Right Reason in Plato and Aristotle: On the Meaning of Logos

Phronesis 59 (3):181-230 (2014)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Something Aristotle calls ‘right logos’ plays a crucial role in his theory of virtue. But the meaning of ‘logos’ in this context is notoriously contested. I argue against the standard translation ‘reason’, and—drawing on parallels with Plato’s work, especially the Laws—in favor of its being used to denote what transforms an inferior epistemic state into a superior one: an explanatory account. Thus Aristotelian phronēsis, like his and Plato’s technē and epistēmē, is a matter of grasping explanatory accounts: in this case, accounts that identify the right action and say why it is right. Arguably, Aristotelian rationality is a matter of being able to grasp accounts in general



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,369

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles


Added to PP

271 (#75,971)

6 months
22 (#125,216)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Jessica Moss
New York University

References found in this work

Unprincipled virtue: an inquiry into moral agency.Nomy Arpaly - 2003 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Aristotle's first principles.Terence Irwin - 1988 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Practical intelligence and the virtues.Daniel C. Russell - 2009 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Reason and human good in Aristotle.John Madison Cooper - 1975 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Early Greek philosophy.John Burnet - 1908 - New York,: Meridian Books.

View all 58 references / Add more references