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Aristotle on Practical Wisdom: Nicomachean Ethics VI
     

Aristotle on Practical Wisdom: Nicomachean Ethics VI

by Harvard
 

Nicomachean Ethics VI is considered one of classical philosophy's greatest achievements. Aristotle on Practical Wisdom is the first full-scale commentary on this work to be issued in over a century, and is the most comprehensive and philosophically illuminating to date. A meticulous translation coupled with facing-page analysis enables readers to

Overview

Nicomachean Ethics VI is considered one of classical philosophy's greatest achievements. Aristotle on Practical Wisdom is the first full-scale commentary on this work to be issued in over a century, and is the most comprehensive and philosophically illuminating to date. A meticulous translation coupled with facing-page analysis enables readers to engage directly with the account of phronêsis or practical wisdom that Aristotle is developing, while a full introduction locates that account in the context of his ethical thought and of later ethical thought more generally.

The commentary discusses the text line by line, illuminating obscure passages, explaining technical ones, and providing a new overall interpretation of the work and the nature of practical reason. A companion volume, Action, Contemplation, and Happiness, expands on this interpretation to provide a startling new picture of Aristotle's thought as a whole. Although the two books can be approached separately, together they constitute one of the most daring and original contemporary readings of Aristotle's philosophy. Aimed at committed students of these notoriously difficult writings, C. D. C. Reeve’s engaging and lucid books should find a wide audience among philosophers, classicists, and all readers willing to wrestle with a thinker of unparalleled subtlety, depth, and scope.

Editorial Reviews

John M. Cooper
Aristotle's concept of practical wisdom--focally explored in book VI of the Nicomachean Ethics--has inspired some of the most brilliant work of the past half-century in moral psychology and ethics. Reeve provides an admirably clear and incisive chapter-by-chapter translation and analysis of and commentary on the whole of this complex book--the first full such study in over a hundred years. Aristotle on Practical Wisdom is an indispensable tool for Aristotelians of all stripes in pondering and assessing what Aristotle actually says and means in his discussion not only of practical wisdom but also its twin, wisdom in understanding matters of scientific and philosophical theory.
Christopher Shields
In this work as elsewhere, Reeve adds a distinctive, nuanced voice to the contemporary study of Aristotle. A supporting companion to his excellent Action, Contemplation, and Happiness, the present volume offers a fluent translation of Nicomachean Ethics VI, together with an informative, authoritative introduction and a philosophically alert commentary. One finds in these pages an original engagement with a great work, one that will in the first instance command the attention of students of Aristotle but also, more broadly, of all philosophers concerned with problems of practical reasoning.
David Keyt
In Nicomachean Ethics VI, Aristotle seeks to elucidate his primary topic, practical wisdom, by contrasting it with craft knowledge, scientific knowledge, and theoretical wisdom, and by relating it to the virtues of character. Since these states of the psyche can hardly be understood without understanding a large swath of Aristotle's philosophy, the commentator's job is particularly challenging. David Reeve shows himself to be well up to the task. His beautiful new translation of the text has the fluidity, grace, and accuracy of his translations of Plato's Republic and Aristotle's Politics, and his far-ranging commentary on the text displays an encyclopedic knowledge of Aristotle. With its companion volume, Action, Contemplation, and Happiness, this is a welcome addition to the ongoing study of Aristotle's ethical philosophy and of his philosophy as a whole.
Allan Silverman
Aristotle on Practical Wisdom is a masterful combination of Reeve's philosophical acumen and prowess as a translator. It is hard to think of any commentary on an ancient text, let alone a single book within a text, so rich with ideas and so devoted to line-by-line analysis. Like its companion publication, Action, Contemplation, and Happiness, Reeve shows how full appreciation of Aristotle's Ethics requires the reader to engage with Aristotle's biology, psychology, epistemology, and metaphysics. Anyone interested in Aristotle will want this book on their shelf.
Paul Woodruff
Reeve's translation, analysis, and commentary on Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics VI will be of great value to scholars and students alike. The translation is clear, elegant, and thoughtful. The analysis brings out the essential points, and the commentary is superb. Reeve is so thoroughly steeped in Aristotle's work that his commentary manages to be both deep and accessible to a beginner. This is Aristotle's most difficult writing on an important topic in ethics; it deserves this splendid treatment.
Choice - P. A. Streveler
This unusual book by Reeve consists of a translation and analysis of, and commentary on, Book VI of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics. Aristotle’s Book VI deals mainly with the topic of ‘practical wisdom’ and its relationship to ‘theoretical wisdom’ and virtues of character and thought. After a detailed introduction, Reeve presents a translation of Book VI and, on opposite pages, an analysis of the text translated. In the next part of the book, he goes back to the text and presents a considerably exhaustive commentary. The commentary segment of the book is its lengthiest part. Although the analysis and commentary overlap somewhat, this format allows readers to choose which segment to study in detail. As far as this reviewer knows, no other book quite like this exists in modern Aristotelian scholarship; it is somewhat reminiscent of the format of the great medieval classical commentaries. This volume can be read as a companion to Reeve's outstanding Action, Contemplation, and Happiness: An Essay on Aristotle. Both books are very welcome additions to Aristotelian scholarship.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674072107
Publisher:
Harvard
Publication date:
03/01/2013
Pages:
296
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

C. D. C. Reeve is Delta Kappa Epsilon Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

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