O método de investigação da acrasia no livro VII da ética nicomaqueia de Aristóteles

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Universidade Federal de Goiás
This thesis presents a study of the methodology used by Aristotle in the investigation on akrasia in Book VII of the Nicomachean Ethics. First, I present some readings about the methodological model used by Aristotle in his ethical treatises in order to show the state of affairs of the discussions on this subject. The exposition of these readings shows that there is some controversy among scholars about the nature of the methodology employed by Aristotle in his ethical investigations. They mainly disagree about three points: i) whether the strategies employed by Aristotle in these investigations constitute a dialectical model of investigation, composed of the techniques he exposes in the Topics, or a scientific model of investigation, similar to what he outlines in book II of the Posterior Analytics; ii) whether the starting points of these investigations are endoxa (opinions shared by the majority of people) or phainómena (a set of data similar to those he uses in scientific investigations, which include only the endoxa Aristotle takes to be true, in addition to other evident data collected in the ordinary life experience and how we speak); iii) whether the objective of these investigations is to make an inventory of shared opinions on certain topics, and correct the inconsistencies identified in this set of beliefs, or to formulate the principles of a political science, constituted largely by definitions of ethical types. While reading the investigation on akrasia, we observe that Aristotle is compromised to explain what this disposition is and formulate its definition, which could be evidence of a scientific study and the application of the general proposal he outlines in Book II of the Posterior Analytics. However, it is also evident, either analyzing how he initiates the discussion, or observing the strategies he employs throughout the investigation, that the use of dialectical techniques is relevant in this process. I understand that the presence of elements of a theoretical investigation, accompanied by the use of dialectical techniques relates to the very nature of ethical studies. In the investigation of akrasia, Aristotle tries to establish that this moral disposition exists and it’s distinct from others by constructing its definition, a principle that can be used in political science. Along with that he also builds puzzles using the commonly shared opinions about this topic, applying dialectical techniques for this, and seeking to explain the inconsistencies and inaccuracies present in the set of beliefs about its object of investigation. I understand that the coexistence of these research strategies - on the one hand, a theoretical study that seeks to formulate definitions, and on the other, the scrutiny of shared opinions on the subject - can be understood as an attempt to deal with the needs of political science itself (of which ethics is a part, according to Aristotle), in which theoretical knowledge is not sufficient: this discipline aims not only to know what each of the moral dispositions are, but also how to produce or avoid these dispositions in the citizens.
SILVA, C. M. O método de investigação da acrasia no livro VII da ética nicomaqueia de Aristóteles. 2022. 93 f. Dissertação (Mestrado em Filosofia) - Universidade Federal de Goiás, Goiânia, 2022.