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Ethics of Aristotle

Ethics of Aristotle

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Published by: booklover1968 on Dec 26, 2009
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Translator: J. A. Smith A Penn State Electronic Classics Series Publication
The Ethics of Aristotle
trans. J. A. Smith
is a publication of the Pennsylvania State University.This Portable Document file is furnished free and without any charge of any kind. Any personusing this document file, for any purpose, and in any way does so at his or her own risk. Nei-ther the Pennsylvania State University nor Jim Manis, Faculty Editor, nor anyone associatedwith the Pennsylvania State University assumes any responsibility for the material containedwithin the document or for the file as an electronic transmission, in any way.
The Ethics of Aristotle
trans. J. A. Smith
the Pennsylvania State University,
 Electronic Classics Series
, Jim Manis, Faculty Editor, Hazleton, PA 18202 is a Portable Document File produced aspart of an ongoing student publication project to bring classical works of literature, in English,to free and easy access of those wishing to make use of them.Cover Design: Jim ManisCopyright © 2004 The Pennsylvania State University
The Pennsylvania State University is an equal opportunity university.
The Ethics of Aristotle
of Aristotle is one half of a single treatise of whichhis
is the other half. Both deal with one and the samesubject. This subject is what Aristotle calls in one place the“philosophy of human affairs;” but more frequently Politicalor Social Science. In the two works taken together we havetheir author’s whole theory of human conduct or practicalactivity, that is, of all human activity which is not directedmerely to knowledge or truth. The two parts of this treatiseare mutually complementary, but in a literary sense each isindependent and self-contained. The proem to the
isan introduction to the whole subject, not merely to the firstpart; the last chapter of the
points forward to the
, and sketches for that part of the treatise the order of enquiry to be pursued (an order which in the actual treatiseis not adhered to).The principle of distribution of the subject-matter betweenthe two works is far from obvious, and has been much de-bated. Not much can be gathered from their titles, which inany case were not given to them by their author. Nor dothese titles suggest any very compact unity in the works to which they are applied: the plural forms, which survive sooddly in English (Ethic
, Politic
), were intended to indicatethe treatment within a single work of a
of connectedquestions. The unity of the first group arises from theircentring round the topic of character, that of the second fromtheir connection with the existence and life of the city orstate. We have thus to regard the
as dealing with onegroup of problems and the
with a second, both fall-ing within the wide compass of Political Science. Each of these groups falls into sub-groups which roughly correspondto the several books in each work. The tendency to take upone by one the various problems which had suggested them-selves in the wide field obscures both the unity of the sub- ject-matter and its proper articulation. But it is to be remem-

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