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Aristotle on the greatness of greatness of soul

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Abstract:

Magnanimity is often regarded as the heroic virtue of glory-seeking warriors and honour-loving aristocrats. But in the Nicomachean Ethics Aristotle presents magnanimity as a civic rather than a heroic virtue. By attending to Aristotle's often overlooked accounts of his indifference to honour and his attitudes towards fortune and towards others, I aim to show that so far from seeking only glory or self-sufficiency, the magnanimous man realizes his true greatness and nobility in his beneficence towards his fellow citizens.

Keywords: Aristotle; Greatness-of-soul; Magnanimity; Nicomachean Ethics; beneficence; benevolence; fortune; pride; self-love; virtue

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Committee on Social Thought, University of Chicago, 1130 East 59th Street, Chicago, IL 60637. Email: rphanley@midway.uchicago.edu

Publication date: January 1, 2002

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