Aristotle's practical syllogisms

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


I have situated my own interpretation of Aristotle's account of decision making within the current secondary literature, explained my interpretation by comparison and contrast to the other positions, and presented some of the advantages of my interpretation. I made the following major moves. (a) NRVI, DI, and N&II each describe some cases of decision making, but each loses credibility by claiming to cover all cases. By contrast, I maintain that multiple sorts of situations call for multiple sorts of decision making. (b) I have argued that R/C and M/E are different. (c) In passages [A] and [B], deliberation is contrasted with virtue understood as including practical wisdom rather than nonrational virtue. (d) In complex cases neglected by the other three interpretations, practical reasoning consists of three stages. Agents grasp situations through habit-shaped perception, determine goals by applying general principles to particular situations via R/C, and then plan paths to their goals via M/E. (e) R/C begins with a general principle, perhaps even a right rule, and ends by providing ends for M/E. (f) Philosophers discover the ultimate end of life, and thus the right rules by induction, but agents acquire these rules by being taught. (g) By providing the right rules for justice, Aristotle provides them for most of the virtues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-153
Number of pages25
JournalPhilosophical Forum
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015


Dive into the research topics of 'Aristotle's practical syllogisms'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this