Robert Kilwardby's Commentary on the Ethics of Aristotle


This work contains the Latin text of an early medieval commentary on the first three books of Aristotle’s Ethics. The commentary appears here in print for the first time, supported by an introduction considering the significance of the work and the attribution of it to the Dominican author, Robert Kilwardby (c. 1215-1279).
Celano argues that the commentary represents an early phase in the reception of Aristotle’s Ethics in the thirteenth century, and that Kilwardby demonstrates a perceptive understanding of the meaning of Aristotle’s moral philosophy, showing its importance for the curriculum in the Arts Faculties of universities in the Middle Ages.

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Anthony J. Celano, Ph.D. (1980), University of Toronto, is a Professor of Philosophy at Stonehill College. He is the author of Aristotle Ethics and Medieval Philosophy: Moral Goodness and Practical Wisdom (2016), From Priam to the Good Thief: The Significance of a Single Act in Greek Ethics and Medieval Moral Teaching (2000), and many articles on ancient and medieval ethics.

1 The Reception of the Nicomachean Ethics in the Latin Middle Ages

2 The Career of Robert Kilwardby
 1 The Commentary on the NE

3 Analysis of the Text with Reference to the Works of Robert Kilwardby and His Contemporaries
 1 The Introduction (Ethica Nova)
 2 The Subject of Ethics
 3 All Actions Are Directed to an End
 4 The Supreme Human Good
 5 The Idea of a Separate Good and Its Effect on Human Goodness
 6 The Proper Student of Ethics
 7 Various Opinions Concerning Happiness
 8 A Re-examination of the Idea of a Separate Good
 9 Attributes of the Human Good
 10 The Definition of the Human Good
 11 The Discussion of Happiness
 12 The Perfections of the Soul
 13 The Effects of Fortune on Happiness
 14 The Cause of Happiness
 15 Human and Divine Causality of Happiness and Virtue
 16 Further Considerations on the Nature of Happiness
 17 The Effects of Misfortune
 18 The Final Determination of the Meaning of Happiness
 19 Blessed as Human Beings
 20 Happiness as Praiseworthy or Honorable
 21 The Relation of Virtue to Happiness
 22 A Short Discussion of the Human Soul
 23 The Moral Virtues
 24 The Intellectual Virtues
 25 Conclusion of the Ethica Nova

4 Book II of the NE: Ethica Vetus
 1 The Development of Virtue
 2 The Practical Goal of Ethics
 3 The Conditions of Moral Virtue
 4 Virtue as an Act of the Soul
 5 The Doctrine of the Mean
 6 Voluntary and Involuntary Acts: Book III of the NE
 7 Deliberation and Choice
 8 The Will and Virtuous Acts
 9 The Specific Virtues of Courage and Temperance (Chastity)
 10 Two Vices: Fear and Intemperance

5 Conclusion
 1 The Method and Significance of the Commentary
 2 The Attribution of the Commentary to Robert Kilwardby
 3 Date of Composition
 4 The Text of the Ethica Nicomachea

6 The Edition of Kilwardby’s Commentary
 1 The Manuscripts of the Expositio super libros Ethicorum
 2 The Method of the Edition
 3 Orthography and Sigla

Latin Text of the Ethica nova

Latin Text of the Ethica vetus

Anyone working on ancient and medieval ethics, the history of the university; university and research libraries; institutes of philosophy and medieval studies.