picture of the happy life that integrates these with theoretic wisdom while fully respecting the differences. The picture itself is a far cry from Socrates, but the motive inspiring Aristotle's presentation is thoroughly Socratic. For in Aristotle's book, there is at least one virtue of character in which we shall be deficient (because we shall give ourselves no chance to cultivate it) unless first we are shown through rational argument what it is, why it is a virtue and how it contributes to our happiness. That virtue is love of theōria. By systematic reflection on their existing values, Aristotle's audience is led to see how the leisure which affords them this reflection is leisure for higher activities of reason; and how despite and because of our practical essence such noble occupations are properly ours.


Notes
1.
Cf. the Philebus, which starts as a contest between pleasure and wisdom for the title of 'summum bonum', but ends by awarding it to neither.
2.
The phrase in a secondary way begs fewer questions than the Revised Oxford Translation's in a secondary degree.
3.
The only earlier passages that might have led one (without hindsight) to expect it are 1143 b 33-34 and 1145 a 6-11 in NE VI, which may not originally have formed part of the NE. And even they seem hardly consistent with the exclusive emphasis on theōria in NE X.7-8.
4.
Such is the embarrassment in some quarters nowadays over NE X.7-8 that one scholar has publicly expressed the wish that these chapters (along with 6) would 'go away', while another has suggested that, although they may have been composed by Aristotle at a different stage from the bulk of the Ethics, they were (in that case) inserted in their present position 'by someone else'.
5.
It would not, however, follow that the ideal mode of existence would be regarded by Aristotle as a combination of different lives (as if 'lives' meant aspects of life). Rather he would regard it as one life having a complex ethical focus. See Cooper [3] against Keyt, and Section XI below, especially note 73.
6.
Cf., e.g., NE 1096 b 24. On phronēsis in EE, see Rowe [2]; Kenny [2], Chapter 7. The Revised Oxford Translation wrongly has 'practical wisdom' for 'phronēsis' at 1214 a 32.
7.
I am not convinced by the arguments of Rowe [1] that Aristotle fails to distinguish practical from theoretic wisdom in EE. He may use the word 'phronēsis' indifferently for either, but he is clear that (1) moral virtue is not theoretical knowledge (1216 b 3 ff.) and (2) moral virtue is closely bound up with a practical kind of wisdom (see especially VIII. I = VII. 13). From this it is hard to believe that he is not also clear that (3) practical wisdom is not a theoretical accomplishment. For detailed discussion, see Kenny [2], Chapter 7.
8.
The Revised Oxford Translation has 'standard'.
9.
Chapter 4, Section II.
10.
And despite the fact that the backward reference at 1249 b 3-4 may be to passages also referred to at NE VI, 1138 b 18 ff.
11.
If the book on practical wisdom belongs, as now seems more probable, with the Eudemian rather than the Nicomachean Ethics, we should positively expect the two passages to be making different, though no doubt connected, points. See Kenny [2], 182.
12.
Thus Monan [2], 126-29; Rowe [1], 110; Ackrill [2]; Cooper [1], 138 ff.
13.
Or alternatively 'definition'.
14.
As well as rendering horos by 'limit', this departs from the Revised Oxford Translation in minor ways.
15.
For a valuable account of the evidence on this and later Peripatetic divisions of goods, see

-433-

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Ethics with Aristotle
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Foreword vii
  • Acknowledgements ix
  • Contents xi
  • Chapter 1 Happiness, the Supreme End 3
  • Notes 54
  • Chapter 2 Virtues and Parts of the Soul 57
  • Notes 118
  • Chapter 3 the Voluntary 124
  • Notes 174
  • Chapter 4 Practical Wisdom 179
  • Notes 260
  • Chapter 5 Incontinence 266
  • Notes 307
  • Chapter 6 Pleasure 313
  • Notes 363
  • Chapter 7 Aristotle's Values 366
  • Notes 433
  • Works Cited 439
  • Name Index 445
  • Subject Index 449
  • Index Locorum Aristotelis 453
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