On the Necessity of Deliberation in Aristotle

Ancient Philosophy 41 (1):167-184 (2021)
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Abstract

Many authors have argued that Aristotle does not stay true to his official account on which every instance of choice must be preceded by deliberation, and it is a good thing that he does so because his official account has catastrophically bad theoretical implications. I argue that Aristotle does not deviate from his official account, and that the official account does not have the decisively bad implications others have claimed it to have. These objectionable entailments only obtain on a certain conception of what deliberation is like, and I argue that this conception is not Aristotle’s. Once Aristotle’s own conception of deliberation is understood, the terrible putative entailments clearly do not follow from the official account, and so textually Aristotle remains consistent while conceptually he remains plausible.

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Duane Long
University at Buffalo

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