Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics: A Critical Guide by Jon Miller

By Jon Miller

Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics is without doubt one of the most crucial moral treatises ever written, and has had a profound impression at the next improvement of ethics and ethical psychology. This choice of newly-commissioned essays, written by way of either senior and more youthful students within the box, offers an intensive and shut exam of the paintings. The essays tackle a extensive diversity of matters together with the compositional integrity of the Ethics, the character of hope, the price of feelings, happiness, and the virtues. the result's a quantity with a purpose to problem and develop the scholarship at the Ethics, setting up new methods of viewing and appreciating the paintings for all students of Aristotle.

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The general problem is whether and how the five treatises we have distinguished are tied together to form a coherent whole and, especially, whether they are united in more than as a kind of incidental assemblage. There are in contrast three specific problems of unity. E. The second is whether the account of happiness in Book i harmonizes with the account given in Book x – for it has seemed to many commentators that Book i identifies happiness with activity in accordance with all of the virtues, whereas Book x identifies it with the activity of only one virtue (the “theoretical” or contemplative activity distinctive of the intellectual virtue of sophia, “wisdom”).

The general problem is whether and how the five treatises we have distinguished are tied together to form a coherent whole and, especially, whether they are united in more than as a kind of incidental assemblage. There are in contrast three specific problems of unity. E. The second is whether the account of happiness in Book i harmonizes with the account given in Book x – for it has seemed to many commentators that Book i identifies happiness with activity in accordance with all of the virtues, whereas Book x identifies it with the activity of only one virtue (the “theoretical” or contemplative activity distinctive of the intellectual virtue of sophia, “wisdom”).

2, where Aristotle states that “Those who say that choice [prohairesis] is sense-desire [epithumia] or spirit [thumos] or wish [boulēsis] or a certain kind of belief [doxa] do not seem to be right in what they say, since choice is not something that we have in common with alogon animals, yet sense-desire and spirit are” (1111b10–13). 27 But moderation and courage are clearly virtues of these parts respectively. As if to bring home this point, in his discussion of each of these virtues (and in the case of these two virtues alone), Aristotle is concerned to make comparisons, and draw appropriate contrasts, between how these virtues are manifested in us, and the related behavior in animals.

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