Plato's Sophist [148-149]

This entire connection from the ἀρχή up to the τέλος is nothing else than the full Being of the action itself. This full Being of the action is supposed to be uncovered through φρόνησις.

If we now follow the structure of φρόνησις from its first beginning, this is the connection: the action, as that in favor of which I have resolved, is indeed anticipated; but in the anticipation, in the ἀρχή, the circumstances are characteristically not given, nor is that which belongs to the carrying out of the action. Rather, precisely out of the constant regard toward that which I have resolved, the situation should become transparent. From the point of view of the προαιρετόν, the concrete situation of the action is still a ζητούμενον, it is covered over. In Metaphysics VII, chapter 13, Aristotle calls the ζητούμενον a λανθάνον (1041a32); that which is sought is still hidden. Therefore the task is to uncover, on the basis of a regard toward the ἀρχή of the action, the concrete situation, which is at first hidden, and in that way to make the action itself transparent. This uncovering of the hidden, in the sense of making transparent the action itself, is an affair of φρόνησις.

But now the τέλος of the action is the action itself, and specifically it is the εὐπραξία. The concern is not that something should come to pass in general, but instead the concern is that the action comes to pass in the correct way, so that it attains its end in what it can be. Now insofar as φρόνησις belongs co-constitutively to πρᾶξις, φρόνησις, too, must have, in being carried out, the character of the εὗ. The how of the deliberation, λογίζεσθαι, is determined by the character of the action itself. This λογίζεσθαι, the discussing and thorough deliberation, which is the path on which φρόνησις discloses the situation of the action, is also called βουλεύεσθαι. This βουλεύεσθαι is the way φρόνησις is carried out. Accordingly, the βουλεύεσθαι must have the character of the εὗ; if the τέλος of the πρᾶξις is indeed to be the εὐπραξία, the βουλεύεσθαι must be characterized by εὐβουλία. As εὐβουλία, φρόνησις is genuinely what it is. The question of the structure of φρόνησις is hence concentrated on the question of what εὐβουλία is, i.e., the correct deliberation on action, from its ἀρχή to its τέλος, its last reach.

β) Εὐβουλία as genuine φρόνησις. The correctness (ὀρθότης) of the εὐβουλία. The resolution (βουλή). The βουλεύεσθαι as συλλογίζεσθαι. The ὀρθὸς λόγος.

This βουλεύεσθαι is not a considering in the sense of a mere description of something present but instead is a considering of something sought, something not yet present, something still to be uncovered. τὸ γὰρ βουλεύεσθαι ζητεῖν τι ἐστίν (Nic. Eth. VI, 10, 1142a31f.). The character of the ζητεῖν must be kept in mind from the very outset. The ζητεῖν does not move as blind trial and error but is a being underway which from the very outset has an orientation: