Too beautiful to be summed up in a paragraph or two, this book is one of the cornerstones of Western philosophy and all that, and perhaps that is a good reason to read it. Luckily for us, Aristotle is unpretentious and tackles one important topic after another, in a manner befitting a great sage. So what does he talk about? Primarily, happiness. But how should mere mortals like us, devoid of Aristotelian brilliance, achieve this? Aristotle declares that the mean measure of a trait is usually the one best suited to achieve happiness. He describes a sliding scale of sorts. Consider this one for gentleness. If the mean is gentleness, then one extreme is irascibility, with the other being an inability to feel anger even when goaded. A similar scale applies to boastfulness, with the braggart at one extreme and the ironic man at the other, always downplaying his own abilities. In the middle is the lover of truth who neither exaggerates nor understates his own abilities.
Aristotle further expounds on the meaning of justice, virtues, honour, friendship and many other concepts we have obviously heard of, but never seen defined outside the confines of a stuffy Philosophy text. Read this book for an introduction to the best-known work of one of the wisest men of Greece.