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A lucid and useful translation of one of Aristotle's primary works by a master teacher. Designed for courses in undergraduate philosophy, as well as for the general reader interested in the major works of western civilization. Focus Philosophical Library translations are close to and are non-interpretative of the original text, with the notes and a glossary intending to provide the reader with some sense of the terms and the concepts as they were understood by Aristotle's immediate audience.
Joe Sachs taught for thirty years at St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland. He has translated Aristotle's "Physics," "Metaphysics" and "On the Soul" and, for the Focus Philosophical Library, Aristotle's "Nicomachean Ethics" and "Poetics", and Plato's "Theaetetus" and "Republic."
Table of Contents
Note: The ten books of the original text have no titles; those below are provided by the translator to indicate the general shape of the inquiry.
Preface to this Translation, vii
Book I, 1
Book II, 21
Book III, 36
Book IV, 58
Book V, 79
Book VI, 102
Book VII, 118
Book VIII, 143
Book IX, 162
Book X, 180
Chapter 1.Every art and every inquiry, and likewise every action and choice, seems to aim at some good, and hence it has been beautifully said that the good is that at which all things aim. But a certain difference is apparent among ends, since some are ways of being at work, while others are certain kinds of works produced, over and above the being-at-work. And in those cases in which there are ends of any kind beyond the actions, the works produced are by nature better things than the activities. And since there are many actions and arts and kinds of knowledge, the ends also turn out to be many: of medical knowledge the end is health, of shipbuilding skill it is a boat, of strategic art it is victory, of household management it is wealth. But in as many such pursuits as are under some one capacity—in the way that bridle making and all the other skills involved with implements pertaining to horses come under horsemanship, while this and every action pertaining to war come under strategic art, and in the same way other pursuits are under other capacities—in all of them the ends of all the master arts are more worthy of choice than are the ends of the pursuits that come under them, since these latter are pursued for the sake of those arts. And it makes no difference whether the ends of the actions are the ways of being at work themselves, or something else beyond these, as they are with the kinds of knowledge mentioned.