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Additional info for Aristotle's ethical imprecision: Philosophic method in the Nicomachean Ethics
49 out, and Aristotle does not force all lines to converge toward perfect unity. ) My main reason for preferring this interpretation is that this seems to be what Aristotle actually does throughout the Nicomachean Ethics. That he does so can be seen, of course, only as this investigation progresses into the thematic chapters on the kalon, prudence, friendship, and happiness; and thus we find the benefit of a treatment that does not confine itself to the study of Aristotle's most direct statements on imprecision.
Euripides shows us that there are various marks that we look to in making judgments as to what is prudent and that these need not line up on the same side; and that when they do not, we no longer have a clear idea of how to identify the prudent. We can wonder whether prudence even applies here. We learn, in other words, that it is because we do not sufficiently understand the prudent itself, do not understand how to weigh its 23 different common marks, that we cannot judge what is prudent in this difficult particular case.
The tendency to limit Aristotle's idea of ethical imprecision to the particular is seen, for example, in August Bayonas' "Exactness and Scientific Thought According to Aristotle" in Aristotle and Contemporary Science, Volume II, eds. Sfendoni-Mentzou andDemetra (New York: Lang, 2001), 130— 36, at 134-35; C. J. Rowe, "The Eudemian and Nicomachean Ethics": A Study in the Development of Aristotle's Thought (Cambridge: Cambridge Philological Society, 1971), 7Inl; J. A. Stewart, Notes on the Nicomachean Ethics (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1892), 29-30.