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Challenges of men between appearances: reflections about virtue in the Nicomachean Ethics

Grant number: 19/11990-8
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2019
Effective date (End): September 30, 2020
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Philosophy - History of Philosophy
Principal researcher:Marisa da Silva Lopes
Grantee:Giácomo Fioritti Leandro
Home Institution: Centro de Educação e Ciências Humanas (CECH). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil


In Nicomachean Ethics, III, 4, 1113a 15, Aristotle presents a problem that consists in knowing if the object of human desire is the good (tagathón) or the apparent good (tó phainómenon agathón). Aristotle's solution, according to Aubenque, would make the moral norm coincide with the valorous man, viz., the spoudaios. Now, from the notion of apparent good and from this aristotelian conception of "incarnate norm", in Aubenque's expression, we can see the difficulty of the possibility of thinking of a passage from vice to virtue within the philosophy of the Estagirite. After all, we understand that there is a problem that is even previous to the one thought by Aubenque. The latter wondered what would be the recipe for putting into practice what is recognized in the other, that is, how men could apply the virtue they saw in the spoudaios. But we question: how could men who are corrupted by the apparent good even recognize the spoudaios as a norm to be followed? We understand, therefore, that the problem of the development of virtue must deal with the difficulty of appearances, and we take it as our research objective to provide an answer about the reversibility of the apparent good.