Review of J. Dudley, Gott und Theoria bei Aristoteles: Die metaphysische Grundlage der Nikomachischen Ethik.

Review of J. Dudley, Gott Und Theoria bei Aristotles: Die metaphysische Grundlage der Nikocachischen EthikThe Review of Metaphysics 37, no. 1 (September 1983): 112-13. Reprinted in The Archaeology of the Soul, 2012.


This short book, a German translation of an unpublished English version, with 95 pages of text and 114 of notes, consists of three main chapters: I. The nature of the complete human life is similar to the nature of God’s; II. The activity of the complete human being resembles that of God; III. the function of god in Nicomachean Ethics. Its author tries to show that it is possible to assign, in a strictly Aristotelian way (i.e., without Christianizing Aristotle), a metaphysical ground to Aristotle’s ethics. His treatment of the topic is not as interesting as the topic itself, for he not only tends to believe that a precise understanding of the terms in which a passage is couched is the equivalent of its understanding, but he restricts the issue to the theoretical life of EN X, and Aristotle at the end of Book I distinguishes between ethical and dianoetic virtues. Dudley, however, wishes to show that the unmoved mover of Met. XII is not only the model for the highest human activity but also the object of that activity at its peak.