Saturday, 2 May 2015

Negraru Nicoleta: Conflicts of desire. Akrasia and moral conscience in Maximus the Confessor

According to Aristotelian ethics, akrasia occurs when two types of desire ( orexis) conflict in the same person: namely, deliberate choice (prohairesis) and irrational desire (epithymia). If deliberate choice dominates, we have self-control (enkrateia);  if irrational desire dominates, we have  weakness of the will ( akrasia).
If in Maximian vision, ethical virtue  and vice represent types of habitual dispositions           ( hexis), we find that there are other types of habitual dispositions that are not ethical virtues relevant for explaining rational acts. This intermediate type of habitual disposition is represented by akrasia  or  its analog, enkrateia.
Following the differentiation between irascible and concupiscent elements in Maximian anthropology, we find that Maximus offers (comparated with Aristotle, who blames the akratic ) a double perspective on the akratic: both  negative and positive. With Maximus we meet greater openness to the positive assessment of the akratic elements, since it  all depends in their use. The moral conscience of an  akratic agent illustrates a drama of permanent tension between  cosncious choice (prohairesis) and innate appetite.
Starting from  the classic definition of akrasia from  Nicomachean Ethics, Book 7, we propose that the first  part of the study explore  the difficulties arising to the two  ethical approaches of akratic disposition and any philosophical analogies between Maximian weakness of the  will and Aristotelian akrasia. And in the second part of the study we follow Maxim᾽s contributions to the analysis of ontological transformation implicated by the relationship between desire, rational deliberation  and human action.

No comments:

Post a Comment