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Author: Jesse Bailey1
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  • 1 Sacred Heart University
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Abstract

This paper is a response to Christopher Moore’s excellent paper, “Questioning Aristotle’s Radical Account of Σωφροσύνη.” I expand upon some of the themes in the four suggestions Moore makes in his “Four Possible Defenses” of Aristotle that I take to be the most fruitful avenues of research. I then argue that pursuing these avenues will show that Aristotle’s thinking in the Nicomachean Ethics about σωφροσύνη—and virtues in general—cannot be understood by looking only at the early books. I argue that his deeper analysis of virtue and φρόνησις in book VI demand a revaluation of the apparent finality of his comments in book III. Specifically, I argue that the Nicomachean Ethics as a whole is constructed as a dialectical advancement that points to a progressively deepening understanding of the relationship between the discussion of the individual virtues in the early books and the discussion of φρόνησις in book VI must be developed in order to understand Aristotle’s conception of any individual virtue.

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