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Levels of ArgumentA Comparative Study of Plato's Republic and Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics$
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Dominic Scott

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199249640

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199249640.001.0001

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The ‘Endoxic Method’

The ‘Endoxic Method’

Chapter:
(p.187) 10 The ‘Endoxic Method’
Source:
Levels of Argument
Author(s):

Dominic Scott

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199249640.003.0011

Recent discussions of Aristotle’s method focus on his use of ‘appearances’—the endoxa or phainomena: views held by ‘the many’ or ‘the wise’. In particular, some influential scholars have assumed that his ethical work is pervaded by a three-stage method, ‘the endoxic method’: one starts by setting out the endoxa, reviews the difficulties they throw up, resolves them, and then returns to show how the endoxa have been preserved. This sounds very similar to the idea of a methodological circuit, as discussed in previous chapters. It is therefore important to examine whether this might, after all, be what Aristotle had in mind when he talked of the race course analogy in NE I 4. However, I argue that the endoxic method, although at work in some passages in the NE, is by no means pervasive: it is just one method among others. Recent scholarship has exaggerated its importance.

Keywords:   appearances, endoxa, phainomena, ethical method, acrasia, eudaimonia, fortune, friendship

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