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Chapter 9 - Aristotle's Ethics in the Renaissance

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 February 2013

Jon Miller
Affiliation:
Queen's University, Ontario
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Summary

Petrarch's statements, which must be interpreted within the context of a highly argumentative work, full of irony, exaggeration, and false modesty, are highly problematic. In fact, Bruni's own effort, which abandoned word-for-word (ad verbum) translation in favor of a more fluid style aimed at communicating especially the sense of the original, was hardly universally appreciated. This chapter discusses the various genres through which Aristotle's Ethics was interpreted in the Renaissance after Bruni, paying special attention to translations, compendia, paraphrases, textbooks, dialogues, and commentaries. It then offers some more general considerations on the reception of the Ethics in the period. The rise of humanism, and even the new translations of Plato, did little to dent the work's popularity or challenge its status as a fundamental part of the moral philosophy curriculum. It is doubtless true that more interpretations of Aristotle were produced in the Renaissance than in the previous millennium.
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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2012

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