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Gadamer's Praise of Theory: Aristotle's Friend and the Reciprocity Between Theory and Practice

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Gadamer's rethinking of the interconnection of theory and practice can lead to a resolution of the debate in contemporary Aristotelian scholarship regarding the priority of theory or practice in Aristotle's Ethics. This is especially true in light of Aristotle's treatment of friendship which, as I will try to show, provides support for Gadamer's claim. In Aristotle's notion of friendship, theory and practice come together, and the activity of friendship is for Aristotle the highest expression of human life precisely because true friendship requires the unity of theory and practice. I argue that Aristotle's sense of εωρια, contemplation, his sense of ultimate happiness that is constituted by the life of theory, is conceived by Aristotle in a thoroughly practical and political sense. Specifically I claim that the practice of theory is the politics of friendship.

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