Having witnessed the unjust exactions of a democracy at Athens, the dwindling population of an oligarchy at Sparta, and the oppressive selfishness of new tyrannies throughout the Greek world, he condemned the actual constitutions of the Greek states as deviations (7rapec- (3do as) directed merely to the good of the government; and he contemplated a right constitution (607) 7roAtTeia), which might be either a commonwealth, an aristocracy or a monarchy, directed to the general good; but he preferred the monarchy of one man, pre-eminent in virtue above the rest, as the best of all governments (Nicomachean Ethics, viii.
[According to Zeller, an abstract of the Nicomachean and the Eudemian Ethics, tending to follow the latter, but possibly an early draft of the Nicomachean Ethics.] 3 'H9LKa EbSi) pea or 7rpos Ebbnp.ov: Ethica ad Eudemum: On the same subject.
[Usually supposed to be written by Eudemus, but possibly an early draft of the Nicomachean Ethics.] 4.1 and vices.
Of pleasure in the Nicomachean Ethics, vii.
The Nicomachean Ethics, the Eudemian Ethics and the Magna Moralia; or, strangest of all, a consecutive treatise and other discourses amalgamated, e.g.
In De Interp. 13, 22 a 22; Nicomachean Ethics, ii.
Thus the Nicomachean Ethics begins by identifying the good with happiness (euSaeµovia), and happiness with virtuous action.
The probability is that the Nicomachean Ethics is a collection of separate discourses worked up into a tolerably systematic treatise; and the interesting point is that these discourses correspond to separate titles in the list of Diogenes Laertius (7rep1 KaXou, irepi Sucalcwv, irepi q5tXias, 7repi )Sovfjs, and 7repi ijlovwv).
A - Z) are common to the two treatises, and by the consequent question whether, on the hypothesis of different authorship, the common books, as we may style them, were written for the Nicomachean by Aristotle, or for the Eudemian Ethics by Eudemus, or some by one and some by the other author.
Of the Nicomachean, which is Z of the Eudemian, pleasure is defined as i v pyELa g EEws itvEgn-66LUTos (chap. 12, 1153 a 14-15); and in the Magna Moralia as Klv7wcs alma Kai 114pyeca (ii.
As then we find this identification of pleasure with activity in the Metaphysics and in the De Anima, as well as in the Nicomachean Ethics, the Eudemian Ethics and the Magna Moralia, the only logical conclusion, from which there is no escape, is that, so far as the treatment of pleasure goes, any Aristotelian treatise which defines it as activity is genuine.
It is because the Nicomachean Ethics contains a second discourse on pleasure (x.
Moreover, the distinction between activity and pleasure in the tenth book is really fatal to the consistency of the whole Nicomachean Ethics, which started in the first book with the identification of happiness and virtuous activity.
It is further remarkable that the Nicomachean Ethics proceeds to a different conclusion.
8-10) on these points is unlike the Nicomachean, and like the Eudemian Ethics in discussing good fortune and gentlemanliness, but it discusses them in a more worldly way.
Thereupon it proceeds to a discourse on friendship, which in the Nicomachean and Eudemian Ethics is discussed in an earlier position, but breaks off unfinished.
But the Eudemian Ethics and the Magna Moralia are more rudimentary than the Nicomachean Ethics, which as it were seems to absorb them except in the conclusion.
They are all such rudiments as Aristotle might well polish into the more developed expositions in the first four books of the Nicomachean Ethics.
After this, it can never be said that the earlier books of the Eudemian Ethics are so good a preparation as those of the Nicomachean Ethics for the distinction between prudence (Opov j ats) and wisdom (a001a), which is the main point of the common books, and one of Aristotle's main points against Plato's philosophy.
Indeed, the final proof that the Eudemian Ethics is earlier than the Nicomachean is the very fact that it is more under Platonic influence.
Secondly, the Eudemian Ethics, while not agreeing with Plato's Republic that the just can be happy by justice alone, does not assign to the external goods of good fortune (Eutu X ia) the prominence accorded to them in the Nicomachean Ethics as the necessary conditions of all virtue, and the instruments of moral virtue.
Because, then, it is very like, but more rudimentary and more Platonic, we conclude that the Eudemian is an earlier draft of the Nicomachean Ethics, written by Aristotle when he was still in process of transition from Plato's ethics to his own.
The Magna Moralia contains similar evidence of being earlier than the Nicomachean Ethics.
In dealing with justice, it does not make it clear, as the Nicomachean Ethics (Book v.) does, that even universal justice is virtue towards another (M.M.
In dealing with what the Nicomachean Ethics (Book vi.) calls intellectual virtues, but the Magna Moralia (i.
In these points it is a better preparation for the Nicomachean Ethics.
In dealing with continence and incontinence, the same doubts and solutions occur as in the Nicomachean Ethics (Book vii.
Z), but sometimes confusing doubts and solutions together, instead of first proposing all the doubts and then supplying the solutions as in the Nicomachean Ethics.
Such rudimentary and imperfect sketches would be quite excusable in a first draft, but inexcusable and incredible after the Nicomachean Ethics had been written.
Indeed, in some respects it is more like the Eudemian, though in the main more like the Nicomachean Ethics.
3, 1184 b 5-6); but does not make so much of it as the distinction between prudence and wisdom blurred in the Eudemian but defined in the Nicomachean Ethics.
8-9), where the Nicomachean Ethics places the speculative and the practical life; but it omits the theological element by denying that good fortune is divine grace, and by submitting gentlemanliness to no standard but that of right reason, when the irrational part of the soul does not hinder the rational part, or intellect (vows), from doing its work.
Because, then, the Magna Moralia is very like the Nicomachean Ethics, but more rudimentary, nearer to the Platonic dialogues in style and to a less degree in matter, and also like the Eudemian Ethics, we conclude that it is also like that treatise in having been written as an earlier draft of the Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle himself.
Nicomachean means " addressed to Nicomachus," and Eudemian " addressed to Eudemus "; but, as Cicero thought that the Nicomachean Ethics was written by Nicomachus, so the author of the Scholium thought that the Eudemian Ethics, at least so far as the first account of pleasure goes, was written by Eudemus.
He only thought so, however, because Aristotle could not have written both accounts of pleasure; and, taking for granted that Aristotle had written the second account of pleasure in the Nicomachean Ethics (Book x.), he concluded that the first account (Book vii.) was not the work of Aristotle, but of Eudemus (Comm.
But we have seen that Aristotle wrote the first three books of the Eudemian as an earlier draft of the Nicomachean Ethics; so that, even so far as they form a better introduction, this will not prove the common books to be by Eudemus.
Book E) must be rather founded on the first four books of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics.
Further, as Aristotle wrote both the first three Eudemian and the first four Nicomachean books, there is no reason why sometimes one, sometimes the other, should not be the best introduction to the common books by the same author.
The Eudemian and the Nicomachean treatments of this subject do not really differ.
In the Nicomachean as in the Eudemian Ethics the limit above moral virtue is right reason, or prudence, which is right reason on such matters; and above prudence wisdom, for which prudence gives its orders; while wisdom is the intelligence and science of the most venerable objects, of the most divine, and of God.
While the Eudemian Ethics in a more theological vein emphasizes God, the object of wisdom as the end for which prudence gives its orders, the Nicomachean Ethics in a more humanizing spirit emphasizes wisdom itself, the speculative activity, as that end, and afterwards as the highest happiness, because activity of the divine power of intellect, because an imitation of the activity of God, because most dear to God.
This is too fine a distinction to found a difference of authorship. Beneath it, and behind the curious hesitation which in dealing with mysteries Aristotle shows between the divine and the human, his three moral treatises agree that wisdom is a science of things divine, which the Nicomachean Ethics (vi.
The Categories earlier than some parts of the Metaphysics, because under the influence of Platonic forms it talks of inherent attributes, and allows secondary substances which are universal; the De Interpretatione earlier than the Analytics, because in it the Platonic analysis of the sentence into noun and verb is retained for the proposition; the Eudemian Ethics and the Magna Moralia earlier than the Nicomachean Ethics, because they are rudimentary sketches of it, and the one written rather in the theological spirit, the other rather in the dialectical style, of Plato; and the Rhetoric to Alexander earlier than the Rhetoric, because it contains a rudimentary theory of the rational evidences afterwards developed into a logic of rhetoric in the Rhetoric and Analytics.
1, 641 a 35), in the Nicomachean Ethics (i.
Such is the great mind of Aristotle manifested in the large map of learning, by which we have now to determine the order of his extant philosophical writings, with a view to studying them in their real order, which is neither chronological nor traditional, but philosophical and scientific. Turning over the pages of the Berlin edition, but passing over works which are perhaps spurious, we should put first and foremost speculative philosophy, and therein the primary philosophy of his Metaphysics (980 a 211093 b 29); then the secondary philosophy of his Physics, followed by his other physical works, general and biological, including among the latter the Historia Animalium as preparatory to the De Partibus Animalium, and the De Anima and Parva Naturalia, which he called " physical " but we call " psychological" (184 a 10-967 b 27); next, the practical philosophy of the Ethics, including the Eudemian Ethics and the Magna Moralia as earlier and the Nicomachean Ethics as later (1094-124 9 b 25), and of the Politics (1252-1342), with the addition of the newly discovered Athenian Constitution as ancillary to it; finally, the productive science, or art, of the Rhetoric, including the earlier Rhetoric to Alexander and the later Rhetorical Art, and of the Poetics, which was unfinished (1354-end).
The Metaphysics, the Nicomachean Ethics, the Rhetoric; and above all teach his whole system as far as possible in the real order of his classification of science.
Such is Aristotle's practical philosophy, contained in his matured Nicomachean Ethics, and his unfinished Politics.
Cope's Rhetoric, Dr Henry Jackson's Nicomachean Ethics, v., S.
Cardwell in his edition of the Nicomachean Ethics (1828) had the wisdom to found his text on the Laurentian Manuscript (Kb); E.
Grant edited the Nicomachean Ethics; E.
Stewart has written Notes on the Nicomachean Ethics; Professor J.
Burnet has issued an annotated edition of the Nicomachean Ethics, and W.
Bywater, who as an Aristotelian scholar has done much for the improvement of Bekker's text, especially of the Nicomachean Ethics and the Poetics; and F.
Commentaries on books 1 -4, 7 (in part), and 8 of the Nicomachean Ethics are preserved; that on book 8 was printed with those of Eustratius and others by Aldus Manutius at Venice in 1536.
Of all these descendants of the Nicomachean recension, the oldest is the Codex Parisinus of the 10th century, and the best the Codex Mediceus or Florentinus of the i ith.