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Publisher's Summary

In this 12-lecture meditation on Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, you'll uncover the clarity and ethical wisdom of one of humanity's greatest minds. Father Koterski shows how and why this great philosopher can help you deepen and improve your own thinking on questions of morality and leading the best life. The aim of these lectures is to provide you with a clear and thoughtful introduction to Aristotle as a moral philosopher. After absorbing some important background information designed to introduce you to Aristotle's career and general approach to the various fields of knowledge, you turn to the ten books (today we would call them chapters) of this brief but towering work. Throughout, you'll consider Aristotle's account of the four main virtues of courage, moderation, justice, and prudence; his claims that happiness (eudaimonia) is the real goal of life; his explanations of how and why people attain- or fall short of- ethical excellence; his differences with his teachers Plato and Socrates over the hard question of what knowing rightly has to do with acting rightly; where Aristotle's thought fits into the long history of ethical reflection; and much more.

Prepare for an illuminating, mind-broadening, and thought-provoking learning experience, and a chance to get up close and personal with one of Western philosophy's founding fathers.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2001 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2001 The Great Courses

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Standard class

Not much was gained by this book, does provoke thoughts for future philosophy. Reading was good and flowed well

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Solid primer on Aristotle

Solid course. Not life changing but definitely illuminating. Professor is knowledgable and charming. The course on the Platonic Dialogues is still the best audio course, however.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Father Joseph is awesome!

Would you listen to The Ethics of Aristotle again? Why?

Yes, in fact I have listened to The Ethics of Aristotle twice already. Father Joe gives a great deal of information. I was hungry to learn about this topic, so I needed to hear it a few times. Joseph is well spoken--it's almost as if he doesn't waste a word.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Ethics of Aristotle?

The most memorable moments of The Ethics of Aristotle were when Father Joe breaks down how Aristotle saw the progression of friendships as well as how they are kindled (pun intended). Seeing great qualities in someone else draws us to them, and we become friends. This sounds simplistic, but it seemed quite profound once I thought a bit about that concept.

Which character – as performed by Father Joseph Koterski, S.J. – was your favorite?

He teaches Aristotle's Ethics, so he does not really perform any characters. He is a wonderful teacher, well spoken, and speaks as if he's in the room with you--very knowledgeable, organized, and informed.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

It is moving when Father Joseph talks about being a priest and teaching this subject, as he does--especially when he discusses young people making choices for better lives which really parallels the text since Aristotle wrote these guiding points for his son.

Any additional comments?

He is a great teacher, you can tell. He does not sound like he is reading a book but lecturing a college classroom, which I prefer! This is one of the best of The Great Courses which is a favorite series of mine. Some are hit and miss--this one's a hit!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Ethics of Aristotle

A delightful narration taught with warmth, a sly sense of humor, and an underlying attitude of mastery.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Fantastic

Great lecturer who knows his content. Clearly delights in sharing what he has learned, and does so with ease and flair.

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Very good -- recommended

All in all a great course. I have some previous knowledge of philosophy, including of Aristotle, and found this course to be well laid out and explained. It should serve to give a solid overview of a sensible, balanced approach to ethics that is generally relevant today.

I just have a few quibbles. Fr Koterski uses some phrases repeatedly that get a bit irritating -- "mindful of that" for example is used dozens of times.

Also I would have been fine with a longer course, perhaps contrasting Aristotle and his heirs such as Aquinas with other philosophers from Plato to the present day.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Dave
  • Carrollton, Tx
  • 01-02-16

Excellent job.

superb lectures explaining Aristotle's ideas blended with the ideas of other thinkers! opened my eyes!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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One of the best presentations of Aristotle

Would you listen to The Ethics of Aristotle again? Why?

Definitely. It's interesting philosophically AND it helps me to live better.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Aristotle and Father Joe Katersky, because one wrote the material and the other taught it.

Which scene was your favorite?

Katersky's discussion on wimpiness.

What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

Excellence lies in the mean between the extremes.

Any additional comments?

Buy it.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Great introduction to Aristotle

If you could sum up The Ethics of Aristotle in three words, what would they be?

Founder of Western Philosophy

Who was your favorite character and why?

Aristotle of course

Which scene was your favorite?

When it goes into the scientific method

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, but time did not allow for that

Any additional comments?

Great listen

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idk i liked it

Father did an excellent job with his talks - they were easy to follow, insightful, and definitely inspired us to pick up the Ethics again. This was a superb review of my old college course on the topic, but it had a whole bunch of useful insights. My carpool - who's never read the Ethics - found it just as interesting. She also says that its easy to follow and without any prior knowledge on the topic. Exactly what we needed to become better, smarter humans. Highly advise.

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  • Greg Gauthier
  • 07-01-16

Summary more than argument

While I very much enjoyed Fr. Koterski's rehearsal of Aristotle's arguments, I found myself not quite as engaged in the lectures, as I was with Prof. Robinson's "Great Ideas Of Philosophy".

Fr. Koterski's lectures are a thorough and well practiced summary of each of the books in Aristotle's ethics. That was enjoyable, but less engaging than Prof. Robinson, because Robinson was doing something very different. He was *making an argument* for how we ought to regard the ideas in those works, and what those ideas mean, in the broader scope of the development of human thought. If Fr. Koterski had challenged me a bit more in the way that Prof. Robinson had, I think the lectures would have been better.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Cristina
  • 05-19-15

Superb!

Would you consider the audio edition of The Ethics of Aristotle to be better than the print version?

I haven't read the print version, but this lecture series is an absolutely superb to understanding Aristotle at a deeper level than one can master on his own. Aristotle is dry and his 'lecture notes' were never intended for publication. Father Joseph Koterski's clear, deep and enthusiastic delivery motivates one to go back again and again to Aristotle's Ethics. More of these, please!

Have you listened to any of Father Joseph Koterski, S.J.’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Not yet, but I intend to listen to all his audio lectures, especially the one on Biblical Wisdom.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Everything has moved me, especially what he has to say about friendship and morality as something that one does as part of a community.

Any additional comments?

More of Father Joseph Koterski please!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-26-17

A great course

I've decided the secret to philosophy is to access a good introduction by a modern day expert prior to attempting an original work or historical body of thought. This course is that and well presented in addition. Many thanks!