§22 [152-154]

The third phenomenon is ἀγχίνοια (b5), a νοεῖν which is ἀγχί, close by something, and which we might translate as "presence of mind," the ability to survey a situation quickly. ἔστιν δὲ εὐστοχία τις ἡ ἀγχίνοια (b6). Ἀγχίνοια has a certain affinity with εὐστοχία, although ἀγχίνοια expresses more the momentary, the capacity to survey a situation in an instant, whereas instinctual certitude consists more in proceeding with certainty by examining things step by step. Ἀγχίνοια is out of the question as an interpretation of εὐβουλία.

The fourth phenomenon against which εὐβουλία is to be delimited is δόξα, precisely because δόξα, being of an opinion, in fact has in its structure an ὀρθότης. An opinion is directed to something. In the opinion I have, I maintain that something is such and such. Opinion, according to its very sense, contains an orientation toward beings as they would show themselves to a correct investigation and examination. Insofar as δόξα has an ὀρθότης, one might think that εὐβουλία is a δοξάζειν. This is impossible, however. οὐδὲ δὴ δόξα ἡ εὐβουλία οὐδεμία.... δόξης δ' ὀρθότης ἀλήθεια (1142b6ff.). "Εὐβουλία cannot be a δόξα, because the ὀρθότης of δόξα is directed to ἀλήθεια," whereas εὐβουλία is directed to βουλή, being resolved. Εὐβουλία is not directed toward truth or falsity but primarily and exclusively toward being resolved. Furthermore, δόξα is constituted in such a remarkable fashion that, although it does indeed have an ὀρθότης, it is still not a ζητεῖν. καὶ γὰρ ἡ δόξα οὐ ζήτησις ἀλλὰ φάσις τις ἤδη, ὁ δὲ βουλευόμενος, ἐάν τε εὖ ἐάν τε καὶ κακῶς βουλεύηται, ζητεῖ τι καὶ λογίζεται (b13ff.). Δόξα is not a seeking but instead is something one has. In having an opinion there resides already a certain φάσις: I am of the opinion that such and such is the case. I am not seeking. Finally, δόξα is indeed concerned with what can also be otherwise, the συγκείμενον, and to that extent it is, like βουλεύεσθαι, a λέγειν, an asserting of something about something, a διανοεῖν, a taking apart. Because it is such a separating λόγος, δόξα can, it seems, be true or false. In fact, however, it is neither true nor false but is instead directed to the ἀληθές. Likewise, βουλεύεσθαι, too, can be one or the other: it can be κακῶς or εὗ; it can fail, ἁμαρτάνειν, or hit the mark. What is essential, however, is that βουλεύεσθαι is in general directed to something, and precisely not to the ἀληθές but, as we said, to the βουλή, the being resolved. Nor is this ὀρθότης the one of ἐπιστήμη. For ἐπιστήμη has no ὀρθότης at all, just as it also has no ἁμαρτία. It is rather an already complete ἕξις; it is not merely underway to something.

Through this delimitation, Aristotle makes visible the phenomenon of εὐβουλία. The four different possibilities against which it is delimited have not been conceived apriori; on the contrary, they emerge, in considering the phenomenon of εὐβουλία, out of the affinity of the phenomena themselves.