12.21.2018: One Chapter of Nonfiction

Today’s soundtrack is Christmas With the Mills Family, a Spotify playlist that includes my favourite Christmas songs.

It’s been a nice day: it was the last day of classes, so I have the next couple of weeks off. We’re having some friends over tomorrow, so I spent the afternoon catching up on the housework from the week. This evening, my wife and I visited some of her friends and we built gingerbread houses with them.

This evening, I’m going to keep it quick, as it’s way past my regular bedtime. It’s funny – I remember being able to stay up until midnight without getting tired. Those days are well behind me. I’m going to read the third chapter of the second book of Aristotle’s Ethics.

In the previous chapter, I learned that man must exercise his character as he exercises his muscles if he is to become temperate. In this chapter, Aristotle states that a man will know whether or not he is temperate by his body’s reaction to abstinence. If a man finds abstinence pleasant, he is temperate, but “if he finds it irksome, he is intemperate” (p. 59). The same goes for the man who practices facing danger. So we can determine from our “pains and pleasures” (p. 59) our moral virtue. We must train ourselves to associate virtuous works with pleasure, and to associate pain with useless actions.