Aristotle’s Dialogue with Socrates in the “Nicomachean Ethics”

Burger, Ronna, Aristotle's Dialogue with Socrates: On the "Nicomachean Ethics," Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009.    

Ronna Burger of Tulane University considers Aristotle’s Ethics not as a conventional treatise but as a dialogue with the Platonic Socrates.

Excerpts from Reviews:

“This is a work of distinction that will be indispensable for all serious students of Aristotle’s ethics. It requires and will repay a close reading of the Aristotelian texts. Burger’s book exhibits the lucidity that is appropriate to complex philosophical argument. In this sense, her study mirrors Aristotle’s own way of writing on the human predicament.” (Stanley Rosen, Boston University)

“[Burger] invites her readers to reflect on the deepest ethical and theoretical questions. . . . Her impressive work is clearly the fruit of much solitary labor as well as friendly conversation, and it demonstrates Burger”s grasp not only of Aristotle”s thought but of the many Platonic dialogues she places in conversation with it.” (Susan D. Collins, Claremont Review of Books). Read Susan Collins’ review of the work here.

“The reader will be filled with a genuine sense of anticipation as this work moves to its culminating conclusion. Moreover—and this is an aspect of the work that deserves special praise—the entire monograph is brimming with interesting observations about the connections between passages in the Nicomachean Ethics and specific exchanges within various Platonic dialogues. Burger is an author who has a tremendous number of ideas about a wide variety of passages in both authors, and I think scholars of Plato will find this work just as insightful as those who focus upon Aristotle.” (Steven Skultety, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews)

“This remarkable and wonderful book on Aristotle”s Nicomachean Ethics exhibits a profound understanding of both the contents and complex intention of that amazing work. This interpretation cannot be ignored by anyone who intends to write on the Ethics in the foreseeable future. The reviewer cannot do justice to Professor Burger”s detailed and subtle analysis of almost every chapter of the Ethics in this brief account of her book, but hopefully enough is intimated to lead those who are interested in Aristotle, the problem of Socrates, ancient philosophy, and the nature of ethical virtue to read this magisterial study.” (Donald C. Lindenmuth, Review of Metaphysics)