Virtue Ethics in the Middle Ages: Commentaries on Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, 1200-1500

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Ever since its rediscovery in the thirteenth century, Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics has figured as a prime model of philosophical ethics in Western moral thought. This collection of articles for the first time surveys the medieval tradition of commentaries on the work from its origins to the fifteenth century. The twelve articles concentrate on the moral and intellectual virtues around which Aristotle’s ethic revolves and in many cases compare the discussion of the virtues in the medieval commentaries with contemporary theological debate. Taken together, the articles show the diverse and surprisingly creative ways in which medieval intellectuals during three centuries combined widely diverging currents of ancient and Christian moral thought in order to formulate a philosophical ethic suitable to their times.

Contributors include: István P. Bejczy, Pavel Blažek, Valeria A. Buffon, Iacopo Costa, Christoph Flüeler, Tobias Hoffmann, Roberto Lambertini, Jörn Müller, Matthias Perkams, Marco Toste, Martin J. Tracey, and Irene Zavattero.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

István P. Bejczy, Ph.D. (1994) in History, has published widely on medieval culture (including La Lettre du Prêtre Jean, 2001) and Renaissance humanism (including Erasmus and the Middle Ages, 2001).
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Table of Contents


Introduction, István P. Bejczy

1. The Structure of the Soul, Intellectual Virtues, and the Ethical Ideal of Masters of Arts in Early Commentaries on the Nichomachean Ethics, Valeria A. Buffon
2. Moral and Intellectual Virtues in the Earliest Latin Commentaries on the Nicomachean Ethics, Irene Zavattero
3. Virtus in the Naples Commentary on the Ethica nova (MS Naples, Biblioteca Nazionale, VIII G 8, ff. 4ra-9vb), Martin J. Tracey

4. In War and Peace: The Virtue of Courage in the Writings of Albert the Great and Thomas Aquinas, Jörn Müller
5. Albert the Great and Thomas Aquinas on Magnanimity, Tobias Hoffmann
6. Aquinas’s Interpretation of the Aristotelian Virtue of Justice and His Doctrine of Natural Law, Matthias Perkams

7. Heroic Virtue in the Commentary Tradition on the Nicomachean Ethics in the Second Half of the Thirteenth Century, Iacopo Costa
8. Utrum felix indigeat amicis: The Reception of the Aristotelian Theory of Friendship at the Arts Faculty in Paris, Marco Toste

9. The Cardinal Virtues in Medieval Commentaries on the Nicomachean Ethics, 1250-1350, István P. Bejczy
10. Political Prudence in Some Medieval Commentaries on the Sixth Book of the Nicomachean Ethics, Roberto Lambertini
11. The Virtue of Virginity: The Aristotelian Challenge, Pavel Blažek

12. Teaching Ethics at the University of Vienna: The Making of a Commentary at the Faculty of Arts (A Case Study), Christoph Flüeler

Index of Manuscripts
Index of Names

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