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Key Facts

full title  ·  Nicomachean Ethics

author · Aristotle

type of work  · Philosophical treatise

language  · Ancient (Classical or Attic) Greek

time and place written  · Between 334 and 323 b.c. in Athens; composed as lecture notes for Aristotle’s courses at the Lyceum

date of first publication  · Compiled by editors an indeterminate, short time after Aristotle’s death

narrator  · The Ethics are notes from Aristotle’s lectures, so the speaker is undoubtedly Aristotle himself

major topics  · Virtue and happiness; moral education; the doctrine of the mean; the unity of the virtues; the importance of friendship; the life of contemplation

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by ProfessorHinkley, April 06, 2014

The author of this commentary claims that Aristotle's "concept of distributive justice is meant to ensure that the greatest privilege go to those male aristocrats who exhibit the greatest virtue rather than to those who have the greatest wealth, the greatest military strength, or the most friends." This claim is superficial and grossly misleading. We need to approach books by trying to understand them as the author understands them, and in this case Aristotle articulates a principle of justice, called merit, that transcends gender and socia


23 out of 28 people found this helpful

Good Article

by m8292, September 30, 2014

Thanks for the good article.
To the previous poster: Can you explain where you see that Aristotle's principle is meant by the author to transcend gender etc.? I am especially confused by this because you state that we should not read the book as it might be interpreted, but as the author intended it to be interpreted (if I got you right). Doesn't it seem highly unlikely that someone like Aristotle would include anyone but citizens of the polis in his considerations? Do you have any citation that would support Aristotle including women ... Read more


12 out of 13 people found this helpful


by arclexico, February 23, 2015

Thank you Sparknotes for your great and concise articles. I got 95/100 on my exam.


1 out of 1 people found this helpful

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