Jon's Reviews > The Nicomachean Ethics

The Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle
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Aug 02, 08

bookshelves: favoriteclassics
Read in June, 2008

I'll just share one of the many pieces of wisdom I gleaned from this one. These ideas come, primarily, from Book I, Section C.

Aristotle believes that a person can become more virtuos by practing virtue. For example, the more one is humble as opposed to prideful, the more naturally humility comes to him. Virtues, by the way, are broken into intellectual and moral virtues (the above is a moral virtue).

I've heard this idea compared to a piano player: the more one practices chords, the easier they come; likewise with virtue.

Now, the really good news, if I understand Aristotle correctly, is that as a person becomes more virtuous, she also becomes happier. Put another way, if a person decides to strive for Virtue as opposed to striving for pleasure or material things, then it is much more in her power to attain what she's striving for. Thus, we can all decide to be happy by simply rearranging our goals a bit.

Why not experiment with applying this principle? The worst that can happen is that it won't work; the best that could happen is that you'll be happier.
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