Aristotle Research Report #13: Phase One Complete

2019-12-26

Yesterday I finished phase one of my research into Aristotle's ethics, in preparation for writing Complete Yourself: Aristotle on Personal Excellence. As I described in a blog post over five years ago, for me the process of "working through" a thinker initially involves absorbing all of his or her writings, supplemented by some of the secondary literature. Since I started this project about two years ago, I've read everything by Aristotle and Plato, as well as numerous scholarly books on Aristotle, totalling around 120 distinct works. To give you a sense of the magnitude, here's a photo of the relevant books in my own collection (not counting all the ones I've checked out of libraries throughout Colorado and Wyoming, thanks to the wonders of Prospector, our regional inter-library loan system):

That's a lot of reading! The next phase will be even more intense: re-reading all of the passages I've marked up, identifying the core themes I want to explore, and coming to conclusions regarding Aristotle's answers to fundamental questions about how to live a good human life. Because there is so much deep material to cover, I expect that this next phase will consume most of my free time in 2020. All this so that I can summarize Aristotle's philosophy of life in 100 pages or less, as to date I've also done with Rand, Nietzsche, Thoreau, and Epicurus in the "eudaimonia suite" that comprises my lifelong philosophy project.

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