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Nicomachean Ethics


Key Facts

Important Quotations Explained

Study Questions & Essay Topics

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


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