Educating Desire in Aristotle

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book

Abstract

In this chapter, I employ Aristotle to investigate the various ways in which a person’s desires may be educated over time. I do so by considering how people may gradually shift from being vicious to virtuous. In particular, I sketch the shifts from (1) a contented vicious agent to (2) a discontented vicious agent to (3) an akratic or weak-willed agent to (4) an enkratic or strong-willed agent, and finally to (5) a fully virtuous agent. To make the transitions clear and the discussion accessible, I shall use some running examples, especially a smoker who eventually gives up. We shall see that crucial to charting the developmental processes are the agent’s reason-based evaluations and desires, on the one hand, and her perception-based responses and desires, on the other.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDesire and Human Flourishing
Subtitle of host publicationPerspectives from Positive Psychology, Moral Education and Virtue Ethics
EditorsMagdalena Bosch
PublisherSpringer International Publishing AG
Chapter13
Pages183-200
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-47001-2
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-47000-5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jul 2020

Publication series

NamePositive Education
PublisherSpringer
Volume3

Keywords

  • Aristotle
  • enkrateia
  • akrasia
  • Vice
  • Virtue
  • reason
  • perception
  • education
  • desire

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  • Cite this

    Pearson, G. B. (2020). Educating Desire in Aristotle. In M. Bosch (Ed.), Desire and Human Flourishing: Perspectives from Positive Psychology, Moral Education and Virtue Ethics (pp. 183-200). (Positive Education ; Vol. 3). Springer International Publishing AG. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-47001-2_13