Nicomachean Ethics Quotes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 42 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Nicomachean Ethics.
This section contains 720 words
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"Every craft and every line of inquiry, and likewise every action and decision, seems to seek some good." p. 1

"Since happiness is a certain sort of activity of the soul in accord with complete virtue, we must examine virtue; for that will perhaps also be a way to study happiness better." p. 16

"To sum up: Virtue is about pleasures and pains; the actions that are its source also increase it, or i they are done badly, ruin it; and its activity is about the same actions as those that are its sources." p. 21

"Virtue, then, is a state that decides, consisting in a mean, the mean relative to us, which is defined by reference to reason, that is to say, to the reason by reference to which the prudent person would define it. It is a mean between two vices, one of excess and one of deficiency." p. 25

"We have found, then, that we wish for the end, and deliberate and decide about things that promote it; hence the actions concerned with things that promote the end are in accord with decision and are voluntary. The activities of the virtues are concerned with these things that promote the end. hence virtue is also up to us, and so also, in the same way is vice." p. 37

"Actions and states, however, are not voluntary in the same way. For we are in control of actions from the beginning to the end, when we know the particulars. With states, however, we are in control of the beginning, but do not know any more than with sickness, what the cumulative effect of particular actions will be. Nonetheless, since it was up to us to exercise a capacity either this way or another way, states are voluntary." p. 40

"Often a pair of contrary states is recognized from the other contrary; and often the states are recognized from their subjects. For if, for instance, the good state is evident, the bad state becomes evident, too; an moreover the good state becomes evident from the things that have it, and the things from the state. For if, for instance, the good state is thickness of flesh, the bad state must be thinness of flesh, and the things that produces the good state must be what produces thickness of flesh." p. 67

"Some involuntary actions are to be pardoned, and some are not. For if someone's error is not only committed in ignorance, but also caused by ignorance, it is to be pardoned. But if, though committed in ignorance, it is caused not by ignorance but by some feeling that is neither natural nor human, it is not to be pardoned." p. 80

"For in all the states of character we have mentioned, as well as in the others, there is a target that the person who has reason focuses on and so tightens or relaxes; and there is a definition of the means, which we say are between excess and deficiency because they accord with the correct reason." p. 86

"What we have said, then, makes it clear that we cannot be fully good without prudence, or prudent without virtue of character." p. 99

"The person who is prone to be overcome by pleasures is incontinent; the one who overcomes is continent; The one overcome by pains is soft; and the one who overcomes them is resistant." p. 109

"Moreover, in loving their friend they love what is good for themselves; for when a good person becomes a friend he becomes a good for his friend. Each of them loves what is good for himself, and repays in equal measure the wish and the pleasantness of his friend; for friendship is said to be equality. And this is true above all in the friendship of good people." p. 125

"It would seem to be clear, then, that pleasure is not the good, that not every pleasure is choiceworthy, and that some are choiceworthy in themselves, differing in species or in their sources from those that are not." p. 157

"For what is proper to each thing's nature is supremely best and most pleasant for it; and hence for a human being the life in accord with understanding will be supremely best and most pleasant, if understanding, more than anything else, is the human being. This life, then, will also be happiest." p. 165

This section contains 720 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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