Nicomachean Ethics Essay

The Nicomachean Ethics is probably dedicated to the father or the son of Aristotle, who wore both this name. This treaty decribes what is the good ruler. It is also saying how to reach happiness. Aristotle examines the different ways of life and gives us beautiful reflections on friendship and justice.

Aristotle begins by giving his famous definition of good, as what is an objective at any circumstance. All research and action, all science and all art tends towards its own good.

The good is thus an objective, and as there are different actions or research, there are different objectives. For example, health is the objective of the medicine and the victory the objective of the strategy.

There is a hierarchy of sciences: the particular sciences are subordinated to a master science (or architectural). For example, the science of horses and weapons are subject to military science.

Similarly, there is a hierarchy of objectives: some are intended for certain objectives, which in turn for other objectives, etc.

But there must be a supreme objective because otherwise you lose in the infinite and our intentions will be deprived of their content and become pointless.

Since the good is an objective, the supreme objective is the supreme good. If we manage to grasp what it is, we will know what to do.

Two questions appear: of what nature is this good? And what science gives it?

For Aristotle, it is the political science, which is sovereign, as it organizes all the others, because it determines what will be the sciences that will be taught in the city. The policy, does it not legislate with the objective to continue the State? Thus, the good of the State is greater than the individual good of every citizen: the good is certainly desirable when it is a particular individual we are talking about, but it is far more beautiful and more divine when it applies to a people or a whole state.

The science that is intended to study the supreme good is therefore political science. And thus, Aristotle calls the Nicomachean ethics a treaty on political science.

This science is not yet characterized by an absolute degree of certainty. Indeed, one must realize that various disciplines do not have the same degree of precision: the beautiful and just have very different interpretations and so likely the errors that they have appear to be by law and not by an effect of nature.

Aristotle takes the example of wealth, to show the extent of such differences: wealth can save the life of a man, but can also cause the death of another. This type of situation makes it very problematic formulation of absolute truth.

It is therefore only general truths that is valid in most cases: when one speaks only general facts and consequences, conclusions can only be general.

Identify the degree of accuracy expected of a science is the sign of a refined man. It would be awkward to expect of a mathematician a probable reasoning and of a rhetorician a scientific demonstrations.

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