10 Things You Need To Know About Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics

From the Ancient Greek Philosopher website:

1.  Why is it called the Nicomachean Ethics?
The Nicomachean Ethics is a book written by Aristotle named for Nicomachus (Νικόμαχος), which in keeping with the Greek practice of boys being named after their grandfathers, was the name of both Aristotle’s father and his son.  Accordingly, we are unsure if the book was dedicated to or inspired by either Aristotle’s father or son, or perhaps his grandfather, who was confusingly also named Nicomachus.1)  There is a tradition that holds, though, that the book was named after Aristotle’s son.

2.  The “Hidden Meaning” of Nicomachus
Nicomachus means “victor in the battle,” so it perhaps is no surprise that courage is the very first virtue discussed in detail, as Aristotle makes it a point to say that the prime exemplification of courage is courage in battle.  He further contends that the other uses of the word courage are really an extension of this primary usage from war.

3.  The Chief Good
The inquiry which serves to guide the entire enterprise of the Nichomachean Ethics is answering the question as to what is the chief human good.  The chief good, still familiar to us today through use of the Latin term, summum bonum, is that thing at which all people aim, and for which all other things are … [continued]

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