A person drawn to theories of ethical or human perform will locate in Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics one of many few easy types proper via to this present day. on the centre of his research, either sober and wary, are such techniques as happiness, advantage, selection, prudence, incontinence, excitement and friendship. Aristotle’s arguments are under no circumstances of only historic curiosity, yet proceed to exert a key effect on present-day moral debate. The 13 contributions during this quantity current the rules of Aristotle’s research, in addition to the fashionable heritage of its reception.
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As opposed to the contrary tendency of the modern age, Aristotle represents a principle of epistemological flexibility. He does not abandon the ideal of scientificity, that of the compelling proof, presented in the Posterior Analytics. Knowing that the ideal cannot be realized in all classes of object, he opts in general for the principle of appropriate precision (cf. Höffe , part II; on the concept of precision, cf. also Kurz and Anagnostopoulous ). , a–) expands this proposition, when he maintains that a carpenter and a geometer (in the sense of a mathematician) investigate the right angle in different ways.
The above comparative refutes this interpretation; happiness is perfect already in the individual; in the state it is simply increased. Aristotle does not even give the state a normative superiority over the individual, or say that in case of conflict individuals should subordinate their interests to those of the state. –) also rejects a normative superiority of the state. Even the cautious interpretation of W. e. the idea of a “political humanism” in which man only develops his possibilities fully in the context of the polis, is only partially true.
Valid too, not only for practical but equally for theoretical philosophy, is the methodological indication in the discourse on akrasia, which can be otfried höffe read as an explanation of the ascending investigation of principles (cf. Owen ): that one has to ascertain the phenomena, discuss difficulties, and take account of accepted views. In short, practical philosophy essentially follows the same methods as theoretical philosophy; it does not seek to directly instruct in the good and upright life, but rather to analyse this by means of concepts, arguments, and a critique of discourse.