Notes on Nicomachean Ethics Book I, by Aristotle

“Every art and every inquiry, and similarly every action and pursuit, is thought to aim at some good” (Aristotle).

“The object of politics–the final end; the highest good–ordains which of the sciences should be studied in a state, and which each class of citizens should learn and up to what point they should learn them” (Aristotle).

Young man is not able to learn political science, for he is inexperienced in the actions while the end aimed at is not knowledge but action.

The highest of all goods is happiness.

Far best is he who knows all things himself;

Good, he that hearkens when men counsel right;

But he who neither knows, nor lays to heart

Another’s wisdom, is a useless wight. (Hesiod)

There are three kinds of life:

Life of enjoyment–pleasure

Political life–honor–being good

Contemplative life–contemplation

Good has many senses: category, quality, quantity, relation, time, place

Happiness is the end of action; human good is activity of soul in accordance with virtue in a complete life. “Happiness is something final and self-sufficient, and is the end of action” (Aristotle).

Being-at-work of the soul in accord with reason

Doing this well

Having the necessary virtue–thinking & Character (habit)

(a little)Deficiency vs. excess (too much)

What I learned:

Virtue is gained from doing it from choice; it brings us pleasure rather than pain; virtue is consistent with our character, which is developed in habit–brings stability.

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