Study Guide

The Nicomachean Ethics Book 6, Chapter 11 (1143a19-1143b18)

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Book 6, Chapter 11 (1143a19-1143b18)

  • Aristotle takes up the intellectual virtue of judgment or "sympathetic judgment."
  • This quality belongs especially to equitable judges—ones who make decisions about righting the balance of society.
  • Judgment of this kind encompasses all other intellectual virtues: comprehension, prudence, and intellect.
  • Important point: Aristotle says that equitable things belong to all good human beings—not just to judges.
  • Intellect allows us to understand both general defining principles (universals) and particulars in each situation (which can be variable).
  • We use intellect to perceive the particulars (minor premises) that allow us to grasp larger universal principles (unchanging truths).
  • Experience adds to the intellect (think prudence), which is why Aristotle says that we should listen to our elders.
  • They have a better chance of perceiving truth, since they have knowledge and experience.

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