Two Ways of Being for an End

in Phronesis
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?

Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.


Have Institutional Access?

Access content through your institution. Any other coaching guidance?



Five times in the extant corpus, Aristotle refers to a distinction between two ways of being a ‘that for the sake of which’ that he sometimes marks by using genitive and dative pronouns. Commentators almost universally say that this is the distinction between an aim (hou heneka + genitive) and beneficiary (hou heneka + dative). I propose that Aristotle had a quite different distinction in mind, namely: (a) that which holds between something and the aim or objective it is in the business of producing or achieving, and (b) that which holds between some instrument and the user of that instrument.


A Journal for Ancient Philosophy



Charles, D. (2015), ‘Teleological Causation’ in Shields 2015, 227-266.

Ebrey, D. (2015) (ed.), Theory and Practice in Aristotle Natural Science. Cambridge.

Frey, C. (2015), ‘Two Conceptions of Soul in Aristotle’ in Ebrey 2015, 137-160.

Gelber, J. (forthcoming), ‘Soul’s Tools’ in H. Bartos and C. King (eds.), Heat, Pneuma and Soul in Ancient Philosophy and Medicine.

Gotthelf, A. (2012), ‘Aristotle’s Conception of Final Causality’ in Gotthelf (ed.), Teleology, First Principles, and Scientific Method in Aristotle’s Biology (Oxford), 1-44. [First printed Review of Metaphysics 30 (1976/1977), 226-54; also reprinted, with additional notes and a Postscript, in A. Gotthelf and J. G. Lennox (eds.), Philosophical Issues in Aristotle’s Biology (Cambridge, 1987), 204-42.]

Hamlyn, D. W. (1968), Aristotle’s De Anima Books II and III (with passages from Book I). Translated with introduction and notes. Oxford.

Hicks, R. D. (1907), Aristotle, De Anima. Translated with introduction and notes. Cambridge.

Howton, R. (unpublished), ‘Why De Anima needs iii.12-13’.

Inwood, B. and Woolf, R. (2013), Aristotle’s Eudemian Ethics. Cambridge.

Johansen, T. (2015), ‘The Two Kinds of End in Aristotle: The View from the De Anima in Ebrey 2015, 119-136.

Johnson, M. R. (2005), Aristotle on Teleology. Oxford.

Judson, L. (2005), ‘Aristotelian Teleology’, Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 29: 341-366.

Kelsey, S. (unpublished), ‘Efficient Causality in Aristotle’.

Kullmann, W. (1985), ‘Different Concepts of the Final Cause in Aristotle’ in A. Gotthelf (ed.), Aristotle on Nature and Living Things (Pittsburgh), 170-175.

Laks, A. (2000), Metaphysics xii.7’ in D. Charles and M. Frede (eds.), Aristotle’s Metaphysics Lambda (Oxford), 207-243.

Lawrence, G. (2005), ‘Snakes in Paradise: Problems in the Ideal Life’ in Southern Journal of Philosophy 43: 126-165.

Lawson-Tancred, H. (1986) (tr.), Aristotle’s On the Soul. Harmondsworth.

Lennox, J. G. (2001), Aristotle. On the Parts of Animals I-IV. Translated with an Introduction and commentary. Oxford.

Leunissen, M. (2010), Explanation and Teleology in Aristotle’s Science of Nature. Cambridge.

Menn, S. (2002), ‘Aristotle’s Definition of Soul and the Programme of the De Anima, Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 22: 83-139.

Menn, S. (2015), ‘Aristotle’s Theology’ in Shields 2015, 422-464.

Richardson Lear, G. (2006), Happy Lives and the Highest Good: An Essay on Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics. Princeton.

Rosen, J. (2014), ‘Essence and End’, Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 46: 73-107.

Ross, D. (1924) (ed.), Aristotle’s Metaphysics. Oxford.

Ross, D. (1936) (ed.), Aristotle’s Physics. Oxford.

Sedley, D. N. (1991), ‘Is Aristotle’s Teleology Anthropocentric?’, Phronesis 36: 179-196.

Shields, C. (e)d., The Oxford Handbook of Aristotle. Oxford.

Smith, J. A. (1984) (tr.), Aristotle’s De Anima in J. Barnes (ed.), The Complete Works of Aristotle: Revised Oxford Translation. Princeton.

Tuozzo, T. (2014), ‘Aristotle and the Discovery of Efficient Causation’ in T. Schmaltz (ed.), Efficient Causation: The History of a Concept (Oxford), 23-47.

Woods, M. (1982), Aristotle: Eudemian Ethics Books I, II, and VIII. Translation with a commentary. Oxford.


Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 33 33 14
Full Text Views 5 5 4
PDF Downloads 3 3 3
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0