Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association

Volume 80, 2006

Intelligence and the Philosophy of Mind

Jonathan J. Sanford
Pages 77-90

Aristotle’s Divided Mind
Some Thoughts on Intellectual Virtue and Aristotle’s Occasional Dualism

In this paper I focus on a few of the passages in the Nicomachean Ethics that challenge the standard hylomorphic interpretation of Aristotle’s anthropology. I proceed by reflecting on the manner in which Aristotle’s two ways of characterizing the human person follow from his accounts of the two most important intellectual virtues, phronesis and sophia. I attempt to argue for the following three points: first, that Aristotle’s presentation of a divided mind is the result of his consistency rather than inconsistency; second, that there is not a clear way found in his Nicomachean Ethics to overcome this dual anthropology without doing violence to his account of intellectual virtue; and third, that there are several reasons why this dual anthropology should not be regarded as an aporetic failure.