By Otfried Hoffe
An individual drawn to theories of ethical or human perform will locate in Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics one of many few easy types appropriate via to at the present time. on the centre of his research, either sober and wary, are such recommendations as happiness, advantage, selection, prudence, incontinence, excitement and friendship. Aristotle's arguments are on no account of simply ancient curiosity, yet proceed to exert a key impression on present-day moral debate. The 13 contributions during this quantity current the rules of Aristotle's research, in addition to the fashionable history of its reception.
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Additional resources for Aristotle's "Nicomachean ethics"
But it is aware, first of all, that it only attains its practical aim where man is already familiar with the good life. Since this primary task must first be fulfilled—by models and imitation, by education and by law—, ethics can only be of secondary and subsidiary use. ), in the case of practice what is involved is not the general but the individual that this encompasses, and since this individual is not recognized by philosophy, one has to be satisfied with (normative) structural grids. Here the practical intent and the consideration of methods that precedes it are interwoven.
As distinct from “theoretical theory”, knowledge in the case of this “practical theory” has no purpose in itself. It forms an intermediate end, which is only meaningful if it serves a further end, precisely that of practice. e. happiness, so clearly to the eye that it hits the target like an archer (a–). It is well known that Plato already posited a practical intention. The clearest example of this is offered by his philosophy of kingship (Republic V, ), according to which misfortune in states (poleis) only comes to an end either if philosophers become kings or if those who are presently known as kings concern themselves honestly and thoroughly with philosophy.
One does not putt in order to play golf as one buys a club in order to play golf; and this distinction matches that between activities that do not and those that do produce a product. It will be “because” you wanted to play golf that you are putting, and “for the sake” of a good holiday that you are playing golf; but this is because putting and golfing are constituents of or ingredients in golfing and having a good holiday respectively, not because they are necessary preliminaries. Putting is playing golf (though not all that playing golf is), and golfing (in a somewhat different way) is having a good holiday (though not all that having a good holiday is).