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The Apprentice

The Nichomachean Ethics is Aristotle’s comprehensive deductive/logical treatise concerning the ends for which we should live. Within, we find encounter stimulating and relevant discussions about everything from pleasure to happiness; and whereas Plato/Socrates generally sought to expose the contradictions of men’s views about such concepts and leave the audience bewildered (or so is my view of it), Aristotle in the very beginning clarifies that he writing to an audience of experienced men who are actually capable of grasping the meaning of these things, and he actually seeks to teach us something.

As a result, Aristotle’s concise work here is much more valuable for a normal person than virtually anything Plato has written. For the normal person can take up the Ethics and have a pretty good idea about what he should live for: happiness via noble contemplation and also moderation in all things.

I personally value this work as utterly essential to who I am and was happy to revisit it in this Oxford World Classics version. I choose to buy this because:

  1. It’s a fairly recent translation, and I always prefer more modern translations (except where they are “trendy”)
  2. Oxford World Classics editions are usually authoritative (totally applicable here, where there are far more endnotes than I would ever care for that correspond to generally 4 areas per page)
  3. Oxford World Classics editions are sturdy. The binding and the pages themselves feel more substantial than Penguin editions (even if Penguins are more physically attractive), and none of my Oxford World Classics are yellowing, which is crucial for building out a library (Penguins can yellow but may not always).

I believe this book should be required reading for anyone interested not only in ethics but also their application in achieving a life well lived.