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Paula L. Gottlieb
Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System (Madison, WI 53715-1218)
Aristotle on Thought and Feeling

A book-length study on Aristotle's ethics.

Aristotle’s discussion of the motivation of the good person is both complicated and cryptic. Depending on which passages are emphasized, Aristotle may seem to be presenting a Kantian style view according to which the good person is and ought to be motivated primarily by reason, or a Humean style view according to which desires and feelings are or ought to be in charge. I argue that Aristotle thinks that the thought, desires and feelings of the good person are integrated in a way that is sui generis, and I explain what that is, discussing Aristotle’s view of the psyche, feelings, moral education, prohairesis (choice) and the obscure motivator, the fine, which I take to involve a musical metaphor. I also discuss how disintegration is possible for those who are not good, and how akrasia, acting voluntarily against one’s better judgment, is an ethical phenomenon, not just a problem in the philosophy of action, contrary to the views of modern philosophers.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
Ethics; History of Philosophy


Research Programs

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2018 – 6/30/2019