Confronting Aristotle's Ethics: Ancient And Modern Morality

Paperback | June 12, 2015

byEugene Garver

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What is the good life? Posing this question today would likely elicit very different answers. Some might say that the good life means doing good—improving one’s community and the lives of others. Others might respond that it means doing well—cultivating one’s own abilities in a meaningful way. But for Aristotle these two distinct ideas—doing good and doing well—were one and the same and could be realized in a single life. In Confronting Aristotle’s Ethics, Eugene Garver examines how we can draw this conclusion from Aristotle's works, while also studying how this conception of the good life relates to contemporary ideas of morality.

The key to Aristotle’s views on ethics, argues Garver, lies in the Metaphysics or, more specifically, in his thoughts on activities, actions, and capacities. For Aristotle, Garver shows, it is only possible to be truly active when acting for the common good, and it is only possible to be truly happy when active to the extent of one’s own powers. But does this mean we should aspire to Aristotle’s impossibly demanding vision of the good life? In a word, no. Garver stresses the enormous gap between life in Aristotle’s time and ours. As a result, this bookwill be a welcome rumination on not only Aristotle, but the relationship between the individual and society in everyday life.
 

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What is the good life? Posing this question today would likely elicit very different answers. Some might say that the good life means doing good—improving one’s community and the lives of others. Others might respond that it means doing well—cultivating one’s own abilities in a meaningful way. But for Aristotle these two distinc...

From the Jacket

What is the good life? Posing this question today would likely elicit very different answers. Some might say that the good life means doing good—improving one’s community and the lives of others. Others might respond that it means doing well—cultivating one’s own abilities in a meaningful way. But for Aristotle these two distinct ideas...

Eugene Garver is the Regents Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at St. John’s University in Minnesota. He is the author of three previous books, including, most recently, For the Sake of Argument: Practical Reasoning, Character, and the Ethics of Belief, also published by the University of Chicago Press.  

other books by Eugene Garver

Aristotle's Politics: Living Well and Living Together
Aristotle's Politics: Living Well and Living Together

Kobo ebook|Oct 30 2011

$27.79 online$36.09list price(save 22%)
Format:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.7 inPublished:June 12, 2015Publisher:University of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022627019X

ISBN - 13:9780226270197

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
List of Abbreviations of Aristotle's Works
Introduction

Chapter 1
What Aristotle's Rhetoric Can Tell Us about the Rationality of Virtue

Chapter 2
Decision, Rational Powers, and Irrational Powers

Chapter 3
The Varieties of Moral Failure

Chapter 4
Passion and the Two Sides of Virtue

Chapter 5
Aristotle's Ethical Virtues Are Political Virtues

Chapter 6
The Ethical Dimensions of Aristotle's Metaphysics

Chapter 7
Living Politically and Living Rationally: Choosing Ends and Choosing Lives

Notes
Name Index
Index of Passages in Aristotle's Works

Editorial Reviews

Confronting Aristotle’s Ethics takes a fresh look at Aristotle’s ethics. . . . Garver’s work is well worth the time needed to digest it. . . . He goes a long way to showing how Aristotle’s ethics should be understood and why it bears careful study.”