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The relation between the Nicomachean Ethics and the Politics revisited.

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Abstract:

It is argued that from a parallel reading of the Nicomachean Ethics and the Politics we can reconstruct a sketch of a systematic moral inquiry consisting of the following basic tenets: (a) each citizen should be concerned with the achievement of his own eudaimonia to the extent possible by cultivating the necessary character traits, following the counsels of practical wisdom and being engaged in the proper activities; (b) the pursuit of individual eudaimonia promotes at the same time collective eudaimonia, that is the good of the city; (c) the above relation can be conceived only by the supremely virtuous politicians of (at least) the ideal city who undertake the obligation to coordinate, uphold, enhance and secure — through various policies — the parallel and consistent achievement of both individual and collective good. This moral picture differs significantly from the one we extract if we confine ourselves to the Nicomachean Ethics and appears to be in line with our conception of a moral theory.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Philosophy, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, GR 54006, Greece.

Publication date: 2001-01-01

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