By Deborah Achtenberg

Argues that the primary cognitive component to moral advantage for Aristotle is understanding of the price of particulars.

With this new interpretation, Deborah Achtenberg argues that metaphysics is significant to ethics for Aristotle and that the ethics could be learn on levels-imprecisely, when it comes to its personal dialectically grounded and obscure claims, or when it comes to the metaphysical phrases and ideas that supply the ethics larger articulation and intensity. She argues that options of value-the sturdy and the beautiful-are valuable to ethics for Aristotle and they could be understood when it comes to telos the place 'telos' could be construed to intend 'enriching limitation' and contrasted with damaging or harmful challenge. Achtenberg argues that the imprecision of ethics for Aristotle effects now not easily from the truth that ethics has to do with details, yet extra centrally from the truth that it has to do with the price of details. She offers new interpretations of a large choice of passages in Aristotle's metaphysical, actual, mental, rhetorical, political, and moral works in help of her argument and compares Aristotle's perspectives to these of Plato, Marcus Aurelius, the Hebrew Bible, Hobbes, Rousseau, Kant, Freud, and twentieth-century item kinfolk theorists. Achtenberg additionally responds to interpretations of Aristotle's ethics via McDowell, Nussbaum, Sherman, Salkever, Williams, Annas, Irwin, Roche, Gomez-Lobo, Burnyeat, and Anagnostopoulos.

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Extra info for Cognition of Value in Aristotle's Ethics: Promise of Enrichment, Threat of Destruction (SUNY Series in Ancient Greek Philosophy)

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Virtue is force against those inclinations: “Now the capacity and considered resolve to withstand a strong but unjust opponent is fortitude (fortitudo) and, with respect to ETHICS AND MORAL THEORY 21 what opposes the moral disposition within us, virtue (virtus, fortitudo moralis)” (MM 6:380). The doctrine of virtue, or ethics, is a doctrine of ends that are duties, namely, to promote one’s own perfection and the happiness of others. An end that is a duty does not arise from natural inclination but is “a moral end set up against the ends of inclination, an end that must therefore be given a priori, independently of inclinations” (MM 6:381).

Aristotle’s discussion of incontinence, just recounted, suggests that the cause of action according to him is, we could say, ‘knowledge focused on particulars’. In fact, in the fourth, and most general, resolution of the problem of incontinence, Aristotle indicates that this is his view. Motivational conflict is not conflict between one universal premise and another, he says. For example, in instances of incontinence, it is not the case that one universal premise is overpowered by another. For, emotion does not result from universal premises (‘knowledge in the strict sense’).

Could it be that Aristotle, too, introduces a special moral faculty in order to explain incontinence? That some are inclined to think the answer is ‘yes’ is indicated by the fact that ‘weakness of will’ or ‘moral weakness’ are common translations of ‘akrasia’. Their inclination is misguided, however. The term ‘akrasia’ simply means ‘lack of control’ or ‘lack of command’. Plato applies the idea of control to character: ‘self-control’ (enkrate\ heautou). Anthony A. 8 In addition to the terminological considerations, and more important for our purposes, in his resolutions of the puzzling phenomenon of incontinence, Aristotle alludes to no faculties beyond our various faculties for cognition and affect.

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