In the Nicomachean Ethics (so called after their first editor, Aristotle's son Nicomachus) Aristotle sets out to discover the good life for man: the life of happiness or eudaimonia. Happiness for Aristotle is the activity of the soul in accordance with virtue. Virtue is shown in the deliberate choice of actions as part of a worked-out plan of life, a plan which takes a middle course between excess and deficiency. This is the famous doctrine of the golden mean; courage, for example, is a mean between cowardice and rashness, and justice between a man's getting more or less than his due. The supreme happiness, according to Aristotle, is to be found in a life of philosophical contemplation; but this is only possible for a few, and a secondary kind of happiness is available in a virtuous life of political activity and public magnificence.More
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It's All About the Pacing
The problem I had with this reading was with the pacing of the presentation. When philosophical concepts are being presented in a book, especially so in a book being read and listened to aloud, many times it is necessary for the listener to take a moment or two to pause to digest what he has just heard. A work of philosophy cannot be read at the same pace as can be read (say) a page-turner novel.
And therein lay the difficulty I had with listening to this presentation. It was a bit like riding through a museum on a bicycle. It was an otherwise excellent recitation read too quickly. I would have liked for the work to have been read a bit more slowly with longer pauses between paragraphs. I realize that what I have just said could be said about any work that requires a bit of intellectual heavy lifting to be properly comprehended . . . but there you have it.
Fortunately, my listening device came equipped with a pause and rewind button.
- Frank Lester Adams