SOPhiA 2021

Salzburgiense Concilium Omnibus Philosophis Analyticis

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Programme - Talk

Aristotle on Moral Agency: "He Could Have Not Done Otherwise"
(History of Philosophy, )

Contemporary discussions about agency assume that the possibility of doing otherwise is a common feature of human agency (Chisholm, 1967). If not, the course of action considered is held to be necessary and cannot rely on any agent's initiative. As such, Zingano (2016) claims that the Aristotelian theory of action is based on the conception that any agent is deemed to be capable of doing otherwise than he did. After presenting Zingano's argument, I will show that if relevant, Zingano's claim is incomplete since it no longer allows to distinguish between two types of acting -- and two types of men -- Aristotle introduces though : poïein and prattein, that is to say between the man whose actions are strictly technical and the virtuous man whose actions involve his living well. Finally, backed by the analysis of the concept of "power of opposites" (Metaphysics Θ), this presentation will establish that, for he pursues happiness, any moral agent cannot act otherwise than he does.

Chair: Karol Lenart
Time: 16:00-16:30, 11 September 2021 (Saturday)
Location: SR 1.007
Remark: (Online Talk)

Joy Elbaz 
(Aix-Marseille Université, France)

Qualified philosophy teacher (academie de Aix-Marseille, France) since 2018 and Ph.D fellow in third year affiliated to the Institute of History of Philosophy (I.H.P. - UR 3276), of Aix-Marseille Université. I am also a Lecturer for the Department of Philosophy (A.M.U.).

My thesis entitled ``Practical Non-Contradiction. Aristotelian Perspectives'' questions the contemporary extensions of the implications of Aristotle's law of non-contradiction (LNC) on practical rationality (Ross, Davidson, Ackrill, Lewis, Kenny, Lowe, Natali). In addition to the contribution of non-contradiction to the reflection on moral dilemmas and its relevance in philosophy of action and moral philosophy, my research addresses the dispositional theory of value (Lewis). The unifying framework of my work is the study of the criterion of consistency of practical rationality. This perspective implies that my research also deals with metaethics and normativity. Especially, the concept of agency and the structure of reasoning and forms of discourse at work in moral philosophy (prescriptivism).

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