A Monistic Conclusion to Aristotle’s Ergon Argument: the Human Good as the Best Achievement of a Human

Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 103 (3):373-403 (2021)
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Abstract

Scholars have often thought that a monistic reading of Aristotle’s definition of the human good – in particular, one on which “best and most teleios virtue” refers to theoretical wisdom – cannot follow from the premises of the ergon argument. I explain how a monistic reading can follow from the premises, and I argue that this interpretation gives the correct rationale for Aristotle’s definition. I then explain that even though the best and most teleios virtue must be a single virtue, that virtue could in principle be a whole virtue that arises from the combination of all the others. I also clarify that the definition of the human good aims at capturing the nature of human eudaimonia only in its primary case.

Author's Profile

Samuel H. Baker
University of South Alabama

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