Skip to content

Train ’em

“Of things which come to us by nature, we first bring along the powers and later exhibit the corresponding activities. This indeed is clear in the case of sensations; for it is not by seeing often or hearing often that we acquired the corresponding power of sensation, but conversely: we used the power after we possessed it, we did not come to possess it after using it. In the case of the virtues, on the other hand, we acquire them as a result of prior activities; and this is like the case of the arts, for that which we are to perform by art after learning, we first learn by performing, e.g. we become builders by building and lyre-players by playing the lyre. Similarly, we become just by doing what is just, temperate by doing what is temperate, and brave by doing brave deeds. This is confirmed also by what happens in states. For it is by making citizens acquire certain habits that legislators make them good, and this is what every legislator wishes, but legislators who do not do this well are making a mistake; and good government differs from bad government in this respect.” – Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Book II (trans. Apostle and Gerson)

Published inAristotleEconomicsPolitics & LawThe Ancients

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.