It is not an overstatement to say that no other figure in the history of philosophy has exercised a stronger influence on phenomenology than Aristotle. It suffices to recall Franz Brentano’s decisive role in the genesis of phenomenology or to enumerate the Aristotelian concepts and patterns of thought that phenomenological research—from Husserl to its contemporary practitioners—has appropriated or assimilated. But the most critical element of that influence is the fact that Aristotle has served as the privileged pivot for phenomenology’s own development. The present chapter presents a brief overview of phenomenological approaches to Aristotle and focuses on two episodes in that long story, namely, on Heidegger’s and Gadamer’s interpretations of Aristotle’s practical philosophy and how they contributed to the elaboration of their conceptions of phenomenology.
Christopher C. W. Taylor
For Aristotle,phronēsis, the excellence of the practical intellect, is two-fold, consisting of a true conception of the end to be achieved by action and correct deliberation about the means to achieve that end. Three accounts have been given as to how that true conception of the end is acquired: i) by virtue of character, ii) by dialectic, i.e. critical reasoning concerning authoritative beliefs, and iii) by induction from data of experience. Virtue of character is the proper responsiveness of the appetitive element in the soul to reason; it is itself a rational state, presupposing a prior grasp of the end by the intellect. Dialectic and experience are each required for the attainment of that grasp, the role of the former being apparently to formulate more or less indeterminate principles that it is the task of moral experience to make determinate.
This article discusses some core theorems of Aristotle's account of persuasion as it is set out in the Rhetoric. It is the declared ambition of Rhetoric I and II to develop a technê, or art, of rhetoric, and the central tool of this technê is, as it were, the introduction of three technical means of persuasion: êthos, pathos, and logos. Probably the best point to start with is two claims that Aristotle eventually makes in the course of his work on rhetoric, the first of which consists in saying that proofs and arguments are central to persuasion. The second claim states that proofs and arguments, however central and important they may be, are not sufficient to persuade. The article examines the relation between these two claims in order to elucidate certain assumptions that Aristotle seems to make concerning the moral psychology of persuasion.
Fred D. Miller Jr.
In De Anima, Aristotle addresses the problem of whether the mind is separable from the body. In book I, he broaches the broader question of whether the affections of the soul, including emotion, desire, and perception, are separable from the body. In book II, Aristotle follows his explication of the general definition of the soul with the remark that “neither the soul nor certain parts of it, if it naturally has parts, are separable from the body. Yet nothing prevents some [parts from being separable], because they are not the actualizations of any body.” By “parts,” Aristotle means separable faculties or powers, including nutrition, perception, mind, and desire. The issue of separability is signalled at the beginning of the treatment of mind in book III. If mind alone turned out to be separable from the body, the study of the soul would not belong exclusively to physics but would spill over into first philosophy. This would imply either that psychology consists of two separate sciences, or else that first philosophy and physics are not mutually exclusive.
This chapter analyzes the view of Greek philosopher Epicurus on the relation between death and pleasure. It explains Epicurus's views about death and their place in his overall ethical theory, and describes how ancient Epicureans conceived of a pleasurable life within the wider context of their ethical thinking. The chapter also discusses some features of Epicurus's hedonism to evaluate the kind of support it offers for his arguments about death.