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Extended Audio Sample The Nicomachean Ethics Audiobook, by Aristotle Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (10,797 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Aristotle Narrator: Wanda McCaddon Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2006 ISBN: 9781455176465
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Named for Aristotle’s son, Nicomachus, who was the first to edit this work, The Nicomachean Ethics plays a prominent role in defining Aristotelian ethics. In the ten books of this work, Aristotle explains the good life for man: the life of happiness.

For Aristotle, happiness exists when the soul is in accordance with virtue. Virtue exists in a deliberate choice of actions that take a middle course between excess and deficiency; this is the famous doctrine of the “golden mean.” Courage, for example, is the mean between cowardice and rashness. Justice is the mean between a man’s getting more or less than his due. The supreme happiness, according to Aristotle, is to be found in a life of philosophical contemplation or, at least, in a virtuous life of political activity and public munificence.

A student of Plato and a teacher of Alexander the Great, Aristotle is one of the towering figures in Western thought.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Very useful as a cornerstone for our discussion of ethics and the Western moral tradition.”

    Dominic A. Aquila, Rochester Institute of Technology

  • “An essential classic in the field of ethics.”

    Claudia Card, University of Wisconsin

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ideen Solhtalab | 2/12/2014

    " There's a reason why this book has been raved about for thousands of years. Pretty much what I live my life by. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wolf | 2/9/2014

    " This translation of the Ethics was recommended to me by my professor. I used it in an independent study with said professor. Out side of academica, the Nicomachean Ethics have great relevance to daily life. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jesus | 2/5/2014

    " The book comes across all levels of Ethics that includes Politics. What's interesting is that Aristotle said, "People of good up-bringing and experience in life, and to work from there to a higher understanding." Very profound. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Adam Birt | 2/1/2014

    " A book I think every human being needs to read. A book our secondary students should be required to read, at least once. Whatever happened to ethics education? I'm not talking about indoctrination. Just training them to keep the question of "What's the right thing to do?" in mind at all times. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Scott | 1/22/2014

    " Wonderful translation, and the commentary is extremely helpful. Books viii & ix deserve a separate treatment (like this), and usually get swallowed up in translations that take the whole of NE at once. The Clarendon Aristotle Series has yet to disappoint; all the one's I've read thus far (including this one) have been top notch. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris Gould | 1/18/2014

    " At university, the question we were often asked was: which came first? Politics or Ethics? It seemed very clear to me that Politics - or at least some kind of political action - was necessary for development of ethical virtue. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ashley Martin | 1/13/2014

    " Just started it for class but so far so good. Its a slow read but interesting "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Steven | 1/3/2014

    " Aristotle was THE philosopher according to Aquinas, who had been charged to study him and reconcile his writings with the primarily neo-platonic theology of the Catholic Church of the era. Much of Aristotle's thought went unquestioned for a long while after that, especially logic, which didn't have significant development until the 20th century. However, his ETHICS is still very relevant even today, in particular his chapter on friendship. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Todd | 1/3/2014

    " Reading this brought me closer to suicide than I've been since the night I was busted in that embezzling scandal back when I was the COO of Nestle. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rick Rempala | 12/9/2013

    " What a dreadful slog,my head is numb.. thank god for sparks notes "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Timothy | 10/6/2013

    " Apparently the most influential treatise ever written on ethics... we shall see... most of the time I need a study guide to get through it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Miquixote | 9/25/2013

    " Here can be found the 'Golden Mean'... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Liss Capello | 9/1/2013

    " This book, pertaining to ethical thought and action in the individual, was vastly more entertaining to me than The Republic. Or perhaps I just got used to the thick writing style. Either way, there were plenty of interesting tidbits here, and I particularly liked the section on friendship. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Melissa Massello | 8/22/2013

    " The first book I ever edited, for Focus Publishing. My brother did the cover art. :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lane Wilkinson | 7/18/2013

    " I'll be using this book to teach ethics, Fall 2008. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nick | 1/18/2013

    " One of my favorites. Often marked as conflictive, I feel it's actually straight forward. I agree on many fronts on Aristotle's ethics, such as the golden mean and eudaimonia, and would like to examine its contexts compared to other religions/philosophers. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Roxanne Russell | 11/8/2012

    " People are either like this or like that. If they repeatedly act like this, then they are like this. If they repeatedly act like that, then they are like that. And the superior people are clearly superior. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rickeclectic | 10/31/2012

    " The most important book on ethics. Clear, careful, but bears multiple readings. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Abby Ang | 10/18/2012

    " Technically a reread because I read most of it in DWC. I think I made more of an effort to understand and therefore got more out of it. It's a lot of thinking (duh) but actually relatable. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 jim | 3/31/2012

    " Hard not to make this a "5" but equally hard to do so since it suggests understanding the meaning of the text. Went back to this book looking for conceptual help understanding how practical judgment works. Aristotle helps with such architectural problems. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Teamawesomeisawesome | 3/3/2012

    " I am using this book to write a little paper developing an Aristotelian ethics system that could, in theory, be widely applied to issues in derby... cause I am a nerd "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 eesenor | 7/25/2011

    " Aristotle invents the formal study of Ethics. For him, Ethics is a process of the self-cultivation of conduct in accordance witha balance between not too much and not too little. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Biskin | 6/7/2011

    " I mean come on. fine, he started the conversation about ethics (at least the one we still have access too). but he got so much wrong. and there are so many theories that are much, much better. especially about action. that said, you can't get away from it. so read it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Huma | 5/30/2011

    " I had to read this like four times during college and high school. Did not really care for it after having to keep revisiting it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jacob | 5/16/2011

    " As with the Republic, I did not understand or appreciate this as much as I should have in Ancient Political Thought. It will need a reread in the near future. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Megan | 2/20/2011

    " Well, of course it's brilliant--it's Aristotle. That said, it brings up some interesting questions as far as intention goes, and I dare say that it sheds both light and shadows on Ari's influence on modern Virtue Ethics. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Willem | 1/16/2011

    " Amazing investigation about what it means to have the best possible life. I'm glad I did last semester's course. After having read the Ethics two times before by myself it now came alive in full bloom. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah | 1/9/2011

    " This book is a must for anyone interested in philosophy and particularly ethics. This should be the starting point for any study of virtue ethics. It's important to find a good translation. My favorite is the David Ross translation. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Miquixote | 12/16/2010

    " The Golden Mean, the highest form of happiness, amongst many other foods for thought. Not your typical boring passé philosophy book. Many of his ideas still apply. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elizabeth | 9/13/2010

    " I really should read this again. I hear it's fantastic, and I feel like I missed a lot of it, given that it was a rush-rush school assignment. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Solady | 9/8/2010

    " The kind of book that you need to read and read again, and after a while you find it filled with stick notes.
    You need to be in the right mood to read this book. "

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About the Author
Author Aristotle

Aristotle (384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher, scientist, and physician. As a young man, he became a student under Plato in Athens. In 342, he became the tutor of young Alexander the Great in Macedonia. After that, Aristotle returned to Athens to establish his own school and research institute, the Lyceum. His writings have profoundly affected the whole course of philosophy, from ancient times to the present.

About the Narrator

Wanda McCaddon (a.k.a. Nadia May or Donada Peters) has narrated well over six hundred titles for major audiobook publishers, has earned numerous Earphones Awards, and was named a Golden Voice by AudioFile magazine.