An action is courageous if it is an attempt to achieve an end despite penalties, risks, costs, or difficulties of sufficient gravity to deter most people. Similarly a state such as cheerfulness is courageous if it is sustained in spite of such difficulties. A courageous person is characteristically able to attempt such actions or maintain such states. For Aristotle, courage is dependent on sound judgement, for it needs to be known whether the end justifies the risk incurred. Similarly, courage is not the absence of fear (which may be a vice), but the ability to feel the appropriate amount of fear; courage is a mean between timidity and overconfidence.