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Nicomachean Ethics Paperback – December 1, 1999

ISBN-13: 978-0872204645 ISBN-10: 0872204642 Edition: 2nd
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Nicomachean Ethics + The Utilitarianism (Hackett Classics) + Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals: with On a Supposed Right to Lie because of Philanthropic Concerns (Hackett Classics)
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Editorial Reviews


. . . a useful, readable text with no improvising for the sake of distinction at the cost of authenticity and clarity. The end notes and glossary are very helpful.--Dr. Howard Ruttenberg, York College, CUNY

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Greek --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 392 pages
  • Publisher: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc.; 2nd edition (December 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0872204642
  • ISBN-13: 978-0872204645
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,122 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

67 of 72 people found the following review helpful By T. W. on October 22, 2006
Format: Paperback
I would not hesitate to recommend Irwin's Hackett edition to anyone who wants to undertake the real work of understanding Aristotle's "Nicomachean Ethics."

The translation & the interpretation underlying it are not perfect. Other translations may in some (even many) cases be based on interpretations I would prefer. So why is Irwin better? Because his is the only version that lets the reader see the nuts and bolts--that is, just how trickily ambiguous Aristotle's text so often is, and just what the translator has done to interpret it and make sense of it. Only with this extra apparatus can a Greekless reader have some confidence in forming his or her own understanding. And even most of us who know Greek are dependent on commentaries and interpretations like Irwin's to force ourselves to confront real issues and possibilities of meaning that we might clumsily miss as we read the Greek.

Since the strength of Irwin's translation is its clearly labelled interpretative moves, I think it is worth considering looking for the out-of-print FIRST edition (ISBN 0915145669). In the first edition, Irwin intrudes his own section headings at the rate of at least ten per Bekker page. These help you know exactly how Irwin is taking the argument (and again, even if you disagree, the value of a translation lies in offering an interpretation that makes some sense). For example, at 1143b6 and following, Irwin's headings say of understanding "It seems to grow naturally..." and then later "...But in fact it requires experience.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By K. H. on February 14, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
After talking to the publisher about my concerns, which are outlined in my original review below, they have now produced a new version of the kindle edition of this book, thus the edit of this review, and its change from 1 star to 5 stars. The publishers have now put in the hyperlinks between text and note, wherever there is one, and a simple click on the note will take you back to the main text. It works really nicely. They have also included in the text the Bekker numbers in the form [1095a] - so if you need to do a lookup by Bekker, you can get as close as the section, and then the lines are listed in the text in groups of 10 - "[10]" - easy to see when scanning down from the section heading. The table to contents has also been updated to include all the Medieval Chapter headings under each book, so if you prefer to jump to a section via that means, this is also open to you.

All in all with this new edition of the kindebook, if you are studying this work, the kindle edition, I feel, surpasses the paperback in utility in almost every way. I also cannot credit the publishers enough for taking the criticism with good grace, responding to it and going far beyond the few criticisms originally made, and producing something which is vastly superior to what was produced before and possibly one of the best academic book transfers to kindle that I've seen.

_____________ORIGINAL REVIEW_______________
This is a review specifically of the Kindle edition of this book.

I will start by saying that the contents of the book - the sensitive translation, the excellent notes etc are all absolutely top notch - and for these the book has the star I gave it.

My issue is that the Kindle transfer is lazy on the part of the publisher.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jameson P. Ryley on July 20, 2008
Format: Paperback
Aristotle's ethics is a theory of excellence so it definitely spoke to me as a individual. He starts with the claim that the end of all human action is happiness and he claims that happiness requires virtue. He goes on to look at several different types of virtues and he believes they can be perfected through practice. One is to practice at finding the golden mean between excess and deficiency. To use an example from Aristotle to illustrate, one is to act courageously, but it is rash to act with too much courage and it is cowardice to not act with enough courage. Therefore, he supports finding the mean in all human action and this is to lead to happiness. Books 8 and 9 give the best treatise on friendship that I have ever found so I recommend those two books above all of the rest. Overall the whole book is worth ones time though. Aristotle's ethics is a simple and a commonsensical approach to ethics so nobody should be put off from reading this book due to its difficulty.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By jafrank on March 10, 2012
Format: Paperback
In spite of my usual reservations about Aristotle, I found myself really liking this. The style is straight forward, his arguments are succinct and to the point, unlike the uber-dense abstractions in the Physics. And Unlike certain greek philosophers (cough, Plato, cough), his analysis manages to be upbeat and actually contains a shred of practicality. I don't see how it could work in the non-classical world, but it's such an enthusiastic piece of writing, so confident that it can pin down what it is that makes people tick, that I found myself not really caring. If you've never read Aristotle before and suddenly feel compelled to do so, the Ethics is a good starting point.
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