What Is True?

September 27, 2003


Philosophy & Values

Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics


...to us it is clear from what has been said that happiness is among the things that are prized and perfect. It seems to be so also from the fact that it is a first principle; for it is for the sake of this that we all do all that we do, and the first principle and cause of goods is, we claim, something prized and divine. (1)


...Neither by nature, then, nor contrary to nature do the virtues arise in us; rather we are adapted by nature to receive them, and are made perfect by habit.

...For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them, e.g. men become builders by building and lyreplayers by playing the lyre; so too we become just by doing just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, brave by doing brave acts. (2)


[1] Aristotle "The Nicomachean Ethics" translated by W. D. Ross
Book 1 (1.12) http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/nicomachaen.html
The Internet Classics Archive: http://classics.mit.edu/
Nichomachean Ethics also found here at http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/

[2] Ibid. Book 2 (2.1)