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Nicomachean Ethics 1st Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0023895302
ISBN-10: 0023895306
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Library of Liberal Arts title.

About the Author

Other works by the renowned classical scholar, translator, and literary critic Francis Fergusson include "The Idea of a Theater: A Study of Ten Plays," "Sallies of the Mind: Essays," "Trope and Allegory: Themes Common to Dante and Shakespeare," and "Dante's Drama of the Mind: A Modern Reading of the "Purgatorio.
Translator and scholar S. H. Butcher served as editor for the Dover Thift Edition of the "Poetics," as well as for the "Orationes, Volume 1" by Demosthenes. Butcher is also the author of "Aristotle's Theory of Poetry and Fine Art,"


Martin Ostwald is W. R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of Classics at Swarthmore College, Professor of Classical Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, and author of "Autonomia: Its Genesis and Early History" (1982).
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 316 pages
  • Publisher: Pearson; 1 edition (January 11, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0023895306
  • ISBN-13: 978-0023895302
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,504 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
It is more than a little amusing to see reviewers stumbling over their tongues to comment on Aristotle. Volumes--no, entire libraries--have been dedicated to Aristotelian commentary. I doubt any prospective Amazon buyer cares what Joe Smith from Anytown, USA thinks of Aristotle. What would be helpful is an assessment of the particular translations.
Hands down, Martin Ostwald's is, in my opinion, the best available. Well-annotated, with no interpretive essay to clutter the text, Ostwald immerses himself in the Athenian moral vocabulary, to our great benefit. Especially worthwhile is the glossary of oft-used, untranslatable ethical terms at the end of the book. Here, Ostwald clearly shows that the Greeks could convey in scant semantic space what it takes us an entire paragraph to even approximately explain.
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Wow! I'm reviewing Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics! First, I read this first at college 25 years ago. Re-reading it provided me an amazing a-ha!!! So much more made sense to me! It's one of those texts that is worth re-reading a couple of times in one's life, for as we mature, we are privy to new insights offered by this great person. First, this translation contained at least a half dozen translation errors. What I found to be errors off the cuff makes me wonder what other errors might have been made in the translation and editing process. The errors that I found were minor and would not have altered my decision to purchase this masterpiece. Second, while brilliant and while he discusses the values and virtues and deficits and aspirations and social processes, this piece does not focus upon the applied ethics that I most enjoy. I give this a solid "A" and highly recommend it for anyone who wishes to study human nature and ethical conflicts. Overall, the translation is probably easier to read than an older translation, most likely because of the difference between today's and yesterday's more eloquent English. Again, outstanding reading!
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Having read various summaries of Thomas Aquinas epic Summa Theologica (and a few sections of the very book) I was keen on tracing back to the inspiration of Thomas Aquinas masterpiece - Aristotle and his Nicomachean Ethics.

For being 2350 years old, the wisdom contained in the book is timeless and is as relevant today as it was when it was written 350 BC as it relates to human character and behaviour. Aristotle did not hesitate to treat fundamental questions such as the meaning of life, where he infers that the meaning of life must be the pursuit of happiness. Evidentally he concludes that virtuous behaviour contributes to happiness and accordingly virtuous behaviour is critical to a meaningful life, which is well in line with Thomas Aquinas and subsequent Christian thinkers.

Among key topics in the book are Aristotle's treatise of virtues as a balance between two extremes, where he distinguishes between moral and intellectual virtues.

Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics offers useful tools for the analysis of proper conduct and serves as a guideline and a stable moral platform in a high pace modern world where people all too often strive for futile objectives, driven by greed and fear.
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So much to read, so little time. Many great philosophers that can teach us some much even today. Aristotle is always thought-provoking and eloquent. There are many lesson we can all learn from in this work.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I ordered this book for a Classical Political Theory class. My book was all written through (which I enjoyed very much because it helped me understand the reading). I had to write a 10 page essay, which I chose friendship to write about (one of the later chapters in the book). Overall, not an awful book if you enjoy intellectual reading.
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Let me start this review by stating that Aristotle has always been my go to guy for insight in regards to how things really are. Aristotle became one of my favorite philosophers after the first time I read about him. Aristotle to me is the ultimate point man, he's the ultimate right hand man! This guy's intellect is outstanding! Aristotle's insight is truly one of a kind...well,(scratches the noggin) I should say two, three, four, five of a kind because this guy is so versatile in his thinking that it's hard to believe he came to all these conclusions on his own. It comes across like a meeting of the minds, brilliant minds, but his thoughts are his own though...genius. Now to address the formalities: I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone who is comfortable with waddling in the shallow end of the pool at all. This book is deep! Aristotle's teachings are ocean floor deep, scuba gear might be required. I also wouldn't recommend this book to anyone who is impatient or hasty in their thought process. There are some idle moments in between the time he starts in on a subject until the time he reaches a conclusion, but it's always worth it in the end though. That maybe why there are so many different translations of it.

Now that that's out of the way, let me get into why I love this guy's point of view. First of all : Aristotle was so legit that King Phillip hand picked him to educate his son Alexander. Aristotle was so bossy about it that he told Phillip to keep the classroom, the only way he would agree was if Phillip built him an entire school! Now that's what you call clout! Anyway, Alexander went on to be great, hence the name "Alexander The Great".
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