Aristotle, and W. Rhys Roberts. Rhetoric. Mineola, NY: Dover, 2004. Kindle Electronic Edition.
Book I, chapter 14.
In this chapter Aristotle weighs the seriousness of a wrong. “The worse of two acts of wrong done to others is that which is prompted by the worse disposition. Hence the most trifling acts may be the worst ones” (Aristotle I.14, B 1374b). Aristotle gives as an example a person who stole a few consecrated coins of a small value and was found to have committed a serious crime because they were consecrated. He brings another example in a man who had been wronged and killed himself, in which the death penalty was assessed on his opponent. In general, the apparent attitude of the criminal toward the criminal act is of great significance.