Aristotle 's Philosophy As A Way Of Life Essay

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III. As Pierre Hadot states in Philosophy as A Way of Life, “The Platonic sage would raise themselves by the life of their mind, which the Aristotelian sages raise themselves to the realm of the divine mind”. Although Aristotle does not address sagacity directly in any of his major works, in one recovered excerpt of Prorepticus, Aristotle begs the question: “what more accurate stand or measure of good things do we have than the sage [?]” in a work encouraging young people to study philosophy. As this is the only direct account of Aristotle speaking of the sage, it can be incurred that his construction of the archetype is in alignment with the sage as a virtuous person, or more Aristotelian specific, someone who demonstrates the intellectual virtues. With regard to whether the intellectual virtues are natural, Aristotle says that except for theoretical wisdom (Sophia), the intellectual virtues are “natural endowments,” and “we do think that men have good sense (gnome), understanding (synesis), and intelligence (nous) by nature”. He also immediately adds that the intellectual virtues are learned by maturing through various stages of life, whilst reminding us that “human nature is the cause”. Thus, the best conclusion here is that the intellectual virtues are a combination of nature and learning, while the moral virtues, except for phronesis, that shapes them, are all learned. Aristotle concludes that his particular discussion on a very profound note: we should consider the
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