Tips on Writing

I just came out from a really awesome tutorial about how to improve on one’s writing. Many of the points were familiar, but it’s amazing how easy it is to forget them. In fact, when I was reminded about them today, I realised that I have committed a lot of mistakes which I should not have in the first place.

So, for the benefit of all who may need to write non-fiction, here’s a series of important lessons in writing that I’ve picked up over the years. Practice them and you will be on the path to awesomeness! Haha… I’m still not that awesome yet, but I do know that when I follow these pointers, my writing improves in its clarity. I hope that you’ll learn and benefit greatly as I have from this. =) One thing I know is that if you practice this regularly, it helps to clarify your own thinking as well. =)


#1: Define the problem.

Good writing is focused. It does not try to cover too many things. No. It focuses on just one thing, and one thing alone. But how do you ensure that your writing is focused? Phrase your problem as a question. If your question is vague, clarify it further. Is your question clear? If not, refine the question by narrowing what it is that you are asking.

Another good way to determine if your scope is sufficiently focused is to say what you want to prove in just ONE short sentence. No, long sentences filled with a myriad of punctuations are not allowed here. If you cannot phrase what you want to do in one short sentence, i.e. you have several sentences or just a long sentence, it’s an indicator that you are trying to say more than one thing. The general rule is that a single idea is best expressed in the form of one sentence. Long, or multiple sentences are indicators that you have too many ideas running around in your head. In this case, it’s an indicator that you’ll need to re-articulate the problem with a much narrower scope.


#2: Introduction.

An introduction states clearly what it is that you want to achieve in your paper/article. It provides a brief introduction into the matter, the problem, your solution, and how you will demonstrate it.

Avoid writing fancifully as it can be a distraction. Not everybody is a literature major. Few will therefore be able to understand what it is that you are trying to say if you were to do that.

It is also useful to define terms, and to discuss certain limitations which you are unable to handle in the paper/article. Sometimes, we are constrained by a word limit, and very little can therefore be accomplished. Sometimes, covering a related topic will make the paper lose its focus, and so it is better not to talk about it.


#3: Presenting Other People’s Claims.

Sometimes, you may need to say what so-and-so has said. It is always important to ensure that you have provided a very faithful account of what the other has said. If the person’s points sounds ridiculous, the problem is usually not with that person, but with you. It should be an indicator that somehow, there has been some misunderstanding or misinterpretation.

The best rule of thumb is to always provide the best interpretation possible. Especially in philosophy, do the opponent a favour by giving him/her the strongest interpretation possible, without distortion. This way, you (and the reader) will know that you are not doing injustice by presenting a straw-man argument, that is, a caricature of the actual claims.


#4: Refuting an Argument.

Before talking about how to refute an argument, it is important to understand how an argument works. An argument is not an explanation. Explanations assume that X is true, and provides an account of it. Arguments make no assumptions, but instead attempt to prove the conclusion.

Arguments are made up of premises that lead to the conclusion.

Here is a standard example of an argument:

Premise 1: All men are mortal.
Premise 2: Socrates is a man.
Conclusion: THEREFORE, Socrates is mortal.

When ALL premises are true, the conclusion is NECESSARILY true. This is how our reasoning operates. We believe certain things to be so because they are supported by other facts/premises which we know to be true.

When refuting an argument, arguing against the conclusion does absolutely nothing. Let us assume that our imaginary friend, Bob, has the following argument:

Premise 1: A [True]
Premise 2: B [True]
Conclusion: THEREFORE, C. [Therefore, true]

Arguing against C, i.e. not-C, will have no effect against Bob. Why? Bob still believes in the truth of premises 1 and 2, and therefore he is compelled to believe in the conclusion, C.

The first move is to weaken the argument, by introducing doubt about the certainty of such an argument. This can be done by showing that one of the premises is false. For example, I could argue that Premise 1 is false. When you do this, this is what happens to Bob’s thinking:

Premise 1: A [False]
Premise 2: B [True]
Conclusion: THEREFORE, C. [Therefore, not certain about the truth of C]

By proving one of the premises false, your opponent will not be compelled by his argument to believe that his conclusion is 100% true (unless he/she becomes emotional, in which case, there’s no point proceeding).

Once you have introduced uncertainty into the true-ness of the conclusion, you can now proceed to prove the conclusion false, i.e. not-C. You will need to supply your own argument, not merely assert that C is false.

There are other strategies in arguing against the opponent, but I will not cover them here. Nonetheless, the main point of this advice is this – you do not refute your opponent just by arguing that his/her conclusion is false. You need to first weaken the argument by showing a problem in one of the premises.


#5: Examples.

One important rule when it comes to examples: NEVER USE EXAMPLES TO DO THE JOB OF ARGUING. Examples are meant to support your arguments, to give it greater strength. This includes raising thought experiments. These things show something, but they do not prove anything. In fact, examples are always open to interpretation. And therefore, you must contextualise your examples by arguing your point, and proceed to show how the example strengthens your claim.

It’s also important to note that stating a list of facts does not constitute a valid argument. Facts are always open to interpretation. Telling me that everyone in this room has black hair doesn’t say anything. People can interpret it in many ways – “There are many Chinese in the room”; or “Everyone in the room has dyed their hair.” One must say what’s significant about these things to make a valid point.


#6: Sentences.

Here’s a simple rule for writing – express only one idea in a sentence. If your sentence is too long, it’s because you have too many ideas. And when you try to cramp too many ideas into one sentence, it becomes confusing. If your sentence is longer than 3 lines, you should seriously consider rephrasing them for clarity.


#7: Planning the Body.

In #1, I mentioned how one way to focus your writing is to phrase it into a very specific question. This question is like your final destination. But before you can reach the destination, you will need stepping stones to cross the river to get to the other side. You can do this by specifying mini-questions that will act as guides to lead to answer your specific question. Here’s an example:

Specific question: How is X useful in the field of Y?

Mini-question 1: What is X?
Mini-question 2: What is Y?
Mini-question 3: How is X related to Y?
Mini-question 4: In what way is X useful to Y in that relation?
Mini-question 5: How useful is X in that regard?

These mini-questions form the stepping stones that will lead you and the reader to the final destination.


#8: Body Paragraphs.

Body paragraphs should contain only ONE idea, expressed in ONE sentence, to answer ONE mini-question. If you cannot state your answer in one sentence, that means you have more than one idea. In this case, you might want to redefine you mini-question(s), and even the specific question accordingly.

This has nothing to do with being intellectually dishonest, where one changes the hypothesis to suit the data. Usually, the problem is that we have failed to narrow our specific question enough. This exercise reveals the ambiguity in our thoughts, and makes us aware of just how far away we are from writing a clear, concise, and focused paper.

Each paragraph contains one sentence which answers the mini-question. And in the subsequent sentences, you will proceed to prove why your mini-answer is true. Examples are used to support the claim. But remember, they must never be used to do the job of proving your point.


#9: A Fair, Balanced View.

A fair, balanced view does not mean sitting on the fence. It means that you have considered the other perspective, and yet found that their arguments are problematic. How do you present a fair, balanced view in your paper? You can do this by raising objections against your own points, or defences for the opponent which you have attacked. After which, you should proceed to defend your position.

Once again, this can only be effectively proven by considering a non-trivial objection to your position. This demonstrates to the reader that you have not cheated by constructing a straw man argument.


#10: Conclusion.

A good conclusion makes no new points. Instead, it reiterates the points made thus far as a short one-paragraph summary.

This is optional, but sometimes, people find it useful to mention what else could have been discussed had the article not been limited by its scope or word limit. This can be useful in showing the broad application of your arguments in other circumstances. But be careful not to make new arguments at this point. You should only raise matters that are worth discussing, but could not have been done in the paper/article.


#11: Sign-posting.

This is a very useful strategy. Sign-posting is the use of certain words to make your important points visible to the reader. Sometimes, the main point does not appear as clearly as you would like it to be. So it helps to put a huge literary sign board there which says: “HEY! LOOK HERE! THIS IS THE POINT THAT I WAS TRYING TO PROVE IN THIS PARAGRAPH!!!”

For example, if you wanted to show that Bob had contradicted himself, you could say: “Bob said X. Yet Bob believes in not-X.” But this might not occur to the reader that a contradiction has taken place.

So, for greater clarity, you can put a sign-post there: “Bob said X. Yet Bob believes in not-X, BUT THIS CONTRADICTS WITH WHAT HE HAD SAID.” The meaning of the statement doesn’t change, but the point that you wanted to make becomes clearer.


#12: The Evils of Passive Voice.

Passive voice are sentences where the subject is on the receiving end of the action (verb).

Here are examples of passive voice (The active voice is indicated in brackets):

Bob was murdered by Tim. (Active: Tim murdered Bob)
The dog was bitten by the man. (Active: The man bit the dog)
The cake was eaten by somebody. (Active: Somebody ate the cake)

Passive voice is evil! Do not use passive voice unless necessary.

There is a disadvantage in using the passive voice. Active voice is easier to comprehend. Passive voice, however, usually involves more words and more prepositions, which can lead to confusion, and even a slower rate of comprehension.

The bigger problem with passive voice is that the actor of the statement can be ambiguous. I can say: “The cake was eaten.” But who ate the cake? When sentences are expressed in the passive voice, we make the assumption that the reader knows who the actor is. This can introduce unnecessary ambiguity into the paper, as the reader is left unsure of who did the deed.

But this can also confuse the writer, as it makes it easier for the writer to take for granted that he/she knows who is doing the deed. One should therefore avoid this ambiguity by refraining from using passive voice as much as possible.


#13: Making Comparisons.

Comparisons should always be about two things that are as similar as possible. You’ll need to compare apples with apples, and oranges with oranges. You cannot simply choose two things that have merely one common feature to do a comparison – there is no clear focus on what is being compared.

Furthermore, the two cases used must be justified. Anyone can simply pick two things out of the list of infinite possibilities. At the very least, you’ll need to justify why you have chosen to compare these two things instead of other things. This gives greater weight to the comparison made, and makes for a more credible argument.

There’s probably a lot more that can be said, but I think this short guide is already sufficient for the writing of a clear, focused, and awesome paper/article/essay. Hope you found it useful!

The Consistency of the Life of Contemplation with the Rest of the “Nicomachean Ethics” and its Usefulness in Morality

This paper was written for my philosophy module on Aristotle. It concerns my favourite activity – contemplation. I hope that you will find this paper enriching.

Aristotle argues that the life of contemplation is more excellent than the life of political excellence. Yet, in doing so, he appears to be inconsistent with the rest of the Nicomachean Ethics. In this paper, I argue that this apparent inconsistency arises because of interpretative issues related to the meaning of happiness (eudaimonia). Aristotle maintains an ambiguity over the term “happiness” so as to preserve two notions of the word: (1) happiness as living well, and (2) happiness as acting well. The apparent inconsistency comes about when these two notions of happiness are collapsed into one.

In Section I, I will summarise Aristotle’s argument in favour of the contemplative life over the political life. In Section II, I will then elaborate on the dual notions of happiness which Aristotle uses, and, in Section III, demonstrate how the use of only a single notion will result in inconsistencies. Using the dual notions of happiness, I shall then clarify what Aristotle meant in his discussion of contemplation, by highlighting a distinction between the contemplative life and contemplative activity, in Section IV. Last but not least, in Section V, I shall then anticipate an objection against the consistency of contemplation with the rest of the Nicomachean Ethics, on the grounds that contemplation has nothing to do with morality, and respond to it by showing that contemplation is useful to morality, thereby maintaining its consistency. This will be done by showing how contemplation enriches the life of the contemplative person in a way useful to morality, and that it can lead the individual to right action.

I. The Excellence of the Life of Contemplation

It is necessary to first understand the reasons why Aristotle argues that the life of contemplation is more excellent than the life of political excellence.
Aristotle defines happiness as consisting in (1) “action conformable to virtue, and if there are a number of virtues, action conformable to the best and most perfect of them.” [1] As the end of all human actions, happiness is (2) the “perfect self-sufficient good” [2], that is (3) “always desirable for itself and never for anything beyond itself.” [3]

Contemplation fits this definition perfectly as it is (1) “the highest operation, since the intellect is the best element in us and the objects of the intellect are the best of the things that can be known.” [4] It is also (2) self-sufficient as the contemplative man can contemplate by himself [5], since contemplation requires no external goods for its practice. On the other hand, external goods are needed for the life of political excellence for such a man will need them for the exercise of morally virtuous activity. Contemplation is also (3) desired for its own sake since “nothing is produced by it apart from the act of contemplation”, while practical activities (which pertain primarily to the life of political excellence) are pursued instrumentally for something apart from the action itself [6]. Furthermore, contemplation is the perfect activity as it is also the most continuous activity for “we can contemplate truth more continuously than we can carry on any other activity.” [7]

It is for these reasons that Aristotle considers the life of contemplation the happiest life, while the life of political excellence is “happy only in a secondary degree.” [8]

II. The Dual Notions of Happiness (Eudaimonia)

Throughout the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle switches between two notions of happiness as (1) living well and (2) acting well. Though they may be the “popular sense of happiness” [9] as understood by the “common people and the educated” [10], these two notions of happiness are nonetheless closely related to each other since “happiness as living well is characterised by acting well.” [11]

Happiness, according to Aristotle, is “the activity of the soul according to reason” [12], which is to say that happiness consists in acting well. Yet, it is interesting that Aristotle arrives at this conclusion even though he sets out at the beginning to investigate happiness as the best life to live (living well). Aristotle did not forget about happiness as living well. In fact, his investigation of happiness from living well to acting well was meant to show that happiness (in the form of living well) consists in virtuous activities [13]. And so, a well-performed activity according to reason (virtuous activity) is not just an ingredient for happiness (as living well), but also happiness itself (as acting well).

III. The Inconsistencies that Result from using a Single Notion of Happiness

Unfortunately, Aristotle fails to explicitly spell out these two notions of happiness [14]. As such, confusion arises especially with regards to his discussion on the life of contemplation, as most people would read it understanding happiness as either living well only or acting well only. In this section, I will show how using only one of the two notions will result in consistencies with the rest of the Nicomachean Ethics, when used to interpret a portion of the discussion on contemplation:

Contemplation seems to have self-sufficiency, leisureliness, freedom from labour (as far as humanly possible), and all other activities usually assigned to the happy man. Therefore, man’s perfect happiness will consist in this activity of the intellect, is a long span of life be added (as nothing belonging to happiness should be incomplete). Such a life is higher than the human level; and it is not lived by man according to the human mode but according to something divine in him. [15]

If one were to interpret this passage using the notion of happiness as living well only, the inconsistency arises as it seems that since the life of contemplation is so self-sufficient, there is no need for practical wisdom and the moral virtues, external goods, and even friendship. Such a life is so self-sufficient that a well-lived life of happiness can simply be attained by engaging only in contemplation. This seems to be inconsistent with so many portions of the Nicomachean Ethics, namely the areas that deal with practical wisdom, the moral virtues, external goods, and even friendship. This interpretation, therefore, leaves many protesting that this life of contemplation is a life that “humans cannot live” [16].

Or if one were to interpret this passage using the notion of happiness as acting well only, the inconsistency arises as such a reading seems to suggest that contemplation is the best and most perfect activity of the soul, such that all other activities (especially morally virtuous activities) need not be pursued. If happiness consists of only acting well, then one can be happy simply by engaging in only contemplation. Were this really the case, the earlier books of the Nicomachean Ethics can be forgotten since one does not need to cultivate moral virtues within him.

IV. Clarifications on the Contemplative Life and Contemplative Activity

The problems of inconsistency do not arise if one was aware of the dual notions of happiness employed by Aristotle. In fact, he makes a distinction between the contemplative life and contemplative activity:

For action, many things are required and the more so the greater and nobler the deeds are; but for the activity of the contemplative man, nothing of the kind is needed. In fact, it can be said that external goods are obstacles to contemplation. But the contemplative person, insofar as he is man and lives with others chooses to perform virtuous acts. Hence he will need external goods to live a human life. [17]

In describing contemplation as having “self-sufficiency, leisureliness, freedom from labour, and all other activities usually assigned to the happy man” [18], Aristotle meant to describe contemplative activity as the best activity that any human person can pursue. As mentioned in Section II, virtuous activity is not just an ingredient for happiness (as living well), but also happiness itself (as acting well). Likewise, contemplative activity is not just an ingredient for happiness (as living well), but it is also happiness itself (as acting well). Though the activity of contemplation is central to the contemplative life, the contemplative life does not consist in contemplative activity alone. While contemplation is the best activity, it cannot be the only activity of a human life. Aristotle recognised that it is not possible to live a life which consists solely in contemplation. Anaxagoras and Thales are cited as examples of people who sought to do nothing but engage in contemplation, but they are criticised for their lack of practical wisdom because they did not “seek human goods” [19].

Therefore, the person who wishes to embrace the contemplative life must not only seek to act well by engaging in the highest activity of contemplation, he must not forget the other aspect of happiness, which is the notion of living well. As it was mentioned earlier, happiness (as living well) consists in virtuous activities (contemplation being the best amongst them) and external goods. Since happiness (living well) is an end “altogether perfect in every respect” [20], insofar as the contemplative person is a human being and lives with others [21]; he cannot neglect his biological needs nor neglect his nature as a social animal [22]. As such, he must not be lacking in virtue nor must he be lacking in the external goods necessary for his survival and for the exercise of virtue. The contemplative person will also need friends as “what is desirable for the happy man, he must have, or else he will be in want” [23]. Since happiness is an end perfect in every respect, the contemplative person must not be left in want, or he will not be fully happy.

It has thus been demonstrated that a correct reading of the discussion on contemplation will reveal that there is no inconsistency with the rest of the Nicomachean Ethics.

V. Objection and Response

However, one way in which the discussion of contemplation seems to be inconsistent with the rest of the Nicomachean Ethics is that contemplation does not seem relevant to morality at all. Many contemporary virtue ethicists “embrace Aristotle’s theory of moral virtue and practical wisdom”, but they do “not judge the theory of contemplation well.” [24] Because of this, contemplation is left out of their moral theories.

Contemplation is an “activity in accordance with theoretical wisdom (sophia)” [25], which involves science (episteme) which is the theoretical knowledge of unchanging demonstrable principles [26]; and rational intuition (nous) which is the knowledge of undemonstrable first principles [27]. Practical wisdom (phronesis), on the other hand, deals with “human goods which we deliberate”, as it considers universals and knows particulars (since action is concerned with particulars) [28]. Matters of morality are particular matters which are dealt with by practical wisdom. As such, it appears that contemplation has nothing to do with matters of morality, and is thus inconsistent with the rest of the Nicomachean Ethics.

Nevertheless, Rorty argues that since wisdom is able to contemplate “the unchanging form of what does change” [29], wisdom should be able to contemplate on “humanity and its proper ends” [30] since it is “a pattern of temporal life” which “can be comprehended in one timeless whole” [31], so as to come to a deeper knowledge of “our general ends” which “are the actualisation and exercise of the basic activities that define us.” [32]

Rorty speaks of the prudent man (phronimos) who “knows what to do and how to do it” as he has an “implicit knowledge of human ends” [33]. The prudent man possesses practical wisdom which is able to “grasp the general ends of actions” [34], and therefore “virtue and knowledge are fused” within him [35]. But he “does not necessarily know why his virtues are virtues” [36], since he lacks the theoretical wisdom to understand the purpose and meaning of his actions in the grand scheme of human life.

When Aristotle argued that theoretical wisdom is not applicable to practical matters [37], his intention was to resist its assimilation into practical wisdom, so as to clearly distinguish one from the other. Though theoretical wisdom does not deal with particulars, nor substitute for the development of virtue, it can nonetheless contemplate on “humanity and its proper ends” [38], thereby analysing the ends of human life so as to determine the activities and processes that constitute a well-lived life. Though contemplation does not help to create a “better decision procedure” for the prudent man, it would nonetheless “perfect his knowledge” [39].

Earlier, it was mentioned that the prudent man “knows what to do and how to do it” [40] but not the reasons for it, for he lacks the theoretical wisdom to understand “humanity and its proper ends” [41]. Because of this, he does not understand why he acts virtuously, nor is he aware of how he should order his life, nor be able to fully actualise his potential as a human person for he is unaware of these things. While such a person may indeed be happy (acting well) from the exercise of virtuous activity, he would not be able to achieve the fullness of happiness (in terms of living well), for Aristotle describes happiness (living well) as an end that is “altogether perfect in every respect” [42].

The greatest benefit that contemplation brings is that by contemplating on one’s actualities, the individual comes to realise his formal identity as a human person. This paves the way for the individual to realise his potential as a human person, and to recognise his actions in relation to the larger whole.

It was also mentioned earlier that Aristotle argued that theoretical wisdom is not applicable to practical matters [43] so as to resist its assimilation into practical wisdom. This however, does not mean that theoretical wisdom and practical wisdom cannot communicate with each other. The contemplation of “humanity and its proper ends” [44] provides clarity on the potentialities of a human person that wait to be actualise, and his actions with regards to a larger whole. Such insight into life is able to direct the contemplative man to action, for it allows him to order his life and actions towards that greater end. This way, every virtuous activity is not just a random act of goodness, but is ordered towards a grand scheme of things. Moreover, as contemplation has made clear his ends, the individual is therefore able to deliberate on the means to attain it.

It is here that one finds practical wisdom and theoretical wisdom working together. The principles that have been made clear to theoretical wisdom, through contemplation, are applied by practical wisdom to the daily necessities of life. It is also applied to the overall ordering of one’s life, as one would require practical wisdom in order to deliberate on the means to attain his ends in life, now made clear to him through contemplation.

This is hugely significant for morality, because it gives meaning and order to each and every single moral act. As such, one does not do acts of goodness and avoid acts of evil simply because morality requires it, but one can perform moral actions in a way that is part of a larger “plan”, and which will guide the individual to fully actualise his potentialities as a human person (in addition to the exercise of virtuous activities) in such a way that he may come to live the good life, and not neglect any aspect of his life out of ignorance. Furthermore, because the end of humanity is the same for all people, a person may, as a politician, teacher, or parent, guide others in a way that will enable them to fully actualise their potentialities as human persons, so as to live a rich and meaningful life, rather than merely doing good and avoiding evil without knowing the reasons why.

And so, contemplation is useful to morality for it not only enriches the life of the contemplative person, but it provides him with clearer principles on his end as a human person, which practical wisdom uses for the deliberation of the means for action. Contemplation, therefore, is not inconsistent with the rest of Aristotle’s account of morality in the Nicomachean Ethics, since it provides an enriched account of morality, endowing it with purpose and meaning in the grand scheme of life and of the end of humanity.

VI. Concluding Remarks

Throughout this paper, it has been demonstrated that contemplation does not conflict with the Nicomachean Ethics in any way. The life of contemplation is hailed as the most choiceworthy, excellent life, because it involves the activity of contemplation – the best and highest activity of the human soul – and every other virtuous activity and external goods which a person requires as a human being living with others. It is more excellent than the political life because the contemplative life can incorporate elements of the political life, such as the practice of virtuous activity and external goods, in a far richer way since contemplation helps to provide clarity on humanity and its proper ends, thereby enabling one to attain happiness (both living well and acting well) in a manner that fully actualises one’s potentiality that is in line with his proper end.


[1] Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, 1098a17-20
[2] Ibid., 1097b20-21
[3] Ibid., 1097a32-35
[4] Ibid., 1177a19-21. The soul can be divided into two parts – the rational part and the irrational part. The rational part is superior to the irrational part is the excellence of the irrational part is to be subordinate to the rational part, i.e. obeying reason. Within the rational part, the two intellectual virtues are theoretical wisdom (sophia) and practical wisdom (phronesis). Theoretical wisdom deals with necessary things that are unchanging, while practical wisdom deals with contingent things. Aristotle concludes that theoretical wisdom is superior and the best. Therefore, the activity of theoretical wisdom, contemplation, is the highest operation of the human person and the best activity of the soul.
[5] Ibid., 1177a27-b1
[6] Ibid., 1177b1-4
[7] Ibid., 1177a21-22
[8] Ibid., 1178a8
[9] Jiyuan Yu, The Ethics of Confucius and Aristotle: Mirrors of Virtue, p.173
[10] Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, 1095a19-20
[11] Jiyuan Yu, The Ethics of Confucius and Aristotle: Mirrors of Virtue, p.173
[12] Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, 1098a16-17
[13] Cf. Ibid., 1099a30-31
[14] Jiyuan Yu, The Ethics of Confucius and Aristotle: Mirrors of Virtue, p.173
[15] Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, 1177b22-28
[16] Jiyuan Yu, The Ethics of Confucius and Aristotle: Mirrors of Virtue, p.197
[17] Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, 1178b1-7. Emphasis mine
[18] Ibid., 1177b22-24
[19] Ibid., 1141b3-7
[20] Ibid., 1101a19-20
[21] Cf. Ibid., 1178b5-6
[22] Aristotle, Politics, 1253a9
[23] Ibid., 1170b17-19
[24] Jiyuan Yu, The Ethics of Confucius and Aristotle: Mirrors of Virtue, p.219
[25] Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, 1177a25-26
[26] Cf. Ibid., 1139b18-36
[27] Cf. Ibid., 1140b31-1141a8
[28] Ibid., 1141b14-15
[29] Amelie Oksenberg Rorty, The Place of Contemplation in Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, p.344
[30] Ibid., p.346
[31] Ibid., p.345
[32] Ibid., p.346
[33] Ibid., p.349
[34] Ibid., p.349
[35] Ibid., p.347
[36] Ibid., p.350
[37] Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, 1140a31-b4
[38] Amelie Oksenberg Rorty, The Place of Contemplation in Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, p.346
[39] Ibid., p.350
[40] Ibid., p.349
[41] Ibid., p.346
[42] Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, 1101a19-20
[43] Ibid., 1140a31-b4
[44] Amelie Oksenberg Rorty, The Place of Contemplation in Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, p.346


Amelie Oksenberg Rorty, The Place of Contemplation in Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics. Mind, New Series 87 (Jul. 1978): pp.343-368

Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, in Commentary on Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, trans. C. J. Litzinger, O.P. (Indiana: Dumb Ox Books, 1993)

Aristotle, Politics, in Aristotle: Introductory Readings, trans. Terence Irwin and Gail Fine. (Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 1996)

Jiyuan Yu, The Ethics of Confucius and Aristotle: Mirrors of Virtue. (New York: Routledge, 2008), pp.169-221