The individual virtues of character in book II of Nicomachean Ethics, the parts about fear and confidence, pleasures and pain, and giving and taking money, caught my attention. This passage is “In giving and taking money the mean is generosity, the excess wastefulness and the deficiency ungenerosity. Here the vicious people have contrary excesses and defects; for the wasteful person spends to excess and is deficient in taking, whereas the ungenerous person takes to excess and is deficient in spending.”
This particular passage caused me a great deal of confusion. I don’t understand why he calls the wasteful person, wasteful rather than generous if he uses the term ungenerous. The wasteful person is defined as spending to excess and is deficient in taking. To me, that means they are generous, always giving, never receiving. Ungenerous people are always taking and never receiving. I just don’t understand how giving, qualifies as person to be wasteful. Who says giving was a waste? Also, I would consider the ungenerous people greedy, so why isn’t that a term used in the section or is there a turning point from ungenerous to greedy?
I liked this passage because of how relatable it is and can cause reflection. This passage also caused me to go back over and articulate the language used when describing each type of person. I think the passage is reflective because your able to look at your life and see if you give more or take more and put yourself into a certain category. I enjoy the readings where I’m able to apply the idea to myself and learn more about me.