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Aristotelian Continence Reconsidered

Date and Time: 
Thursday, February 27, 2020. 04:15 PM - 06:00 PM
Meeting Location: 
Humanities Center Boardroom
Workshop: 
Ethics and Politics, Ancient and Modern
Meeting Description: 

All EPAM sessions are pre-read. We will begin with a brief summary of the paper and comments by Roy Lee, followed by a response from Anthony Price. Afterward, the floor will be open for questions.

Abstract: A standard view is that the continent (or self-controlled) agent suffers from disorderly passions or desires (and so lacks practical wisdom, phronēsis), and yet reliably chooses and acts well. In this paper, Price argues that he is subject to two deficiencies:

(i) Though he typically acts in accordance with his best practical reasoning, he does not do so always or dependably.

(ii) The full virtue that he lacks is necessary if an agent is to have, and comprehend, the right practical ends.

Emeritus Professor Anthony Price taught at the Birkbeck, University of London. His principal research interests are in Greek ethics and moral psychology, and in contemporary ethics. His work in Greek philosophy (primarily but not only Plato and Aristotle) strives to do justice to the texts, but is always primarily philosophical in its goals, which are to increase our self-understanding as ethical agents through interpreting the texts in ways that attend to the details of their arguments and formulations, attempting to make the best and most fruitful sense of these. His fourth book, Virtue and Reason in Plato and Aristotle, was published by Oxford University Press in 2011. In 2013, Anthony gave a paper at a plenary session of a meeting of the International Plato Society in Pisa on Plato’s Symposium. He now has invitations from the Institute for Classical Studies, London, and to conferences at Louvain, Oxford, and Heidelberg.

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