Pleasure and Knowledge in John Buridan's Solution to the Debate over the Extension of the Aristotelian Supreme Good

Quaestio 15:711-720 (2015)
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There is an important controversy regarding how Aristotle comprehends the highest good. On one hand, in the first books of the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle seems to designate with the noun “eudaimonia” a second order end. On the other hand though, in the last book of the same work, he seems to restrict the meaning of eudaimonia to a single first-order end, namely theoretical contemplation. The so-called inclusive vs. dominant debate over Aristotle’s eudaimonia was not overlooked in commentaries written during the Later Middle Ages, and one relevant discussion on the issue was recorded in John Buridan’s Questions on Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics. This is the text I discuss in my paper, with the intention of reconstructing Buridan’s attitude towards the inclusive vs. dominant debate. Specifically, I focus on the last book of the work, and I explore some key theses which guide Buridan’s position on the issue, i.e. that happiness may be understood either in the way of composition or in the way of resolu...



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Rodrigo Guerizoli
Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro

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