Nicomachean Ethics

Nicomachean Ethics


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A student of Plato and a teacher of Alexander the Great, Aristotle is one of the towering figures in Western thought. A brilliant thinker with wide-ranging interests, he wrote important works in physics, biology, poetry, politics, morality, metaphysics, and ethics.
In the Nicomachean Ethics, which he is said to have dedicated to his son Nicomachus, Aristotle's guiding question is what is the best thing for a human being? His answer is happiness. "Happiness," he wrote, "is the best, noblest, and most pleasant thing in the world." But he means not something we feel, not an emotion, but rather an especially good kind of life. Happiness is made up of activities in which we use the best human capacities, both ones that contribute to our flourishing as members of a community, and ones that allow us to engage in god-like contemplation. Contemporary ethical writings on the role and importance of the moral virtues such as courage and justice have drawn inspiration from this work, which also contains important discussions on responsibility, practical reasoning, and on the role of friendship in creating the best life.
This new edition combines David Ross's classic translation, lightly revised by Lesley Brown, with a new and invaluable introduction and explanatory notes. A glossary of key terms and comprehensive index, as well as a fully updated bibliography, add further value to this exceptional new edition.

About the Series: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the broadest spectrum of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, voluminous notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781680920857
Publisher: 12th Media Services
Publication date: 10/10/2017
Pages: 172
Sales rank: 297,459
Product dimensions: 6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Sir David Ross (1877-1971) was Provost of Oriel College and Deputy Professor of Moral Philosophy at Oxford. He was General Editor of the complete Oxford Translation of Aristotle.
Lesley Brown is a Fellow and Tutor in Philosophy, Somerville College Oxford.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1. Every art and every inquiry, and likewise every action and choice, seems to aim at some good, and hence it has been beautifully said that the good is that at which all things aim. But a certain difference is apparent among ends, since some are ways of being at work, while others are certain kinds of works produced, over and above the being-at-work. And in those cases in which there are ends of any kind beyond the actions, the works produced are by nature better things than the activities. And since there are many actions and arts and kinds of knowledge, the ends also turn out to be many: of medical knowledge the end is health, of shipbuilding skill it is a boat, of strategic art it is victory, of household management it is wealth. But in as many such pursuits as are under some one capacity—in the way that bridle making and all the other skills involved with implements pertaining to horses come under horsemanship, while this and every action pertaining to war come under strategic art, and in the same way other pursuits are under other capacities—in all of them the ends of all the master arts are more worthy of choice than are the ends of the pursuits that come under them, since these latter are pursued for the sake of those arts. And it makes no difference whether the ends of the actions are the ways of being at work themselves, or something else beyond these, as they are with the kinds of knowledge mentioned.

Table of Contents


Preface to this Translation, vii
Introduction, xi
Book I, 1
Book II, 21
Book III, 36
Book IV, 58
Book V, 79
Book VI, 102
Book VII, 118
Book VIII, 143
Book IX, 162
Book X, 180
Glossary, 200
Index, 213

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Nicomachean Ethics 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 38 reviews.
ChelseaBaines More than 1 year ago
Aristotle lays down the foundations for life and mans purpose. He asserts that the supreme good, or highest goal for man, is happiness. A happiness that consists of a rich and fulfilling life focused on virtuous behavior rather than pleasure. He concludes that man should fulfill his rationality through contemplation and moral education to reach this goal. A major theme in this book is Aristotle's rejection of Plato's Theory of the Forms. He argues that learning should be empirical (derived from what can be experienced and observed) and not based on overcoming reality. Another theme is the criticism of Hedonism (which was the philosophy of the time) which said, "Eat drink and be merry for tomorrow we die." Aristotle argued that true happiness or "eudaimonia" comes from living a full, rich, and virtuous life, not from pleasure. I like how Aristotle confronted Hedonism and previous perceptions of happiness that ignore morality as a means of achieving pleasure. This is still a huge problem in our society, as many people are in search of bodily pleasures and ignore matters of the soul. I like the idea of the Golden Mean, that every virtue in excess or in deficiency can be a vice. I disliked how dry and hard to get through the book was, but it's understandable as much of Aristotle's work include the organization of his thoughts as they are being explained. I also strongly disagreed with his idea of incontinence (or indifference). I consider this a vice which is more than just bad, because although it may simply require passivity and not action, it is still a choice to refuse good when it is in one's power to give it, and this is an evil which is almost unforgivable. I recommend this book to everyone. Although some of the ideas may seem simple to us now that they have been accepted for hundreds of years, they are still remarkably complex for the time that they were written. The ideas about virtue, happiness, friendship, contemplation, and purpose are still relevant and valuable today.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ethics nowadays is so confused and grouped with 'morals' that few consider the difference. Those who do use the argument for Ethics to veer the rest towards their own views and so 'Ethics' as a set of conduct is constantly hijacked by the 'righteous' for their own purposes. It is great we still have Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics to remind us what it is all about. And this new translation is conscise, clear, up-to-date and with plenty of endnotes conferring with other valued translations of the past and current academic debates regarding it. Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics shows us that conduct is a choice only the human animal with our ability to question and to reason can develop into a set of ethics that brings us with equilibrium with ourselves, our community and planet. Making us thus greater than the sum of our individual parts as one gestalt entity, and as part of a community of humans. It shows us our choices ought to be irrespective of fear of a hell or hope of a reward. It is choices we ought to develop into habits, into our ethics for our humanity alone. For the benefit to our interactions with our families, friends, community, society and planet at-large. With this in mind Aristotle proceeds then to clearly delineate, describe and quantify what these particular choices are that we develop normally but that should be actively and conscientiously sought out by us to make us better more wholesome human beings. Because if we are to live one life on this planet and nothing more, we should try and learn to be a positive part in it and of it. Thus become of value to ourselves, our community, our planet. It is always with great interest I seek these arguments and am in my 2nd read of this very rewarding book.
prudent on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Shows almost all types of human character.
dhoe on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A true revelation for me. I've never read anything from Aristotle before, and I spent quite a lot of time reading papers and websites about the book to better understand it. I guess in a way I always thought about virtues as something boring conservatives talk about, so Aristotles perspective was really new and exciting for me. Also interesting to read in the context of gender (what Aristotle thinks a real man (tm) should be like).
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G <br> y
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Goes to sleep
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Kinda weird my good fiend is spreading umors and gossiping ehind my back the first night i met you i thought you were cool and then you go and do this
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*she walked in*
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Take you to iron mask all results.
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Demeter Cabin
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Wakes up
Manirul More than 1 year ago
Lovely...! beautiful.....!.... Just enjoy it.....!
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Does not have the Bekker page #s. Other than that it is okay.
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