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Aristotle's "Nicomachean ethics" by Otfried Hoffe

By Otfried Hoffe

Someone attracted to theories of ethical or human perform will locate in Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics one of many few easy versions appropriate via to at the present time. on the centre of his research, either sober and wary, are such ideas as happiness, advantage, selection, prudence, incontinence, excitement and friendship. Aristotle's arguments are not at all of purely historic curiosity, yet proceed to exert a key effect on present-day moral debate. The 13 contributions during this quantity current the principles of Aristotle's research, in addition to the fashionable history of its reception.

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E. ). Here it is not the statement that is poorer in premises that is given superior rank, but rather the “more substantial” one, which is richer in premises for this purpose. The statements on sophia display differences internal to theory, whereas our excursus on method involves a difference between theory and practice; in the one case the distinctions are within the universal, in the other the difference from the universal of ethics to the individual who ultimately decides in ethical practice.

Also Kurz  and Anagnostopoulous ). , a–) expands this proposition, when he maintains that a carpenter and a geometer (in the sense of a mathematician) investigate the right angle in different ways. The explanation that they each seek the right angle to the extent that is useful for their work might suggest tolerances specific to the material; but in the mathematical question as to the nature of the right angle (a), these limits are not just narrower, they disappear altogether.

Robinson, Chapter Nine, below), there are individuals who are aware of virtue and yet do not act according to it. What then does a practical philosophy really achieve? Because it already presupposes both practical experience and—with the qualification just made—a reasonable life, it cannot of itself generate the intended moral practice. In view of the uncertainties and doubts we have mentioned, however, it can enlighten practice about itself, and through this enlightenment procure the clarity that Aristotle suggests with his image of the archer: clear vision makes it easier to hit the target.

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