Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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Purposes: purposes are imagined situations for the justification of actions which are intended to create these situations. See also goals, action, justification, means, cause, effect.

Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

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Aristotle on Purposes - Dictionary of Arguments

Gadamer I 326
Purpose/Means/Aristotle/Gadamer: ((s) Here it is only a question of the purpose-means relationship within the discussion about moral knowledge).
A fundamental modification of the conceptual relationship between means and purpose is shown, by which moral knowledge differs from technical knowledge. It is not only that moral knowledge does not have a merely particular purpose, but that it concerns right living as a whole - whereas, of course, all technical knowledge is particular and serves particular purposes. It is also not only that moral knowledge must occur wherever technical knowledge would be desirable but is not available. Moral knowledge cannot, in principle, have the precedence of teachable knowledge. The relationship between means and purpose is not such that knowledge of the right means could be made available in advance, and this is because knowledge of the right purpose is not merely the object of knowledge either. There is no prior determination of what the right life as a whole is aimed at. For this reason the Aristotelian provisions of the phronesis show a significant fluctuation, as long as this knowledge soon becomes more assigned to the purpose, soon more to the means to the end.(1) >Morality/Aristotle, >Techne/Aristotle, >Self-Knowledge/Aristotle.

1. Aristotle generally emphasises that the phronesis is concerned with the means (ta pros to telos) and not with the telos. It is probably the contrast to the Platonic doctrine of the idea of good that makes him emphasize this so. But that the phronesis is not a mere property of the right choice of means, but itself a moral hexis, which sees the telos with which the actor is directed by his moral being, is clearly evident from its systematic place within Aristotelian ethics. Cf. Eth. Nic. Z 10, 1142 b33; 1140 b 13; 1141 b 15.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Gadamer I
Hans-Georg Gadamer
Wahrheit und Methode. Grundzüge einer philosophischen Hermeneutik 7. durchgesehene Auflage Tübingen 1960/2010

Gadamer II
H. G. Gadamer
The Relevance of the Beautiful, London 1986
German Edition:
Die Aktualität des Schönen: Kunst als Spiel, Symbol und Fest Stuttgart 1977

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2021-06-13
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