The Nicomachean Ethics
'The Nicomachean Ethics ' Summary
The Nicomachean Ethics is widely considered one of the most important historical philosophical works and had an important influence on the European Middle Ages, becoming one of the core works of medieval philosophy. It therefore indirectly became very significant in the development of all modern philosophy as well as European law and theology. Many parts of the Nicomachean Ethics are well known in their own right, within different fields. In the Middle Ages, a synthesis between Aristotelian ethics and Christian theology became widespread, in Europe as introduced by Albertus Magnus. While various philosophers had influenced Christendom since its earliest times, in Western Europe Aristotle became "the Philosopher". The most important version of this synthesis was that of Thomas Aquinas. Other more "Averroist" Aristotelians such as Marsilius of Padua were controversial but also influential. (Marsilius is for example sometimes said to have influenced the controversial English political reformer Thomas Cromwell.)
Until well into the seventeenth century, the Nicomachean Ethics was still widely regarded as the main authority for the discipline of ethics at Protestant universities, with over fifty Protestant commentaries published on the Nicomachean Ethics before 1682. However, during the seventeenth century, several authors such as Francis Bacon and Thomas Hobbes, argued forcefully and largely successfully that the medieval and Renaissance Aristotelian tradition in practical thinking had become a great impediment to philosophy in their time. However, in more recent generations, Aristotle's original works (if not those of his medieval followers) have once again become an important source. More recent philosophers influenced by this work include Alasdair MacIntyre, G. E. M. Anscombe, Mortimer Adler, Hans-Georg Gadamer, and Martha Nussbaum.
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