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Ethics

Aristotle

Summary and Analysis Book III: Chapter X - Self-Control (i)

Summary

Temperance or self-control is a virtue of the irrational part of human beings. It is a mean in regard to sensual pleasures and is concerned only with those pleasures which human beings share with the lower animals. (i.e., taste and touch, more specifically, pleasures of eating, drinking, and sexual intercourse). Mental pleasures are excluded for obvious reasons: pleasures like smell, sight, and hearing because, even though they pertain to physical organs, they are used by animals only for functional purposes and not for enjoyment (e.g., animals do not listen to music, smell perfume, or admire works of art).