Aristotle's view of human nature as a basis for ethical theory

Watt, Stephen John (1998). Aristotle's view of human nature as a basis for ethical theory. PhD thesis The Open University.



The thesis examines Aristotle's ethical theory with primary reference to the Nicomachean Ethics (ED. It argues that the EX is intended not to improve its audience ethically, but rather to give it the political tools to pass an its already good life.

The EN does this by articulating the goodness of that life and thus allowing the audience to enter effectively into ethical discussions. These form part of the process of passing on the good life by way of legislation in the polls and by more informal methods in institutions such as the household.

The thesis examines in particular the accounts of practical reason, pleasure and the ergon argument in the Elf, and seeks to understand them in this context. It argues that by allowing the audience to improve the transmission of its values over the generations and by allowing its menbers to articulate the value of so doing, it moves the audience's life closer to divine perfection.

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