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Aristotle's Ethical Theory$
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W.F.R. Hardie

Print publication date: 1980

Print ISBN-13: 9780198246329

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198246329.001.0001

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Note on the Practical Syllogism

Note on the Practical Syllogism

(p.240) XII Note on the Practical Syllogism
Aristotle's Ethical Theory

W.F.R. Hardie

Oxford University Press

The expression ‘practical syllogism’ is used by commentators on Aristotle as a name for a process in which a rule is applied to a concrete situation, the application consisting in the thinker's doing something, actually performing as an agent or producer. The rule prescribes things which should be done in specified types of situation; its verbal expression requires the use of an evaluative word like ‘good’ or ‘useful’ or of a prescriptive word like ‘should’ or ‘ought’. In terms of Aristotle's doctrine of the theoretical syllogism, as expounded in the Prior and Posterior Analytics, the thinking which precedes, or accompanies, practical rule-keeping can be expressed in the verbal form of a first-figure syllogism of the minor.

Keywords:   Aristotle, practical rule, Prior Analytics, theoretical syllogism, practical thinking

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