Sophia

, Volume 50, Issue 1, pp 57–71

An All-inclusive Interpretation of Aristotle’s Contemplative Life

Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11841-010-0203-7

Cite this article as:
Liu, W. SOPHIA (2011) 50: 57. doi:10.1007/s11841-010-0203-7
  • 291 Views

Abstract

The debate between ‘inclusive’ and ‘dominant’ interpretations of Aristotle's concept of happiness (eudaimonia) has become one of the thorniest problems of Aristotle interpretation. In this paper, I attempt to solve this problem by presenting a multi-step argument for an ‘all-inclusive’ thesis, i.e., the Aristotelian philosopher or contemplator, in the strict sense, is someone who already possesses all the intellectual virtues (except technē), all the moral virtues (by way of the possession of phronēsis), and considerable other goods. If this thesis is correct, the inclusive and dominant interpretations will converge, for the philosopher turns out to be the happiest human being both in the inclusive and dominant senses.

Keywords

AristotleNicomachean EthicsHappiness (eudaimonia)Contemplation (theōria)Wisdom (sophia)Prudence (phronēsis)All-inclusive interpretation

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PhilosophyRenmin University of ChinaBeijingPeople’s Republic of China