Catalogue


Happy lives and the highest good [electronic resource] : an essay on Aristotle's Nicomachean ethics /
Gabriel Richardson Lear.
imprint
Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University, c2004.
description
viii, 238 p.
ISBN
0691114668 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Subjects
More Details
added author
imprint
Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University, c2004.
isbn
0691114668 (alk. paper)
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
catalogue key
8841414
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [221]-227) and indexes.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2004-10-01:
Richardson Lear (Univ. of Chicago) addresses one of the central interpretive problems for readers of Aristotle's Nichomachean Ethics: in some passages, Aristotle seems quite clearly to endorse the view that there is a single intrinsically valuable end or good for the sake of which all other goods are to be pursued, while in other passages he seems to accept the apparently incompatible doctrine that there is more than one intrinsically valuable end. Many scholars, e.g., T. Irwin and J. Ackrill, have concluded that the correct interpretation of Aristotle is that his conception of ultimate ends is an inclusive one, consisting of a set of intrinsically valuable goals. Richardson Lear, on the other hand, reads Aristotle as holding both that there are several intrinsically valuable ends, and that all other intrinsically valuable ends are for the sake of eudaimonia. Her argument is that according to Aristotle, x may be choiceworthy for the sake of y not only when x is a means to y, but also when x approximates or imitates y. This is an interesting, novel, and well-informed reading of Aristotle's ethics that should be in all college and university libraries. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Upper-level undergraduates through faculty/researchers. J. Hoffman University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Reviews
Review Quotes
Richardson Lear's topic--Aristotle's conception of the highest good--is one to which much attention has been devoted recently, and yet she manages to approach it from a fresh angle and to offer a new reading that deserves careful consideration. Her thesis is bold and subverts many other interpretations of the Nicomachean Ethics.
The book is thorough and . . . very well argued. It is a substantial contribution to the study of Aristotle's Ethics.
"The book is thorough and . . . very well argued. It is a substantial contribution to the study of Aristotles Ethics."-- Peter Lautner, Classical World
The book is thorough and . . . very well argued. It is a substantial contribution to the study of Aristotle's Ethics. -- Peter Lautner, Classical World
This is an interesting, novel, and well-informed reading of Aristotle's ethics.
"This is an interesting, novel, and well-informed reading of Aristotle's ethics."-- Choice
This is an interesting, novel, and well-informed reading of Aristotle's ethics. -- Choice
"The book is rewarding for its close study of several of Aristotles most vexed passages in an accessible and imaginative way; particularly worthwhile are the discussions of self-sufficiency, . . . the kalon, and 'greatness of soul.'"-- Julia Annas, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews
The book is rewarding for its close study of several of Aristotle's most vexed passages in an accessible and imaginative way; particularly worthwhile are the discussions of self-sufficiency, . . . the kalon, and 'greatness of soul.' -- Julia Annas, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews
Original and provocative. . . . It is a very important study, fresh and creative, and clearly argued, which all Aristotelian scholars, as well as scholars interested in the history of ethics, should read and meditate on. -- rre "Destree, Ethics
Original and provocative. . . . It is a very important study, fresh and creative, and clearly argued, which all Aristotelian scholars, as well as scholars interested in the history of ethics, should read and meditate on. -- rre "Destre, Ethics
The book is rewarding for its close study of several of Aristotle's most vexed passages in an accessible and imaginative way; particularly worthwhile are the discussions of self-sufficiency, . . . the kalon, and 'greatness of soul.'
"Lear writes very well: she has a gift for choosing the precise word and the vivid illustration. In choosing examples to enforce a thesis she is equally at home in Aristotle's world and in our own. . . . Altogether, this is an excellent book, both in content and in presentation. . . . [An] exciting synthesis of Aristotelian ethical teaching."-- Anthony Kenny, Mind
Lear writes very well: she has a gift for choosing the precise word and the vivid illustration. In choosing examples to enforce a thesis she is equally at home in Aristotle's world and in our own. . . . Altogether, this is an excellent book, both in content and in presentation. . . . [An] exciting synthesis of Aristotelian ethical teaching. -- Anthony Kenny, Mind
Original and provocative. . . . It is a very important study, fresh and creative, and clearly argued, which all Aristotelian scholars, as well as scholars interested in the history of ethics, should read and meditate on.
"Original and provocative. . . . It is a very important study, fresh and creative, and clearly argued, which all Aristotelian scholars, as well as scholars interested in the history of ethics, should read and meditate on."-- Pierre Destre, Ethics
Original and provocative. . . . It is a very important study, fresh and creative, and clearly argued, which all Aristotelian scholars, as well as scholars interested in the history of ethics, should read and meditate on. -- Pierre "Destrée, Ethics
Original and provocative. . . . It is a very important study, fresh and creative, and clearly argued, which all Aristotelian scholars, as well as scholars interested in the history of ethics, should read and meditate on. -- Pierre "Destre, Ethics
A fine book. Anyone interested in Aristotle's ethics should read it.
"A fine book. Anyone interested in Aristotle's ethics should read it."-- Norman O. Dahl, Philosophy in Review
A fine book. Anyone interested in Aristotle's ethics should read it. -- Norman O. Dahl, Philosophy in Review
Lear writes very well: she has a gift for choosing the precise word and the vivid illustration. In choosing examples to enforce a thesis she is equally at home in Aristotle's world and in our own. . . . Altogether, this is an excellent book, both in content and in presentation. . . . [An] exciting synthesis of Aristotelian ethical teaching.
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, October 2004
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
Gabriel Richardson Lear presents a bold new approach to one of the enduring debates about Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics : the controversy about whether it coherently argues that the best life for humans is one devoted to a single activity, namely philosophical contemplation. Many scholars oppose this reading because the bulk of the Ethics is devoted to various moral virtues--courage and generosity, for example--that are not in any obvious way either manifestations of philosophical contemplation or subordinated to it. They argue that Aristotle was inconsistent, and that we should not try to read the entire Ethics as an attempt to flesh out the notion that the best life aims at the "monistic good" of contemplation. In defending the unity and coherence of the Ethics , Lear argues that, in Aristotle's view, we may act for the sake of an end not just by instrumentally bringing it about but also by approximating it. She then argues that, for Aristotle, the excellent rational activity of moral virtue is an approximation of theoretical contemplation. Thus, the happiest person chooses moral virtue as an approximation of contemplation in practical life. Richardson Lear bolsters this interpretation by examining three moral virtues--courage, temperance, and greatness of soul--and the way they are fine. Elegantly written and rigorously argued, this is a major contribution to our understanding of a central issue in Aristotle's moral philosophy.
Back Cover Copy
"Richardson Lear's topic--Aristotle's conception of the highest good--is one to which much attention has been devoted recently, and yet she manages to approach it from a fresh angle and to offer a new reading that deserves careful consideration. Her thesis is bold and subverts many other interpretations of the Nicomachean Ethics."--Richard Kraut, Northwestern University
Back Cover Copy
"Richardson Lear's topic--Aristotle's conception of the highest good--is one to which much attention has been devoted recently, and yet she manages to approach it from a fresh angle and to offer a new reading that deserves careful consideration. Her thesis is bold and subverts many other interpretations of the Nicomachean Ethics."-- Richard Kraut, Northwestern University
Bowker Data Service Summary
Aristotle believed that the happy person chooses everything for the sake of happiness. Recent accounts of how this is possible rely on a misunderstanding of Aristotle's notion of an end. This text argues that in addition to producing it, the happy person may act for his end by approximating it.
Main Description
Gabriel Richardson Lear presents a bold new approach to one of the enduring debates about Aristotle'sNicomachean Ethics: the controversy about whether it coherently argues that the best life for humans is one devoted to a single activity, namely philosophical contemplation. Many scholars oppose this reading because the bulk of theEthicsis devoted to various moral virtues--courage and generosity, for example--that are not in any obvious way either manifestations of philosophical contemplation or subordinated to it. They argue that Aristotle was inconsistent, and that we should not try to read the entireEthicsas an attempt to flesh out the notion that the best life aims at the "monistic good" of contemplation. In defending the unity and coherence of theEthics, Lear argues that, in Aristotle's view, we may act for the sake of an end not just by instrumentally bringing it about but also by approximating it. She then argues that, for Aristotle, the excellent rational activity of moral virtue is an approximation of theoretical contemplation. Thus, the happiest person chooses moral virtue as an approximation of contemplation in practical life. Richardson Lear bolsters this interpretation by examining three moral virtues--courage, temperance, and greatness of soul--and the way they are fine. Elegantly written and rigorously argued, this is a major contribution to our understanding of a central issue in Aristotle's moral philosophy.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments
Introductionp. 1
The Finality Criterionp. 8
The Self-Sufficiency of Happinessp. 47
Acting for the Sake of an Object of Lovep. 72
Theoretical and Practical Reasonp. 93
Moral Virtue and To Kalonp. 123
Courage, Temperance, and Greatness of Soulp. 147
Two Happy Lives and Their Most Final Endsp. 175
Acting for Love in the Symposiump. 209
Works Citedp. 221
Index Locorump. 229
General Indexp. 237
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

This information is provided by a service that aggregates data from review sources and other sources that are often consulted by libraries, and readers. The University does not edit this information and merely includes it as a convenience for users. It does not warrant that reviews are accurate. As with any review users should approach reviews critically and where deemed necessary should consult multiple review sources. Any concerns or questions about particular reviews should be directed to the reviewer and/or publisher.

  link to old catalogue

Report a problem