The Nicomachean Ethics

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Penguin, 1976 - Philosophy - 329 pages
19 Reviews
In The Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle sets out to examine the nature of happiness. He argues that happiness consists in 'activity of the soul in accordance with virtue'-for example, with moral virtues, such as courage, generosity and justice, and intellectual virtues, such as knowledge, wisdom and insight. The Ethics also discusses the nature of practical reasoning, the value and the objects of pleasure, the different forms of friendship and the relationship between individual virtue, society and the State. Aristotle's work has had a profound and lasting influence on all subsequent Western thought about ethical matters.
J.A.K. Thomson's translation has been revised by Hugh Tredennick, and is accompanied by a new introduction by Jonathan Barnes. This edition also includes an updated bibliography and a new chronology of Aristotle's life and works.

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Review: The Nicomachean Ethics

User Review  - Glenn Russell - Goodreads

Ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle postulates the highest human good is eudaimonia or what is loosely translated into English as happiness. And a substantial component in the path to such human ... Read full review

Review: The Nicomachean Ethics

User Review  - Frank Della Torre - Goodreads

The Nicomachean Ethics represents Aristotle's search for how to live the virtuous life. The treatise doesn't search for an abstract virtue in itself (like Plato), but rather for how to achieve virtue ... Read full review

Selected pages


The Object of Life
Moral Goodness
Moral Responsibility Two Virtues
Other Moral Virtues
Intellectual Virtues
Continence and Incontinence The Nature of Pleasure
The Kinds of Friendship
Appendix 4 Platos Theory of Forms
Appendix 5 The Categories
Appendix 6 Substance and Change
Appendix 7 Nature and Theology
Appendix 8 The Practical Syllogism
Appendix 9 Pleasure and Process
Appendix 10 Liturgies
Appendix 11 Aristotle in the Middle Ages

The Grounds of Friendship
Pleasure and the Life of Happiness
Appendix 1 Table of Virtues and Vices
Appendix 2 Pythagoreanism
Appendix 3 The Sophists and Socrates
Glossary of Greek Words
Index of Names
Subject Index

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Page xl - And, whatever the world thinks, he who hath not much meditated upon God, the human mind, and the summum bonum, may possibly make a thriving earthworm, but will most indubitably make a sorry patriot and a sorry statesman.
Page xl - Essay, are not proposed as principles, but barely as hints to awaken and exercise the inquisitive reader, on points not beneath the attention of the ablest men. Those great men, Pythagoras, Plato, and Aristotle, the most consummate in politics, who founded states, or instructed princes, or wrote most accurately on public government, were at the same time most acute at all abstracted and sublime speculations ; the clearest light being ever necessary to guide the most important actions.

References to this book

Morality and the Emotions
Justin Oakley
No preview available - 1993
Morality and the Emotions
Justin Oakley
No preview available - 1993
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About the author (1976)

Aristotle was born at Stageira, in the dominion of the kings of Macedonia, in 384 BC. For twenty years he studied at Athens in the Academy of Plato, on whose death in 347 he left, and, some time later, became tutor of the young Alexander the Great. When Alexander succeeded to the throne of Macedonia in 335, Aristotle returned to Athens and established his school and research institute, the Lyceum, to which his great erudition attracted a large number of scholars. After Alexander's death in 323, anti-Macedonian feeling drove Aristotle out of Athens, and he fled to Chalcis in Euboea, where he died in 322. His writings, which were of extraordinary range, profoundly affected the whole course of ancient and medieval philosophy, and they are still eagerly studied and debated by philosophers today. Very many of them have survived and among the most famous are the Ethics and the Politics.

J. A. K. Thomson was professor emeritus of classics at King's College, London, until his death in 1959.

Hugh Tredennick was professor of classics at Royal Holloway College and Dean of the Faculty of Arts at London University.

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