great-souled man

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Aristotle (384—322 bc)


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The lofty character portrayed in Bk. iv of the Nicomachean Ethics of Aristotle. The great-souled man is of a distinguished situation, worthy of great things, ‘an extreme in respect of the greatness of his claims, but a mean in respect of the rightness of them’, perfectly virtuous, good at conferring benefits but ashamed of receiving them, neither humble nor vain. The combination involves proper pride or magnanimity. With his slow step, deep voice, and level utterance, he does not appeal to everybody, but he represents Aristotle's robust sense that the aims people have in life include an admiring reflection of themselves in the eyes of others.

Subjects: Philosophy.

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