Confronting Aristotle's Ethics: Ancient and Modern Morality

Confronting Aristotle's Ethics: Ancient and Modern Morality

by Eugene Garver
     
 

ISBN-10: 0226283984

ISBN-13: 9780226283982

Pub. Date: 10/02/2006

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

What is the good life? Posing this question today would likely elicit very different answers. Some might say that the good life means doing good—improving one’s community and the lives of others. Others might respond that it means doing well—cultivating one’s own abilities in a meaningful way. But for Aristotle these two distinct

Overview

What is the good life? Posing this question today would likely elicit very different answers. Some might say that the good life means doing good—improving one’s community and the lives of others. Others might respond that it means doing well—cultivating one’s own abilities in a meaningful way. But for Aristotle these two distinct ideas—doing good and doing well—were one and the same and could be realized in a single life. In Confronting Aristotle’s Ethics, Eugene Garver examines how we can draw this conclusion from Aristotle's works, while also studying how this conception of the good life relates to contemporary ideas of morality.

The key to Aristotle’s views on ethics, argues Garver, lies in the Metaphysics or, more specifically, in his thoughts on activities, actions, and capacities. For Aristotle, Garver shows, it is only possible to be truly active when acting for the common good, and it is only possible to be truly happy when active to the extent of one’s own powers. But does this mean we should aspire to Aristotle’s impossibly demanding vision of the good life? In a word, no. Garver stresses the enormous gap between life in Aristotle’s time and ours. As a result, this bookwill be a welcome rumination on not only Aristotle, but the relationship between the individual and society in everyday life.
 

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780226283982
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Publication date:
10/02/2006
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
328
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.50(d)

Table of Contents

Contents Acknowledgments....................vii
List of Abbreviations of Aristotle's Works....................ix
Introduction....................1
CHAPTER 1 What Aristotle's Rhetoric Can Tell Us about the Rationality of Virtue....................15
CHAPTER 2 Decision, Rational Powers, and Irrational Powers....................47
CHAPTER 3 The Varieties of Moral Failure....................69
CHAPTER 4 Passion and the Two Sides of Virtue....................95
CHAPTER 5 Aristotle's Ethical Virtues Are Political Virtues....................124
CHAPTER 6 The Ethical Dimensions of Aristotle's Metaphysics....................164
CHAPTER 7 Living Politically and Living Rationally: Choosing Ends and Choosing Lives....................189
Notes....................225
Name Index....................277
Index of Passages in Aristotle's Works....................281

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