chapter  1
19 Pages

Aristotle on practical reasoning and the structure of action

Aristotle’s principal writings on practical thinking are in the Nicomachean Ethics (NE), and this will be my main Aristotelian text, though some references will be made to others of his works. The Ethics is a densely packed, rich text, and I cannot hope to formulate the Aristotelian position on practical reasoning, if there is just one such position. Nor can I even begin to do justice to the large body of valuable literature on Aristotle’s account of practical reasoning. My aim is simply to formulate and interpret one plausible Aristotelian conception (or range of conceptions) of practical reasoning, particularly as it appears in the Ethics, and to identify, through exploring Aristotle, some major concepts and problems crucial for understanding practical reasoning in general.