Aristotle’s middle path

Aristotle held that virtue lay at the golden mean between extremes and vices. Will Durant expounds this principle as well as any poet could.

Between cowardice and rashness is courage.
Between stinginess and extravagance is liberality.
Between sloth and greed is ambition.
Between humility and pride is modesty.
Between secrecy and loquacity, honesty.
Between moroseness and buffoonery, good humor.
Between quarrelsomeness and flattery, friendship.
Between Hamlet’s indecisiveness and Quixote’s impulsiveness is self-control.

Virtue is hard to discern because the opposite of vice is also vice. We ought to always be wary of swinging too far to one side or the other.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s