Thursday Night Philosophy Workshop: Katja Maria Vogt on “A Genuinely Aristotelian Guise of the Good"
Thursday, December 7, 2017 at 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Wolff Conference Room, Room D1103, Albert and Vera List Academic Center 6 East 16th Street, New York, NY 10003, Room D1103
Katja Maria Vogt, Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University. She specializes in ancient philosophy, ethics, and normative epistemology. In her books and papers, she focuses on questions that figure both in ancient and in contemporary discussions: What are values? What kind of values are knowledge and truth? What does it mean to want one’s life to go well?
The paper draws on the first sentence of Nicomachean Ethics I, but goes beyond interpretation in putting forward a new version of the Guise of the Good (GG). This proposal is Aristotelian in spirit, but defended on philosophical grounds. GG theorists tend to see their views as broadly speaking Aristotelian. And yet they address particular actions in isolation: agents, the thought goes, are motivated to perform a given action by seeing the action or its outcome as good. The paper argues that the GG is most compelling if we distinguish between three levels: the motivation of small-scale actions, the motivation of mid-scale actions or pursuits, and the desire to have one’s life go well. The paper analyzes the relation between small-, mid-, and large-scale motivation in terms of Guidance, Substance, and Motivational Dependence. In its Aristotelian version, the argument continues, the GG belongs to the theory of the human good.
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