The Appeal to Easiness in Aristotle’s Protrepticus

Ancient Philosophy 39 (2):319-333 (2019)
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In fragments from the Protrepticus, Aristotle offers three linked arguments for the view that philosophy is easy. According to an obvious normative worry, however, Aristotle also seems to think that the easiness of many activities has little to do with their choiceworthiness. Hence, if the Protrepticus seeks to exhort its audience to philosophize on the basis of philosophy’s easiness, then perhaps the Protrepticus provides the wrong sort of hortatory appeal. In response, I briefly situate Aristotle’s arguments in their dialectical context. On this basis, I elucidate what sort of easiness Aristotle attributes to philosophy, and what difference Aristotle thinks philosophy’s easiness makes to its choiceworthiness.
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