Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

“Virtue Makes the Goal Right”: Virtue and Phronesis in Aristotle’s Ethics

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Phronesis

Aristotle repeatedly claims that character-virtue “makes the goal right”, while Phronesis is responsible for working out how to achieve the goal. Many argue that these claims are misleading: it must be intellect that tells us what ends to pursue. I argue that Aristotle means just what he seems to say: despite putative textual evidence to the contrary, virtue is (a) a wholly non-intellectual state, and (b) responsible for literally supplying the contents of our goals. Furthermore, there are no good textual or philosophical reasons to reject this straightforward interpretation. Contrary to widespread opinion, Aristotle does not characterize Phronesis as supplying ends. Instead, its ethical import lies wholly in its ability to “determine the mean”. Moreover, because character involves non-rational cognition of the end as good, Aristotle can restrict practical intellect to deliberation without abandoning his anti-Humean view that we desire our ends because we find them good.

Affiliations: 1: Balliol College Oxford OX1 3BJ UK, Email:


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Phronesis — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation