Again, the case of the arts and that of the virtues are not similar; for the products of the arts have their goodness in themselves, so that it is enough that they should have a certain character, but if the acts that are in accordance with the virtues have themselves a certain character it does not follow that they are done justly or temperately. The agent also must be in a certain condition when he does them; in the first place he must have knowledge, secondly he must choose the acts, and choose them for their own sakes, and thirdly his action must proceed from a firm and unchangeable character.
With respect to vitiated and corrupt nature, however, these statements [of Aristotle’s ] are true in the normal course of things and according to ordinary reason. Aristotle, however, was unable to see this corruption of nature, since he was left without faith and the light of holy scripture It is also true that our nature, in its present state, is suited to and capable of receiving the virtues, if we are speaking of the civil and moral kind, although not all people are disposed to them in the same way. (296-7)