On its first appearance in 1960, the Concise Encyclopedia established itself as a classic; this third edition builds on its original strengths but brings it completely up to date. The Concise Encyclopedia offers a lively, readable, comprehensive and authoritative treatment of Western philosophy as a whole, incorporating scintillating articles by many leading philosophical authors. It serves not only as a convenient reference work, but also as an engaging introduction to philosophy.
A distinction between ‘activities’ and ‘processes’ plays an important role in Aristotle's argument to establish that the good life is a life of activities, among which metaphysical contemplation is foremost. But, as a result of having failed to distinguish internal from external ends of action, Aristotle makes fallacious inferences from every activity's having an internal end in itself to its possessing features which may be legitimately inferred only from external ends, and from every process's having an internal end that is (...) its terminal point to its having the attainment of that terminal point as an external end. The resulting confusion explains a number of problematic elements in Aristotle's ethical theory. (shrink)
The essays in this volume explore current work in central areas of philosophy, work unified by attention to salient questions of human action and human agency. They ask what it is for humans to act knowledgeably, to use language, to be friends, to act heroically, to be mortally fortunate, and to produce as well as to appreciate art. The volume is dedicated to J. O. Urmson, in recognition of his inspirational contributions to these areas. All the essays but one have (...) been specially written for this volume. (shrink)
Aristotle's doctrine of the mean is not a counsel to perform mean or moderate actions. It states that excellence of character is a mean state with regard to the having and displaying of emotions. All emotions are morally neutral; character is shown by displaying emotions on the right occasions, Not too often or too rarely, Not too strongly or too weakly, For sufficient and only sufficient reasons, Etc. The difficulties for such a view presented by justice and such bad emotions (...) as envy are discussed. The conclusion is that basically aristotle's theory can resist critical scrutiny. (shrink)