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Examines how Aristotle posits political philosophy and the experience of friendship as a means to bind strictly intellectual virtue with morality.
In this book, Ann Ward explores Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, focusing on the progressive structure of the argument. Aristotle begins by giving an account of moral virtue from the perspective of the moral agent, only to find that the account itself highlights fundamental tensions within the virtues that push the moral agent into the realm of intellectual virtue. However, the existence of an intellectual realm separate from the moral realm can lead to lack of self-restraint. Aristotle, Ward argues, locates political philosophy and the experience of friendship as possible solutions to the problem of lack of self-restraint, since political philosophy thinks about the human things in a universal way, and friendship grounds the pursuit of the good which is happiness understood as contemplation. Ward concludes that Aristotle’s philosophy of friendship points to the embodied intellect of timocratic friends and mothers in their activity of mothering as engaging in the highest form of contemplation and thus living the happiest life.
Ann Ward is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Politics and International Studies at Campion College at the University of Regina, Canada. She is the author and editor of several books, including Herodotus and the Philosophy of Empire and Socrates and Dionysus: Philosophy and Art in Dialogue.
Table of Contents
1. Contemplating Friendship in Aristotle’s Ethics
2. Teleology, Inequality, and Autonomy
3. Moral Virtue: Possibilities and Limits
4. Justice: Giving to Each What Is Owed
5. Intellectual Virtue, Akrasia, and Political Philosophy