Notes on Nicomachean Ethics Book V & VI, by Aristotle

Book V

  1. Just man acts justly.

Knowledge could be used either good or evil.

Unjust: unlawful & inequitable (claim more)

Just: lawful & equitable

Justice is whole of virtue; is completed virtue—treating others well

Justice indicates two different things: complete virtue & part of virtue

  1. Special justice as a part of virtue: distributive & corrective

Unjust-wickedness: self-indulgence, cowardice, anger

  1. Distributive: money, honors, (evils, burdens)

One deserves more, gets more. Distribute by proportionate

People expect government do “noblesse oblige” better than individuals.

People deserve what they did.

  1. Corrective:

B (situation before) ————A (situation after)

Punishment (revenge (natural but irrational); correct; doesn’t do anything better)

  1. Money is invented—community—equal
  2. political justice is governed by the rule of law; domestic justice relies more on respect.

True justice only comes from a virtuous disposition.

Injustice involves at least two people. (In the case of suicide, the victim is the state.)

Book VI

Virtue of soul:

  1. Irrational—virtues of character—habit
  2. Rational—virtues of intellect: knowing part—contemplates being (truths of science and mathematics); calculating part (practical matters of human life)—becoming

Animals do not act.

Three things govern action & truth: *action=deliberation + desiring

1. a. art (techne): know by doing, making (process of coming into being); b. knowledge: know how; c. practical judgment: wisdom, prudence—deliberation; d. wisdom; e. intellective

2. The intellectual virtues help us to know what is just and admirable, and the moral virtues help us to do just and admirable deeds.

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