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Sparshott on How to Take Aristotle Seriously*

  • Gareth B. Matthews (a1)


Francis Sparshott has written a wonderfully wise, urbane, honest, insightful, and provocative commentary on Aristotle's chief ethical work, the Nicomachean Ethics (NE). Some commentaries on ancient philosophical texts are line-by-line struggles to nail down the meaning of the text, as if the commentator were roofing a house in a high wind, one shingle at a time. Other commentaries are collections of essays, each inspired by a passage in the text, but each growing into a relatively self-contained discussion. Sparshott's commentary is neither of these things.



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1 Rorty, Amelie O., ed., Essays on Aristotle's Ethics (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1980), p(p. 221–40.

2 The Aristotelian Ethics: A Study of the Relationship Between the Eudemian and the Nicomachean Ethics (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1978).

3 Rorty, Essays, pp. 189–99.

4 The Fragility of Goodness (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986), (p. 375.

* Francis Sparshott, Taking Life Seriously: A Study of the Argument of the Nicomachean Ethics (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1994), xviii + 461 pp., $60.

Sparshott on How to Take Aristotle Seriously*

  • Gareth B. Matthews (a1)


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