At the beginning of this discussion, it is pointed out that whether these qualities are approved or disapproved is dependent on being present in the right amount. In this respect, Hume follows the principle that was set forth in Aristotle's doctrine of the golden mean. According to this doctrine, a certain quality constitutes a virtue when it is present in the right amount, but the same quality will be a vice when it is present in either a deficient or an excessive amount. The right amount must always be determined by reason rather than feelings, and it must be calculated with reference to the proper development of the personality as a whole. When interpreted in this manner, it can be seen quite readily that each of the qualities enumerated in this section is approved because of its usefulness to the individual who possesses it. Discretion, which is the ability to make wise decisions on important matters, is a quality the value of
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