The Nicomachean Ethics

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by Artistotle

In the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle sets out to examine the nature of happiness. He argues that happiness consists in ‘activity of the soul in accordance with virtue’, for example with moral virtues, such as courage, generosity and justice, and intellectual virtues, such as knowledge, wisdom and insight. The Ethics also discusses the nature of practical reasoning, the value and the objects of pleasure, the different forms of friendship, and the relationship between individual virtue, society and the State. Aristotle’s work has had a profound and lasting influence on all subsequent Western thought about ethical matters.

J. A. K. Thomson’s translation has been revised by Hugh Tredennick, and is accompanied by a new introduction by Jonathan Barnes. This edition also includes an updated list for further reading and a new chronology of Aristotle’s life and works.

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One swallow does not make a summer, neither does one fine day; similarly one day or brief time of happiness does not make a person entirely happy.

— Artistotle, The Nicomachean Ethics