Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Aristotle on the Apparent GoodPerception, Phantasia, Thought, and Desire$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Jessica Moss

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199656349

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199656349.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 15 November 2019

Practical Induction

Practical Induction

(p.200) 8 Practical Induction
Aristotle on the Apparent Good

Jessica Moss

Oxford University Press

This chapter addresses a major worry raised by the argument of Chapter 7: if wish is based on phantasia, why does Aristotle treat it as rational desire? The solution lies in understanding how non-rational character can provide our goals. The key is to see that the parallels Aristotle draws between theoretical reasoning and practical reasoning extend further than he makes explicit: he thinks that our grasp of the starting-points of practical reasoning – that is, of our goals – relies on perception and phantasia in the same way as does our grasp of the starting-points of theoretical reasoning. We grasp theoretical starting-points on the basis of induction; we grasp practical starting-points on the basis of ethical habituatio, which should be understood as practical induction. Habituation shapes character because it involves repeated pleasurable perception of virtuous activity: the pleasures of virtue are pleasures of (literally) perceiving oneself as good. These perceptions gives rise via phantasia to a general appearance of virtuous activity as good. Intellect conceptualizes this general appearance, but the content comes from non-rational cognition. Chapters 6 through 8 thus show that even our most distinctively human and distinctively virtuous desires are grounded in phantasia and thereby, ultimately, in evaluative perception – in pleasure. Aristotle is an empiricist in the practical realm just as much as in the theoretical.

Keywords:   habituation, wish, starting-points, induction, habituation, friendship, self-perception, virtue, pleasure, the fine, the noble

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .