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The Ethics of Aristotle

Length: 6 hrs and 9 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In this 12-lecture meditation on Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, you'll uncover the clarity and ethical wisdom of one of humanity's greatest minds. Father Koterski shows how and why this great philosopher can help you deepen and improve your own thinking on questions of morality and leading the best life. The aim of these lectures is to provide you with a clear and thoughtful introduction to Aristotle as a moral philosopher. After absorbing some important background information designed to introduce you to Aristotle's career and general approach to the various fields of knowledge, you turn to the ten books (today we would call them chapters) of this brief but towering work. Throughout, you'll consider Aristotle's account of the four main virtues of courage, moderation, justice, and prudence; his claims that happiness (eudaimonia) is the real goal of life; his explanations of how and why people attain- or fall short of- ethical excellence; his differences with his teachers Plato and Socrates over the hard question of what knowing rightly has to do with acting rightly; where Aristotle's thought fits into the long history of ethical reflection; and much more.

Prepare for an illuminating, mind-broadening, and thought-provoking learning experience, and a chance to get up close and personal with one of Western philosophy's founding fathers.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2001 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2001 The Great Courses

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    4 out of 5 stars

A very good synopsis.

The lectures a dozen 30mins overviews of the ten books of the ethics. However I feel that Father Joseph can find himself squandering the short 6 hours in this program talking about personal stories trying to make a teaching point. Even with that being said this is a good companion to those reading the Ethics for the first time. Just don't expect any scholarly information, it's a good introduction and it is setup to allow you to go though each book between the lectures.

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Good overall, a little light

amazing presenter, good structure, philosophical analysis was a little light and used general language when it could have used more quotes

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  • DeeDeen
  • 2017-04-08

Father Joseph is awesome!

Would you listen to The Ethics of Aristotle again? Why?

Yes, in fact I have listened to The Ethics of Aristotle twice already. Father Joe gives a great deal of information. I was hungry to learn about this topic, so I needed to hear it a few times. Joseph is well spoken--it's almost as if he doesn't waste a word.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Ethics of Aristotle?

The most memorable moments of The Ethics of Aristotle were when Father Joe breaks down how Aristotle saw the progression of friendships as well as how they are kindled (pun intended). Seeing great qualities in someone else draws us to them, and we become friends. This sounds simplistic, but it seemed quite profound once I thought a bit about that concept.

Which character – as performed by Father Joseph Koterski, S.J. – was your favorite?

He teaches Aristotle's Ethics, so he does not really perform any characters. He is a wonderful teacher, well spoken, and speaks as if he's in the room with you--very knowledgeable, organized, and informed.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

It is moving when Father Joseph talks about being a priest and teaching this subject, as he does--especially when he discusses young people making choices for better lives which really parallels the text since Aristotle wrote these guiding points for his son.

Any additional comments?

He is a great teacher, you can tell. He does not sound like he is reading a book but lecturing a college classroom, which I prefer! This is one of the best of The Great Courses which is a favorite series of mine. Some are hit and miss--this one's a hit!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Luke Walton
  • 2015-07-03

Solid primer on Aristotle

Solid course. Not life changing but definitely illuminating. Professor is knowledgable and charming. The course on the Platonic Dialogues is still the best audio course, however.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Russell Granby
  • 2016-10-27

Standard class

Not much was gained by this book, does provoke thoughts for future philosophy. Reading was good and flowed well

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Mandy Press
  • 2016-08-05

Ethics of Aristotle

A delightful narration taught with warmth, a sly sense of humor, and an underlying attitude of mastery.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Plutarch
  • 2016-07-18

Fantastic

Great lecturer who knows his content. Clearly delights in sharing what he has learned, and does so with ease and flair.

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  • Ned McKinley
  • 2016-03-15

Very good -- recommended

All in all a great course. I have some previous knowledge of philosophy, including of Aristotle, and found this course to be well laid out and explained. It should serve to give a solid overview of a sensible, balanced approach to ethics that is generally relevant today.

I just have a few quibbles. Fr Koterski uses some phrases repeatedly that get a bit irritating -- "mindful of that" for example is used dozens of times.

Also I would have been fine with a longer course, perhaps contrasting Aristotle and his heirs such as Aquinas with other philosophers from Plato to the present day.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Dave
  • 2016-01-02

Excellent job.

superb lectures explaining Aristotle's ideas blended with the ideas of other thinkers! opened my eyes!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Gaggleframpf
  • 2015-08-21

One of the best presentations of Aristotle

Would you listen to The Ethics of Aristotle again? Why?

Definitely. It's interesting philosophically AND it helps me to live better.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Aristotle and Father Joe Katersky, because one wrote the material and the other taught it.

Which scene was your favorite?

Katersky's discussion on wimpiness.

What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

Excellence lies in the mean between the extremes.

Any additional comments?

Buy it.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • kurt lindner
  • 2019-09-10

Great listen

I enjoyed this very much, the narrator was easy to listen to and the topic was great, obviously. The topics feel especially important today. however that probably how it always feels when ethics is being discussed.

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  • Cameron
  • 2018-09-24

Satisfied

It was a proper over view. I think reading Aristotle’s writings first will make this lecture more satisfying, but it isn’t necessary.