Saturday, July 2, 2011

"The Greatest Book of All Time"

If any book qualifies as “the greatest book of all time” it is surely Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics. (For the record, Aristotle wrote it for his son Nicomacheas-- thus the title).

To celebrate the appearance of a new translation, by Robert Bartlett and Susan Collins, the New York Times has published a review of the book and the translation by Prof. Harry Jaffa.

What makes Aristotle’s opus the greatest book of all time? In this one book Aristotle invented ethics and said everything that needed to be said about it. A staggering achievement. Aristotle set out the basic principles of good conduct in society and offered a primer in character building. (FYI-- the Greek word ethos means “character.”)

The book also stands as a corrective to the greatest flaws in modern psychotherapy-- the obsessive concern with what went wrong and the willful blindness toward knowing how to get things right.


Bizzy Brain said...

I kinda sorta thought the Bible would be number one.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

Good thought... I should have qualified it as the greatest book by a single human author.

Penegra said...

very good thinking...!,

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