Cl36Sp08L16ArGodAb

Cl36Sp08L16ArGodAb - CLASSICS 36: LECTURE SIXTEEN THE...

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C LASSICS 36: L ECTURE S IXTEEN THE PHILOSOPHER S GOD : A RISTOTLE , N ICOMACHEAN ETHICS 10.6-8, METAPHYSICS 12.6-7, 9-10 1. The relation between the virtuous life and the contemplative life 1.1 Conclusion of “function-argument” (1098a16) (Lect. 15 §3): “the good of man is an activity of the soul in conformity with excellence or virtue, and if there are several virtues, in conformity with the best and most complete [my emphasis]. Book 10 shows that theoretical study is the best and most complete virtue/ excellence. 1.2 Book 10 returns to question of happiness and gives it a “thicker description” than was possible with the function argument. Now we learn what it is really like to be completely happy. 1.3 Ar.’s bases moral action not on rules, principles, or (still less) rights, but on looking to a model, standard, or paradigm. (Compare: “How would Jesus drive?”) The best in any area determines what is valuable for entire area. So: (a) Activity of best organ in a person (intellect) determines best activity for whole person (10.6); (b) judgment of the practically wise ‘gentleman’ sets standard for what is truly valuable and pleasant, even for those who cannot be gentlemen (e.g. women, slaves, children); (c) but “everyone agrees” (gentlemen too) that theoretical wisdom is the most pleasant of excellent activities (1177a23) (why? presumably because more leisurely even than the statesman’s life; see also §2); so philosopher sets standard for all the virtuous; (d) God sets standard for entire cosmos, and
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Cl36Sp08L16ArGodAb - CLASSICS 36: LECTURE SIXTEEN THE...

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