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Aristotle and His Books

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Aristotle
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ARISTOTLE
Aristotle is one of the greatest philosophical minds in ancient history. A student of Plato’s academy, he spent a majority of his time in Athens and wrote on a variety of topics ranging from Physics to Music. As a teacher of Alexander the Great, he had the luxury of resources and he used them to establish a school of thought unlike any other; the credibility of which was unquestioned until the Enlightenment.
Of particular importance is his work on ethical theory. Two of most famous works on this subject are the Nicomachean Ethics and the Eudemian Ethics. While Aristotle himself does not name these separately, the subject matter distinguishes them. The latter was written first and talks about man’s character. The former is an improved treatment which discusses ethics in a political scenario. Both books are quite similar in nature though, and the underlying signature of Aristotle’s ethical theory is prevalent. They start with the treatment of what ‘happiness’ is, and then proceed on to explain what ‘virtues’ are required to attain that happiness.
In Book I, Aristotle begins by appreciating that there is an inherent disagreement upon what is good for human beings. There is no absolute theory that can explain what humans need to do to attain ‘happiness’. He is also not in search of a list of good things, even though such a list can be drawn up. Humans are generally faced with choices and one action often conflicts with another. What Aristotle searches for in his treatises, is the highest good. He alienates three distinctive features of such: it has inherent value, it is not desirable for the sake of fulfillment of other actions, and all other goods are desirable for its sake. Aristotle recognizes that human action is directed towards the attainment of a certain ‘good’; we make efforts to improve our health, wealth...

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