§19 [134-135]

These nexuses in a certain way underlie Aristotle's reflections in Metaphysics, I, 2, without his explicitly entering into them. But this much is clear, that, in its Being, the comportment of Dasein to the ἀεί, if it is to be in keeping with the ἀεί, must always be a θεωρεῖν. That is in a certain sense possible, and in a certain sense impossible.

But this does not dispose of the task of delimitating σοφία over and against φρόνησις. For φρόνησις in itself claims to be the highest mode of human knowledge.

§ 19. Φρόνησις as the proper possibility of man, and
the rejection of φρόνησις as "σοφία" (Nic. Eth. VI, 7, part 2).
The gravity of φρόνησις. The ἀκρότατον ἀγαθόν ἀνθρώπινον
as object of φρόνησις. The ἄριστον ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ as object of
σοφία. Predelineation of ontological superiority as criterion of
the priority of σοφία.

Φρόνησις in itself claims, as we said, to be the highest mode of human knowledge, namely insofar as one can say that it is the gravest of all knowledge, since it is concerned with human existence itself; it is the σπουδαιοτάτη (cf. 1141a21f.). Σοφία may indeed deal with the τιμιώτατα (cf. b3), the highest beings; but these beings are not ones that concern man in his existence. What concerns man is Dasein itself, the ἀκρότατον ἀγαθὸν ἀνθρώπινον, namely εὐδαιμονία. And for this, φρόνησις provides direction. Φρόνησις is supposed to render Dasein transparent in the accomplishment of those actions which lead man to the εὖ ζῆν. If, accordingly, φρόνησις is the gravest and most decisive knowledge, then that science which moves within the field of φρόνησις will be the highest. And insofar as no man is alone, insofar as people are together, πολιτική (Nic. Eth. VI, 7, 1141a21) is the highest science. Accordingly, πολιτικὴ ἐπιστήμη is genuine σοφία, and the πολιτικός is the true φιλόσοφος; that is the conception of Plato.

Nevertheless, one can ask whether this determination of φρόνησις in relation to σοφία is legitimate. Notice what Aristotle brings to the arena: the ἀγαθόν, as ἀγαθόν of human Dasein, as εὐδαιμονία, is indeed an ἀκρότατον ἀγαθόν; it is that in which human Dasein attains its completion. But it is still an ἀνθρώπινον ἀγαθόν, a determination of the Being of man, and as such is ἕτερον in opposition to the ἀγαθόν which, e.g., is that of a fish. According to the Being of the respective being, the ἀγαθόν, too, as τέλος, is in each case different. Furthermore, even the ἀγαθόν of individual human beings, in their possibility as Dasein, can in each case be different. Insofar as the ἀγαθόν can in each case be different, we have in this ἀγαθόν an ontological determination of beings which can also be otherwise, not of ones that are ἀεί.