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Practices of ReasonAristotle's Nicomachean Ethics$
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C. D. C. Reeve

Print publication date: 1995

Print ISBN-13: 9780198235651

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198235651.001.0001

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Demonstration and Dialectic

Demonstration and Dialectic

(p.7) 1 Demonstration and Dialectic
Practices of Reason


Oxford University Press

Aristotle's ethical epistemology — his account of ethical knowledge — has two major components. The first explains the nature of our knowledge of ethical universals such as justice, moderation, and eudaimonia. The second explains how, for example, we are able to use such knowledge in order to determine what justice requires of us in a given particular situation and how to accomplish it. This chapter focuses on the first of these components. It begins by examining Aristotle's conception of unconditional scientific knowledge or epistēmē haplōs. This will allow us to explain why some knowledge of ethical universals holds only hōs epi to polu or for the most part (NE l094b 14–22), and to explore the differences and the no less illuminating similarities that hold between ethical knowledge and scientific-knowledge.

Keywords:   Aristotle, ethical knowledge, ethical universals, scientific knowledge, epistēmē haplōs, nous

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