The mean of health is not necessarily the mean of

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the mean of health is not necessarily the mean of virtue. What is too little food, and
44 GED 107 - ETHICS NOTES 2019 too much exercise, for the animal well-being of a man, may be the right amount of both for him in some higher relation, inasmuch as he is more than a mere animal; as for a soldier in a hard campaign, where a sufficiency of food and rest is incompatible with his serving his country's need. 2. The taking of means to an end implies the taking them in moderation, not in excess, or we shall overshoot the mark, nor again so feebly and inadequately as to fall short, of it. No mere instrument admits of an unlimited use; but the end to be gained fixes limits to the use of the instrument, thus far, no more, and no less. Wherever then reason requires an end to be gained, it requires a use of means proportionate to the end, not coming short of it, nor going so far beyond as to defeat the purpose in view. The variety of good that is called the Useful lies within definite limits, between two wildernesses, so to speak, stretching out undefined into the distance, wilderness of Excess on the one side, and wilderness of Defect on the other. 3. A true work of art cannot be added to or taken from without spoiling it. A perfect church would be spoiled by a lengthening of the chancel or raising the tower, albeit there are buildings, secular and ecclesiastical, that might be drawn out two miles long and not look any worse. The colouring of a picture must not be too violent and positive; but artistic colouring must be chaste, and artistic utterance gentle, and artistic action calm and indicative of self-command. Not that voice and action should not be impassioned for a great emergency, but the very passion should bear the mark of control: in the great master's phrase, you must not "tear a passion to tatters." It is by moderation sitting upon power that works of art truly masculine and mighty are produced; and by this sign they are marked off from the lower host of things, gorgeous and redundant, and still more from the order of the loose, the lawless, the exaggerated, the insolent, and the profane." 4. On these considerations Aristotle framed his celebrated definition of moral virtue: the habit of fixing the choice in the golden mean in relation to ourselves, defined by reason, as a prudent man would define it. All virtue is a habit, as we have seen -- a habit of doing that which is the proper act of the power wherein the habit resides. One class of moral virtues is resident in the will, the act of which power is properly called choice. The rest of the moral virtues reside in the sensitive appetite, which also may be said to choose that object on which it fastens. Thus moral virtur is a habit of fixing the choice. The golden mean between two extremes of excess and defect respectively has been already explained, and may be further shown by a review of the virtues. Besides fortitude and temperance, already described, liberality is a mean between prodigality and stinginess; magnificence between vulgar display and pettiness: magnanimity between vainglory and

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