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Rhetorical and Scientific Aspects of the Nicomachean Ethics

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There are fields of research on NE which still need attention: the edition of the text the style and rhetorical and logical instruments employed by Aristotle in setting out his position. After indicating the situation of the research on the text of NE, I describe some rhetorical devices used by Aristotle in his work: the presence of a preamble, clues about how the argument will be developed, a tendency to introduce new arguments in an inconspicuous way and the articulation of general definitions through more specific analyses. At a deeper level NE seems to be organised on the model of investigating definitions described in the second Book of the Posterior Analytics, and not according the so-called 'dialectical method'. In conclusion I argue that NE is not an early or a confused work, as some scholars maintain, but rather a skilful construction, the fruit of a mature intelligence.

Affiliations: 1: Università di Venezia 'Ca' Foscari', 30123 Venice, Italy

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