in R. Crisp and M. Slote, eds., Virtue Ethics, Oxford, 1997, and in Sherman [1999].Find this resource: McDowell, J. In fact, the passages from VI.12 and 13 fit our interpretation quite well. I have discussed this topic in Taylor (2008), with particular emphasis on the question of how the intellect is related to the agent’s long-term goals. In Practical Reason, Aristotle, and the Weakness of the Will, Norman Dahl argies that, despite widespread opinion to the contrary, Aristotle held a position on practical reason that both provides an objective basis for ethics and satisfies an important criterion of adequacy - that it acknowledges genuine cases of weakness of the will. E.g., being courageous is being neither excessively timorous nor being insufficiently motivated by fear, and similarly being neither excessively nor insufficiently bold (thrasus). And what counts as being neither excessively nor insufficiently motivated cannot be exhaustively specified by any formula, but is determined by the judgement of the phronimos. 518–519, Kenny [1979], pp. Part of the purpose of this book is to argue that Aristotle provides an example of one who attempts to base ethics on the existence of practical reason. Is practical nous here then just a faculty of moral perception, by the exercise of which we see instances of conduct as falling under moral characteristics, without any reference to principles? and C.C.W. The former can devise a proof, whereas the latter cannot, but is nonetheless capable of following, and of being convinced by, a proof presented to him/her. 3. Who or what grasps ethical principles? In arguing for this, Dahl distinguishes Aristotle's … For Aristotle, phronēsis, the excellence of the practical intellect, is two-fold, consisting of a true conception of the end to be achieved by action and correct deliberation about the means to achieve that end. ed., [1999], Aristotle’s Ethics: Critical Essays, Lanham MD, Boulder CO, New York, and Oxford.Find this resource: Smith, A.D. [1996], “Character and Intellect in Aristotle’s Ethics,” Phronesis 41, 56–74.Find this resource: Sorabjl, R. [1973–1974], “Aristotle on the Role of Intellect in Virtue,” Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 74, 107–129, repr. The books offered through Minnesota Archive Editions are produced in limited quantities according to customer demand and are available through select distribution partners. Sophia is nous + epistēmē (1141a18–20); phronēsis is nous + euboulia. For he states, “It makes no small difference, then, whether … In my [2008] I restrict the role of character to the motivational, ascribing the selection of the end to phronēsis; in that interpretation I follow Allan [1953], who himself acknowledges his debt to Loening [1903], and Gauthier and Jolif [1958/9], vol. (25) Starting points are mentioned three times in five lines: i) “the starting-points [plura]) about things to be done are that [singular] for the sake of which things are to be done” (b16–17); ii) “to the person corrupted by pleasure and distress the starting-point will simply not be apparent, nor that one should choose and do everything for the sake of this and because of this” (b17–19); iii) “for vice is destructive of the starting-point” (b[19–20). 5 (esp. Habituation of course involves affective responses, enthusiasm for what is presented as fine or noble, disgust at what is presented as dishonest or demeaning, etc., but such responses are inseparable from evaluative beliefs.16. Roughly, theoretical reason investigates what we can't change and aims at the truth. critical reasoning concerning authoritative beliefs, and iii) by induction from data of experience. 1, p. 29*, vol. 2. In arguing for this, Dahl distinguishes Aristotle's position from that of David Hume, who denied the existence of practical reason. (19) The opposite view is defended by Burnet [1900] and by Moss [2011]. In his view the principles that are grasped by nous are established by dialectical thinking: “Aristotle holds both that the principles of the sciences are known intuitively, by nous, and that they can be established by discursive dialectical argument” (p. 67). An influential tradition of exegesis, deriving from Walter (1874),3 has attempted to fit Aristotle also into this mould. The function of reason in Hume’s theory is the discerning of the relations between ideas, which in the practical sphere amounts to deliberation; reason can determine that if a certain thing is done, a certain outcome will result, or that if such and such is to be achieved, such and such must be done, but reason itself is incapable of determining that a given end is to be pursued. [2008], “Aristotle on the Practical Intellect,” in Taylor, Pleasure, Mind, and Soul, Oxford, 204–222, originally published (in German) in T. Buchheim, H. Flashar, and R.A.H. This interpretation fits Aristotle’s insistence on the necessity of proper upbringing for the good man (e.g., 1095b2–5), and is supported above all by two famous passages from VI.12–13, 1144a7–9, and 1145a4–6, both of which say that eudaimonia requires phronēsis and excellence of character, the latter making one’s aim right, the former enabling one to do what promotes the achievement of that aim (ta pros ton skopon, ta pros to telos).4. “Some,” he says “by induction, some by a sort of habituation and some in other ways,” and, given his insistence (1095b4–7) on proper upbringing for a grasp of the starting points of moral reasoning, it is an extremely plausible inference that he regards habituation as the process by which moral principles are grasped.14. [1953], “Aristotle on the Origin of Moral Principles,” Actes du XIe Congrès Internationale de Philosophie, vol. To me it seems that this passage states in a preliminary way the contrast that is spelled out more fully and precisely in I.13, between what is essentially rational on the one hand and what is incidentally and derivatively so on the other (see section 3, fourth paragraph). (11) A resolution of this apparent contradiction is suggested by 1143b4–5, where Aristotle says that particular instances of conduct are “principles of that for the sake of which