Aristotle tells us that contemplation is the most self-sufficient form of virtuous activity: we can contemplate alone, and with minimal resources, while moral virtues like courage require other individuals to be courageous towards, or courageous with. This is hard to square with the rest of his discussion of self-sufficiency in the Ethics: Aristotle doesn‘t generally seek to minimize the number of resources necessary for a flourishing human life, and seems happy to grant that such a life will be self-sufficient despite requiring a lot of external goods. In this paper I develop an interpretation of self-sufficiency as a form of independence from external contributors to our activity, and argue that this interpretation accounts both for Aristotle‘s views on contemplation and for the role self-sufficiency plays in his broader account of human happiness.
Ackrill, J. L. 1974. “Aristotle on Eudaimonia.” Proceedings of the British Academy 60, 339–359.
Broadie, S. 1991. Ethics With Aristotle. Oxford.
Broadie, S./Rowe, C. 2002. Aristotle: Nicomachean Ethics. Oxford.
Brown, E. forthcoming. “Aristotle on the Choice of Lives: Two Concepts of Self-Sufficiency.” In Quel choix de vie? Études sur les rapports entre theôria et praxis chez Aristote. Ed. P. Destrée. Louvain
Buddensiek, F. 2012. “Does Good Fortune Matter? Eudemian Ethics VIII.2 on Eutuchia.” In The Eudemian Ethics on the Voluntary, Friendship, and Luck. Ed. F. Leigh, Leiden/Boston, 155–184.
Cooper, J. 2003. “Plato and Aristotle on ‘Finality’ and ‘(Self-)Sufficiency’.” In Plato and Aristotle’s Ethics. Ed. R. Heinaman. Aldershot, 117–147.
–. 1985. “Aristotle on the Goods of Fortune.” The Philosophical Review, 94, 173–196.
–. 1975. Reason and the Human Good. Indianapolis.
Curzer, H. J. 1990. “Criteria for Happiness in Nicomachean Ethics I 7 and X 6–8.” The Classical Quarterly 40, 412–432.
Devereux, D. 1981. “Aristotle on the Essence of Happiness.” In Studies in Aristotle. Ed. D. O’Meara, Washington, 247–260.
Gauthier, R. A./Jolif, J.-Y. 1970. L’Éthique à Nicomaque. Louvain.
Heinaman, R. 1988. “Eudaimonia and Self-sufficiency in the Nicomachean Ethics.” Phronesis 33, 31–53.
Hirji, S. forthcoming. “External Goods and the Complete Exercise of Virtue in Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics.” Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie.
Hitz, Z. 2011. “Aristotle on Self-Knowledge and Friendship.” Philosophers’ Imprint 11, 1–28.
Irwin, T. 1999. Nicomachean Ethics. Second edition. Indianapolis.
Jimenez, M. 2018. “Aristotle on Enduring Evils While Staying Happy.” In Evil in Aristotle. Ed. P. Kontos. Cambridge
Johnson, K. 1997. “Luck and Good Fortune in the Eudemian Ethics.” Ancient Philosophy 17, 85–102.
Johnson, M. R. 2015. “Luck in Aristotle’s Physics and Ethics.” In Bridging the Gap between Aristotle’s Science and Ethics. Eds. D. Henry/K. M. Nielsen. Cambridge, 232–253.
Jones, R. E. 2013. “Wisdom and Happiness in Euthydemus 278–282.” Philosophers’ Imprint 13, 1–21.
Kenny, A. 1992. Aristotle on the Perfect Life. Oxford.
Keyt, D. 1978. “Intellectualism in Aristotle.” Paideia. Special Issue 2, 138–157.
Kraut, R. 1989. Aristotle on the Human Good. Princeton.
Labarrière, J.-L. 2003. “Comment vivre la vie de l’esprit ou être le plus soi-même.” In Aristote: bonheur et vertus. Ed. P. Destrée, Paris, 79–106.
Lear, G. R. 2004. Happy Lives and the Highest Good. Princeton.
Nussbaum, M. C. 2001. The Fragility of Goodness: Luck and Ethics in Greek Tragedy and Philosophy. Revised Edition. Cambridge.
Ponesse, J. E. 2012. “Ἐνθουσιασμός and Moral Monsters in Eudemian Ethics VIII.2.” Journal of the History of Philosophy 50, 315–337.
Reeve, C. D. C. 1992. Practices of Reason: Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics. Oxford.
Ross, W. D. 2009. Aristotle: The Nicomachean Ethics. Revised with notes by Lesley Brown. Oxford.
Von Arnim, H. (ed.) 1903–1905. Repr. 1964 and 2011. Stoicorum Veterum Fragmenta. 4 volumes. Stuttgart/Berlin.
White, S. A. 1990. “Is Aristotelian Happiness a Good Life or the Best Life?” Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 8, 103–144.
Whiting, J. E. 1986. “Human Nature and Intellectualism in Aristotle.” Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 68, 70–95.
Woods, M. 2002. “Eudaimonia, External Results, and Choosing Virtuous Actions for Themselves.” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 65, 270–290.
–. 1982. Aristotle: Eudemian Ethics Books I, II, and VIII. Second Edition. Oxford.
The journal publishes exceptional articles in all areas of Western philosophy from antiquity up to contemporary philosophy. The Archiv articles are distinguished by precise argumentation and lucid prose. In addition to publishing articles and reviews, the journal occasionally features a discussion section where particularly controversial positions are debated.