Nicomachean Ethics - Book III Summary & Analysis

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Book III Summary and Analysis

Aristotle opens the next section with an examination of what makes an action voluntary. He proposes that any action that takes place in ignorance or out of force is involuntary.

He raises examples of actions that are performed under threat, such as if someone threatens to harm a family member unless you do something "shameful" at their direction. Another example is when sailors throw cargo overboard in a storm to save the ship from capsizing. These examples complicate the question of what makes an action voluntary, for they include both an element of force from outside but they also include a voluntary decision to perform a certain act. In other words, the sailor's wisest choice to save his own life in a storm is to throw the cargo overboard but he still has to make a conscious decision to...

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This section contains 1,731 words
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