That the contrary of a good is an evil is shown by induction: the
contrary of health is disease, of courage, cowardice, and so on. But
the contrary of an evil is sometimes a good, sometimes an evil. For
defect, which is an evil, has excess for its contrary, this also being
an evil, and the mean, which is a good, is equally the contrary of the
one and of the other. It is only in a few cases, however, that we see
instances of this: in most, the contrary of an evil is a good.
In the case of contraries, it is not always necessary that if one
exists the other should also exist: for if all become healthy there
will be health and no disease, and again, if everything turns white,
there will be white, but no black. Again, since the fact that Socrates
is ill is the contrary of the fact that Socrates is well, and two
contrary conditions cannot both obtain in one and the same individual
at the same time, both these contraries could not exist at once: for if
that Socrates was well was a fact, then that Socrates was ill could not
possibly be one.
It is plain that contrary attributes must needs be present in subjects
which belong to the same species or genus. Disease and health require
as their subject the body of an animal; white and black require a body,
without further qualification; justice and injustice require as their
subject the human soul.
Moreover, it is necessary that pairs of contraries should in all cases
either belong to the same genus or belong to contrary genera or be
themselves genera. White and black belong to the same genus, colour;
justice and injustice, to contrary genera, virtue and vice; while good
and evil do not belong to genera, but are themselves actual genera,
with terms under them.