The Greek book of the week – The Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle
The civilization of Ancient Greece continue to fascinate the modern mind. It’s remote in time, and yet still close to us. This is partly because we owe to the classical world so many of the values and ideas which shape our society, literature and art, partly because many of the important moral and political issues which continue to exercise twenty-first century man were first addressed in the ancient world.
The Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle (350 BC).
This is Aristotle’s best known work on ethics. He argues that the highest good and the end toward which all human activity is directed is happiness. In addition, happiness is attained by leading a virtuous life and through the development of reason. He adds that, in general, the moral life is one of moderation in all things except virtue.
In exploring the ancients we learn something about ourselves as well because the emotions generated and the dilemmas of judgment forced upon the characters are timeless and integral parts of the human condition.