Aristotle tells us that the NicomacheanEthics (= NE ) is an “inquiry” and an “investigation” ( methodos and zētēsis , see NE 1094b10–11, 1102a12–15). One important way that the work comprises an investigation is that it is a prolonged search for the definition of
Abstract: This essay reconstructs and evaluates Aristotle’s argument in Nicomachean Ethics IX.9 that the happy person needs friends, in which Aristotle combines his well-known claim that friends are other selves with the claim that human perception is meta-perceptual: the perceiving subject perceives its own existence. After exploring some issues in the logic of perception, the essay argues that Aristotle’s argument for the necessity of friends is invalid since perception-verbs create referentially opaque contexts in which the substitution of co-referential terms fails.
on the difference between mathematical and philosophical inquiry in the Republic , but other authors come to mind, too. At the beginning of the NicomacheanEthics , Aristotle observes that one would speak adequately if one obtains the clarity that is appropriate for the subject matter investigated
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would this excessive exactness look like? Perhaps it is what Aristotle warns us against in the opening of the NicomacheanEthics —that an obsession with exactness yields a level of scrutiny and precision that is inappropriate for a domain of inquiry (1094b25). And so, we become insensitive to what are
This is a possibility that Aristotle makes fun of, without reference to the Republic , in his critique of the Form of the good in NicomacheanEthics I 4, 1096b35–1097a14.
Resp. X 601d: “A flute-player tells a flute-maker about the flutes that respond well in
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Kraut , R. 2006 . How to Justify Ethical Propositions: Aristotle’s Method . In: Kraut , R. (ed.), The Blackwell Guide to Aristotle’s NicomacheanEthics . Malden : Blackwell