THE ETHICS OF
Translator: J. A. Smith
A Penn State Electronic Classics Series Publication
The Ethics of Aristotle trans. J. A. Smith is a publication of the Pennsylvania State University.
This Portable Document file is furnished free and without any charge of any kind. Any person
using this document file, for any purpose, and in any way does so at his or her own risk. Nei-
ther the Pennsylvania State University nor Jim Manis, Faculty Editor, nor anyone associated
with the Pennsylvania State University assumes any responsibility for the material contained
within the document or for the file as an electronic transmission, in any way.
The Ethics of Aristotle trans. J. A. Smith, the Pennsylvania State University, Electronic Classics
Series, Jim Manis, Faculty Editor, Hazleton, PA 18202 is a Portable Document File produced as
part of an ongoing student publication project to bring classical works of literature, in English,
to free and easy access of those wishing to make use of them.
Cover Design: Jim Manis
Copyright © 2004 The Pennsylvania State University
The Pennsylvania State University is an equal opportunity university.
The Ethics of Aristotle
THE ETHICS OF
The Ethics of Aristotle is one half of a single treatise of which
his Politics is the other half. Both deal with one and the same
subject. This subject is what Aristotle calls in one place the
“philosophy of human affairs;” but more frequently Political
or Social Science. In the two works taken together we have
their author’s whole theory of human conduct or practical
activity, that is, of all human activity which is not directed
merely to knowledge or truth. The two parts of this treatise
are mutually complementary, but in a literary sense each is
independent and self-contained. The proem to the Ethics is
an introduction to the whole subject, not merely to the first
part; the last chapter of the Ethics points forward to the Poli-
tics, and sketches for that part of the treatise the order of
enquiry to be pursued (an order w