Why is Aristotle’s Nichomachean Ethics called Nichomachean? Was it after a town he wrote it in or something, like the town of Nicho? A student asked this question in class.
Opinions vary, but a fairly commonly-held view was that he named it after his son: it was written for him and intended as a practical guide to living.
“Nicomachus” was the name of Aristotle’s father, who had been court physician to the Macedonian king Amyntas III(Alexander the Great’s grandfather). Nicomachus trained his son in medicine (he was a doctor), although he died when Aristotle was young and the training incomplete. Aristotle evidently felt the Nicomachean Ethics was a distillation of the ethics inherent in his father’s teachings (a Eudamian Ethics is also attributed to him; about it, however, I know nothing more than the name).