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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

(p.102) 7. The Meaning of ἀγαθόν In the Ethics of Aristotle
Moral Writings

H. A. Prichard

Oxford University Press

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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