Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Protreptic Aspects of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics

Our essay "Protreptic Aspects of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics" has been published in The Cambridge Companion to Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, ed. R. Polansky (Cambridge 2014), pp. 383-409. We have posted it to the "essays" section of (PDF available here).

We hope to show that the overall protreptic plan of Aristotle's ethical writings is based on the plan he used in his published work Protrepticus (Exhortation to Philosophy), by highlighting those passages that primarily offer hortatory or protreptic motivation rather than dialectical argumentation and analysis, and by illustrating several ways that Aristotle adapts certain arguments and examples from his Protrepticus. In this essay we confine our attention to the books definitely attributable to the Nicomachean Ethics (thus excluding the common books).

The volume contains an abundance of good material, including a very useful bibliography by Thornton Lockwood as well as an essay by him on "Competing Ways of Life and Ring Composition (NE x 6-8)", an essay by Rachana Kamtekar on "The Relationship between Aristotle's Ethical and Political Discourses (NE x 9), and an essay by Lawrence Jost on "The Eudemian Ethics and Its Controversial Relationship to the Nicomachean Ethics". So readers of this volume can get a very good overview of the relationship of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics not only to the other works of practical philosophy in the Aristotle Corpus, but also to his most famous (and now fragmentary) popular work. There are 15 other essays on topical aspects of the work, by some of the leading scholars in the field. Check out the list of contributors and table of contents here at the Cambridge University Press (US) website.