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Aristotle: Nicomachean Ethics

4. Thought and Action

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About this Lecture


In this module, we explore Aristotle's views on thought and action, focusing in particular in the concept of phronēsis ('intellect', 'practical wisdom'). What is the relation between practical wisdom and virtue of character? What is the role of boulē ('deliberation')? How does Aristotle explain the fact that we sometimes fail to act in accordance with our own reasoning?


In this course, Professor Anthony Price (Birkbeck College, London) explores Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics. In the first module, we explore the central concept of eudaimonia, or happiness, in Aristotle's ethics, before turning in the second module to the concept of egocentricity: does Aristotle's view that we should 'act well' demand that we act well for others, or simply for ourselves? In the third module, we explore one of the most well-known concepts in Aristotle's ethics—the idea of virtue as mean—as well as the concept of the unity of virtues. In the fourth module, we turn to several related terms within the general concepts of thought and action, before exploring the concept of contemplation in the fifth module. A shorter final module offers a conclusion to the course as a whole, as well as providing some reading suggestions.


Anthony Price is a professor of philosophy at Birkbeck College, University of London. His research relates to Greek ethics and moral psychology, and contemporary ethics. Price was educated at Winchester School and the University of Oxford. He taught at the University of York from 1972-1995.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Price, A. (2018, August 15). Aristotle: Nicomachean Ethics - Thought and Action [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Price, A. "Aristotle: Nicomachean Ethics – Thought and Action." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018,