Plato's Sophist [59-61]

c) The further outline of the investigation. φρόνησις and
σοφία as the highest modes of ἀληθεύειν. The priority of
σοφία. The origin of this priority in the natural
understanding of Greek Dasein. The phenomenology of
Dasein as the method of the investigation. Θεωρία:
clarification of the term and history of the concept.

From our preliminary survey of the modes of ἀληθεύειν, we can, without preempting the actual interpretation of the highest modes of ἀληθεύειν, retain three points:

1.) The comparative interpretation of the various modes of ἀληθεύειν makes it clear that ἀληθεύειν is in the end presented here with regard to the disclosure and preservation of the ἀρχαί.

2.) This regard toward the ἀρχαί is then also decisive for the discussion of the two highest modes of ἀληθεύειν, φρόνησις and σοφία.

3.) Accordingly, we will gain a real understanding of the various modes of ἀληθεύειν only if we lay out how it happens that precisely the question of the ἀρχή furnishes the guiding line for establishing and distinguishing the various modes of ἀληθεύειν.

In chapters 6-13 of Book VI of the Nicomachean Ethics, the consideration plays out within a focus on the two basic phenomena of φρόνησις and σοφία. The question at issue is which one has a pure and simple priority over the other.

Let us remark incidentally that what Aristotle achieved here, working in the soil of phenomena of such difficult content, i.e., what he discussed under the titles φρόνησις and σοφία, later entered into philosophy under the rubric of practical and theoretical reason. Of course, this newer discussion of the faculties of reason has gone through manifold influences within the history of philosophy and has been saturated with them, so that the original soil is scarcely recognizable without direction from the work of Aristotle. Thus it is not possible to understand φρόνησις and σοφία under the guiding line of the Kantian distinction between practical and theoretical reason.

To anticipate the result, Aristotle establishes:

1.) that σοφία is the other highest possibility of ἀληθεύειν, the second βελτίστη ἕξις, beside φρόνησις, and

2.) that it has a priority over φρόνησις, such that this ἀληθεύειν constitutes a proper possibility, and the genuine possibility, of Dasein : the βίος θεωρητικός, the existence of scientific man.