On Eth. Nic. I. c. 5

Classical Quarterly 15 (2):85-98 (1921)

In E.N. I. c. 5 Aristotle is considering divers views as to what constitutes Eudaimonia. He told us in c. 4, 2–3 that there are many conflicting opinions on the subject. The Many identify Happiness with some palpable good, such as pleasure, wealth, honour, but the Wise identify it with something beyond the Many, while [Plato] denied it to be any specific good at all. Of all these views we should consider such as have many adherents or are considered to be reasonable. Accordingly, the Universal Good is considered in c. 6 after consideration in c. 5 of five particular goods—pleasure in the form of bodily pleasure, honour, wealth, virtue [and, implied in the theoretic Life, wisdom]. These five goods are brought into relation with four Lives—viz. pleasure with the apolaustic; honour and virtue with the political; [wisdom] with the theoretic; wealth with the business or money-making Life; and the first three Lives are called προέχοντες. There is nothing in this introduction of the Lives to astonish us; for, as Aristotle himself tells us, τò ληθς ν τοȋς πρακτικοȋς κ τν ργων κα τοû βίου κρίνεται . But there is much difference of opinion as to the argument he draws from the Lives. According to the view now submitted for consideration, the argument is that when a specific good, which some suppose to be Eudaimonia, is also the end of a ‘pre-eminent’ Life, then there is some prima facie probability in the view that that specific good is Eudaimonia
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DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/s0009838800000069
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