is a neutral term (applying to both use and misuse); thus it comes to seem obvious that 'used' and 'not used' may be substituted for 'active' and its negation in any context.
We might have expected that Aristotle would complete his close analysis of incontinence (in terms of the two arguments and the presence of appetite) with a similar analysis of continence. In fact by comparison he says rather little about continence, and does not face the puzzles which arise when we consider how it resembles incontinence in logical structure and in other respects. In the case of continence, too, the B-argument and its conclusion must be held unconditionally, to the extent that appetite is present creating an actual conflict. No doubt there is the same gamut of possible forms: sometimes appetite distorts or hampers perception; sometimes it gives rise to self-deceptive misinterpretation; sometimes it takes away the sense of the shamefulness of doing B. And any physical changes set going by appetite (1147 a 15- 16) can be the same as occur in incontinence. The difference is that the continent agent (called so on the basis of what he does) pulls himself together in time to respect his rational choice. 41 By what mechanism does he resist temptation, when the other does not? Aristotle does not trouble about this question, let alone about the next round of questions, such as whether the incontinent has the same mechanism and whether, if so, he lacks a further mechanism for activating the first. Perhaps there are metaphysical reasons why Aristotle does not try to hunt down the source of the difference between continence and incontinence, but there is also a reason based on practical ethics. From the point of view of the moral educator the two conditions present more or less the same problem, since it is the purpose of training to minimize both, and the same sorts of methods are called for.