Particularism in Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics

Journal of Moral Philosophy 10 (2):121-147 (2013)
In this essay I offer a new particularist reading of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics. I argue that the interpretation I present not only helps us to resolve some puzzles about Aristotle’s goals and methods, but it also gives rise to a novel account of morality—an account that is both interesting and plausible in its own right. The goal of this paper is, in part, exegetical—that is, to figure out how to best understand the text of the Nicomachean Ethics. But this paper also aims to contribute to the current exciting and controversial debate over particularism. By taking the first steps towards a comprehensive particularist reading of Aristotle’s Ethics I hope to demonstrate that some of the mistrust of particularism is misplaces and that what is, perhaps, the most influential moral theory in the history of philosophy is, arguably, a particularist moral theory.
Keywords Aristotle  Particularism  Generalism  Virtue Ethics  Nicomachean Ethics  Doctrine of the Mean
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DOI 10.1163/174552412X628904
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