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Pursuing the GoodEthics and Metaphysics in Plato's Republic$
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Douglas Cairns and Fritz-Gregor Herrmann

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780748628117

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748628117.001.0001

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Inquiry and Justification in the Search for the Highest Good in Plato and Aristotle

Inquiry and Justification in the Search for the Highest Good in Plato and Aristotle

Chapter:
(p.279) 14 Inquiry and Justification in the Search for the Highest Good in Plato and Aristotle
Source:
Pursuing the Good
Author(s):

Mariana Anagnostopoulos

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748628117.003.0015

Aristotle was convinced that there is a singular highest good. He provides, in the Nicomachean Ethics, formal features of the good, a complex analysis of its nature, and an explanation of the ways in which the good human exemplifies goodness, intellectually and in action. Plato's contrasting conception of the highest good is striking, in part because of the metaphysical nature he attributes to the good, and the relationship he thereby envisions the good to bear to other good things in the world. When we consider varying conceptions of the highest good, we notice their points of insight, error and difference, and perhaps come to a different kind of question, that concerning the justification for declaring one conception of the highest good to be correct. Sarah Broadie, in various works addressing the nature of the search for the highest good, raises several important and challenging questions for those who attempt this project. This chapter explores some of the implications of the ways in which Plato and Aristotle conceive of and undertake the theoretical search for the highest good, with special attention to certain of Broadie's questions about this inquiry.

Keywords:   Plato, Aristotle, highest good, Sarah Broadie

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