Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics

LCL 73: 190-191

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Aristotle

6ἐκδεχόμεθα. ὧν δ᾿ ἐστὶ χρεία, ἔστι τούτοις χρῆσθαι καὶ εὖ καὶ κακῶς, ὁ πλοῦτος δ᾿ ἐστὶ τῶν5 χρησίμων· ἑκάστῳ δ᾿ ἄριστα χρῆται ὁ ἔχων τὴν περὶ τοῦτο ἀρετήν· καὶ πλούτῳ δὴ χρήσεται ἄριστα ὁ ἔχων τὴν περὶ τὰ χρήματα ἀρετήν· οὗτος δ᾿ 7ἐστὶν ὁ ἐλευθέριος. χρῆσις δ᾿ εἶναι δοκεῖ χρημάτων δαπάνη καὶ δόσις· ἡ δὲ λῆψις καὶ ἡ φυλακὴ κτῆσις μᾶλλον. διὸ μᾶλλόν ἐστι τοῦ ἐλευθερίου10 τὸ διδόναι οἷς δεῖ ἢ λαμβάνειν ὅθεν δεῖ καὶ μὴ λαμβάνειν ὅθεν οὐ δεῖ. τῆς γὰρ ἀρετῆς μᾶλλον τὸ εὖ ποιεῖν ἢ τὸ εὖ πάσχειν, καὶ τὰ καλὰ 8πράττειν μᾶλλον ἢ τὰ αἰσχρὰ μὴ πράττειν· οὐκ ἄδηλον δ᾿ ὅτι τῇ μὲν δόσει ἕπεται τὸ εὖ ποιεῖν καὶ τὰ1 καλὰ πράττειν, τῇ δὲ λήψει τὸ εὖ πάσχειν15 ἢ μὴ αἰσχροπραγεῖν. καὶ ἡ χάρις τῷ διδόντι, οὐ τῷ μὴ λαμβάνοντι, καὶ ὁ ἔπαινος δὲ μᾶλλον. 9καὶ ῥᾷον δὲ τὸ μὴ λαβεῖν τοῦ δοῦναι· τὸ γὰρ οἰκεῖον ἧττον προΐενται μᾶλλον ἢ οὐ λαμβάνουσι τὸ 10ἀλλότριον. καὶ ἐλευθέριοι δὲ λέγονται οἱ διδόντες· οἱ δὲ μὴ λαμβάνοντες οὐκ εἰς ἐλευθεριότητα20 ἐπαινοῦνται, ἀλλ᾿ οὐχ ἧττον εἰς δικαιοσύνην· 11οἱ δὲ λαμβάνοντες οὐδ᾿ ἐπαινοῦνται πάνυ. φιλοῦνται δὲ σχεδὸν μάλιστα οἱ ἐλευθέριοι τῶν ἀπ᾿ 12ἀρετῆς2· ὠφέλιμοι γάρ· τοῦτο δ᾿ ἐν τῇ δόσει. αἱ δὲ κατ᾿ ἀρετὴν πράξεις καλαὶ καὶ τοῦ καλοῦ ἕνεκα· καὶ ὁ ἐλευθέριος οὖν δώσει τοῦ καλοῦ ἕνεκα. καὶ ὀρθῶς· οἷς γὰρ δεῖ καὶ ὅσα καὶ ὅτε,25

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Nicomachean Ethics, IV.

6Now riches are an article of use; but articles of Liberality in giving, use can be used either well or ill, and he who uses a thing best is he who possesses the virtue related to that thing; therefore that man will use riches best who possesses the virtue related to wealth; 7and this is the liberal man. But the use of wealth seems to consist in spending and in giving; getting wealth and keeping it are modes of acquisition rather than of use. Hence the liberal man is more concerned with giving to the right recipients than with getting wealth from the right sources and not getting it from the wrong ones. Virtue is displayed in doing good rather than in having good done to one, and in performing noble acts rather than in avoiding 8base ones; but manifestly doing good and acting nobly go with giving, while having good done to one and avoiding base actions go with getting. Again, gratitude is bestowed on a giver, not on one who refrains from taking; and still more is this 9true of praise. Also it is easier not to take than to give: men are more reluctant to give away what belongs to them than to refrain from taking what 10belongs to someone else. Again, it is those who give whom we call liberal; those who refrain from takinga are not praised for Liberality but rather for Justice, and those who takeb are not praised at all. 11And of all virtuous people the liberal are perhaps the most beloved, because they are beneficial to others; and they are so in that they give.

12Acts of virtue are noble, and are performed for for the nobility of giving. the sake of their nobility; the liberal man therefore will give for the nobility of giving. And he will give rightly, for he will give to the right people, and the right amount, and at the right time, and fulfil all

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.aristotle-nicomachean_ethics.1926