§22 [149-150]

1.) whence, i.e., from the ἀρχή, and 2.) whither, i.e., toward the τέλος. These are merely two different determinations of the one πρᾶξις itself. In the constant looking upon the ἀρχή, the discussion and thorough deliberation about the situation are a movement toward the τέλος. The τέλος is the action itself, the action as achieved, carried out. This implies that the βουλεύεσθαι has a direction; it is in itself directed upon something, and specifically such that in a certain sense from the very beginning the orientation is constantly toward the anticipated, the action. Βουλεύεσθαι as such includes the structural moment of directedness. Insofar as the βουλεύεσθαι is to be directed εὗ (in the right way), the εὗ belongs to the carrying out of the βουλεύεσθαι itself. The being directed in the right way—εὗ—is the correctness, ὀρθότης, of the acting, which in a certain sense maintains the direction which is predelineated by the ἀρχή and the τέλος of the acting: δῆλον ὅτι ὀρθότης τις ἡ εὐβουλία ἐστίν (1142b8f.). The elaborated correctness of the concrete action is the ὀρθότης βουλῆς. βουλή is the decision, the resolution. ἀλλ' ὀρθότης τίς ἐστιν ἡ εὐβουλία βουλῆς (b16). The elaboration of the concrete situation aims at making available the correct resoluteness as the transparency of the action. And insofar as this resoluteness is in fact appropriated and carried out, i.e., insofar as I am resolved, the action is present in its final possibility. The directed disclosure of the full situation terminates in genuine resoluteness toward something, venturing upon the action itself.

This βουλεύεσθαι, the thorough deliberation, is carried out as λογίζεσθαι in such a way that a nexus of speaking is alive, a speaking-together, συλλογίζεσθαι, συλλογισμός, extrinsically called "conclusion."4 Every course of demonstration has a consequent, συμπέρασμα. The consequent of the βουλεύεσθαι is the action itself; it is not some sort of proposition or cognition but is the bursting forth of the acting person as such. This shows how in φρόνησις the ἔργον is also included and for its part belongs to the Being of the acting person. On the basis of this foundational structure we can now understand what has constantly been so difficult to interpret, namely the expression ὀρθὸς λόγος.5 This concept has generated a veritable history of nonsense. From what I have said you will understand without further ado what is at issue here. Λόγος means discussion, not reason. Ὀρθός is nothing else than ὀρθότης βουλῆς, the correctness which has its structure in the peculiar character of the directedness of φρόνησις. This directedness rests on the fact that in the case of πρᾶξις the λόγος belongs intrinsically to the action; the λόγος is ὁμολόγως τῇ ὀρέξει.6

4. Nic. Eth. VI, 13, 1144a31ff.: οἱ γὰρ συλλογισμοὶ τῶν πρακτῶν ἀρχὴν ἔχοντές εἰσιν, ἐπειδὴ τοιόνδε τὸ τέλος καὶ τὸ ἄριστον.

5. Inter alia, Nic. Eth. VI, 1, 1138b29.

6. Nic. Eth. VI, 2, 1139a29ff.: τοῦ δὲ πρακτικοῦ καὶ διανοητικοῦ ἡ ἀλήθεια ὁμολόγως ἔχουσα τῇ ὀρέξει τῇ ὀρθῇ.