Nicomachean Ethics: Book I
Artistotle hes bound to truth over friendship.
The classical view: were different from beasts in such a way to such a degree that we are a
difference in kind
The modern view: we are different from beasts but only in degree. We’re animals.
Vegetative capacity: “nutrition and growth” not peculiar to human beings plants humans and
animals all do it not a human feature.
Sense perception: animals and humans
Rationality: just human differentiates us from everything else and is the source of our ethical
You can do vicious things and not be a vicious person. You can do virtuous things and not be a
Diff from plato bc starts small gets large not from gen prin and works inward
Soak up whatever life has to offer in moderation because it enhances life.
If your actively aiming at the good things in life or abstaining from them that’s just as bad as
• Teleology things, pursuing ends, purposes. The end of an acorn is to become an oak
tree. That oak tree is in a way in the acorn.
• Talks of bridles for horse but goes to general for war and generals there is a master goal
which is not a means to another end and this most agree is happiness sufficient in itself
• The study of ethics is imperfect – its not a science – there are too many particulars in
ethical scenarios. To have a whole blanket rule is to ignore the particulars. It is possible
• The science of the human good is politics; if human good is happiness, it is best interest f
this science to discuss happiness on an individual level before you can get to the level of
the group. The good of the political community is only as good as the good of the people.
The relation between happiness and politics:
1. We recognize some actions as beautiful [noble] things to do (1009a 5-7).
2. Apolitical community always has a stake in the inclination its citizens have toward doing
what is beautiful [noble] (1099b 29-32).
3. Happiness is possible only to mature human beings, who can choose what is beautiful in
preference to what is immediately gratifying (1099b 32-1100a 4).
4. Among the things recognized as beautiful are greatness of soul amid misfortunes (110b
30-33) and an acceptance of death that preserves its proportion to one’s life (1101a 17).
Nicomachean Ethics Book 5
General justice: Justice an active condition of the soul only take your fair share of goods that