Aristotle on the Uses of Contemplation

by Matthew D. Walker
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Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Publication Date: March 31, 2018

ISBN: 9781108369206

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Traditionally, Aristotle is held to believe that philosophical contemplation is valuable for its own sake, but ultimately useless. In this volume, Matthew D. Walker offers a fresh, systematic account of Aristotle's views on contemplation's place in the human good. The book situates Aristotle's views against the background of his wider philosophy, and examines the complete range of available textual evidence (including neglected passages from Aristotle's Protrepticus). On this basis, Walker argues that contemplation also benefits humans as perishable living organisms by actively guiding human life activity, including human self-maintenance. Aristotle's views on contemplation's place in the human good thus cohere with his broader thinking about how living organisms live well. A novel exploration of Aristotle's views on theory and practice, this volume will interest scholars and students of both ancient Greek ethics and natural philosophy. It will also appeal to those working in other disciplines including classics, ethics, and political theory.