Aristotle's Ethics of Goodness: A Study of the Self in Aristotle's Ethics and Politics
Aristotle's assumptions about the structure of the self and its relationship to society differ greatly from those which are prevalent in modern European philosophical discourse. This can be an obstacle to understanding Aristotle's thought when categories based on a modern understanding of the self, such as the language of "egoism" and "altruism," are anachronistically employed in modern Aristotle scholarship. This thesis attempts to outline the details of Aristotle's view of the self and society through a close reading of sections of the Nicomachaean Ethics, Eudemian Ethics, De Anima, Politics, and Metaphysics, comparing this view to the conception of the self articulated during the European Enlightenment. This comparison serves both to deepen an understanding of Aristotle's thought and point to ways in which certain problematic aspects of the modern understanding might be fruitfully re-imagined by looking outside, both temporally and geographically, of the modern European tradition.