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Aristotle's account of Akrasia

Cagnoli Fiecconi, EG; (2013) Aristotle's account of Akrasia. Masters thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Aristotle proposes two different accounts of akrasia in the Nicomachean Ethics and in De Anima. According to what may be called the ignorance account, akrasia involves a cognitive failure. According to what may be called the motivational-- conflict account, akrasia involves a conflict of desires. In this thesis, I try to demonstrate that Aristotle's ignorance account and motivational--‐ conflict account are not irredeemably incoherent. I argue that the akratic's ignorance consists in a failure of phantasia, and that this failure is also the source of the akratic's desire to perform a blameworthy action that goes against her best decision. In order to support this argument, I first analyse the role of phantasia in Aristotle's theory of desire formation in De Anima and in the Rhetoric. Second, I provide an explanation of Aristotle's syllogistic account of akrasia in the seventh book of the Nicomachean Ethics in light of the suggestion that the failure of the akratic is a failure of phantasia. In conclusion, I note that if my interpretation is correct it can clarify further the differences between the virtuous, the vicious, the akratic and the enkratic in Aristotle's Ethics.

Type: Thesis (Masters)
Title: Aristotle's account of Akrasia
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Dept of Greek and Latin
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1383795
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