Aristotle’s The Nicomachean Ethics

ISBN: 0199213615

I recently attempted to tackle The Nicomachean Ethics, one of Aristotle’s most important works. In tough language it describes happiness, virtue, justice, reasoning, and living.

The beginning of the book starts off with happiness, which Aristotle describes as a finite point where you are self-sufficient and lacking in nothing (accumulation beyond that point would be excess). This can only come from living with virtue, something you gain through learning and training. The virtuous man will always be happy because “he will do and contemplate what is excellent, and he will bear the chances of life most nobly and altogether decorously, if he is ‘truly good’ and ‘foursquare beyond reproach’.”

If activities are, as we said, what determines the character of life, no blessed man can become miserable; for he will never do the acts that are hateful and mean. For the man who is truly good and wise, we think , bears all the chances of life becomingly and always makes the best of circumstances, as a good general makes the best military use of the army at his command, and a good shoemaker makes the best shoes out of the hides that are given him; and so with all other craftsmen. And if this is the case, the happy man can never become miserable— though he will not reach blessedness, if he meet with fortunes like those of Priam.


…none of the moral virtues arises in us by nature; for nothing that exists by nature can form a habit contrary to its nature. For instance the stone which by nature moves downwards cannot be habituated to move upwards, not even if one tries to train it by throwing it up ten thousand times;


…the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them, e.g. men become builders by building and lyre-players by playing the lyre; so too we become just by doing just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, brave by doing brave acts.


…temperance and courage, then, are destroyed by excess and defect, and preserved by the mean.

A virtuous man derives pleasure or happiness from doing virtuous acts, such as exhibiting bravery or temperance. In fact, you know you have virtue when you don’t get happiness from doing unvirtuous acts. You only feel good for doing the right thing. One sign that your virtue is growing is when you feel guilt of shame for unvirtuous things which gave you pleasure in the past.

It’s clear that Aristotle did not agree with the progressive view that we are all equal since virtue takes training to implement. Those who have not done this training are thus not virtuous and should not be praised.

It’s important to note that Aristotle doesn’t say not to experience pleasure, but to be temperate and seek a mean, since self-indulgence is not virtuous. He describes the mean for some length:

…every art does its work well—by looking to the intermediate and judging its works by this standard (so that we often say of good works of art that it is not possible either to take away or to add anything, implying that excess and defect destroy the goodness of works of art, while the mean preserves it; and good artists, as we say, look to this in their work), and if, further, virtue is more exact and better than any art, as nature also is, then virtue must have the quality of aiming at the intermediate.


…both fear and confidence and appetite and anger and pity and in general pleasure and pain may be felt both too much and too little, and in both cases not well; but to feel them at the right times, with reference to the right objects, towards the right people , with the right motive, and in the right way, is what is both intermediate and best, and this is characteristic of virtue.


With regard to honour and dishonour the mean is proper pride, the excess is known as a sort of ‘empty vanity’, and the deficiency is undue humility;


For the brave man appears rash relatively to the coward, and cowardly relatively to the rash man; and similarly the temperate man appears self-indulgent relatively to the insensible man, insensible relatively to the self-indulgent , and the liberal man prodigal relatively to the mean man, mean relatively to the prodigal. Hence also the people at the extremes push the intermediate man each over to the other, and the brave man is called rash by the coward, cowardly by the rash man, and correspondingly in the other cases.


…anyone can get angry—that is easy—or give or spend money; but to do this to the right person, to the right extent, at the right time, with the right motive, and in the right way, that is not for everyone, nor is it easy; wherefore goodness is both rare and laudable and noble.


…the intermediate state is in all things to be praised, but that we must incline sometimes towards the excess, sometimes towards the deficiency; for so shall we most easily hit the intermediate and what is right.


Men, then, as well as beasts, suffer pain when they are angry, and are pleased when they exact their revenge; those who fight for these reasons, however, are pugnacious but not brave; for they do not act for the sake of the noble nor as reason directs, but from strength of feeling;


…the self-indulgent man is so called because he is pained more than he ought at not getting pleasant things (even his pain being caused by pleasure), and the temperate man is so called because he is not pained at the absence of what is pleasant and at his abstinence from it.


The temperate man occupies a middle position with regard to these objects. For he neither enjoys the things that the self-indulgent man enjoys most— but rather dislikes them—nor in general the things that he should not, nor anything of this sort to excess, nor does he feel pain or craving when they are absent, or does so only to a moderate degree, and not more than he should, nor when he should not, and so on;


…the proud man is concerned with honours; yet he will also bear himself with moderation towards wealth and power and all good or evil fortune, whatever may befall him, and will be neither overjoyed by good fortune nor over-pained by evil.


We call bad-tempered those who are angry at the wrong things, more than is right, and longer, and cannot be appeased until they inflict vengeance or punishment.

Some thoughts on actions and fear:

For the man who has done something by reason of ignorance, and feels not the least vexation at his action, has not acted voluntarily, since he did not know what he was doing, nor yet involuntarily, since he is not pained.


…the incontinent man acts with appetite, but not with choice; while the continent man on the contrary acts with choice, but not with appetite.


…everyone does evil acts through ignorance of the end, thinking that by these he will get what is best,


Now we fear all evils, e.g. disgrace, poverty, disease, friendlessness, death, but the brave man is not thought to be concerned with all; for to fear some things is even right and noble , and it is base not to fear them— e.g. disgrace; he who fears this is good and modest, and he who does not is shameless.


Poverty and disease we perhaps ought not to fear, nor in general the things that do not proceed from vice and are not due to a man himself.

Two more excerpts I found interesting:

For to such persons, as to the incontinent, knowledge brings no profit; but to those who desire and act in accordance with reason, knowledge about such matters will be of great benefit.


The life of money-making is one undertaken under compulsion, and wealth is evidently not the good we are seeking; for it is merely useful and for the sake of something else. And so one might rather take the aforenamed objects to be ends; for they are loved for themselves.

This book is by no means easy to read. Here’s a sample passage that may take you some time to decode:

Now we call that which is in itself worthy of pursuit more final than that which is worthy of pursuit for the sake of something else, and that which is never desirable for the sake of something else more final than the things that are desirable both in themselves and for the sake of that other thing, and therefore we call final without qualification that which is always desirable in itself and never for the sake of something else.

You can’t just read through this like any other book. It’s meant to be studied and re-read carefully. I wasn’t prepared to make such a commitment so I stopped halfway through. You won’t get much value reading this book in isolation without the accompanying context from preceding works. It should be one of many books you read as part of a classical study program, instead of one in which you randomly pluck out from the bookstore while browsing, or else your level of comprehension will be low. In effect, you need some prior training to get the most out of this text. For that reason, I don’t think it will be useful to most men.

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50 thoughts on “Aristotle’s The Nicomachean Ethics”

  1. This is one of my favorite books of all time–definitely in my top 3. The thing about Aristotle is that if most people actually gave it a shot and read it, they would realize that this is the only book on happiness they would ever need. None of that self-help, new agey guru shit; this book is practical and realistic, unlike some religions that preach ideals, the nichomachean ethics shows the way to virtue, in the real world. I can’t recommend it enough guys, you will love it! Your actions will change and you will start to act differently to prove to yourself that you are the man you think you are.

  2. This has been on my ‘must read’ list for decades but I’ve never made time for it. My impression from reading this and other secondary sources is that Aristotle, similarly to the Stoics but perhaps in a less practical way, had a faith in rationality and the possibility of arriving at good judgement, that we have perhaps lost in between time. One book I have dipped into (its not easy at all either though) is Alisdair MacIntyre’s After Virtue which is an attempt by a recovering leftie to grapple with and rehabilitate Aristotelian Virtue Ethics for the modern age (throwing in a bit of Thomas Aquinas too if I understand right). I don’t claim to fully grasp this (I didn’t even get as far as half way through like Roosh) but was left with the idea that this is a potentially very useful tradition of ethics to rediscover.
    MacIintyre’s purpose in re-working virtue ethics, and the idea of the good life seems in part to have been motivated by the sense that the grand ethical projects of the Enlightenment Kant, Utilitarianism (even Hegel and Marx perhaps) had failed – i.e. that one could come up with grand ethical principles every one could live by and agree on (duty ethics e.g. the categorical imperative etc), as well as disillusionment with the relativism that accompanied the loss of confidence in such grand ideas (relativism, post-modernism etc).
    Without wishing to say more than I understand about Aristotle, MacIntyre and Virtue Ethics more generally it seems to me this is an ancient and rich tradition of ethics that seems well worth re-discovering.

    1. Macintyre is rather controversial among ethical philosophers but After Virtue is definitely a good book, if a little difficult at times.

  3. The Aristotelian mean is pretty much impossible to achieve in today’s narcissistic greed driven culture, but has some practical value for enlightened men wishing to restore some sense of balance in their lives.

    1. Nothing is wrong with greed. Greed is a natural instinct, and to tell you the truth this country lacks it from the looks of it in my perspective, so don’t let the Christian Bible tell you what’s wrong or right since religion was made to control the masses. Greed is simply one step lower from ambition and self preservation.

      1. eh? Aristotle predates Christianity.
        Greed is excessive desire. It’s a sign of a complete lack of discipline that is commonly found in defective people.

      2. Depends what you do with it. Greed without action is just a desire. If one acts on their greed then they will often be actively taking from others and this is not good. People fight back against those who seek to take from them, and if the people doing the taking are not careful they can leave people with no option but to get violent in order to stop the current process.
        Greed should not be idealised as it will inevitably lead to chaos and savagery.
        In the short term acting on greed can yield a profit. In the long term unmitigated greed yields social structures that are just begging to implode.

  4. Hi guys, really interested in picking up this book some day. If this is not the recommended starting point, what would you recommend is?

  5. I did study Classics at university and I remember studying the Nicmomachean ethics. I actually flat out disagree with Aristotle’s ”virtue as mean point between two extremes” explanation. I wrote an essay in my first year going into why, particularly with the example of courage.

  6. I’ve never read anything by Aristotle. I respect his immense influence on medieval and early modern thought, but I’ve never been attracted to his “vibe.” (for lack of a better word). I’ve always found other philosophers from this period more attractive to me. From the ancients, I like Plato, the Neoplatonists, the Stoics, and the Epicureans.
    Aristotle’s works were technical treatises, and they were written for people who already had some background in the subject matter. If I were going to read this book, I would first read a commentary or summary, and then read the original. Then I’d maybe re-read the summary again.
    I remember once I tried to read Kant. It was literally unreadable. Hardly a single sentence made sense.

    1. If you have trouble with Kant, try Husserl for a change, especially his “bracketing method” intended to bring to the forefront only that which is really “self evident” beyond the constructed lived-world that we take to be the true physical reality surrounding us (pay close attention to what it really entails and how to concretely put it into practice, such as with the die cube example – it’s quite neat really). Interestingly enough, those versed in Eastern schools of thought, especially certain versions of Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta for the Hindus, seem to “get” this notion of the embodied ego actually constructing the “perceived” world around it much quicker and more naturally than the British empiricists who simply appear to hit a brick wall when the practical exercise of bracketing is explained to them. Even more interesting, the significant role played by the mind in shaping what we perceive around us has been concretely corroborated by more recent research into the neuro-phenomenal qualities of perception, imagination, and ideation.
      And to think some tried to reduce all consciousness all the way down to nothing more than electro-chemical brain states. What are you guys, comatosed robots FFS? (I’m looking at you here Skinnerian reductionists and your ilk)

  7. It’s important to note that Aristotle doesn’t say not to experience pleasure, but to be temperate and seek a mean, since self-indulgence is not virtuous.
    Chasing women for sex is self-indulgence.

  8. Perhaps more interesting for this site is to talk about his views on women. They were spot on and by today’s standard he would be seen as an extreme misogynist:
    Among the barbarians the female and the slave have the same status. This is because there are no natural rulers among them but, rather, the association among them is between male and female slave.
    Aristotle supported the laws that meant a woman’s personal wealth automatically became her husband’s.
    He described the women as:
    .. more mischievous, less simple, more impulsive, … more compassionate, … more easily moved to tears, … more jealous, more querulous, more apt to scold and to strike, … more prone to despondency and less hopeful … more void of shame or self-respect, more false of speech, more deceptive, of more retentive memory and … also more wakeful; more shrinking and more difficult to rouse to action” (History of Animals, 608b. 1-14).
    He thought that
    A woman’s sexual discharge was akin to that of an infertile or amputated male’s.And that only fair-skinned women, not darker-skinned women, had a sexual discharge and climaxed.
    His idea of procreation was an active, ensouling masculine element bringing life to a passive female element.
    He did not advocate the type of promiscuity promoted on this site:
    Therefore it befits not a man of sound mind to bestow his person promiscuously, or have random intercourse with women; for otherwise the base-born will share in the rights of his lawful children, and his wife will be robbed of her honor due, and shame be attached to his sons.
    He was also in favour of monogamy, which is scolded on this site:
    Aristotle’s thought that a wife was best honored when she saw that her husband was faithful to her, and that he had no preference for another woman; but before all others loves, trusts her and holds her as his own. Aristotle wrote that a husband should secure the agreement, loyalty, and devotion of his wife, so that whether he himself is present or not, there may be no difference in her attitude towards him, since she realizes that they are alike guardians of the common interests; and so when he is away she may feel that to her no man is kinder or more virtuous or more truly hers than her own husband.'s_views_on_women

  9. I am a big fan of Ayn Rand (who few people truly understand) and the only credit she gives on anything before her on her philosophy is Aristotle.
    But taking advice from a guy that lived nearly 2500 years ago is a bit retarded don’t you think? Think of all the things he couldn’t have even imagined. Social media, birth control, millions of electronic book on every topic under the sun, 3500 different religions, etc etc etc.
    To take the philosophy from a guy from that long ago should be taken with a huge pile of grains of salt.
    What a THINKING man does is read a work like this and ask yourself which parts resonate as true from your own experience and which parts don’t. I mean slaves? Really? Are we taking life advice from a guy that thinks slaves are a fine idea. Ridiculous!!!

    1. Holy overreactions, Batman! There’s no such thing as a perfect philosopher. Nobody has the answers to everything (except Socrates, who had no answers). The idea is to think deeply upon what ideas have merit and what doesn’t. Many things are said to simply make you think. It’s the exercise of thinking that is the point of most philosophy.

      1. You both (Matt and Eduardo) missed my point entirely. I actually led my comment by saying that my favorite philosopher gave credit to Aristotle. No where did I say there was a perfect philosopher.
        My point was that to treat anything someone said 2,500 years ago as anything then a perspective to review, evaluate and cherry pick from is silly. Yes there are things in Aristotle, Plato, Epicurious, etc. that have merit but when philosophers are quoted (often misunderstood and out of context quotes — think Nietzsche for instance misused by the Nazis) as if anything they say must be wise…that’s what I was commenting against.
        I simply used slavery as the most glaring and obvious example.

    2. A guy who lived 2500 years ago but is still regarded as one of the smartest men to have ever lived millennia later is worthy of hearing out, no?
      Ultimately, the fundamental areas of a man’s life have scarcely changed – sex, social life, wealth, reproduction.
      We may have now have Iphones, The Pill, Tinder & Scientology, subjects Aristotle could never have imagined, but aren’t these changes a little facile?

    3. You’re arguing from the standpoint of historicism. That is, you presume that the future is always “better” than the past. This presumption runs counter to the idea that ethics of virtue/masculinity (the Romans equated masculinity and virtue) is *worse* off now than it was in the past. Furthermore, how does your “own experience” serve as an objective standard? It’s like, your opinion, man. In reading Aristotle, the reader, like Aristotle, must seek universality.
      In regards to slavery, Aristotle did not support the institution of slavery per se, he described it. He said that there exist slaves by nature, but what makes them a slave is their inability to use their rational parts (willpower) to rule their animal parts. A slave, for Aristotle, is one who cannot rule himself. This internal incapacity rightly manifests as an external condition. Since he cannot rule himself, he must be ruled by others. His internal chains gain the substance of objectivity. Looking at it this way, the institution of slavery still exists, although it has a new name: marriage.

      1. Where did I state that my experience was an objective standard?
        Yes, in general, I do believe that things get better over time. Science is the most obvious example. Sadly, in philosophy it is more challenging because of human subjectivity and ignorance. People by the billions still believe in imaginary gods that direct everything. But yes, I think that a rational, thinking man can come to an intelligent world view much much easier now than 2000 years ago.
        And you are grossly misinformed on Aristotle’s position on slavery.
        “But is there any one thus intended by nature to be a slave, and for whom such a condition is expedient and right, or rather is not all slavery a violation of nature?
        There is no difficulty in answering this question, on grounds both of reason and of fact. For that some should rule and others be ruled is a thing not only necessary, but expedient; from the hour of their birth, some are marked out for subjection, others for rule.”
        And I couldn’t disagree more with marriage being slavery. In slavery you can’t choose to just leave. A marriage you can leave any time you want. Guys just don’t have the balls to admit when they are unhappy or deal with the fall out from their own poor decisions.

        1. @Carlos Rivera I would disagree with Aristotle’s opinion on slavery.
          One way you could become a slave in ancient Greece was if you were prison of war.
          You could be a most noble and virtuous man on Earth, but if you happen to be surprised by the enemy, knock unconscious during a battle, outnumbered or taken as slave as a young boy you become a slave without a fault of yours (other than being born as a citizen of a smaller polis).

        2. I didn’t say I agreed with him on his position (in fact I don’t). I was merely correcting @Carlos’ misinformation on Aristotle’s position.

    4. Slaves in Athens and Rome weren’t slave-slaves (like blacks in America were)
      They were more like a lower – the lowest – class. But, importantly, they still had rights and there were rules about mistreating slaves etc…. Slaves in classical civilization were really no worse off than peasants in medieval Europe.

      1. You are poorly informed. There were several classes of slaves and a minority of them were as you state. The majority were not.
        “Athenian slaves were the property of their master (or of the state), who could dispose of them as he saw fit. He could give, sell, rent, or bequeath them. A slave could have a spouse and children, but the slave family was not recognized by the state, and the master could scatter the family members at any time.”

        1. The wikipedia article from which you quote appears to be a little self contradictory. On Athenian slaves:
          “Isocrates claimed that “not even the most worthless slave can be put to death without trial”;[91] the master’s power over his slave was not absolute.”
          “A newly-bought slave was welcomed with nuts and fruits, just like a newly-wed wife.[87] Slaves took part in most of the civic and family cults; they were expressly invited to join the banquet of the Choes, second day of the Anthesteria,[96] and were allowed initiation into the Eleusinian Mysteries.[87] A slave could claim asylum in a temple or at an altar, just like a free man. The slaves shared the gods of their masters and could keep their own religious customs if any.[96]”
          Perhaps most importantly:
          “and records survive of slaves operating businesses by themselves, making only a fixed tax-payment to their masters. Athens also had a law forbidding the striking of slaves”
          The bit about running a business and paying tax to their master is pretty much what a peasant was/is. And it is pretty much what most of us still are today. And a law against striking a slave makes them a very separate class to the American or Egyptian slaves.

        2. Sigh. Slavery was much more common back then and there were MANY different types of slaves.
          Aristotle was clear in his writings that he felt there were certain people that were born to be slaves. IMO this is incorrect and that was the point I was making.
          The point I was refuting was that all slaves had rights and were treated well (better than slaves here in the US). That simply isn’t true for a significant portion of slaves.

  10. Perhaps there’s a market for a book containing a Manospherian interpretation/introduction to classical thought?
    I’d buy it.

  11. “Now we call that which is in itself worthy of pursuit more final than that which is worthy of pursuit for the sake of something else, and that which is never desirable for the sake of something else more final than the things that are desirable both in themselves and for the sake of that other thing, and therefore we call final without qualification that which is always desirable in itself and never for the sake of something else.”
    So, what that really means is that it is ok to sleep with my secretary, right…?

  12. Reading Aristotle and other serious philosophers takes some time as they have a different writing style. Most of us are used to reading books or articles that “carry us away.” We start reading and just move.
    We even try writing in a similar “flowing” style. When you write, you use 2-3 sentence paragraphs. Make your point and move on.
    With serious philosophy, you are rowing the boat the entire way. The text is dense as the arguments are careful and deliberative.
    They define their terms. They don’t use the word “happy” and let the reader fill in his own definition. They define happy and leave no room for doubt that they are right.
    Once you get used to that style, then the book will flow more freely.
    Reading Aristotle will also make you a better thinker and writer. You’ll realize how many gaps you leave in your own arguments once you begin to appreciate what an air-tight argument looks like.
    The mindset to apply is this: Don’t expect the works to flow. You have to push through every word.
    Reading Aristotle is physically exerting. I often felt sick to my stomach and have dropped books due to exhaustion.
    If you start to get a slight headache and feel a little woozy, then you’re reading Aristotle correctly!

    1. I respectfully disagree. Especially when it comes to translations. Nietzsche is a great example. His work is extremely hard to penetrate and I have seen treatments of his philosophy that were extremely well done and easy to access.
      A good writer/philosopher (take Sam Harris for instance) can write clearly with an air-tight argument and without having to struggle to understand it. Taking the position that serious philosophy can only be serious if it is hard to access and excruciating makes no sense to me.

      1. Your first paragraph contradicts your own sentiment and illustrates why I am correct. You cite Nietzsche as an example of philosophy that is hard to penetrate (which proves my point). Yet then you note that you needed a pop culture Cliff Notes to understand him (which proves my point)
        We live in a speed reading, cereal-box, Buzzfeed society. The art of slow reading (as Nietzsche called it) is largely lost.
        Good philosophy is hard to read not because of jargon but because philosophers write with this mindset: “Don’t write so that you can be understood, write so that you can’t be misunderstood.”
        Try writing with that mindset. You’ll find that such a careful and deliberative style is difficult – even if you’re writing about an otherwise accessible topic using plain language.
        I can understand statutes and IRS forms just fine. But it takes time and careful reading, as every term is defined and as the statute is written to avoid misunderstandings.

        1. You quoted Taft (not a philosopher) about how to be a philosopher? Ridiculous.
          What you are saying is ivy tower bullshit. I am double ivy league educated and do have the intellect to understand philosophers writings (even some less than ideally translated ones) and I have also read good “pop culture” treatments of those same philosophies and there is no fucking difference.
          And it is a fucking irrational and impossible position to take that ANYTHING ever written can’t be misunderstood regardless of how well written it might be. Again, my Nietzsche example by the Nazis or Ayn Rand and the tea party idiots. Most people are idiots with an average IQ of about 100…they can misunderstand virtually ANYTHING.
          Perhaps your point is that a brilliant person (which I assume you are putting yourself into that bucket) can understand writing such as that of a well written philosopher. Whatever…it is a silly position and I think you know it.

        2. You sound upset and very emotional.
          Philosophy probably isn’t the subject for you to study.

        3. In a Buzzfeed world, using ALL CAPS is how one refutes arguments.
          I bet your Tumblr is hot stuff.
          Your behavior proves my points.
          Thanks for making it easy on me.

        4. As I said, I’d take the same tact if my position was made to look as silly as yours. Totally makes sense.

        5. As I said, I’d take the same tact if my position was made to look as silly as yours. Totally makes sense.
          Claim victory when there is no basis to argue the merits. Transparent don’t you think?

        6. You declared victory twice over the course of six minutes – from two separate Disqus accounts, no less.
          You have indeed proven a point.

        7. “A good writer/philosopher (take Sam Harris for instance)”
          According to Nassim Taleb, Sam Harris is a charlatan.

        8. Oh wait so let me see if I get this straight, your arguments to support D&P’s position (since he was unable to do so himself) are:
          1) Harris is a charlatan because you found someone who things so and
          2) WTF are you talking about? My point was that D&P’s position that good philosophy is written in such a way (he makes his point by quoting a politician) that it cannot be misunderstood is idiotic. People of high IQ will often misunderstand a philosophical point let alone the average person that is dumb
          I am sure the “audience” now totally agrees with D&P thanks to your thoughtful and reasoned arguments.

    2. Good point. This actually extends to communication/persuasion theory and practices such as NLP too. Basically, we can communicate more in a way that increases the conscious understanding of others, which requires greater mental effort by both the agent and target, to construct an argument and clarify concepts – known as Central Processing (or the Meta Model in NLP). Or, we can communicate more in a way that appeals to unconscious associations of others, leading to automatic responses, heuristics, and hypnotic states – known as Peripheral Processing (or the Milton Model in NLP).
      Depending on the communication/persuasion approach, the resulting message may be experienced very differently by the target. That is why a technical manual (or philosophical text) “feels” different to read than a fiction book. Of course, you can make a technical manual “flow” more like fiction, but that runs the risk of putting the reader in a more automatic state, rather than consciously deliberating and appropriating the knowledge as specifically intended. Then again, if the target is not sufficiently motivated or mentally able to process the information, then they will not learn much from such a technical communication anyway. So, it is always a balance between these two approaches, depending on the audience.
      For example, I might have just conveyed all that with something like “no pain, no gain”, but that would have missed all of the important nuances of what I wrote above. Then again, my long comment might have been tl;dr for those with short attention spans. Always a balance.

    3. “With serious philosophy, you are rowing the boat the entire way. The text is dense as the arguments are careful and deliberative.”
      You could be describing ‘The Virtue of Selfishness”.
      It is NOT an easy read, but if you are a red-piller, it has arrows that should be in your mental quiver.
      Much of Rand’s philosophy is consistent with the writing on ROK.

  13. “It’s clear that Aristotle did not agree with the progressive view that
    we are all equal since virtue takes training to implement. Those who
    have not done this training are thus not virtuous and should not be
    This is made extremely clear by Aristotle, but not only this, for Aristotle; only certain people could be wholly virtuous, as only certain people in exceptional social positions can be virtuous, ethics was considered a branch of politics. Virtue implied a certain belief in one’s virtue and honor, and a virtuous man seeks to honor his own virtue. Hence his dignity.
    But only people in certain positions have the plausibility to love themselves in this manner. The Greek philosophers did not believe in equality, not all men were equal; there were good men and bad men, and men became what they are partly because of how they were raised and because of the choices they made.

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