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Happy Lives and the Highest Good: An Essay on Aristotle’s by Gabriel Richardson Lear

By Gabriel Richardson Lear

Gabriel Richardson Lear provides a daring new method of one of many enduring debates approximately Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics: the debate approximately even if it coherently argues that the easiest lifestyles for people is one dedicated to a unmarried task, particularly philosophical contemplation. Many students oppose this studying as the bulk of the Ethics is dedicated to varied ethical virtues—courage and generosity, for example—that are usually not in any noticeable manner both manifestations of philosophical contemplation or subordinated to it. They argue that Aristotle used to be inconsistent, and that we should always no longer try and learn the total Ethics as an try and flesh out the idea that the easiest lifestyles goals on the "monistic stable" of contemplation. In protecting the cohesion and coherence of the Ethics, Lear argues that, in Aristotle's view, we might act for the sake of an finish not only via instrumentally bringing it approximately but additionally through approximating it. She then argues that, for Aristotle, the wonderful rational task of ethical advantage is an approximation of theoretical contemplation. therefore, the happiest individual chooses ethical advantage as an approximation of contemplation in functional existence. Richardson Lear bolsters this interpretation by way of reading 3 ethical virtues--courage, temperance, and greatness of soul—and the way in which they're high quality. Elegantly written and carefully argued, this can be a significant contribution to our knowing of a principal factor in Aristotle's ethical philosophy.

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Extra info for Happy Lives and the Highest Good: An Essay on Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics

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5. His interpretation takes the general approach of describing these goods as worth choosing for two different reasons, though. See chapter 2, section 4, below. 4 I prefer to use eudaimonistic in the traditional sense in order not to obscure a distinction Aristotle himself is keen to draw between the virtuous person’s love of self and selfishness. 2). CHAPTER TWO The Finality Criterion 1. INTRODUCTION I begin by raising a problem about Aristotle’s practical teleology. 7 Aristotle lays out some criteria that any account of the human good must meet.

The countless hours they spent talking me through my ideas and writing meticulous comments on drafts have made this a better piece of work than it would otherwise have been. But more than that, they have been models of scholarship and philosophical insight to which I aspire. I wish also to thank my husband, Jonathan, who has encouraged me every step of the way; Sophia Lear for being full of poise and warmth in the midst of frenzy; my sisters, Leslie and Dana; and my parents, who encouraged me from the beginning to be a philosopher.

Thus, although I will from time to time make reference to the Eudemian Ethics, I will not attempt any systematic treatment of the relationship between those treatises, nor will I assume that what Aristotle says in the Eudemian Ethics applies to his argument in the Nicomachean Ethics. I will, however, frequently refer to works by Plato. This may come as a bit of a surprise. It is, of course, widely recognized that Aristotle’s theory of moral education is influenced by the Republic and that the finality and self-sufficiency criteria for an account of the good derive from the Philebus, even though Aristotle does not always acknowledge his debts to Plato by name.

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