Nicomachean Ethics

Nicomachean Ethics

Language: English

Pages: 392

ISBN: 0872204642

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Building on the strengths of the first edition, the second edition of the Irwin Nicomachean Ethics features a revised translation (with little editorial intervention), expanded notes (including a summary of the argument of each chapter), an expanded Introduction, and a revised glossary.

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to have been composed as a separate entity, was mistakenly tacked on to the Ethics by a later editor. But there seems no reason to think that Aristotle himself did not include it in his own composition of the Ethics, since it ®ts perfectly well into his overall project. Aristotle's conception of friendship is broad. It includes parents' relation to their children (including animals' relations to their offspring), the natural kinship felt by one human being with another, and xxix Introduction

that actions in accordance with virtue are pleasant in themselves. But they are also good and noble as well as pleasant; indeed, since the good person is a good judge of goodness and nobility, actions in accordance with virtue have them to a degree greater than anything else; and here he judges in accordance with our views. Happiness, then, is the best, the noblest and the pleasantest thing, and these qualities are not separate as in the inscription at Delos: 14 Book I Noblest is that which is

in relation to the less, but less in relation to the greater, so the mean states are excessive in relation to the de®ciencies, but de®cient in relation to the excesses; this is so in both feelings and actions. For the courageous person seems rash in relation to the coward, and a coward in relation to the rash person. Similarly, the temperate seems intemperate in relation to the insensible, but insensible in relation to the intemperate, and the generous person wasteful in relation to the stingy

after the prior. The transfer of the name does not seem inapposite, since that which desires what is disgraceful and grows quickly ought to be disciplined. Appetites and children fall especially into this category, since children live in accordance with appetite, and the desire for what is pleasant is found especially in them. If, then, it is not going to be obedient and subject to its ruler, it will get out of hand. For the desire of an irrational being for what is pleasant is insatiable and

same as what be®ts human beings, what be®ts a temple not the same as what be®ts a tomb. And since each expenditure will be great relative to its kind; and the expenditure most magni®cent without quali®cation is when it is great and for a great object, and in a given case that which is great for that kind of case; and greatness in the result is different from that in the expense (for a very noble ball or oil-¯ask is magni®cent as a gift for a child, though its cost is small and petty); since these

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