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Journal of Philosophical Research

Volume 17, 1992

John C. Coker
Pages 61-92
DOI: 10.5840/jpr_1992_13

On Being Nemesētikos as a Mean

Aristotle’s several accounts of the praiseworthy mean temperament of nemesis, one in the Nichomachean Ethics and two in the Eudemian Ethics, do not cohere with each other, and each account is internally flawed. Some philosophers have pronounced Aristotle’s accounts of nemesis as a mean to be irreparably defective and even a misapplication of the doctrine of the mean. Contrary to such pronouncements, Aristotle’s accounts of nemesis as a mean have explicable reparable flaws, and can be brought into coherence. The tools for repair are provided by an interpretation and elaboration of Aristotle’s discussion, in the Rhetoric, of emotions and temperaments contrary to pity. Ultimately, nemesis as a praiseworthy mean temperament is constituted by and accounted for in terms of four praiseworthy sub-temperaments, namely proper indignation, proper Schadenfreude, proper pity, and proper gratulation.

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