Zusammenfassung / Summary
According to Aristotle, not every action and not every passion admits of a mean (mesotês). Some actions and passions have names that already imply badness (e. g. malice, shamelessness, envy; or adultery, theft, murder, etc.). The reason is, that they are bad in themselves and in what they are, and not by reason of their excesses or defi ciencies. Instead, it is wrong, simply to “embody” or do any of them (EN II 6, 1107a8–27). This paper argues against an infl uential interpretation of this passage, which understands the corresponding absolute prohibitions as mere tautologies. In an alternative interpretation, which is closer to the text, it is shown, that Aristotle can be considered an early witness for the concept of intrinsece malum. In a fi nal section this paper asks what this means for our understanding of Aristotle’s ethics.