or person. Thus the possession of a measure of external and physical goods is not a part of human virtue but a necessary condition of the successful exercise which is happiness ( EE 1214 b 11-27). The fact that Aristotle's audience accepts this distinction, with its implication that a human virtue is a quality only of the soul (cf. 1098 b 12-20), will make it easier, when the moment arrives, to commend to them as a truly human virtue some quality or set of qualities whose exercise depends on nothing external, and which neither makes nor is meant to make any practical difference to anything. 53


Notes
1.
Cf., however, Politics 1279 b 12-15.
2.
That the opinion was only his own is not brought out by The Revised Oxford Translation (Solomon).
3.
On some readings, this or a similar thought appears in the text at 1215 a 1-2. See Dirlmeier [1] ad 1215 a 1; Woods [1], 200.
4.
For the analytic connection of 'good' and 'end', see e.g. Metaphysics 983 a 31; 1013 b 25- 27.
5.
See, e.g., On the Soul 415 a 16-22.
6.
For the shape of the argument, cf. Irwin [7], 359. Joachim ad 1094 a 1-b 11 takes it the other way round; i.e., as an inference from the proposition that there is a supreme end to the architectonic status of politikē.
7.
At Pol. 1264 b 15-21 Aristotle allows that a polis can be reckoned happy, but only on the ground that its citizens are.
8.
Cf. Barnes [2], 20-22.
9.
This is well discussed by Cooper [3]. See also Devereux [2].
10.
Aristotle shows no interest in this question.
11.
But see a different position at EE 1216 b 35-39, where Aristotle says that even in an inquiry about ethics we should 'look for the cause'. This is probably because, if we hold the right ethical positions for the wrong reasons, our values and practice are in the end affected.
12.
For a vigorous defence of this translation, see Kraut [2].
13.
Cf. Kenny [2], 193.
14.
Cf. Cooper [3]. J. L. Austin (in Moravcsik) implies that, primarily, a certain kind of life is happiness, and that equating a good within a life (e.g. pleasure or wealth) with happiness is 'loose language' (279-81). He seems to ascribe this view to Aristotle. In fact, Aristotle's strict use is Austin's loose one, and it is strict not by standards of ordinary usage but in accordance with an ideal and technical use designed to reflect the metaphysical priorities.
15.
The central good is meant at, e.g., 1095 a 20-25; b 14-15; I.7 passim; 1098 b 32; 1099 a 25; 1100 a 14; 1102 a 5; X.6-8 passim. The happy life is meant at, e.g., 1100 b 9; 1101 a 18; and possibly 1100 b 2 and 1101 a 9.
16.
Even when this is a stronger-than-material conditional.
17.
Cf. Devereux [1].
18.
Aristotle thinks that there is 'some truth' in all the opinions he mentions. He shows what in each case it is, in NE I.8. On the general attitude, cf. EE 1216 b 30-35; Meta. 993 a 30-b 8; Rhetoric 1355 a 15-18. See Barnes [4], and Dahl, 72-73.
19.
On Aristotle's need (more marked in EE than in NE) to provide an account of the good that satisfies certain Platonic expectations, see D. Robinson.
20.
Cf. Hare.
21.
Kai is epexegetic in ho theos kai ho nous, 1096 a 24-25.
22.
There is a possible source of confusion in the fact that Aristotle identifies happiness (=

-54-

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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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