Proper Pride

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Aristotle opens his chapter on proper pride by stating that pride seems even from its name to be concerned with great things. The first question to be answered is to what sort of great things is pride concerned with. A proud man is one who thinks of himself as worthy of great things and indeed he actually is worthy of them. A man who thinks of himself as worthy of great things and is actually not is vain and this is the excess of proper pride. While the man who thinks himself worthy of less than he really is unduly humble and is the defect of proper pride. The proud man is thought to be extreme in the respect of the greatness of his claim, but a mean in respect of the rightness of them because he claims that which is in accordance to his merits. Pride then is concerned with the rightness of desert. It is not so much concerned with the claim for deserts but the worthiness of them. Deserts are relative to external goods, the greatest of these external goods being honors. Therefore, honors and dishonors are the objects of which the proud man is concerned with. Since the proud man deserves the most he must truly be good. According to Aristotle greatness in every virtue would seem to be characteristic of a proud man. We wouldn't think of a coward as a proud man. Nor would we think of criminals as proud men. And really they couldn't be truly proud men because they could not be worthy of honor if they are bad, because honor is the prize of virtue and it is given to the good. Pride seems to be a crown of virtues for it makes them greater and is not found without them. Aristotle presents a list of characteristics of the proud man. The proud man will seek, with moderation, wealth and power as well as all good or evil fortune. No matter what happens, good or bad, he will neither be over-joyed by good nor over-pained by evil. Good fortune is also thought to contribute to pride. Men who are born into good fortune as well as men who enjoy power or wealth are thought to be...
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