§22 [143-144]

Up to now we have clarified the character of the ἀληθεύειν of φρόνησις in such a way that we have come to understand that φρόνησις is a ἕξις πρακτική. What it discloses is from the very outset intended with regard to its being relevant to action. The mode of carrying out the disclosive appropriation of the πρακτόν is βουλεύεσθαι, circumspective self-debate. This βουλεύεσθαι is μετὰ λόγου and therefore is a λογίζεσθαι, a discussing. Insofar as βουλεύεσθαι is the way to carry out φρόνησις, the structure of the βουλεύεσθαι must make visible how φρόνησις grasps the ἀρχαί of the beings which are thematic in it, the ἀρχαί of human ζωή. Aristotle carries out the consideration by first asking what is correct βουλεύεσθαι. How does εὐβουλία look? δεῖ δὲ λαβεῖν καὶ περὶ εὐβουλίας τί ἐστιν (Nic. Eth. VI, 1 0, 1142a32f.). With the structure of the εὐβουλία, i.e., with this mode of carrying out φρόνησις, the character of φρόνησις as ἀληθεύειν first becomes visible and this even, and precisely, with regard to the disclosing of the ἀρχή · The second basic question will be: How does φρόνησις relate to νοῦς itself, if it, like σοφία, discloses the ἀρχή, i.e., has the character of νοῦς? From this point of departure we can understand νοῦς. The understanding of νοῦς on the basis of σοφία and φρόνησις is, in my view, the only way to gain a preliminary insight into the difficult phenomenon of νοῦς.

§22. Εὐβουλία as the mode of carrying out φρόνησις
(Nic. Eth. VI, 10).

The mode of carrying out φρόνησις is βουλεύεσθαι,, which itself is a λογίζεσθαι, a discussion. To that extent φρόνησις is a ἕξις μετὰ λόγου. The disclosure of φρόνησις is carried out μετὰ λόγου, in speech, in the discussion of something. It must be noted that λόγος, as it is in question here, is to be grasped as the asserting of something about something, as λέγειν τι κατὰ τινός. Insofar as something is asserted of a being within an intention to disclose it in this asserting, a διαίρεσις already resides there. Insofar as I assert something about something, the asserting has taken apart the being spoken of. Everything that is a theme of λόγος is, as such, a διαιρετόν. On the other hand, a being, insofar as it is given only καθόλου, as a whole, in the way we encounter it immediately, is συγκεχυμένον, intermingled, "poured together."1 To assert means to articulate what is spoken about. It is only on the basis of such διαίρεσις that σύνθεσις follows, the σύνθεσις which is proper to λόγος. Λόγος is diairetic-synthetic. If now, on the other hand, φρόνησις is supposed to be a βελτίστη ἕξις, then it must grasp the ἀρχή of the beings which are its theme. An ἀρχή, however, especially if it is an ultimate, final ἀρχή, is itself no longer something we can speak of as something.

1. Phys. I, 1, 184a21ff. Cf. p. 60f.