Single Idea 5160

[catalogued under 18. Thought / A. Modes of Thought / 3. Emotions / g. Controlling emotions]

Full Idea

There are mean states also in the sphere of feelings. …The man who feels righteous indignation is distressed at instances of undeserved good fortune, but the envious man is distressed at any good fortune, and the spiteful man rejoices at bad fortune.

Gist of Idea

There is a mean of feelings, as in our responses to the good or bad fortune of others


Aristotle (Nicomachean Ethics [c.334 BCE], 1108a29)

Book Reference

Aristotle: 'Ethics (Nicomachean)', ed/tr. ThomsonJ A K/TredennickH [Penguin 1976], p.106

A Reaction

This example captures nicely the crucial point that Aristotle wants our actions and responses to be appropriate, rather than just restrained. The disciple of Aristotle does not conduct himself like a cold Stoic, but has lively responses to situations.

Related Idea

Idea 62 We must tune our feelings to be right in every way [Aristotle]