The Nicomachean Ethics (Oxford World's Classics)
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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.
he has given up hope of safety, and is disliking the thought of death in this shape, while they are hopeful because of their experience. At the same time, we show courage in situations where there is the opportunity of showing prowess or 5 where death is noble; but in these forms of death neither of these conditions is fulﬁlled. The motive of courage is the noble: characteristics of the opposite vices, cowardice and rashness 10 15 20 25 7. What is fearful is not the same for all men; but we
the corresponding conditions, is brave; for the brave man feels and acts according to the merits of the case and in whatever way reason directs.* Now the end of every activity is conformity to the corresponding state of character. This is true, therefore, of the brave man as well as of others. But courage is noble. Therefore the end also is noble; for each thing is deﬁned by its end. Therefore it is for a noble end that the brave man endures and acts as courage directs. Of those who go to excess
its name to be concerned with great things; what sort of great things, is the ﬁrst question we must try to answer.* It makes no diﬀerence whether we consider the state of 1123b character or the man characterized by it. Now the man is thought to be proud who thinks himself worthy of great things and is worthy of them; for he who does so beyond his deserts is a fool, but no virtuous man is foolish or silly. The proud man, then, is the man 1 1122a31–3. 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 68 the
consumption, pledging, loan for use, depositing, letting (they are called voluntary 5 because the origin of these transactions is voluntary*), while of the involuntary (a) some are clandestine, such as theft, adultery, poisoning, procuring, enticement of slaves, assassination, false witness, and (b) others involve force, such as assault, imprisonment, murder, robbery with violence, mutilation, abuse, insult. Distributive justice, in accordance with geometrical proportion 3. (A) We have shown
goodwill to each other; but how could one call them friends when they do not know their mutual feelings? To be friends, then, they must be mutually recognized as bearing goodwill and wishing well 5 to each other for one of the aforesaid reasons.* Three corresponding kinds of friendship 10 15 20 25 3. Now these reasons diﬀer from each other in kind; so, therefore, do the corresponding forms of love and friendship. There are therefore three kinds of friendship, equal in number to the things