Action and Character According to Aristotle
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: The Catholic University of America Press
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Title Page, Copyright Page
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I have tried in this book to get to the bot_tom of some issues in Aristotle’s theory of human action and his philosophical psychology, but my original reason for looking at a good number of these issues in Aristotle was to resolve—or, at least, to shed some light upon—related issues in contem-porary ethics and in the interpretation of Thomas Aquinas. It may be use-...
1. Logic, Perception, and the Practical Syllogism
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Ar.ai.as.at.ao.at.al.ae.a t.ae.al.al.as.a u.as.a any number of times that ethics does not admit of the methods of analysis proper to the sciences.one.k This is largely due to the fact that the character of one’s moral acts depends directly upon how one understands what one is doing. Since one’s understanding of what one is doing depends in turn upon the particular circumstances in which one ...
2. The “Physical” Structure of the Human Act
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We.a e.as.at.aab.al.ai.as.ahe.ad.a in chapter 1 that the proper subject mat_ter of ethics is the singular human act and that, as such, it ought not to be conceived of as part of a syllogism such as those studied in Prior analytics (the syllogistic). We begin now the task proper of analyzing singular human acts, showing f_irst of all, in section I, how Aristotle treats them in his Physics, where he of-...
3. Internal Articulation and Force
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In.a c.ahap.at.ae.ar.a 1, I argued that the standard passages on the practical syl-logism have more to do with the material of the practical than is common-ly thought. This turned our at_tention to the singular human act and so, in chapter 2, we considered the human act according to the model of a physi-cal movement proceeding toward a single object (“the movable,” as Aris-...
4. The Constituents of Human Action and Ignorance Thereof
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We.a c.ao.an.at.ai.an.au.ae.a i.an.a this chapter to explore the perceptual realm of prac-tical reason, in contrast with what I referred to in chapter 1 as the realm of the syllogistic, whose coin is the universal term. So, as in chapter 2, we are concerned here with the type of human act which is analyzable straightforwardly as an Aristotelian movement (or κuni03AFνησιuni03C2). In chapter 3, ...
5. Intelligibility and the Per Se
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In.a t.ahe.a fi.ar.as.at.a half of this book (chapters 1 through 4), we treated hu-man acts primarily as acts, considering their singular nature, their struc-ture, and the factors that shape them. Not much of that treatment was ex-plicitly moral in content. A voluntary act as such, with an object, an end, using a certain instrument, in a certain way, etc., can be either good or bad. ...
6. Action, Φρόνησις, and Pleasure
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In.a c.ahap.at.ae.ar.a 5, especially in sections III and IV, we were concerned with an important aspect of Aristotle’s philosophical psychology of ac-tion: the way in which behaving virtuously is very of_ten a mat_ter of taking aim at the target (the mean) determined by right reason. This approach is of a piece with ideas set out in chapter 2, where we argued that human acts ...
7. Φρόνησις and the Φρόνιμος
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A majo.ar.a i.amp.ae.ad.ai.ame.an.at.a to understanding the character type called by Aristotle the φρuni03CCνιuni03BCuni03BFuni03C2 is the sheer dif_f_iculty of the f_irst chapter of the eighth book of the Eudemian Ethics.one.k The dif_f_iculty stems from what has to be called the weirdness of Aristotle’s argument. At one point, for instance, he says that φρuni03CCνησιuni03C2—the quality that characterizes the φρuni03CCνιuni03BCuni03BFuni03C2—can-...
8. Some Other Character Types
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Ar.ai.as.at.ao.at.al.ae.a e.amp.al.ao.ays.a i.an.a his ethical writings a veritable menagerie of character types, most of whom we have already met. They include the φρuni03CCνιuni03BCuni03BFuni03C2 (the practically wise man), the σpiuni03BFuni03C5δαuni1FD6uni03BFuni03C2 (the good man), the uni1F00κρατuni03AEuni03C2 (the incontinent man), the uni1F00κuni03CCu03BB.dαστuni03BFuni03C2 (the depraved man), and the uni1F10γκρατuni03AEuni03C2 (the self-constrained man). Aristotle’s analysis of these char-...
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I s.at.aat.ae.ad.a in the Introduction that the overall movement of this book is from the consideration of individual acts to the consideration of ethics it-self and ethical character types. The earlier chapters (chapters 1 through 4) had to do primarily with acts, the later (chapters 5 through 8) with mat_ters of larger scope. But there has also been evident right from the beginning a ...
Appendix 1: On the Text of Metaph. ix, 6, 1048b18–35
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Appendix 2: Eudemian Ethics ii,6–9
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Index of Names
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Index of Aristotelian Passages Cited
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Index of Subjects
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Page Count: 349
Publication Year: 2013
Series Editor Byline: John Smith, Will Wordsworth