The Meaning of ἀγαθόν In the Ethics of Aristotle

H. A. Prichard

in Moral Writings

Published in print August 2002 | ISBN: 9780199250196
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598265 | DOI:

Series: British Moral Philosophers

 The Meaning of ἀγαθόν In the Ethics of Aristotle

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Endeavours to specify what Aristotle means by αγαθον. In some contexts, this term seems to mean simply ‘that being desired’ or a person's ultimate or non‐ultimate end or aim. In other contexts, αγαθον takes on a normative quality. For his statements to have content, argues Prichard, Aristotle must hold that when we pursue something of a certain kind, such as an honour, we pursue it as a good. Prichard argues that by αγαθον Aristotle actually means (except in the Nicomachean Ethics) ‘conducive to happiness’, and holds that when a man acts deliberately, he does it from a desire to be happy. Prichard attributes this position to Plato as well, despite the fact that both thinkers make statements inconsistent with this view of our ultimate aim.

Keywords: Aristotle; end; good; happiness; Nicomachean Ethics; Plato

Chapter.  6697 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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