Chapter

Aristotle on the Practical Intellect <sup>1</sup>

C. C. W. Taylor

in Pleasure, Mind, and Soul

Published in print January 2008 | ISBN: 9780199226399
Published online May 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780191710209 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199226399.003.0012
 Aristotle on the Practical Intellect 1

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This chapter examines the role of the practical intellect in Aristotle's ethics, arguing that it is not confined to deliberation about means, but that it includes the achievement of the right conception of ends. Close examination of the texts indicates that the achievement of that conception requires rational thought, trained perception of individual cases, and critical examination of generally accepted beliefs, but Aristotle does not spell out a single explicit account. Some texts suggest that the role of the practical intellect is simply to make determinate, via trained moral perception, the indeterminate conception of the life of virtue, others that it has in addition the task of establishing a more determinate conception, specifically the life of theoretical thought, as the highest good.

Keywords: means; ends; deliberation; habituation; induction; moral perception; nous; principles; endoxa; reputable opinions

Chapter.  8457 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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