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Aristotle On The Causes Of Akrasia

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Chapter Summary

The conception and explanation Aristotle gives concerning the phenomenon of akrasia appears to present a real paradox. This chapter attempts to defend an intellectualist interpretation of the famous passage, Book VII of the Nichomachean Ethics (NE) 3, 1147a24–b17. It tries to show in what way the texts, in which Aristotle seems to support the common opinion about akrasia, can be read in accordance with the readings in the first part. The chapters of De Motu Animalium (DMA), 6–8 and De Anima (DM), III, 7–11 presents with the Aristotelian theory of the movement of living beings, man above all, and akrasia is also mentioned, though only in passing. Aristotle insists on the role of phantasia in the two texts on the cause of movement in animals, to the point of holding phantasia and practical intelligence as equivalent. The end of chapter NE VII iii/5 contains an explicit mention of Socrates.

Keywords: Akrasia; Aristotle; De Anima (DM); De Motu Animalium (DMA); Nichomachean Ethics (NE) VII; phantasia; Socrates



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