This past week my Philosophy of Law class discussed Aristotle’s concept of justice as laid out in Michael Sandel’s book Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do? Sandel discusses the important role of telos in Aristotle’s ethics and politics, which say that decisions should be made based on a thing’s purpose. Students were intrigued, yet concerned about the ways this theory can remove freedom of choice (for instance, if one is a great cook yet hates cooking, should they do so anyway to build a virtuous society?). By the end, a number of students felt Aristotle’s incorporation of telos was a useful addition to justice while others saw it as a distraction.
In order to some answer student questions about the role of telos in Aristotle’s philosophy, as well as how universal or absolute something’s telos is, I searched for recent articles published on these topics. Here’s what I found:
- Enrico Berti, “The Relevance of Aristotle’s Philosophy Today,” Journal of Philosophical Research, 2015 Supplement.
- Carlo Davia, “Universality in Aristotle’s Ethics,” Journal of the History of Philosophy, April 2016.
- Nathanael Stein, “Aristotle on Parts of Time and Being in Time,” Review of Metaphysics, March 2016.
- Silvia Carli, “The Love Affair between Philosophy and Poetry: Aristotle’s Poetics and Narrative Identity,” Southern Journal of Philosophy, June 2015.
- Jaroslaw Olesiak, “Nature and Necessity in Aristotle’s Physics,” Studia Philosophiae Christianae, 2015.
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