Bradford Jean-Hyuk Kim

Polonsky Academy, Van Leer Jerusalem Institute
  •  115
    It has been not atypical for commentators to argue that Aristotelian friendship features disinterested concern for others, that is, concern for others that is completely independent of one's own happiness. Often, the relevant commentators point to some normative features of Aristotelian friendship, wishing goods for the other's sake and loving the other for herself, where these are assumed to be disinterested. While the disinterested interpretations may be correct overall, I argue that wishing g…Read more
  •  78
    In the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle claims that friendship and justice are the same, apparently flouting the not uncommon contrast between friendship and justice. I start by assessing Aristotle’s principle of equality: friends of equal standing engage in exact reciprocity in goods and friends of unequal standing engage in proportional reciprocity. In a number of ways that have gone unnoticed, the equalization principle is a requirement for understanding the sameness of friendship and justice. J…Read more
  •  71
    Aristotle’s NE ix 9 on Why the Happy Person Needs Friends
    Ancient Philosophy 41 (2): 495-518. 2021.
    In Nicomachean Ethics ix 9, Aristotle answers the question of why the happy person needs friends. I argue that interpretatively, we must understand ix 9 in instrumental terms. I begin with ix 9’s opening sections, arguing that Aristotle understands the question of why the happy person needs friends, and his answer, in instrumental terms. Aristotle’s first major argument suggests that the instrumental role friends play has to do with one’s own activity, specifically self-contemplation. This argum…Read more
  •  55
    Aristotle on Friendship and the Lovable
    Journal of the History of Philosophy 59 (2): 221-245. 2021.
    In this paper, I argue that Aristotle's basic principle, that all friends love only because of the lovable, is egoistic. First, I argue that 'the lovable' (τὸ φιλητὸν) refers to that which appears to contribute to one's own happiness. Second, I argue that the lovable is the final cause of love. This means that in loving only because of the lovable, all friends love only for the sake of what appears to contribute to their own happiness. Further, Aristotelian love for others not only requires that…Read more
  •  52
    When Aristotelian virtuous agents acquire the fine for themselves, what are they acquiring?
    British Journal for the History of Philosophy 28 (4): 674-692. 2020.
    In the Nicomachean Ethics, one of Aristotle’s most frequent characterizations of the virtuous agent is that she acts for the sake of the fine (to kalon). In IX.8, this pursuit of the fine receives a more specific description; virtuous agents maximally assign the fine to themselves. In this paper, I answer the question of how we are to understand the fine as individually and maximally acquirable. I analyze Nicomachean Ethics IX.7, where Aristotle highlights virtuous activity (energeia) as central…Read more
  •  46
    Austerity in Mohist ethics
    Analysis 83 (3): 483-492. 2023.
    Fraser highlights an unattractive feature of Mohist ethics: the Mohists, while criticizing their Confucian contemporaries, restrict one’s pursuits to the most basic sorts of goods. Fraser suggests that the Mohists assume the perpetuity of scarce resources, which leads to a commitment to austerity, which in turn leads them to deny a plausible third way between austerity and excess. In their defence, I argue that the Mohists do not assume perpetuity of scarce resources but rather the hedonic tread…Read more
  •  46
    Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics on virtue competition
    British Journal for the History of Philosophy 32 (1): 1-21. 2023.
    For many, striving to attain first place in an athletic competition is explicable. Less explicable is striving to attain first place in a virtue (aretē) competition. Yet this latter dynamic appears in Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics. There is 4.3’s magnanimity, the crown of the virtues, which seemingly manifests itself in outdoing one’s peers in virtue. Such one-upmanship also seems operant with 9.8’s praiseworthy self-lover, who seeks to get as much of the fine (to kalon) as possible for herself…Read more
  •  41
    The Two Categorizations of Goods in Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics
    History of Philosophy Quarterly 38 (4): 297-315. 2021.
    This article resolves some difficulties with Aristotle's discussion of the choice-worthy (haireton). Nicomachean Ethics I posits goods that are choice-worthy for themselves and for something else, but Nicomachean Ethics X appears to present being choice-worthy for itself as mutually exclusive with being choice-worthy for something else; moreover, Nicomachean Ethics X seems to claim that action is choice-worthy for itself and, therefore, not choice-worthy for something else but also seems to clai…Read more
  •  15
    The Mohists may have been the first consequentialists on earth. Their most important principles are that right action is what benefits the world and that the underlying outlook for benefiting the world is inclusive care, whereby each person receives equal consideration. The early Mohists are clearly objective-list consequentialists, whereby benefiting the world amounts to promoting the most basic goods. Stephens argues that the later Mohists shift to a preference-satisfaction consequentialism wh…Read more