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An Eye on Particulars with the End in Sight: An Account of Aristotelian Phronesis

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This paper focuses on Aristotelian phronesis and aims at highlighting its nature as an eye on particulars with general ends in sight. More specifically, it challenges the particularistic interpretation of phronesis and Aristotelian ethics in order to argue for a “qualified generalism.” After sketching a radical Particularistic Reading (PR), the paper defends an interpretation it calls the Priority of Particulars Reading (PPR). First, it shows how PPR effectively accounts for the Aristotelian priority assigned to practical perception while at the same time counterbalancing that priority by means of two interpretive strategies. Then it offers further support to PPR by appealing to its own reading of Aristotle's phronesis. It aims to show that it is possible to defend a legitimate form of PPR without ending in holding PR, and that Aristotle's own theory and work ground the moderate reading. Finally, it draws some implications by analyzing educational practice.
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Keywords: Aristotle; education; moral particularism; phronesis

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 April 2018

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