AuthorWastvedt, Bjorn Sether
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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EmbargoRelease after 02/15/2026
AbstractAristotle’s Eudemian Ethics (EE) is much less well understood than his Nicomachean Ethics. Between Schleiermacher (1817) and Kapp (1912), the treatise was not even recognized as Aristotle’s, and translations only became widely available a century later (Fermani 2008, Solopova 2011, Kenny 2011). A real improvement on Susemihl's 1884 Greek text is just now being produced (Rowe). In the dissertation, I examine the EE’s unique conception of the development and maturity of virtue of character. I argue that, on Aristotle’s view (1) habituation results in the ability to act in a certain way through repetitive movement, (2) the pleasures and pains that accompany virtuous and vicious action guide the development of virtuous and vicious character, and (3) the virtuous person’s non-rational desiderative faculties set correct ends (4) in pursuit of which deliberation then identifies appropriate action—excellent deliberation produces action conducive to a contemplative yet active life. The virtuous person chooses fine actions qua fine but also because they aim effectively at her mundane desires. On all four of these points, previous research consists entirely of a handful of largely philological essays focusing on individual passages, recent unpublished drafts of a generally synoptic nature, and a single chapter of Buddensiek’s 1999 book. For example, the only prior work on habituation in the EE consists of two exegeses of a key passage (Chamberlain 1984, Ferreira 2017) and unpublished essays from both the 2017 Symposium Aristotelicum on EE II and a 2018 workshop on the treatises’ relationship. My work is the first sustained examination of ethical virtue in Aristotle’s Eudemian Ethics.
Degree ProgramGraduate College