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Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics

Translated by Robert C. Bartlett and Susan D. Collins, with an Interpretive Essay, Notes, and Glossary

The Nicomachean Ethics is one of Aristotle’s most widely read and influential works. Ideas central to ethics—that happiness is the end of human endeavor, that moral virtue is formed through action and habituation, and that good action requires prudence—found their most powerful proponent in the person medieval scholars simply called “the Philosopher.” Drawing on their intimate knowledge of Aristotle’s thought, Robert C. Bartlett and Susan D. Collins have produced here an English-language translation of the Ethics that is as remarkably faithful to the original as it is graceful in its rendering.

Aristotle is well known for the precision with which he chooses his words, and in this elegant translation his work has found its ideal match. Bartlett and Collins provide copious notes and a glossary providing context and further explanation for students, as well as an introduction and a substantial interpretive essay that sketch central arguments of the work and the seminal place of Aristotle’s Ethics in his political philosophy as a whole.

The Nicomachean Ethics has engaged the serious interest of readers across centuries and civilizations—of peoples ancient, medieval, and modern; pagan, Christian, Muslim, and Jewish—and this new edition will take its place as the standard English-language translation.

368 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2011

Ancient Studies

Philosophy: History and Classic Works

Political Science: Classic Political Thought


“[This volume] is much more than a translation. The translators, Robert C. Bartlett . . . and Susan D. Collins . . . have provided helpful aids. . . . [They have] supplied an informative introduction, as well as ‘A Note on the Translation,’ a bibliography and an outline of the work. All this precedes the main text. Afterward comes a brief ‘Overview of the Moral Virtues and Vices,’ a very extensive and invaluable glossary, a list of ‘Key Greek Terms,’ an index of proper names and at last a detailed ‘general index.’ Together these bring the original text within the compass of every intelligent reader. . . . Brilliant and readable.”

Harry V. Jaffa | New York Times Book Review

“This is the only English translation of the Ethics for those who want or need to know precisely, not just roughly, what Aristotle says. Readers now can behold the splendor of his conception of moral virtue and engage with its subtleties as well. The translation is accompanied by excellent notes, an interpretive essay, indices, and a highly useful glossary.”

Harvey C. Mansfield, Harvard University

“There are several good editions of the Nicomachean Ethics currently available, but the Bartlett and Collins version is superior in several decisive respects—philological, philosophical, and pedagogical. The translation itself is consistently faithful to the text without lapsing into obscurity or awkwardness, with lots of helpful discussion (in just the right number of notes conveniently placed at the bottom of the page) of alternative possibilities at key points. Best of all, the thoughtful and well-crafted surrounding material—notes, glossary, introduction, and interpretive essay—supplies a marvelous guide to Aristotle’s unique way of presenting the central questions of ethics and politics. This is the version I will use when next I teach the Nicomachean Ethics.”

Stephen G. Salkever, Bryn Mawr College

“This translation will easily be the best available English version of the Nicomachean Ethics.”

Michael Davis, Sarah Lawrence College

“Bartlett and Collins’s translation of the Nicomachean Ethics is the best in English that I have read. It nicely couples a consistent faithfulness to Aristotle’s Greek with a high degree of readability. This will be a real service to scholars and students.”

Gerald M. Mara, Georgetown University

“[A] readable, careful, and unusually reliable translation.”

E. M. Macierowski | Choice

Table of Contents


A Note on the Translation


Outline of the Nicomachean Ethics 

Nicomachean Ethics

Book 1

Book 2

Book 3

Book 4

Book 5

Book 6

Book 7

Book 8

Book 9

Book 10 

Interpretive Essay   

Overview of the Moral Virtues and Vices   

Glossary: English-Greek   

Key Greek Terms   

Index of Proper Names   

General Index   

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