TITLE

Aristotle on Pleasure and the Worst Form of Akrasia

AUTHOR(S)
Henry, Devin
PUB. DATE
September 2002
SOURCE
Ethical Theory & Moral Practice;Sep2002, Vol. 5 Issue 3, p255
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
The focus of this paper is Aristotle's solution to the problem inherited from Socrates: How could a man fail to restrain himself when he believes that what he desires is wrong? In NE 7 Aristotle attempts to reconcile the Socratic denial of akrasia with the commonly held opinion that people act in ways they know to be bad, even when it is in their power to act otherwise. This project turns out to be largely successful, for what Aristotle shows us is that if we distinguish between two ways of having knowledge ('potentially' and 'actually'), the Socratic thesis can effectively account for a wide range of cases (collectively referred to here as 'drunk-akrasia') in which an agent acts contrary to his general knowledge of the Good, yet can still be said to 'know' in the qualified sense that his actions are wrong. However, Book 7 also shows that the Socratic account of akrasia cannot take us any farther than drunk-akrasia, for unlike drunk-akrasia, genuine akrasia cannot be reduced to a failure of knowledge. This agent knows in the unqualified sense that his actions are wrong. The starting-point of my argument is that Aristotle's explanation of genuine akrasia requires a different solution than the one found in NE 7 which relies on the distinction between qualified and unqualified 'knowing': genuinely akratic behaviour is due to the absence of an internal conflict that a desire for the 'proper' pleasures of temperance would create if he could experience them.
ACCESSION #
9680205

 

Related Articles

  • "MIN HERTE IS GROWEN INTO STON": ETHICS AND ACTIVITY IN JOHN GOWER'S CONFESSIO AMANTIS. Fox, Hilary E. // Comitatus: A Journal of Medieval & Renaissance Studies;2005, Vol. 36, p15 

    The article examines the role of ethics in John Gower's "Confessio Amantis." The aim of the essay is to examine Gower's perception not only of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics but of the moralizations on Ovidian texts and to analyze how these traditions influence the goals of the book. The way...

  • The Unity of Emotion: An Unlikely Aristotelian Solution. Adamos, Maria Magoula // Journal of Mind & Behavior;Spring2007, Vol. 28 Issue 2, p101 

    Most researchers of emotions agree that although cognitive evaluations such as beliefs, thoughts, etc. are essential for emotion, bodily feelings and their behavioral expressions are also required. Yet, only a few explain how all these diverse aspects of emotion are related to form the unity or...

  • El Homero de Aristóteles: dos metáforas sobre el deseo (έπιθυμία), el placer (ήδµνή) y la templanza (σωφρσύνη) en Ética nicomáquea II, 9. ARAIZA, Jesús // Nova Tellus;2010, Vol. 28 Issue 2, p87 

    The most important question in Aristotelian ethics is: How do we succeed in acquiring the mean state (μεσότηϛ) and ethical excellence (άρετή)? How do we become ethically good, and even happy by means of excellence in character? As an answer, especially in...

  • Theoretisch glücklich. Bedeutung und Zusammenhang der Glücksbestimmungen in Aristoteles' Nikomachischer Ethik. van Ackeren, Marcel // Bochumer Philosophisches Jahrbuch fur Antike und Mittelalter;2003, Vol. 8 Issue 1, p43 

    In his Nicornachean Ethics Aristotle gives us two definitions of happiness (eudaimonia): In book I he defines eudaimonia as activity in accordance with the best and most perfect virtue, and very much later in the treatise, in book X, he states that the contemplative life of the philosopher is...

  • Since Feeling is First: Teaching Royal Ethics through Managing the Emotions in the Late Middle Ages. Zahora, Tomas // Parergon;2014, Vol. 31 Issue 1, p47 

    The appropriation of the works of Aristotle and his commentators on the emotions by scholars like Thomas Aquinas in the thirteenth century brought about the challenge of accommodating them within the Christian ethical tradition. I explore the transformation of emotions discourse by analysing...

  • Early Modern Emotion and the Economy of Scarcity. Gross, Daniel M. // Philosophy & Rhetoric;2001, Vol. 34 Issue 4, p308 

    The article focuses on Aristotle's "Rhetoric" and the works by author Thomas Hobbes to outline a "political economy" wherein passions are constituted as differences in power and conditioned not by their excess but by their scarcity. In Aristotle's "Rhetoric," anger is defined as a desire,...

  • Impassioned politics. Hall, Lauren K. // Politics & the Life Sciences;Sep2009, Vol. 28 Issue 2, p84 

    An essay is presented on the role of emotions in politics. According to the authors, the scholarly community has viewed political emotions as a negative political force by neglecting the significance of affective experience on social and political life. Also discussed is the Platonic conception...

  • Fear: A Genealogy of Morals. Robin, Corey // Social Research;Winter2000, Vol. 67 Issue 4, p1085 

    The article analyzes several concepts of fear. The Athenians, according to Thucydides believe that fear is one of the three strongest motives for human action. Aristotle, on the other hand, believes that how a person responds to fear is one of the telling indicator of his capacity for ethical...

  • FORMACIÓN DEL CARÁCTER Y RAZONAMIENTO PRÁCTICO. Fernando Trujillo Amaya, Julián; Vallejo Álvarez, Ximena // Eidos;2008, Issue 8, p10 

    This article states that practice and action are more important than intellectual knowledge and contemplation. If this thesis were false, one cannot understand why prudence and the prudent person are the supreme virtue and the model of the good life in Aristotle. The initial question is: (1) how...

Share

Read the Article

Courtesy of THE LIBRARY OF VIRGINIA

Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics