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Ethics

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(1908)

With an Introduction by J. A. Smith



Aristotle was one of the greatest philosophers and thinkers who ever lived. In fact, Aristotle and Plato have dominated the intellectual and practical history of mankind. That mankind has been ruled by the thought of just two individuals is a great wonder and the testimony to the profound importance and grandeur of Greek civilization. It is said that a man is either Platonic or Aristotelian. This statement is true. Plato was other-worldly and Aristotle was this-worldly at root. Aristotle's profound concern was our life in this world, how to find the truth, how to live well, what constitutes character and happiness, and how should we organize ourselves. Aristotle passionately, almost without any bounds, ventures on this great exploration and he does that magnificently. He is passionate and exploratory but Reason guides him. He is utterly honest and greatly interested in an intellectual adventure. He wants to know the truth and he deeply senses the great importance of the truth. In that sense, Aristotle becomes one of the greatest men in the history of the world. He is clear, luminous, even entertaining because of the way he carries the reader. All his books are like this and even in ETHICS, his method of attack is the same. He explores the question--what is the good, the highest END to which all must aspire? what really is happiness? whom should we call the truly moral man and why? Nowhere does he give you assertions that you must blindly accept. His method is to argue, reason, put forth all that he has, bring his own highest character to the reasoning process, himself demonstrating true and deep contemplation. It almost reads like a suspenseful exploration. What did he conclude and why? Read this great, almost divine work to find out...happy reading!--Submitted by Narendra Kumar Vellanki


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