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Nicomachean Ethics: 2 Minutes Summary

1 SENTENCE SUMMARY: Aristotle’s timeless classic, Nicomachean Ethics, explores the concept of “the good life” by providing insightful guidance on how to achieve true happiness and harmony.

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

Quick Info

Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle Cover
Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle
Category: Philosophy
Publish Date: 2012-04-23
# Pages: 368
ISBN: 0226026752

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Overview

Nicomachean Ethics is a philosophical treatise written by the ancient Greek philosopher, Aristotle.

It is one of the most influential works on moral philosophy and has been a major influence on ethical thinking throughout the centuries.

In it, Aristotle explores the meaning of human happiness and how to achieve it, as well as discussing the nature of virtue and how it can be attained.

He argues that happiness is the highest good and that it can only be attained through the practice of virtue.

Aristotle’s ethical theory is based on the idea of a ‘golden mean’ which requires one to balance the extremes of excess and deficiency in order to achieve the best possible outcome.

Furthermore, he argues that a life of contemplation is the best way to achieve true happiness.

4 Key Lessons from Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle

1. Virtue is the only true and lasting source of happiness

Aristotle’s ethical philosophy is centered on the idea that living a virtuous life is the only way to achieve true and lasting happiness.

He believed that our greatest good lies in cultivating and exercising virtue in all areas of life.

Through the practice of virtue, we can attain a state of eudaimonia, or “flourishing”, which is a life of happiness and fulfillment.

This lesson teaches us that true and lasting happiness is not found in material possessions, money, or fame, but in living an ethical life.

2. We should strive for moderation in all areas of life

Aristotle also argued that virtue is a mean between two extremes, and that we should strive for moderation in all areas of life.

He called this the “Golden Mean”, and it suggests that we should not strive for too much or too little in any one area, but instead strive for the middle ground.

This lesson teaches us that we should strive to maintain balance in our lives, and not be too excessively focused on one area at the expense of all others.

3. We should develop our character

According to Aristotle, our character is developed through the practice of virtue.

He argued that ethical behavior is not something that is simply acquired overnight, but something that requires hard work and dedication.

We must practice virtue in order to develop our character, and this lesson teaches us that we should be proactive in our pursuit of moral excellence.

4. We should strive for excellence in all our activities

Finally, Aristotle argued that we should strive for excellence in all our activities.

He believed that even the most mundane tasks can be elevated to the level of excellence if we put in the effort and focus on doing them to the best of our abilities.

This lesson teaches us that we should be mindful of our daily activities, and strive for excellence in all of them.

Who Should Read It

The book Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle should be read by students and scholars of philosophy, history, and ethics.

Where to Get It

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About Aristotle

Author Aristotle Aristotle was a Greek philosopher, who is considered one of the most influential philosophers in history.

He was born in 384 BC in Stagira, Chalcidice, and studied under Plato at the Academy.

His works include topics such as logic, metaphysics, physics, biology, ethics, aesthetics, poetry, politics, and government.

He is especially famous for his book Nicomachean Ethics, which is considered one of the most important works in the history of moral philosophy.

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