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Fear as a Destructive Pain

Human Nature and Violent Affections in the Eudemian Ethics of Aristotle

Gaia Bagnati    Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia, Italia    



In the discussion on bravery in Eth. Eud., III, 1 Aristotle determines the objects that are absolutely dreadful by means of an explicit reference to ‘human nature’. This reference has not received much consideration from scholars in the field. The present paper argues that the reference under discussion entails a notion of ‘human nature’ that corresponds to a human being’s psychological disposition to endure fearful emotions – that is to say, painful emotions that imply the representation of a pain capable of destroying a human being – up to a certain degree of intensity. Furthermore, this article claims that the same notion of ‘human nature’ is implied in Eth. Eud., II, 8 in the discussion of involuntariness concerning the cases of mixed actions where Aristotle refers to the ‘nature’ of the agent as a criterion to determine the involuntariness of an action.

keywords: Aristotle. Human nature. Sou. Disposition. Fear. Sensible affections. Physical pains.

Language: en

Submitted: Feb. 5, 2019
Accepted: Feb. 25, 2019
Published: July 27, 2019
permalink: http://doi.org/10.30687/978-88-6969-325-0/003

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License