Authors
Thornton Lockwood
Quinnipiac University
Abstract
In his Metaphysics of Morals, Kant famously wrote “The distinction between virtue and vice can never be sought in the degree to which one follows certain maxims…In other words, the well-known principle (Aristotle’s) that locates virtue in the mean between two vices is false.” Kant is not the first (or the last) thinker to take to task Aristotle’s doctrine of the mean, but he is representative of a line of criticism of Aristotle’s doctrine which argues that ethics is the realm of determinate necessary principles and Aristotle’s doctrine of the mean only supplies an indeterminate difference between virtue and vice. In response to such critics (among others), Gottlieb’s Virtue of Aristotle’s Ethics provides a defense of Aristotle’s ethical philosophy which is grounded in a reexamination of Aristotle’s doctrine of the mean and what Gottlieb claims are it concomitant doctrines, viz. that for Aristotle virtues are non-remedial and their unity results in an integration of the parts of the soul. She divides her book into two parts—one on ethical virtue and one on ethical reasoning (a subsection of intellectual virtue)—and touches upon additional topics such as the status of Aristotle’s nameless virtues, the notion of the fine (kalon), the nature of the practical syllogism, and the relationship between virtue and the political community.
Keywords Aristotle  Nicomachean Ethics  virtue
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ISBN(s) 0019-0365
DOI ipq201151343
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