What Aristotelian Decisions Cannot Be

Ancient Philosophy 36 (1):173-195 (2016)
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Abstract

I argue that Aristotelian decisions (προαιρέσεις) cannot be conceived of as based solely on wish (βούλησις) and deliberation (βούλευσις), as the standard picture (most influentially argued for in Anscombe's "Thought and Action in Aristotle", in R. Bambrough ed. New Essays on Plato and Aristotle. London: Routledge, 1965) suggests. Although some features of the standard view are correct (such as that decisions have essential connection to deliberation and that wish always plays a crucial role in the formation of a decision), Aristotelian decisions sometimes must include non-rational desires such as appetite. Consequently, any exegetical account of Aristotle’s notion of decision must be able to accommodate this feature.

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Jozef Müller
University of California, Riverside

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