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Moral Writings$
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H. A. Prichard and Jim MacAdam

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199250196

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0199250197.001.0001

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The Meaning of ἀγαθόν In the Ethics of Aristotle

The Meaning of ἀγαθόν In the Ethics of Aristotle

Chapter:
(p.102) 7. The Meaning of ἀγαθόν In the Ethics of Aristotle
Source:
Moral Writings
Author(s):

H. A. Prichard

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199250197.003.0007

Endeavours to specify what Aristotle means by αγαθον. In some contexts, this term seems to mean simply ‘that being desired’ or a person's ultimate or non‐ultimate end or aim. In other contexts, αγαθον takes on a normative quality. For his statements to have content, argues Prichard, Aristotle must hold that when we pursue something of a certain kind, such as an honour, we pursue it as a good. Prichard argues that by αγαθον Aristotle actually means (except in the Nicomachean Ethics) ‘conducive to happiness’, and holds that when a man acts deliberately, he does it from a desire to be happy. Prichard attributes this position to Plato as well, despite the fact that both thinkers make statements inconsistent with this view of our ultimate aim.

Keywords:   Aristotle, end, good, happiness, Nicomachean Ethics, Plato

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