Aristotle's Eudemian Ethics

Review of Metaphysics 39 (1):174-175 (1985)
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Michael Woods provides us with a very fine literal translation of Books I, II, and VIII Aristotle's Eudemian Ethics. Apart from the books common to both the Eudemian Ethics and the Nicomachean Ethics, these are the most important for understanding this work. Book I presents a preliminary overview of happiness by means of those opinions Aristotle regards as most significant. This book corresponds to the first six chapters of Book I of the Nicomachean Ethics. Woods's commentary is most detailed and helpful for Chapter 8, the final chapter of Book I, which deals with the criticism of the Form of the Good. He also has useful discussions of the Aristotelian conception of eudaimonia, the distinction between practical and theoretical inquiries, and the various candidates for the good life. Book II discusses in outline what happiness is, the general nature of virtue of character, including a presentation of the doctrine of the mean, and the voluntary, including choice. It corresponds to Book I. 7 and Book III of the Nicomachean Ethics. Woods analyzes the chapters on the voluntary very thoroughly and his commentary on the important first chapter, with its similarity to Book I.7 of the Nichomachean Ethics, is also very detailed. Book VIII contains a first chapter on the connection between virtue and knowledge, a second chapter on good fortune, and a third chapter on nobility or complete virtue, concluding with several references to "the god," which Woods interprets as meaning the unmoved mover of the Metaphysics in contradistinction to the view of the German commentator, Dirlmeier, who takes it to be theoretical reason. This book does not really correspond to any book of the Nicomachean Ethics but is unique.



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Aristotle on the Perfect Life.Anthony Kenny - 1992 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Aristotle's eudemian ethics.Roger J. Sullivan - 1983 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 21 (4):557-559.


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