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On the Nichomachean Ethics (ca. 350 BCE), books 6–7.
Is intelligence just one thing? Aristotle picks out a number of distinct faculties, some of which are relevant to ethics, and he uses these to explain Plato's puzzle of how someone can clearly see what the good for him is, and yet fail to pursue it due to weakness of the will.
This episode continues our discussion from way back in ep. 5, and was commissioned in honor of the wedding of Matthew Decker and Amanda Schloss.
This time around Mark, Wes, and Dylan talk a lot about the Greek terminology. For a cheat sheet on that, see this page, esp. part D., which goes through the different faculties (hexeis). The only one you should really remember in this context is phronesis, or practical wisdom, which involves both having the right goals and having the know-how re: what to do to pursue those goals. (By contrast, see Ana's post here on deinotes, or cleverness, which leaves out the having the right goals part.)
Buy the W.D. Ross translation that Mark used or read it online. Dylan refers to the Joe Sachs translation but read the Terence Irwin translation this time. Wes read this online translation by F.H. Peters.
End song: "I Die Desire" from The MayTricks (1992). Listen to the whole album free.
Aristotle picture by Olle Halvars.
Luke T says
Great episode, guys! I want to clarify an important term, please. You guys dived into a lot of ancient Greek words/concepts here, but – so far as I could tell – never once mentioned akrasia, which has been mentioned in a lot of past episodes concerning the Classics. When we use the English word ‘incontinence,’ we are talking about what Aristotle would call akrasia, no? If there is either a subtle or major difference in the understanding of these terms, please kindly disabuse me. Thanks.
Check out the app Documents or PDF Expert for iOS, it has better tools for annotating than iBooks. Also if eye-fatigue is an issue, you can invert the screen via the accessibility menu (triple-click home shortcut) in settings.