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Nicomachean Ethics   


neighbour; for it does what is advantageous to another, either a ruler
or a copartner. Now the worst man is he who exercises his wickedness
both towards himself and towards his friends, and the best man is not
he who exercises his virtue towards himself but he who exercises it
towards another; for this is a difficult task. Justice in this sense,
then, is not part of virtue but virtue entire, nor is the contrary
injustice a part of vice but vice entire. What the difference is
between virtue and justice in this sense is plain from what we have
said; they are the same but their essence is not the same; what, as a
relation to one's neighbour, is justice is, as a certain kind of state
without qualification, virtue.
2
But at all events what we are investigating is the justice which is a
part of virtue; for there is a justice of this kind, as we maintain.
Similarly it is with injustice in the particular sense that we are
concerned.
That there is such a thing is indicated by the fact that while the man
who exhibits in action the other forms of wickedness acts wrongly
indeed, but not graspingly (e.g. the man who throws away his shield
through cowardice or speaks harshly through bad temper or fails to
help a friend with money through meanness), when a man acts graspingly
he often exhibits none of these vices,-no, nor all together, but
certainly wickedness of some kind (for we blame him) and injustice.
There is, then, another kind of injustice which is a part of injustice
in the wide sense, and a use of the word 'unjust' which answers to a
part of what is unjust in the wide sense of 'contrary to the law'.
Again if one man commits adultery for the sake of gain and makes money
by it, while another does so at the bidding of appetite though he
loses money and is penalized for it, the latter would be held to be
self-indulgent rather than grasping, but the former is unjust, but not
self-indulgent; evidently, therefore, he is unjust by reason of his
making gain by his act. Again, all other unjust acts are ascribed
invariably to some particular kind of wickedness, e.g. adultery to
self-indulgence, the desertion of a comrade in battle to cowardice,
physical violence to anger; but if a man makes gain, his action is
ascribed to no form of wickedness but injustice. Evidently, therefore,
there is apart from injustice in the wide sense another, 'particular',
injustice which shares the name and nature of the first, because its
definition falls within the same genus; for the significance of both
consists in a relation to one's neighbour, but the one is concerned
with honour or money or safety-or that which includes all these, if we
had a single name for it-and its motive is the pleasure that arises
from gain; while the other is concerned with all the objects with
which the good man is concerned.
It is clear, then, that there is more than one kind of justice, and
that there is one which is distinct from virtue entire; we must try to
grasp its genus and differentia.
The unjust has been divided into the unlawful and the unfair, and the
just into the lawful and the fair. To the unlawful answers the
afore-mentioned sense of injustice. But since unfair and the unlawful
are not the same, but are different as a part is from its whole (for
all that is unfair is unlawful, but not all that is unlawful is
unfair), the unjust and injustice in the sense of the unfair are not
the same as but different from the former kind, as part from whole;
for injustice in this sense is a part of injustice in the wide sense,
and similarly justice in the one sense of justice in the other.
Therefore we must speak also about particular justice and particular
and similarly about the just and the unjust. The justice, then, which
answers to the whole of virtue, and the corresponding injustice, one
being the exercise of virtue as a whole, and the other that of vice as
a whole, towards one's neighbour, we may leave on one side. And how
the meanings of 'just' and 'unjust' which answer to these are to be
distinguished is evident; for practically the majority of the acts
commanded by the law are those which are prescribed from the point of

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