Controversy and Practical Reason in Aristotle

Chapter
Part of the Ius Gentium: Comparative Perspectives on Law and Justice book series (IUSGENT, volume 23)

Abstract

This chapter aims to show how the Aristotelian theory of practical reasoning presupposes and mobilises a linguistic community in a specific sense and to understand the dialogical structure assumed by practical reason.

We follow two lines of argumentation.

From the reconstruction of Aristotle’s cultural background – Athens shackled by the antilogical perspective that was disseminated among sophists and sceptical thinkers in the fifth and fourth centuries – we see how Aristotle addresses this central statement (the provocative Protagorean doctrine of antilogiae) and how his entire philosophy is influenced by it.

Dialogue, contrasting opinions and linguistic controversy not only structure Aristotle’s methods in the practical sciences but are also assumed to be at the very heart of his conception of human beings, political communities and eudaimonia.

At the same time, a language community works as a model for the phenomenological reconstruction of practical reason. The deliberation process seems to be a dialogue, as decisions result from the intervention of different dimensions of the soul. One’s soul is analogically described as an Agora; the mind is a stage wherein many voices coexist, and sometimes fight.

Keywords

Practical Reason Practical Wisdom Language Community Nicomachean Ethic Practical Science 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Bibliography

  1. Antiphon the sophist. 2002. The fragments. Trans. Gerard J. Pendrick. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Antiphon. 1965. Discours suivis des fragments d’Antiphon le Sophiste. Trans. Louis Gernet. Paris: Société d’Edition “Les Belles Lettres”.Google Scholar
  3. Antiphon. 1997. The speeches. Trans. Michael Gagarin. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Antiphonte Tetralogie. 1969. Trans. Fernanda Decleva Caizzi. Milan-Varese: Istituto Editoriale Cisalpino.Google Scholar
  5. Aristotle. 2012. (SE) On sophistical refutations. [Internet classics archive]. http://Classics.Mit.Edu/Aristotle/Sophist_Refut.Html
  6. Aristotle. 1926a. (Rhet.) Rhet. Trans. J.H. Freese. Cambridge/London: Harvard University Press/William Heinemann.Google Scholar
  7. Aristotle. 1926b. (Top.) Topic. Trans. W.A. Pickard. Cambridge/London. Harvard University Press/William Heinemann Ltd.Google Scholar
  8. Aristotle. 1933/1989. (Met.) Metaphysics. Trans. Hugh Tredennick. Cambridge/London: Harvard University Press/William Heinemann.Google Scholar
  9. Aristotle. 1934. (En) Nicomachean ethics. Trans. H. Rackham. Cambridge/London: Harvard University Press/William Heinemann.Google Scholar
  10. Aristotle 1984. (Pol.) “Politics” The complete works of Aristotle, vol. 2. Trans. Jowett, Benjamin. Ed. Jonathan Barnes, 19872129. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Bates, Clifford. 2008. The fundamental political problem of legislators addressed in Politics 2. Revista da Faculdade de Direito de Conselheiro Lafaiete, 23–36.Google Scholar
  12. Casertano, Giovanni. 2004. Sofista. Napoli: Guida.Google Scholar
  13. Christ, Matthew R. 1998. The litigious Athenian. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Chvatík, Ivan. 2004. The heretical conception of the European legacy. Essays of Jan Patočka, 55–72. Lisbon: Phainomenon.Google Scholar
  15. Cohen, David. 1995. Law, violence and community in classical Athens. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  16. de Lima Vaz, Henrique C. 1999. Escritos de filosofia IV – Introdução à ética filosófica 1. São Paulo: Edições Loyola.Google Scholar
  17. Dodds, E.R. 2004. The Greeks and the irrational. Berkeley/Los Angeles/Oxford: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  18. Diels, Hermann, and Walther Kranz. 1989. Fragmente der Vorsokratiker. Hidessheim: Weidmann.Google Scholar
  19. Gagarin, Michael. 2002. Antiphon the Athenian, oratory, law, and justice in the age of the sophists. Austin: University of Texas.Google Scholar
  20. Guthrie, W.K.C. 1969/1971. The sophists. London: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  21. Guthrie, W.K.C. 1971. The sophists. New York: Cambridge University.Google Scholar
  22. Irwin, Terence. 1988. Aristotle’s first principles. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  23. Jaeger, Werner. 1986. Paideia. The ideals of Greek culture. Trans Gilbert Highet. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  24. Kerferd, G.B. 1981. The sophistic movement. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Laertius, Diogenes. 1925. Lives of eminent philosophers. Trans R. D. Hicks. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, Loeb Classical Library.Google Scholar
  26. Laertius, Diogenes, and R.D. Hicks. 1972. Lives of eminent philosophers. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Liddell, Henry George, and Robert Scott. 1940. A Greek-English lexicon. Oxford: Clarendon.Google Scholar
  28. MacIntyre, Alasdair. 1967. Ontology. The encyclopedia of philosophy, Vol. 5, 542–543. New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  29. MacIntyre, Alasdair. 1988. Whose justice? Which rationality? Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press.Google Scholar
  30. Marques, Marcelo Pimenta. 2000. O sofista: uma invenção platônica? Kriterion 102: 66–88.Google Scholar
  31. Nussbaum, Martha C. 1986. The fragility of goodness: Luck and ethics in Greek tragedy and philosophy. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  32. Plato. 1921. Theaetetus. Plato in Twelve Volumes, Vol. 12. Trans. Harold N. Fowler. Cambridge, MA/London:Harvard University Press/William Heinemann Ltd.Google Scholar
  33. Reale, Giovanni. 1990. A history of ancient philosophy II. Trans John R. Catan. New York: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  34. Schiappa, Edward. 2003. Protagoras and logos: A study in Greek philosophy and Rhet. Columbia: South Carolina Press.Google Scholar
  35. The first sophists. 2000. Trans. Robin Waterfield. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  36. The great sophists. 2003. Trans. John Dillon and Tania Gergel. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books.Google Scholar
  37. Untersteiner, Mario. 2008. I Sofisti. Milano: Bruno Mondadori.Google Scholar
  38. Vega, Jesús. 2010. Aristotle’s concept of law: Beyond positivism and natural law. Journal of Ancient Philosophy, IV(2).Google Scholar
  39. Vlastos, Gregory. 1947. Classical Philology 42(3):156–178Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculdade de Direito de Ribeirão PretoUniversity of São PauloRibeirão Preto, São PauloBrazil

Personalised recommendations