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The Ethics of Aristotle

Length: 6 hrs and 9 mins
Categories: Non-fiction, Philosophy
4.5 out of 5 stars (35 ratings)

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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

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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.

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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!

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Absolutely fantastic!

If only the GreatCourses made more of this kind of incredible educational material instead of the “tour of XYZ“ rubbish that they turn out these days

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  • Luke Walton
  • 03-07-15

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.

5 people found this helpful

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  • DeeDeen
  • 08-04-17

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!

6 people found this helpful

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  • Russell Granby
  • 27-10-16

Standard class

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

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  • Mandy Press
  • 05-08-16

Ethics of Aristotle

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

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  • Plutarch
  • 18-07-16

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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  • Ned McKinley
  • 15-03-16

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.

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  • Dave
  • 02-01-16

Excellent job.

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

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  • Gaggleframpf
  • 21-08-15

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.

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  • rico d' pico
  • 03-04-20

I felt that I was there ! In a enthusiastic class!

Father Joseph is able to translate the depth of Aristotle thoughts in a practical and living fashion. His writing allows one to engage the tenets and principles while provoking their personal application in our lives. In many ways I felt as though I was in a metaphysical retreat- contemplating each section and going back to listen again and again for deep meaning, application and personal growth! Thank you Father Joseph!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 15-01-20

Nice analysis and presentation PDF a must!

I did like the analysis and benefited most from the choice of sources cited. The audio accompanying PDF book was essentially for me, because I felt the audio presentation supported it well.
I appreciate the great bibliography, and I am accustomed to the classic academic lecture format.
I cringed everytime I had to endure the applause as it degraded the content, and this presentation would be much more effective without.