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Article: The Passions of the Wise

Updated: Jun 22, 2021

Abstract: ​According to Aristotle, character (êthos) and emotion (pathos) are constitutive features of the process of phronetic practical deliberation: in order to render a determinate action-specific judgement, practical reasoning cannot be simply reduced to logical demonstration (apodeixis). This can be seen by uncovering an important structural parallel between the virtue of phronêsis and the art of rhetoric. This structural parallel helps to show how Aristotle's account of practical reason and deliberation, which constructively incorporates the emotions, illuminates key issues in contemporary democratic theory concerning deliberation at the political level.

(c) 2002 The Review of Metaphysics (posted by permission)

Photo: Depiction of Aristotle from Kitāb naʿt al-hayawān, bestiary attributed to Jabril ibn Bukhtishu, c. 1220

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