Plato's Sophist [151-152]

The προαίρεσις is in itself διανοητική i.e., διάνοια is in itself προαιρετική. Διανοητικὴ προαίρεσις, and προαιρετική διάνοια7 designate the same phenomenon, namely action transparent to itself.

I have characterized for you thus far only the general structure of εὐβουλία as the way φρόνησις is carried out. We must now pursue this structure more closely as well as the way Aristotle, purely phenomenologically, works his way to it. Aristotle elaborates the structure of εὐβουλία in such a manner that he makes it visible in delimitation against other possible modes of disclosure. This is the method he usually favors.

b) Delimitation of εὐβουλία against other modes of
ἀληθεύειν. Knowledge (ἐπιστήμη), sureness of aim
(εὐστοχία), presence of mind (ἀγχίνοια), opinion (δόξα).

What then is εὐβουλία? First of all, is it perhaps something like ἐπιστήμη? Does it have the character of knowledge? ἐπιστήμη δὴ οὐχ ἔστιν (οὐ γὰρ ζητοῦσι περὶ ὧν ἴσασιν, ἡ δ' εὐβουλία βουλή τις, ὁ δὲ βουλευόμενος ζητεῖ καὶ λογίζεται (a34ff.). Εὐβουλία cannot be an ἐπιστήμη, because ἐπιστήμη means knowledge. In knowing, I have a determinate being, as already uncovered, present to me. In ἐπιστήμη the ζητεῖν comes to an end. In knowledge, there is no seeking; instead, there is an already having found. Accordingly, εὐβουλία cannot be interpreted as ἐπιστήμη.

Secondly, we might wonder whether εὐβουλία is something like εὐστοχία, sureness of aim, the possibility of correct deliberation in the sense of a quality many people have as regards action, namely to hit instinctively the decisive circumstance and the correct moment: the sureness of instinct. ἀλλὰ μὴν οὐδ' εὐστοχία. ἄνευ τε γὰρ λόγου καὶ ταχύ τι ή εὐστοχία, βουλεύονται δὲ πολὺν χρόνον, καὶ φασί πράττειν μὲν δεῖν ταχὺ τὰ βουλευθέντα, βουλεύεσθαι δὲ βραδέως (b2ff.). Εὐβουλία cannot be εὐστοχία. For εὐβουλία requires λόγος, actual discussion. In instinctual certitude, I simply act, without genuine discussion. Furthermore, in εὐστοχία, the acting is characterized by the ταχύ; it happens in an instant. On the other hand, βουλεύεσθαι needs πολὺν χρόνον. Versus precipitous action, correct deliberation takes time. Εὐβουλία is deliberating well and slowly and acting resolutely, but it is not deliberating in such a way that everything is left to the future. Insofar as εὐστοχία lacks the moment of λόγος and the moment of the πολὺς χρόνος, it cannot be considered εὐβουλία.

7. b4f.: ἢ ὀρεκτικὸς νοῦς ἡ προαίρεσις ἢ ὄρεξις διανοητική.

Martin Heidegger (GA 19) Plato's Sophist