Nicomachean ethics thesis statement

Preliminaries Aristotle wrote two ethical treatises: In any case, these two works cover more or less the same ground:

Nicomachean ethics thesis statement

Preliminaries Aristotle wrote two ethical treatises: In any case, these two works cover more or less the same ground: Both treatises examine the conditions in which praise or blame are appropriate, and the nature of pleasure and friendship; near the end of each work, we find a brief discussion of the proper relationship between human beings and the divine.

Though the general point of view expressed in each work is the same, there are many subtle differences in organization and content as well.

Clearly, one is a re-working of the other, and although no single piece of evidence shows conclusively what their order is, it is widely assumed that the Nicomachean Ethics is a later and improved version of the Eudemian Ethics. Not all of the Eudemian Ethics was revised: Perhaps the most telling indication of this ordering is that in several instances the Nicomachean Ethics develops a theme about which its Eudemian cousin is silent.

The remainder of this article will therefore focus on this work. Page and line numbers shall henceforth refer to this treatise. It ranges over topics discussed more fully in the other two works and its point of view is similar to theirs.


Why, being briefer, is it named the Magna Moralia? Because each of the two papyrus rolls into which it is divided is unusually long. Just as a big mouse can be a small animal, two big chapters can make a small book. A few authors in antiquity refer to a work with this name and attribute it to Aristotle, but it is not mentioned by several authorities, such as Cicero and Diogenes Laertius, whom we would expect to have known of it.

No one had written ethical treatises before Aristotle.

Nicomachean ethics thesis statement

The Human Good and the Function Argument The principal idea with which Aristotle begins is that there are differences of opinion about what is best for human beings, and that to profit from ethical inquiry we must resolve this disagreement. He insists that ethics is not a theoretical discipline: In raising this question—what is the good?

He assumes that such a list can be compiled rather easily; most would agree, for example, that it is good to have friends, to experience pleasure, to be healthy, to be honored, and to have such virtues as courage at least to some degree.

The difficult and controversial question arises when we ask whether certain of these goods are more desirable than others. To be eudaimon is therefore to be living in a way that is well-favored by a god. But Aristotle never calls attention to this etymology in his ethical writings, and it seems to have little influence on his thinking.

No one tries to live well for the sake of some further goal; rather, being eudaimon is the highest end, and all subordinate goals—health, wealth, and other such resources—are sought because they promote well-being, not because they are what well-being consists in.

But unless we can determine which good or goods happiness consists in, it is of little use to acknowledge that it is the highest end. One important component of this argument is expressed in terms of distinctions he makes in his psychological and biological works.

The soul is analyzed into a connected series of capacities: The biological fact Aristotle makes use of is that human beings are the only species that has not only these lower capacities but a rational soul as well.

The good of a human being must have something to do with being human; and what sets humanity off from other species, giving us the potential to live a better life, is our capacity to guide ourselves by using reason.

If we use reason well, we live well as human beings; or, to be more precise, using reason well over the course of a full life is what happiness consists in.

Doing anything well requires virtue or excellence, and therefore living well consists in activities caused by the rational soul in accordance with virtue or excellence.Essay on Aristotle's Notion on Eudaimonia and Virtue ; Aristotle Nicomachean Ethics' Virtues Abstract: Aristotle contributed greatly to the development of the human moralistic values by scripting the Nicomachean Ethics.

In the thesis, we discuss the origin of the virtues and there relevance with respect to modern examples of real public. Book VII of the Nicomachean Ethics is identical to Book VI of the Eudemian Ethics; for unknown reasons, the editor of the former decided to include within it both the treatment of pleasure that is unique to that work (X.1–5) and the study that is common to both treatises (VII–14).

The two accounts are broadly similar. Download thesis statement on Aristotle's Nicomachian Ethics in our database or order an original thesis paper that will be written by one of our staff writers and delivered according to the deadline.

Thesis Statement. argumentative. compare and contrast. log in × scroll to top. Home; The Definition of Happiness in Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle PAGES 3. WORDS 1, View Full Essay.

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Nicomachean Ethics I chose to write about Aristotle and his beliefs about how the virtuous human being needs friends from Book VIII from Nicomachean Ethics. In this essay I will talk about the three different kinds of friendship that (Utility, Pleasure, and Goodness) that Aristotle claims exist.

SparkNotes: Nicomachean Ethics: Themes, Ideas & Arguments