Reading Aristotle’s Ethics: Virtue, Rhetoric and Political Philosophy

Tessitore, Ty. Reading Aristotle’s Ethics: Virtue, Rhetoric and Political Philosophy. New York: SUNY Press, 1996.


“There has been a remarkable resurgence of interest in Aristotle’s moral and political philosophy during the last decade. More remarkable still, this renaissance is not limited to a single school of thoughts but has arisen simultaneously within a number of different disciplines and from a number of different perspectives within those disciplines. Despite the quantity and quality of much of this literature, it is not, however, entirely free from an unaristotelian  partition among disciplines characteristic of modern scholarship. Studies of Aristotle’s ethics, although often excellent, typically lack a deep appreciation for the political dimension within which that teaching is presented. Conversely, some of the best work on Aristotle’s political teaching focuses almost exclusively on the Politics  to the neglect of his ethical treatises. While there is a legitimate need for this kind of specialization, there also exists a need for studies that bring to light the unique way in which Aristotle integrates these two aspects of his understanding.

The problem is especially acute in the Nicomachean Ethics,  which begins with the assertion that the study of ethics is part of the larger study of politics. Reading Aristotle’s Ethics  It is intended to contribute to and appreciation for the seamless character of Aristotle’s political thought by presenting the Nichomachean Ethics,  as does Aristotle, as a work of political loss of feet. It is distinctive in its attentiveness to the interplay between the political concerns that guide the practical aim of this book and the underlying philosophic perspective that is disclosed to its most attentive readers.”