Aristotle contra Plato on the Voluntariness of Vice: The Arguments of Nicomachean Ethics 3.5

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1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Aristotle's arguments in NE 3.5 target Plato's position that vice is not blameworthy but to be pitied because involuntary, i.e. contrary to our wish for our good - not the 'Socratic paradox' that wrongdoing is involuntary. To this end, Aristotle develops a causal account of voluntary action based on Plato, Laws 9, but replaces Plato's character-based classification of actions with his own distinction between performing actions of a certain type and having a character of that type. This distinction, central to Aristotle's account of character-formation by habituating actions, allows Aristotle to show how character, whether vicious or virtuous, can be voluntary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-83
Number of pages27
JournalPhronesis
Volume64
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • action
  • blame
  • character
  • habituation
  • involuntary
  • vice
  • voluntary

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Philosophy
  • History and Philosophy of Science

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