Notes on Nicomachean Ethics Book VII, VIII, and XI by Aristotle

Book VII


Unrestrained person doesn’t make choice, acting without choosing

(Anger doesn’t have object)



Restrained (enduring pull of desires)

Unrestrained (softness)–without thinking; ignorance of the facts; unable to think clearly; desire:

Incontinent with qualification–victory, honor, wealth

Incontinent without qualification–bodily pleasure

1. Human & natural; 2. animal like; 3. defects & diseases

We wish for a end in the very beginning; (How do we get the right principle/source to wish the end?)

-It comes from virtue (innate) rather than reason (from rearing & education)

It is better to do bad things from lack of self-control than from conscious choice.

Pleasure is an activity–an end

Book VIII & IX


We cannot live well without friendship; friendship is a kind of virtue.

Friendship is necessary, beautiful and noble. It is central to political life.

There are three types of things lovable: the useful (need each other), the pleasant–short-lived, and the good–long lasting.

Friendship needs good will–we are wishing for good things for friends rather than ourselves.

Friendship is mutual. It contains loving and loving back. Friend knows each other’s character best.

What true friendship do: being/living together as good; they want to be with each other; they spend the taste and days together.

Affection is about feeling; while friendship is all about doing.

Be as good as one can/possible be.

Virtue–the means to the end

Happiness–experiencing friendship

True mark of friendship is that it consists more of loving than of being loved.


Unreasonable marriage:

Passion doesn’t last.

Men get what they want from women–sex; while women get what they need from men–pregnancy/the kids. It is human nature. Marriage is a contract. Marriage is mutual. Human beings get what they want from each other. Sex grows love. However, the end/purpose of marriage is not sex.

Good marriage is reasonable. You need to ask yourself two questions–what do you love her and why does she love you–before getting marriage. You have to know each other best. Marriage is doing and spending time and tastes together. Sex-robot could satisfy your passion, but not your marriage.

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