Choice and virtue in the Nicomachean Ethics

Journal of the History of Philosophy 19 (4):405-423 (1981)
Abstract
Commentators on the Nicomachean Ethics (NE) have long been laboring under the influence of a serious misunderstanding of one of the key terms in Aristotle's moral philosophy and theory of action. This term is prohairesis (choice), the importance of which is indicated by Aristotle's assertions that choice is the proximate efficient cause of action (NE 6. 1139a31--32) and that in which "the essential elements of virtue and character" lie (NE 8. x 163a2'~-23). The accepted view is that Aristotle employs two importantly different notions of choice in the NE, one on which the term refers exclusively to means or things which are pros (toward, related to)' ends and another on which it does not have this reference?
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