Magna Moralia - PDF book (1915 ) by Aristotle

Magna Moralia 

Magna Moralia
Magna Moralia - (1915 ) by Aristotle

From introduction:

The three moral treatises that go under the name of Aristotle present a problem somewhat analogous to that of the three Synoptic Gospels. All three used once to be ascribed to the direct authorship of Aristotle with the same simple-heartedness, or the same absence of reflection, with which all three Gospels used to be ascribed to the Holy Ghost. 

We may see that some advance, or at all events some movement, has been made in the Aristotelian problem if we remember that it was once possible for so great a critic as Schleiermacher to maintain that the Magna Moralia was the original treatise from which the two others were derived. 

Nowadays the opinion of Spengel is generally accepted, namely, that the Nicomachean Ethics emanates directly from the mind of Aristotle himself, that the Eudemian Ethics contains the same matter recast by another hand, and that the Magna Moralia is the work of a later writer who had both the other treatises before him. Whether the three books which are common to the Nicomachean and Eudemian Ethics (E. N. v, vi, vii: E. E. iv, v, vi) proceed from the writer of the former or of the latter work is a point which is still under debate. 

To an Oxford man indeed who has been nurtured on the Nicomachean Ethics^ and to whom that treatise has become, mentally speaking, "bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh ", it seems too self-evident to require discussion that the Nicomachean Ethics is the substance of which the others are the shadow. But this confidence may be born of prejudice, and it is possible that, if the same person had had the Eudemian Ethics equally carefully instilled into him in his youth, he might on making acquaintance with the Nicomachean find nothing more in that than a less literary rearrangement of the Eudemian. 

There is no doubt a prejudice in favour of the familiar, which has to be guarded against, but we may encourage ourselves by remembering that the preference for the Nicomachean Ethics is not confined to Oxford, or to English or foreign Universities, or to modern times, since, as Grant points out, there have been many commentaries by Greek and Latin writers on the Nicomachean, but not one on the Eudemian Ethics. Herein we have an unconscious testimony to the superior value of the Nicomachean work. 

 But why ' Nicomachean '? There is no certain tradition on this subject. Our earliest information is de- rived from the well-known passage in Cicero, 1 from which we gather that the Nicomachean Ethics was commonly ascribed to Aristotle himself, whereas Cicero thought that it might well have been written by his son Nicomachus. 

But what we are otherwise told about Nicomachus rather goes against this. Aristocles the Peripatetic, who is said to have been a teacher to Alexander Aphrodisiensis, is thus quoted by Eusebius in his Praeparatio Evangelica, 

After the death of Pytheas, daughter of Hermeias, Aristotle married Epyllis of Stagira, by whom he ad a son Nicomachus. He is said to have been brought up as an orphan in the house of Theophrastus and died, while a mere lad, in war.' 

On the other hand, Diogenes Laertius at about the same date "as Aristocles (A.D. 200) evidently shared Cicero's opinion that Nicomachus, the son of Aristotle, wrote the work which bears his name. 2 A different tradition, which appears in some of the commentators, is to the effect that Aristotle himself wrote three treatises on morals, one of which he addressed to his disciple Eudemus, another to his father Nicomachus, and yet a third to his son of the same name.

That all three works were by Aristotle himself is assumed by Atticus the Platonist, who lived in the time of Marcus Aurelius, and who is the first writer to mention the Magna Moralia? while the common authorship of the last- mentioned and of the Nicomachean Ethics is similarly assumed by the Scholiast on Plato, Rep. 495 E. 
It seems to be only by Aspasius in a note on E.N. viii. 8 that Eudemus is recognized as being himself the author of the treatise which bears his name

From Wikipedia:
The Magna Moralia (Latin for "Great Ethics") is a treatise on ethics traditionally attributed to Aristotle, though the consensus now is that it represents an epitome of his ethical thought by a later, if sympathetic, writer. Several scholars have disagreed with this, taking the Magna Moralia to be an authentic work by Aristotle

the book details :
  • Author: Aristotle
  • Translator: W. D. Ross
  • Publication date: 1915
  • Company: Oxford: At the Clarendon Press

  • Download Magna Moralia 11.4 MB

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