Another Dissimilarity between Moral Virtue and Skills: An Interpretation of Nicomachean Ethics II 4

In Marcelo D. Boeri, Yasuhira Y. Kanayama & Jorge Mittelmann (eds.), Soul and Mind in Greek Thought. Psychologial Issues in Plato and Aristotle. Cham: Springer. pp. 199-215 (2018)
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In Nicomachean Ethics II 4 Aristotle famously raises a puzzle concerning moral habituation, and he seems to dissolve it by recourse to the analogy between moral virtue and skills. A new interpretation of the chapter is offered on the basis of an important evaluative dissimilarity then noted by Aristotle, one almost universally disregarded by interpreters of the chapter. I elucidate the nature of the dissimilarity in question and argue for its paramount importance for understanding Aristotle’s conception of moral agency. I also show that it is the particularly intricate and puzzling character of the chapter that has prevented scholars from noticing such a dissimilarity and from integrating it to the interpretation of the chapter.

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Javier Echenique
Universidad San Sebastián


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