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p. 12318. Practical Philosophylocked

  • Jonathan Barnes


Though Aristotle focused mainly on the theoretical sciences, the Politics and the Nicomachean Ethics belong to the practical branch of philosophy. These are practical in that they aim not merely to purvey truth but also to affect action. Their themes are êthika (matters connected with character), arête (excellence), and eudaimonia (success). ‘Practical Philosophy’ points out that no one can be said to flourish as a human being unless exercising distinctively human faculties. Aristotle is not asking what makes us happy, and he is not concerned with how we should lead our lives, in a moral sense. He wants to instruct us in how to make a success of our lives.

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