Chapter

The Final Good for Man

W.F.R. Hardie

in Aristotle's Ethical Theory

Second edition

Published in print January 1980 | ISBN: 9780198246329
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191680953 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198246329.003.0002
The Final Good for Man

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Aristotle, in describing the nature of his inquiry, tries to persuade his hearers to accept at the outset the doctrine that there is one supreme end of action, a final good for man. He seems to suggest that, when this central doctrine has been grasped, there will be a clear programme for what remains to be done. Meanwhile, the discussion here reflects on the ambiguity of the term, a good way of starting the study of his ethical theory. The chapter suggests that there are two different ways of measuring human excellence. By one measure, the man who makes good use of splendid opportunities is at the summit of achievement. By another measure, he may be no better, or less good, than the man who tries nobly to make the best of what will unavoidably be a bad job.

Keywords: Aristotle; Metaphysics; Nicomachean Ethics; telos; ethical theory

Chapter.  6732 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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