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Aristotle on the Apparent GoodPerception, Phantasia, Thought, and Desire$
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Jessica Moss

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199656349

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199656349.001.0001

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Evaluative Cognition

Evaluative Cognition

(p.3) 1 Evaluative Cognition
Aristotle on the Apparent Good

Jessica Moss

Oxford University Press

This chapter lays the groundwork for an account of evaluative phantasia by showing that Aristotle thinks all motivation depends on some form or other of evaluative cognition: perception, phantasia, or thought. Aristotle’s description of the object of desire as ‘the apparent good’ should be read intensionally: we and indeed all animals desire only what we find good. Not only rational desire, but even appetitive desire, is for things qua good. Aristotle’s philosophy of action, as laid out the de Anima and de Motu Animalium discussions of how cognition and desire cause locomotion, confirms this. We should take his view to be that practical cognition, the kind of cognition specially connected with motivation and action, is always in part cognition of things as good – evaluative cognition.

Keywords:   de Anima, de Motu Animalium, locomotion, desire, cognition, guise of the good, value

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