The Journal of Ethics

, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 73–97

Vice and Reason

  • Terence Irwin

DOI: 10.1023/A:1011416908374

Cite this article as:
Irwin, T. The Journal of Ethics (2001) 5: 73. doi:10.1023/A:1011416908374


Aristotle's account of vice presents a puzzle: (1) Viciouspeople must be guided by reason, since they act on decision(prohairesis), not on their non-rational desires. (2) And yet theycannot be guided by reason, since they are said to pay attention totheir non-rational part and not to live in accordance with reason. Wecan understand the conception of vice the reconciles these two claims,once we examine Aristotle's account of (a) the pursuit of the fine andof the expedient; (b) the connexion between vice and the pursuit ofpleasure; (c) the particular kind of regret to which the vicious personis subject.

Aristotle character decision (prohairesis) ethics fine pleasure reason regret self-love vice 

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Terence Irwin
    • 1
  1. 1.Sage School of PhilosophyCornell UniversityIthacaUSA

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