Aristotle on deliberation and contingency

Grgić, Filip (2018) Aristotle on deliberation and contingency. In: Free Will & Action: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives. Historical-Analytical Studies on Nature, Mind and Action (6). Springer, Cham, pp. 103-115. ISBN 978-3-319-99294-5

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The author discusses Aristotle’s notion of deliberation and shows that it differs considerably from the model of deliberation as is common in contemporary discussions of free will and moral responsibility. As opposed to the contemporary model, Aristotle’s account does not require that the deliberator has any belief (or lack thereof) concerning the availability of possible courses of action. However, the action that is chosen by deliberation, before it is performed, is still contingent––i.e. such that it can both be and not be done––and up to us. Moreover, the action’s being up to us can be seen as grounded in our having rational capacities that are necessarily two-sided. This might suggest that the agent can do otherwise than she has decided by deliberation. The author argues that this is not the case: after deliberation, or after forming the relevant desire, the agent can actualize only one arm of her two-sided capacity, and hence, she cannot act differently than as decided by deliberation. If it makes sense to say that she can act differently, it is only because there may occur, in the interval between deliberation and action, some other desire which takes over a role of the decisive factor.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Depositing User: Institut za filozofiju
Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2019 14:16
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2021 10:51

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