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The Virtue of Aristotle's Ethics


  • Page extent: 262 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.56 kg


 (ISBN-13: 9780521761765)

While Aristotle's account of the happy life continues to receive attention, many of his claims about virtue of character seem so puzzling that modern philosophers have often discarded them, or have reworked them to fit more familiar theories that do not make virtue of character central. In this book, Paula Gottlieb takes a fresh look at Aristotle's claims, particularly the much-maligned doctrine of the mean. She shows how they form a thought-provoking ethic of virtue, one that deserves to be developed and refined. The first part of the book addresses the nature of virtue and the virtues, illuminated by the doctrine of the mean. Building on the conclusions of this analysis, the second part explains the mentality of the good person and the type of society that will allow such a person to flourish.

• Approaches Aristotle's Ethics as an ethic of virtue • Rehabilitates Aristotle's doctrine of the mean • Provides the basis for a modern ethic of virtue


Part I. Ethical Virtue: 1. Virtue in the mean; 2. Nameless virtues; 3. The non-remedial nature of the virtues; 4. Listing the virtues; 5. Uniting the virtues; Part II. Ethical Reasoning: 6. Moral dilemmas; 7. Fine motivation; 8. The practical syllogism; 9. What the good person has to know; 10. A polis for Aristotle's virtues.


Review of the hardback: '… a well-written, clearly argued, and consistently interesting contribution to the literature on Aristotle's ethics. It sheds useful light on a wide range of important topics, charitably engages the work of other scholars, and capably defends the viability of Aristotle's ethical theory. Whether they are looking only for discussions of specific topics, or for a fuller defense of the doctrine of the mean, scholars of Aristotle's ethical and political thought will find Gottlieb's book worthwhile.' Bryn Mawr Classical Review

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