Study Guide

The Nicomachean Ethics Book 1, Chapter 12 (1101b10-1102a4)

By Aristotle

Book 1, Chapter 12 (1101b10-1102a4)

  • Aristotle wants to tackle a broader question: is happiness something to be praised or honored?
  • He decides that we praise virtuous activity—like courage and justice—things that are related to good and serious things and can be compared between one person and another.
  • Happiness, however, is a complete good in itself and as such is divine.
  • And divine things, like the gods, are honored rather than praised.
  • After all, how stupid would it be to praise the gods, as if they could be compared in their actions to anyone else?