Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Being Properly Affected: Virtues and Feelings in Aristotle’s Ethics

By: L. A. Kosman


A moral virtue, or as we might say, a good state of character, is for Aristotle an established disposition for free and deliberate conduct of the right sort, a hexis prohairetikē, as he puts it. (1) In providing an account of the moral life in which the concept of a virtue or state of character is central, Aristotle reveals what is clear throughout the Ethics: that he, like Plato, thinks of the question of moral philosophy as not simply how I am to conduct myself in my life, but how I am to become the kind of person readily disposed so to conduct myself, the kind of person for whom proper conduct emanates characteristically from a fixed disposition. Of course the good life is a life of activity – a life, that is, in which such dispositions are realized and not simply possessed by persons of worth. Otherwise a perfectly desirable life might be spent asleep. But the good life is one whose activities are not simply in accord with the virtues but are the appropriate realizations of these virtues, and the virtues themselves are ready dispositions toward these activities. The good person is not simply one who behaves in a certain way, but one who behaves that way out of a certain character.


When we recognize the Aristotelian virtues to be dispositions toward deliberate and proper human conduct, it becomes tempting to take Aristotle to be thinking in terms of human action, of the virtues as fixed tendencies toward modes of praxis. But is that right? It is clear that no thoughtful reading of the Ethics can help but note the centrality of praxis in Aristotle’s moral theory and its important connections to the other key notions in that theory – for example, responsibility, choice, and practical reasoning. But virtues are not in Aristotle’s view dispositions solely toward modes of acting. Throughout his discussion of the moral virtues, and practically in his earliest account of them in Book 2, Aristotle makes clear that the activities for which virtues are dispositions are of two sorts, actions and feelings, praxeis kai pathē. He rarely mentions virtue in Book 2 with respect to action alone, but rather in terms of this dual phrase. The first account of the notion of disposition with which moral virtue will be identified, indeed, is exclusively in terms of feelings: kath’ has pros ta pathē echomen eu ē kakōs. (2) So the virtues are dispositions toward feeling as well as acting.

Acting and feeling are not simply two modes of human conduct among others. This can be seen if we use the older and more etymologically parallel English renderings of Aristotle’s praxis and pathos and describe the moral virtues as dispositions toward action and passion – toward characteristic modes of conduct, in other words, in which the virtuous person acts and is acted upon – is the moral subject, as it were, of active and passive verbs.

A view of feelings and emotions as passions or affections – that is, as instances of a subject being acted upon, of an agent, so to speak, as patient – is embedded in the very word which we translate by “feeling” or by “emotion”, the Greek word pathos. This word, like the verb paschein, of which it is a derivative form, has an earliest sense of what is experienced or undergone by way of misfortune or harm – what is, as we say, suffered – but comes subsequently, as with “suffer”, to have a general sense simply of what is experienced, a mode of a subject’s being acted upon. (3)

Insofar as Aristotle sees fear, anger, desire, pleasure, and pain as pathē, as passion, he views what we would call feelings or emotions as modes of a subject acted upon. This fact is revealed in the list Aristotle offers us of emotions with which moral virtues are concerned and in which there can be excess, deficiency, and right measures. The majority of items on this list are described by passive verbs; in thinking of fear, anger, pleasure, or pain, Aristotle is thinking of being frightened, being angered, being pleased, being pained. When I am afraid, something is frightening me; when I am angry, something is angering me. When in general I am experiencing an emotion or feeling of the sort which Aristotle would call a pathos, something is affecting me; I am being acted upon in some way, where the concept of being acted upon is reciprocal to that of my acting in some way. (4) Actions and feelings are thus for Aristotle modes of human being – action and passion – seen in terms of reciprocal concepts basic to our understanding of entities in general, the concepts of acting and being acted upon.

The opposition between acting and being acted upon, that is, the praxis/pathos opposition, is, to be sure, peculiar to human activity, because praxis is according to Aristotle peculiar to human activity. But it is only a special instance of a more general structural duality, that of poiein and paschein, doing and being done. (5) This dualism is encountered early in and throughout Aristotle’s writings, from its special appearance as an apparently reciprocal pair of relatively minor modes of being in the Categories to the important cosmological role recognized in the treatise On Generation and Corruption. (6)

This more general opposition of poiein/paschein, insofar as it governs and structures the most basic forms of being, understood as activity, is thus a central and fundamental structural principle of human activity. “Activity” here must take on a sense broad enough to include both acting and being acted upon – must, that is, include modes of active human being in which the human individual is both subject and object of the action, both agent and patient.

The notion of including as an aspect of human activity what an individual suffers, what is done to an individual in addition to what the individual does, may go against our intuitions. It is only an individual’s actions, we might feel, which truly belong to the being of a human individual in its most basic sense. This intuition is something to which we shall have to return. But it should not blind us to the fact that the affections and passive sufferings of entities seem to be among the authentic characteristics which such entities have, and this is true for both human and nonhuman beings.

If the kinds of human activity now understood in this broader sense include not only what are, more strictly speaking, instances of human action but also instances of human passion in the sense of being acted upon, and these latter are understood as paradigmatic instances of feelings or emotions, then Aristotle’s moral theory must be seen as a theory not only of how to act well but also of how to feel well; for the moral virtues are states of character that enable a person to exhibit the right kinds of emotions as well as the right kinds of action. The art of proper living, we should say, includes the art of feeling well as the correlative discipline to the art of acting well.


Moral philosophy, then, should count as an important question that of sentimental education and should recognize the proper cultivation of our feelings as within the domain of our moral concerns. But how could this be? It appears to be a distinction between our actions and our passions that actions are within our control, whereas passions are not; we are the initiating principle of what we do, but not of what is done to us. Aristotle seems to make exactly this point in claiming that we are angered or frightened, for example, not by choice – aprohairetōs, as he puts it. (7)

But if we give allegiance to the meta-ethical dictum that “ought” implies “can”, then it seems problematic how a moral philosophy could concern itself with questions of our feelings in contrast with question of how we ought to act in response to or in light of those feelings. What is, as Aristotle would say, eph’hēmin – within our power – is surely what we do, but not what is done to us.

One way in which this objection might be met is by pointing out what I have emphasized earlier: the important role of the concept of virtue. Since we are primarily called upon by a moral theory not to act and be acted upon in certain ways but rather to be kinds of persons disposed so to act and be acted upon, the question of what feelings are or are not immediately within our powers may be moot.

But could a moral theory be concerned with sentimental education even in this sense, namely, with the cultivation of proper sentimental dispositions? For in what sense might such dispositions themselves be said to be within the domain of choice or prohairesis? Why, in other words, wouldn’t the question be pushed one step further back? And how then could we be said in the first place to have disposition to be acted upon rather than to act in certain ways? Let me first say something preliminary about this latter question.

Aristotle’s claim that virtues are dispositions toward feeling as well as action can be seen, in light of our recognition that feelings are passions, to rest upon a theory of potentiality which recognizes the existence of passive as well as active powers. For since a disposition is a power – that is, a potentiality that renders an entity capable of a mode of actual being – and since feelings are passions, the virtues in questions must be passive powers – the potentialities, that is, for being actively affected in a certain way.

That Aristotle has a general theory of passive powers is evident. The discussion of potentiality in Book 9 of the Metaphysics makes this clear (in the context of a discussion that once again reveals the reciprocal relation and basic dialectical unity of poiein and paschein). Passive potentialities, we there learn, are elements within an entity’s nature, not simply external to it, and are connected to other more obvious integral aspects of the entity’s being. To say that oil is burnable is to ascribe to the oil a power that belongs to it and is a potentiality for being affected in a certain way, for having something done to it, and is at the same time to link this capacity to certain positive states and characteristics of the oil. (8)

More obvious forms of potentialities with respect to being affected are those by virtue of which an entity is capable of withstanding or not suffering a certain affection. Aristotle often refers to such a type of power both in the discussion in the Categories and in that in the Metaphysics. (9) In both cases, however, we are considering powers exhibited by an entity for discrimination among affections, for being affected in this way and not that.

Another class of such powers, and one that for Aristotle is paradigmatic and important, includes the faculties of the soul. The perceptual capacities, and the faculties of reason and thought as well, are potentialities of the sensitive and intelligent subject to be affected in certain ways, to be acted upon by the sensible and intelligible forms of objects in the world. (10) When we think of them in this way, there is nothing particularly mysterious about these powers: they are simply the abilities to be open to certain affections and closed to certain others – the reciprocal capacities, we might say, of being discriminatingly receptive and resistant.

The doctrine of passive potentiality enables Aristotle to envision a state of character by virtue of which an individual has the power to be affected in certain ways, the capacity to undergo certain passions and avoid others. A moral virtue with respect to feelings or emotions is just such a capacity; it is the power to have and to avoid certain emotions, the ability to discriminate in what one feels.


But this suggests only how there might be said to be powers to be acted upon in certain ways; what concerned us was whether such powers might be said to be dispositions involving choice. We still therefore need to be concerned with the question of choice, and that question may now be put this way: how is it possible for Aristotle to see a virtue as a disposition toward a feeling or emotion, given the following facts about choice? In his first characterization of virtue Aristotle denies that virtues might be feelings themselves by pointing out that a feeling is not the sort of thing that is chosen; our anger and fear are, as he might have said, “aprohairetic”, whereas the virtues are kinds of choice or at least not aprohairetic, not devoid of choice. But then we should ask: how could choice be involved in a fixed tendency toward that which does not involve choice, indeed for which we are in no wise praised or blamed? Won’t there have to be a radical asymmetry between the relation among dispositions, actualizations, and choice in the case of feelings and that relation in the case of actions? For in the latter case a virtue appears to be a disposition toward prohairetic acts; the actions themselves are instances of choice, and it seems to be only by virtue of this fact that the hexis or disposition which is a virtue with respect to these acts is said to be prohairetic. But in the case of feelings, virtues would, on the view we are considering, themselves be chosen but at the same time be dispositions toward actualizations that are not chosen.

One solution to this problem which I hinted at before would be to abandon the notion that virtues are dispositions with respects to feelings in the sense of being fixed tendencies to feel in a certain way. It is not that courage as a virtue with respect to fear disposes us to feeling fear in certain ways or in certain circumstances or to a certain degree but rather that it disposes us to certain actions with respects to and in light of our fear. Some support may appear to be given to this reading by Aristotle’s description of a disposition as a state by virtue of which we are ill or well disposed with respect to the emotions: kath’ has pros ta pathē echomen eu ē kakōs. (11)

This is the view of Joachim in his commentary on the Ethics; he writes:
In the development of the orectic soul there is hexix when the soul echei pōs (viz. eu ē kakōs) pros ta pathē: i.e. when a permanent attitude towards his emotions (towards any possible disturbances of his orectic self) has been reached – an attitude which expresses itself in actions which are either the right or the wrong responses to such disturbances. (12)

But this reading is surely wrong: Aristotle, in the passage in question, immediately goes on to explain:
if for instance, with respect to being angered we do so excessively or insufficiently [sphodrōs or aneimenōs: if we’re too violent or too easygoing] we’re badly disposed, but if moderately [mesōs] then we’re well disposed. (13)

Aristotle’s more detailed discussions of the virtues make clear that it is with respect to how one feels and not simply how one acts in light of one’s feelings that one is said to be virtuous. The courageous person is one who is frightened by the right things, in the right way, in the right circumstances, and so on, and who is not frightened when it is appropriate not to be. The temperate person is one who is pleased by the right things, in the right ways, and so on. The so-called “gentle” person (whose virtue Aristotle finds to have no proper name) is angered by the right things, in the right way, and so on. (14) There is here no indication that these moral virtues defined in terms of feelings are dispositions toward some range of actions appropriate in light of these feelings, and, on the contrary, every indication that they are dispositions toward appropriate feelings themselves.

What emerges in addition, however, is the recognition that these feelings are accompanied by concomitant actions. I have talked so far as though feelings could be understood as particular affects of an individual independent of anything else that might be true of the individual. In a sense this is exactly Aristotle’s theory and is why he says that pathē are those things with regard to which we are said to be moved. (15) But considered more broadly, there is no way to identify a feeling or emotion without taking into account (1) what we might call the cognitive element in emotions and (2) actions on the part of the agent which are characteristically and naturally associated with such feelings. (16) Fearing is related to fleeing, desiring to reaching for, anger to striking out at, in no accidental way. In each of these cases, a certain action or range of actions is connected to a pathos in some important logical sense. That connection is defeasible, but it is not a merely accidental connection.

These considerations suggest that there may be two elements to the actuality corresponding to any given virtue. A virtue is a complex disposition in the sense that its actualization is complex, and specifically in that its actualization consists of a characteristic set of feelings and a correspondent characteristic set of actions.

But if this is true, our discussion of virtues has been seriously misleading. The fact that virtues are dispositions with respect both to actions and to feelings ought not to suggest to us that there are a number of virtues that are dispositions with respect to actions and a number of virtues that are dispositions with respect to feelings, any given virtue being a disposition with respect to one or the other, but rather that a given virtue is a disposition with respect to a characteristic set of actions and feelings. These feelings are not, as in the view we have just been considering, merely the occasion for actions that are the proper realizations of the virtue; they are part of the concept of that virtue considered as a disposition. But neither are they the sole realizations of the virtue; they are part of the set of corresponding actions and feelings for which the virtue is a disposition.


With this understanding in mind, let us, as Aristotle would say, make a fresh start. Recognizing that virtues are dispositions toward feeling as well as toward action, we found ourselves perplexed by Aristotle’s apparent claim that virtues involve choice, while feelings do not. It appeared to us that there was an unexplained asymmetry in Aristotle’s understanding, such that virtues might involve choice without their appropriate feeling-realizations involving choice, even though virtues seemed to involve choice in the first place because they are dispositions toward actualizations that are deliberate and chosen. Is it possible to make sense of the notion that a virtue involves choice even though the feelings that are its realization do not? Could a person be said to be courageous in a deliberate and chosen manner without it being the case that the feelings which such a person characteristically exhibits by virtue of being courageous are themselves chosen?

Consider a parallel situation in the case of actions. A person may exhibit a vice such that the actions performed as a result of that vice are involuntary considered in themselves, and we may still want to say that the vice itself is voluntary. Thus someone, as Aristotle notes, may in one sense not be responsible for individual actions performed while he way intoxicated or ignorant of what he was doing or in general acting in accordance with some trait of character that made it impossible or extremely difficult for him to do the right thing, and yet in another sense clearly be responsible, at least for being in the first place unaware or drunk or in general of such and such a vicious character. (17)

These examples provide only a partial parallel to our case. In the first place, they concern the somewhat weaker notion of voluntariness, not that of choice. In the second place, they concern only instances of vice and the concomitant breakdown of moral action. Nowhere do we find an instance of Aristotle’s characterizing as voluntary a virtue whose resultant actions could be said to be involuntary. Finally, the examples that come most readily to mind – case of drunkenness, ignorance, or negligence – concern what seem to be in a sense “meta-vices”: states that condition our general capacity for virtuous conduct. As a consequence the relationship between the action and the vice that occasions it is not a straightforward relationship of disposition to realization. Only under a partial description could an act of negligence be said to be the actualization of the vice of negligence in the same sense in which an act of courage is the realization of an agent’s courageous disposition.

But we could extend the basic point to cases of specific vices. It seems a part of Aristotle’s views on moral responsibility that vicious actions are in some important sense not chosen, and indeed under certain descriptions not voluntary, though the vices that occasions them are, and are therefore the responsibility, like their actions, of the moral agent.

This is an enormously complex and difficult topic in Aristotle’s thought, and an important one for Aristotle and for moral philosophy in general; the respect in which vicious acts are not willed but nevertheless our responsibility may be central to an understanding of the moral life (compare Kant). I introduce the question here only because it suggests that certain predicates which we might think of as features of actions and only derivatively of characteristics or dispositions relative to those actions may be applied independently to one or the other in a variety of ways. Most importantly we see here a sense in which predicates appropriate to dispositions (in this case the predicate of being voluntary) may apply to these dispositions not only with reference to their actualizations but also with reference to the mode of their acquisition.

It is a part of Aristotle’s moral theory which I have alluded to but not stressed that virtues are acquired. They are, as he says, not phusei, but neither are they para phusin: neither natural nor contrary to our nature. (18) This is what makes them dispositions – hexeis – rather than simply potentialities – dunameis. They must therefore be acquired, and their acquisition cannot be effected simply by an act of choice; we do not decide to be virtuous and straightaway become so. Virtues are cultivated and not chosen in any simple sense, for it is not as a direct result of calculation, deliberation, resolution, or any other relatively simple mode of human activity that we become courageous, temperate, or wise. We become these through a process of ethismos, or habituation, through the habitual acting out and embodying of those actualizations which the dispositions are dispositions toward. (19) This mode of acquisition is part of the logic of a virtue, because it is part of the logic of a hexix. It is therefore part of the logic of a moral theory which, as I have suggested, places the notion of virtue at its center.

Perhaps this sense in which we would want to say that a virtue is not chosen – think how easy the moral life would then be! – may have been what led us to say that a virtue’s involving prohairesis must depend on the actualizations of that virtue being prohairetic. But there now emerges an alternative way of thinking about the isse: instead of supposing that the quality of being prohairetic flows backward, as it were, from actualization to disposition, suppose we say that a virtue is prohairetic which is acquired through acts that are themselves prohairetic. What happens when we try this model?

Note first that there is a sense in which a virtue might be said to be chosen, and on a specific occasion. A person might decide on such an occasion to act virtuously and see that act as the first in a series designed to effect a transformation in her life to being virtuous. So she chooses on this occasion to be virtuous and so acts, acting virtuously now this time, now another time, now another time, until fixed disposition of virtue becomes a hexis that characterizes her moral life. Why shouldn’t we say in such a case that virtue has been chosen, from the beginning, and precisely because the acts that fix that virtue are chosen?

This notion accords well with the view of Aristotle’s we have just been looking at. On this view one becomes virtuous by impersonating a virtuous person, and in that impersonation, through the process of habituation, becomes the virtuous person whom one impersonates. The direction of self-constitution is seen as leading from actions to states of character as well as the other way around; indeed, we should perhaps say that the other way around is subsequent, is only a logical feature of the relationship between our character and the individual moments of our conduct once they have been established.

But how does this help us with the question of virtues and feelings? For our initial problem with feelings was that they are said by Aristotle not to be chosen; an account according to which virtues are prohairetic because the acts that fix them are prohairectic seems therefore to be of little help in understanding the relation among choice, virtues, and feelings. This question supposes that virtues whose actualizations are feelings may be acquired only through the direct and deliberate choice of feelings. But given our recognition that the actualization of a virtue is a complex and related set of actions and feelings, a different view is now open to us. A person may act in certain ways that are characteristically and naturally associated with a certain range of feelings, and through those actions acquire the virtue that is the disposition for having the feelings directly. Acts are chosen, virtues and feelings follow in their wake, though in logically different ways.

In this view the structure of becoming virtuous with respect to feelings reveals itself to be of the following sort: one recognizes through moral education what would constitute appropriate and correct ways to feel in certain circumstances. Once acts in ways that are naturally associated with and will “bring about” those very feelings, and eventually the feelings become, as Aristotle might have said, second nature; that is, one develops states of character that dispose one to have the right feelings at the right time. One does not have direct control over one’s feelings, and in this sense the feelings are not chosen; but one does have control over the actions that establish the disposition, the virtues, which are the source of our feeling in appropriate ways at appropriate times and in appropriate circumstances. Although we may in some narrow sense not be responsible for our feelings, we are responsible for our character as the dispositional source of those feelings.

This picture has much to recommend it. In the first place, it seems correct. My anger or jealousy may not be an emotion which I choose, and yet it may be true that I have become a person disposed to such anger or jealousy by a series of actions that would make it perfectly reasonable to describe my character as something I have chosen. In the second place, it points to what seem important differences between feelings and actions which become clear only when we talk about the modes of acquisition of virtues. Much of the picture I have sketched depends upon the fact that one can simulate an action but can only pretend to have feeling. Thus the mode of inculcation with regard to feelings must be by some other method than that of habituation. There is, in other words, no way to come to feel a certain way by practicing feeling that way, and this is precisely because in some sense our feelings are not in our control. But it is nonetheless possible to engage in a certain range of conduct deliberately designed to make one the kind of person who will characteristically feel in appropriate ways, at appropriate times, and so on. And in this sense, feelings are deliberate and chosen, since the hexis from which these feelings emanate are deliberate and chosen, since (in turn) the actions that lead to these hexis are deliberate and chosen, and deliberately chosen to make one the kind of person who characteristically will have the appropriate feelings.


This picture seems to me on the whole correct and, broadly speaking, faithful to Aristotle’s version of the moral life, but it fails in important respects as a solution to the problems that initially perplexed us. Note in the first place how far we have come from our initial characterization of virtues as a disposition for deliberate and chosen conduct. That characterization interpreted Aristotle’s description of a virtue as a hexis prohairetikē to mean that the virtue was the agent’s ready capacity to act (in the broadest sense) prohairetically, not that the virtue had been acquired through some modes of prohairetic action. In the second place, the rather elaborate account into which we have been led seems curiously otiose; once we recognize that actions and feelings are linked together as the realizations of a virtue, why not simply say that a virtue is prohairetic because it is a disposition for those elements of its realizations which are actions? For there is no special problem, apart from the general problem of giving an account of what prohairesis is, about actions being prohairetic. Finally, the most important flaw in the account I have suggested is the following. The account depends upon actions that I lead to the establishment of a virtue but are not the expressions of an already established virtue being prohairetic. But this is not a view which Aristotle seems to hold. Such actions are voluntary, but it is by no means clear that they are for him in the fullest sense prohairetic. Just as acts are in a sense virtuous when they are acts of the kind which a virtuous person (one who performs such acts in the way that a virtuous person would perform them – that is, out of the fixed character that is virtue), (20) just so an act may be like prohairetic act, but not be one because it is not properly embedded in the larger context of the character and disposition of moral agent – because it is not a realization of that agent’s virtue. There is, Aristotle says, “no prohairesis without intelligence and thought, nor without moral character.” (21) Prohairesis involves, as we might say, not simply deciding, but willing, where the notion of will is sufficiently rich to demand reference to the larger context of central and properly integrated goals and habits of an agent’s moral life.

The recognition that choice for Aristotle is a concept governing not individual actions in a life divorced from this framework of goals and habits, but rather actions only as moments within a larger context of the character and intentions of the moral subject, reveals our picture to be inadequate as a solution to the problems I have raised. But it should, I think, contribute to the dissolution of these problems. For it should suggest the necessity of rethinking our initial denial that feelings may be chosen. That denial arose, I think, form our attending to a description by Aristotle of passions without reference to the context of virtue and character in which they occur. But why should we not be prepared to say that a person of steadfast and cultivated virtue who exhibits appropriate feelings in circumstances which he understands correctly and in which those are precisely the feelings which he would want to exhibit, taking into account the entire fabric of his goals, plans, and hopes for himself – why should we not be prepared to say that such a person has chosen those feelings?

Nowhere, I believe, does Aristotle say this. What we would like, but do not find, is an extension of the theory of deliberation and practical reasoning to account for the ways in which virtuous persons might be said to have the proper feelings which they have by prohairesis. Such an account would need to provide a sense in which we might be freed to feel what would be appropriate to feel by something like deliberation and choice, by some mode of coming to understand properly the circumstances in which our feelings arise, the place of these feelings and circumstances in our experience, and the ways in which we hold these circumstances and feelings in the larger contexts of our lives. In a sense, the theories behind certain religious traditions, psychoanalysis, and disciplines that promise self-transformation and self-mastery might be thought to represent attempts at such an account.

But any such account, I think, would have to recognize the primacy of praxis in the shaping and execution of our moral lives. It is this primacy that finally dominates the concerns of the Ethics. To say then that there is a strict parallelism for Aristotle between actions and passions would not be quite correct. On the one hand, he is led by the paschein/prattein structure and by the understanding of emotion as pathos to view virtue as a disposition equally for action and feeling, and as a consequence to recognize correctly the important place which our feelings occupy in the structure of our moral conduct. But on the other hand, the distinction between passion as something that happens to one and action as something that one does, coupled with the recognition that ethics must be concerned with prohairesis, leads him to turn his attention from feelings in the latter parts of the Ethics. It is not that he simply leaves the question of feelings out, but that their importance fades in the context of a particular theory of deliberation and choice and their place in moral conduct.

Nor is the case, however, as I have argued, that feelings are for Aristotle simply not chosen. The reason for this, I have suggested, is that choice for him is not a concept having to do with individual moments in an agent’s life, nor with individual single actions, but with the practices of that life within the larger context of the character and intentions of a moral subject, ultimately within the context of what it has become fashionable to call one’s life plan.

The question of moral choice in the deepest sense finally concerns questions of creating the conditions in which our actions and our feelings may be as we would wish them. These conditions include our states of character – the virtues – which we acquire through the complex practices of our moral life. So long as we consider moral questions in terms of individual moments in the agent’s life, we will not be able to understand this fact. This is why it should be clear that questions of virtue and feelings as moral categories are importantly connected.

This essay was published in Essays on Aristotle's Ethics, edited by Am
-->ēlie Oksenberg Rorty, University of California Press, Berkeley Los Angeles London
1. Nichomachean Ethics 2.6. 1106b36; Eudemian Ethics 1.10.1227b8
2. Nichomachean Ethics 2.5. 1105b26; 2.2. 1104b14; 2.6. 1106b17, 1106b25, 1107a9.
3. See the article on paschō in G. Kittel, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Mich., 1964-1974), 5:904 ff.
4. Nichomachean Ethics 2.6. 1106b17 ff. Compare English afraid as originally the passive participate affrayed.
5. All this is on the assumption that prattein is a special case of poiein and not, as Aristotle comes to understand it, vice versa. Compare his uses of kinesis and energeia for a similar reversal of the common understanding.
6. Categories 9. 11b1 ff.; On Generation and Corruption 1.7. 323b1 ff.
7. Nichomachean Ethics 2.5. 1106a2.
8. Metaphysics 9.1. 1046a11 ff., 1046a13.
9. Categories 8. 9a23; Metaphysics 9.1. 1046a13.
10. On the soul 2 and 3. passim.
11. Nichomachean Ethics 2.5. 1105b26
12. H. H. Joachim, Aristotle, The Nichomachean Ethics (Oxford, 1951), p. 85.
13. Nichomachean Ethics 2.5. 1105b26 ff.
14. See the table of the virtues in Nichomachean Ethics 2.7. 1107b1 ff., and the specific discussions of virtues in Books 3 and 4.
15. Nichomachean Ethics 2.5. 1106a4.
16. Thus On the Soul 1.1. 403a25, and the discussion of the emotions in the Rhetoric. See W. W. Fortenbaugh, “Aristotle: Emotion and Moral Virtue,” Arethusa 2 (1969), 163-185.
17. Nichomachean Ethics 3.5. 1113b30 ff.
18. Ibid., 2.1. 1103a14 ff.
19. Ibid., 1103a28 ff.
20. Ibid., 2.4. 1105a26 ff.
21. Ibid., 6.2. 1139a33. See G. E. M. Anscombe, “Thought ans Action in Aristotle,” in New Essays on Plato and Aristotle, ed. Renford Bambrough (London, 1965).

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