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Nicomachean Ethics Book 1.docx

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Mark Kingwell

Nicomachean Ethics Book 1 - Plato founded the Academy where you could go and study Plato's works - Aristotle was Plato's most famous student - when Aristotle was 16 or 17, he came to Athens to study at Plato's Academy and stayed there for 20 years - around 348 when Plato died, Aristotle left the Academy and traveled to Macedonia to act as tutor to King Philip's son Alexander, who then conquered most of the world - Aristotle set up his own institution, but he couldn't own property in Athens because he wasn't Greek - When Alexander the Great died, there was much anti-Macedonian sentiment going around - Aristotle fled the city and died shortly thereafter - Aristotle had his own mini-university as did Plato; important because of a distinction between kinds of writings: esoteric and exoteric - exoteric: things that were meant to circulate wildly and in some sense were popular works; meant for general consumption - esoteric: meant for internal studies that were meant for people within the school; technical and unappealing to the general public - we only have the exoteric works of Plato; we have nothing that was designed for the Platonists who asked probing questions that Plato would answer -it did exist and some point in some form, but we have no access to it - we have lost Aristotle's exoteric works; they were supposedly delightful and rich in literature - these were notes Aristotle used were much more compressed and argumentative - Aristotle is known as the father of physics, biology, logic -he set people to collect facts -when it came to study politics, students would study institution that had been active in the last century or so -he wanted to start from not an ideal notion, but from what the best of the wise people think -in ethics, in essence what we want to do is start from views and opinions - Philosophy is finding the basic principles - Descriptive ethics: he looks to see what people think and searches for theoretical foundation of our common moral consciousness - this doesn't mean that we are all corr
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