Reconciling Book 8 Chapter 3 of the Eudemian Ethics with the Nicomachean Ethics Account of Virtue, Nobility and the Best Human Life.

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dc.contributor.advisor Hursthouse, R en Glen, Andrew en 2012-03-12T04:33:00Z en 2011 en
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dc.description.abstract This thesis attempts to find a harmonious interpretation of what are understood to be two major problems in the final chapter of the Eudemian Ethics regarding Aristotle's position on the best life. As in the NE, Aristotle spends a majority of the EE arguing for the life of virtue as the best human life, before going on in the final chapter to present a two step demotion of this life. He firstly promotes the life of nobility, understood as somehow distinct from full-virtue, before finally settling on the life of contemplation and service to God as our best life. Any attempt to reconcile these two divergences, as they are typically understood, presents one with the difficult and ugly task of essentially making sense of a pair of contradictions. A more elegant solution is thus to find a way of interpreting them both as presenting no divergence at all; to find a convincing way of interpreting all of Aristotle's conclusions regarding the best human life, at least in these ethical texts, as unified and coherent; and to this end this thesis is dedicated. The position I come to defend with regards to the full-virtue/nobility distinction consists in the argument that the life of nobility is in fact no different to the life of full-virtue, and that the type of virtue Aristotle distinguishes from nobility in the EE is instead just a temporary, compelled form of goodness, exemplified by his Spartan type. The position I come to defend with regards to the contemplation and service to God distinction is that the life of contemplation Aristotle reasonably distinguishes from that of character virtue in the NE is exactly the same life that we find Aristotle promoting at the very last instance in the EE. I base this position of the argument that god, as a species of agency, just as it is presented in Chapter 8, Book X of the NE, is intended by Aristotle to represent no more than an exemplar of contemplation or of human intellectual activity in general, as a kind of agency we should wish to emulate, but certainly not something we should have to serve or exclusively contemplate in order to live the best life. In the development of this final position the scope of my analysis is broadened somewhat to include Aristotle's Metaphysics and, to lesser degree, On the Soul, the Physics, and the Movement of Animals, generating the substantial effect of adding, to the initial aim of reconciling the accounts of virtue and the best life in the NE and the EE, the goal of reconciling the overlapping elements within this broader range of Aristotle's texts and, in particular, Aristotle's discussion of the prime mover god in the Metaphysics and how we can best understand this as relating to our best life. en
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof Masters Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. en
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dc.title Reconciling Book 8 Chapter 3 of the Eudemian Ethics with the Nicomachean Ethics Account of Virtue, Nobility and the Best Human Life. en
dc.type Thesis en The University of Auckland en Masters en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The author en
pubs.elements-id 318512 en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2012-03-12 en

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