Ancient Philosophy 29 (2):311-335 (2009)
|Abstract||The Nicomachean Ethics is generally thought to be a “dialectical” work, aimed at resolving aporia in a set of endoxa, which it takes as its starting-point. I argue that Aristotle’s aim in the treatise is, rather, to produce definitions of key ethical terms, and that his starting-points are limited to evaluative and discriminative judgments of a certain sort, which are demanded by the nature of the discipline and are not endoxa. I discuss also how the definitions are reached (focusing on the cases of the virtues of character) and the roles that aporiai do play in the process.|
|Keywords||Aristotle Ethics Methodology dialectic aporia endoxa definitions|
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