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Ethics, Happiness, Virtue: Nicomachean Ethics I-II

A dinner reading group for Stanford and Silicon Valley community members led by Patricio A. Fernandez

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Ethics, Happiness, Virtue: Nicomachean Ethics I-II
Ethics, Happiness, Virtue: Nicomachean Ethics I-II

Time & Location

Apr 12, 2023, 6:00 PM – 7:45 PM PDT

Zephyr Institute, 560 College Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94306, USA

About the Event

A venerable tradition of ethical thought holds that the central moral question is not “What should I do?” but rather “What kind of person do I want to be?” In books I and II of the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle identifies the subject of ethics as the flourishing and happiness of human beings. He then articulates the meaning of happiness by attending to the characteristic form of human life and to the distinctively human states of mind and character—the virtues—that enable us to live such a life well. We will explore some of these notions, which still inform contemporary thought about human action and ethics, by reading carefully crucial passages from those books.


April 12, 19, May 3, 6:00 pm - 7:45 pm


Nicomachean Ethics, Books I-II (recommended: translation by Terence Irwin, 3rd ed., Hackett 2019). Please purchase a copy and bring it to our meetings. Pizza dinner is provided by the Zephyr Institute, and participants are encouraged to bring drinks to share.


Patricio A. Fernandez is associate professor of philosophy at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a 2022-23 fellow at the Stanford Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences.

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