Aristotle on Wisdom and Incontinence (Part One)

Sep 19, 2016, 12:00 PM

On the Nichomachean Ethics (ca. 350 BCE), books 6–7.

Is intelligence just one thing? Aristotle picks out a number of distinct faculties, some of which are relevant to ethics, and he uses these to explain Plato's puzzle of how someone can clearly see what the good for him is, and yet fail to pursue it due to weakness of the will.

This episode continues our discussion from way back in ep. 5, and was commissioned in honor of the wedding of Matthew Decker and Amanda Schloss.

This time around Mark, Wes, and Dylan talk a lot about the Greek terminology. For a cheat sheet on that, see this page, esp. part D., which goes through the different faculties (hexeis). The only one you should really remember in this context is phronesis, or practical wisdom, which involves both having the right goals and having the know-how re: what to do to pursue those goals. (By contrast, see Ana's post here on deinotes, or cleverness, which leaves out the having the right goals part.)

Buy the W.D. Ross translation that Mark used or read it online. Dylan refers to the Joe Sachs translation but read the Terence Irwin translation this time. Wes read this online translation by F.H. Peters. #philosophy #aristotle #ethics #reason #will #phronesis #wisdom Go to the blog: