A friend to all is a friend to none

Aristotle made several efforts to explain how moral conduct contributes to the good life for human agents, including the Eqikh EudaimonhV (Eudemian Ethics) and the Magna Moralia, but the most complete surviving statement of his views on morality occurs in the Eqikh Nikomacoi (Nicomachean Ethics).

There he considered the natural desire to achieve happiness, described the operation of human volition and moral deliberation, developed a theory of each virtue as the mean between vicious extremes, discussed the value of three kinds of friendship, and defended his conception of an ideal life of intellectual pursuit.

We’ve heard that a million monkeys at a million keyboards could produce the complete works of Shakespeare; now, thanks to the Internet, we know that is not true. -Robert Wilensky

But on Aristotle’s view, the lives of individual human beings are invariably linked together in a social context. In the Peri PoliV (Politics) he speculated about the origins of the state, described and assessed the relative merits of various types of government, and listed the obligations of the individual citizen.

He may also have been the author of a model PoliteiaV Aqhnawn (Constitution of Athens), in which the abstract notion of constitutional government is applied to the concrete life of a particular society.

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