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Choice and Action in Aristotle

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image of Phronesis

There is a current debate about the grammar of intention: do I intend to φ (whose content is an act), or that I φ (whose content is quasi-propositional)? The equivalent question in Aristotle relates especially to choice (prohairesis). I argue that, in the context of practical reasoning, choice, as also wish (boulēsis), has as its object an act. I then explore the role that this plays within his account of the relation of thought to action. In particular, I discuss the relation of deliberation to the practical syllogism, and the thesis that the conclusion of the second is an action.

Affiliations: 1: Birkbeck, University of London Malet St, London WC1E 7HX UK


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