Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
In this dissertation I defend an “Intellectualist” reading of the Eudemian Ethics (EE). According to this view, Aristotle identifies eudaimonia in the EE with the activity of “God’s contemplation,” subject to certain qualifications. In Chapter One I discuss Aristotle’s argument in EE I.8 that eudaimonia is the telos of the practicable goods. Next, in Chapter Two I analyze the Eudemian ergon argument. This argument is often thought to show that Aristotle holds an “inclusive” conception of eudaimonia, according to which eudaimonia is the combination of all forms of virtuous activity performed in a suitably long life. I argue that this reading is mistaken, and that the ergon argument is compatible with Intellectualism. Next, in Chapter Three I argue that Aristotle makes use of his result in EE I.8 at the very end of the EE and argues that the telos of the practicable goods is God’s contemplation, suitably qualified. Chapters Four and Five discuss two important topics left in the wake of my argument in Chapters One through Three. In Chapter Four I offer an account of how God’s contemplation, suitably qualified, could serve as the telos of the practicable goods. Finally, in Chapter Five I analyze Aristotle’s argument at the end of the EE for his conclusion that God’s contemplation, suitably qualified, is this telos.
Ferguson, Daniel, "Eudaimonia in the Eudemian Ethics" (2021). Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Dissertations. 331.