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Akrasia And The Method Of Ethics

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Chapter Summary

The discussion of the phenomenon of akrasia carried on by Aristotle displays, several difficulties, which have caused reiterated debates amongst contemporary interpreters. According to Socrates, the possibility of a conflict between reason and emotion does not properly describe what happens within human action. The chapter shows that Aristotle not only exposes, but also seems to adopt a Socratic perspective. It suggests some ways of explaining why Aristotle attempted to get so close to the Socratic perspective, although he had apparently good reasons to abandon the Socratic intellectualism without more ado. Whilst in De Motu and in De Anima the syllogism was the proof of the practical character of reason, for action was its immediate conclusion, in the Nicomachean Ethics (NE) the syllogism may be integral in the form of a statement, although it is not followed by any action in accordance with it.

Keywords: akrasia; Aristotle; De Anima; De Motu; Nicomachean Ethics (NE); Socratic intellectualism; syllogism



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