances in which temperance is commended, nor yet in passing judgment, but in the giving and taking of wealth, and especially in the giving--wealth meaning all those things whose value can be measured in money.

1

Of literlity

2

But both prodigality and illiberality are at once excess and defect in the matter of wealth.

3

Illiberality always means caring for wealth more than is right; but prodigality sometimes stands for a combination of vices. Thus incontinent people, who squander their money in riotous living, are called prodigals. And so prodigals are held to be very worthless individuals, as they combine a number of vices.

4

But we must remember that this is not the proper use of the term; for the term "prodigal" (ἄσωτος) is intended to denote a man who has one vice, viz. that of wasting his substance: for he is ἄσωτος,* or "prodigal," who is destroyed through his own fault, and

5

____________________
*
ἄ00σ7ωτος, ἀ priv. and σω + ̑ς, σώςειν,

-99-

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