Nicomachean Ethics

by

Aristotle

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The end of something is the ultimate result or benefit toward which a process is tending. For example, health is the end of medicine, and a boat is the end of boatbuilding.

End Quotes in Nicomachean Ethics

The Nicomachean Ethics quotes below are all either spoken by End or refer to End. For each quote, you can also see the other terms and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Nature and Pursuit of Happiness Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Hackett edition of Nicomachean Ethics published in 1999.
Book 1 Quotes

Suppose, then, that the things achievable by action have some end that we wish for because of itself, and because of which we wish for the other things, and that we do not choose everything because of something else—for if we do, it will go on without limit, so that desire will prove to be empty and futile. Clearly, this end will be the good, that is to say, the best good.

Then does knowledge of this good carry great weight for [our] way of life, and would it make us better able, like archers who have a target to aim at, to hit the right mark? If so, we should try to grasp, in outline at any rate, what the good is, and which is its proper science or capacity.

Related Characters: Aristotle (speaker)
Page Number: 2
Explanation and Analysis:
Book 2 Quotes

That is why it is also hard work to be excellent. For in each case it is hard work to find the intermediate; for instance, not everyone, but only one who knows, finds the midpoint in a circle. So also getting angry, or giving and spending money, is easy and everyone can do it; but doing it to the right person, in the right amount, at the right time, for the right end, and in the right way is no longer easy, nor can everyone do it. Hence doing these things well is rare, praiseworthy, and fine.

Related Characters: Aristotle (speaker)
Page Number: 29
Explanation and Analysis:
Book 3 Quotes

And so, if the same is true for bravery, the brave person will find death and wounds painful, and suffer them unwillingly, but he will endure them because that is fine or because failure is shameful. Indeed, the truer it is that he has every virtue and the happier he is, the more pain he will feel at the prospect of death. For this sort of person, more than anyone, finds it worthwhile to be alive, and knows he is being deprived of the greatest goods, and this is painful. But he is no less brave for all that; presumably, indeed, he is all the braver, because he chooses what is fine in war at the cost of all these goods. It is not true, then, in the case of every virtue that its active exercise is pleasant; it is pleasant only insofar as we attain the end.

Related Characters: Aristotle (speaker)
Page Number: 45
Explanation and Analysis:
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End Term Timeline in Nicomachean Ethics

The timeline below shows where the term End appears in Nicomachean Ethics. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book 1
The Nature and Pursuit of Happiness Theme Icon
...Chapter 1. According to Aristotle, every craft, line of inquiry, action, and decision seeks some end, or “good,” but these goods differ. For example, health is the end of medicine, a... (full context)
The Nature and Pursuit of Happiness Theme Icon
...to horsemanship, and various actions in warfare are subordinate to generalship. So, Aristotle claims, the ends of these “ruling sciences” (like horsemanship or generalship) are more “choiceworthy” than their subordinate ends,... (full context)
The Nature and Pursuit of Happiness Theme Icon
Book 1, Chapter 2. Aristotle notes that “things achievable by action have some end that we wish for because of itself.” This end will be the best good. The... (full context)
The Nature and Pursuit of Happiness Theme Icon
Virtue and Community Life Theme Icon
The Political Life vs. the Contemplative Life Theme Icon
Because political science uses these other sciences, its end includes the ends of the other sciences, too. This end is the human good, but... (full context)
Book 3
Virtues and the Mean Theme Icon
...uncertain outcome, when one must discern the right way to act. One “[lays] down the end” toward which one is striving (for example, a doctor aiming to cure, or an orator... (full context)
The Nature and Pursuit of Happiness Theme Icon
Virtues and the Mean Theme Icon
Virtue and Community Life Theme Icon
...Aristotle sums up the discussion thus: “We have found, then, that we wish for the end, and deliberate and decide about things that promote it; hence the actions concerned with things... (full context)