Mediality and Rationality in Aristotle's Account of Excellence of Character

Apeiron 28 (4):155 - 174 (1995)
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I offer a reading of Aristotle’s “doctrine of the mean” that avoids two pitfalls: taking it as truistic, and taking it as involving the bizarre thesis that whenever one acts as reason directs, one’s action is mid-way between some extremes. The crucial point is that while Aristotle denies the existence of useful general ethical truths, he himself offers truths about the likelihoods with which rationality will require actions of certain types; and it is with such truths that the statistical idea of the mean gets a foothold in his theory of the virtues.


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