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Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association

Volume 87, 2013

Aristotle Now and Then

Candace Vogler
Pages 57-68
DOI: 10.5840/acpaproc201481320

Good and Bad in Human Action

According to Aristotle, every action is aimed at some good. Neo-Aristotelians argue that all intentional actions are pursued “under the guise of the good.” Contemporary critics find this thesis either perplexing or obviously false. In this essay, I survey a recent attempt to defend the guise of the good thesis, urge that the critic will reject the defense, and sketch a novel direction for defense of the thesis based on the thought that practical reason’s orientation to the future is fundamentally different from a modern predictive stance. Practical reason is directed to what is supposed to happen next, whether or not things go as they are supposed to go.