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Die vier Ursachen der Tugend?

digital Die vier Ursachen der Tugend?
Articolo
rivista RIVISTA DI FILOSOFIA NEO-SCOLASTICA
fascicolo RIVISTA DI FILOSOFIA NEO-SCOLASTICA - 2015 - 4
titolo Die vier Ursachen der Tugend?
autore
editore Vita e Pensiero
formato Articolo | Pdf
online da 03-2016
issn 00356247 (stampa) | 18277926 (digitale)
€ 6,00

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The paper discusses the question whether Aristotle’s concept of causality is applicable to the acquisition of virtues. It therefore connects Aristotle’s doctrine of the four causes, as it is developed in Physics II 3, with his account of the virtues elaborated in the Nicomachean Ethics. On the one hand, the doctrine of the four causes seems to be helpful when we want to understand the virtues since the acquisition of the virtues is a kind of transformation (kinêsis). On the other hand, however, the coming into existence of the virtues is not a transformation of the kind envisaged in the Physics since it has to do with voluntary acts rather than causal relations. It is for this reason mainly that it seems to be impossible to apply the doctrine of the four causes to the virtues. In the paper I argue that Aristotle’s concept of causality is applicable to the (acquisition of the) virtues. In order to show this, the concept of kinêsis is elucidated as a first step in order to see how the virtues can be related to it. In a second step, the doctrine of the four genera of causes is explained and some pros and cons of understanding the becoming of a virtuous person in terms of the four causes are presented. As the third and final step the paper points at some advantages of applying the four causes to the (acquisition of) virtues and thereby emphasizes the necessity of elucidating the complex nature of human beings from the perspective of both ethics and natural philosophy.