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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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The Carpenter and the Good 

The Carpenter and the Good 

(p.293) 15 The Carpenter and the Good
Pursuing the Good

Rachel Barney

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter addresses the question of how good an argument Aristotle has at the end of Nicomachean Ethics I.6, in his final criticism of Plato's Form of the Good, presenting the argument from the crafts – the seventh, last and most promising argument offered in NE I.6. The argument from the crafts claims that the Good fails to have any bearing on the crafts, which are uncontroversially the spheres of practical rationality par excellence; and the counterpart discussion in the Eudemian Ethics makes it explicit that this includes the craft of the ruler, political science (politik ê). If the Form of the Good is quite generally useless for practical reasoning, Plato is not entitled to postulate its existence.

Keywords:   Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Plato, Form of Good, argument from crafts

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