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Happy Lives and the Highest Good
Author: Gabriel Richardson Lear

ISBN: 9780691126265
Format: Paperback
Number Of Pages: 248
Published: 12 December 2005
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2 x 1.4
Description:


Gabriel Richardson Lear presents a bold new approach to one of the enduring debates about Aristotle's "Nicomachean Ethics": the controversy about whether it coherently argues that the best life for humans is one devoted to a single activity, namely philosophical contemplation. Many scholars oppose this reading because the bulk of the "Ethics" is devoted to various moral virtues--courage and generosity, for example--that are not in any obvious way either manifestations of philosophical contemplation or subordinated to it. They argue that Aristotle was inconsistent, and that we should not try to read the entire "Ethics" as an attempt to flesh out the notion that the best life aims at the "monistic good" of contemplation.

In defending the unity and coherence of the "Ethics," Lear argues that, in Aristotle's view, we may act for the sake of an end not just by instrumentally bringing it about but also by approximating it. She then argues that, for Aristotle, the excellent rational activity of moral virtue is an approximation of theoretical contemplation.

Thus, the happiest person...

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