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Gösta Karl Johan GrönroosStudieadministratör


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  • Notes on Nicomachean ethics 1173a2–5

    2016. Gösta Grönroos. Classical Quarterly 66 (2), 484-490


    In Nicomachean Ethics (= Eth. Nic.) 10.2, Aristotle addresses Eudoxus' argument that pleasure is the chief good in his characteristically dialectical manner. The argument is that pleasure is the chief good, since all creatures, rational (ἔλλογα) and non-rational (ἄλογα) alike, are perceived to aim at pleasure (1172b9–11). At 1172b35–1173a5, Aristotle turns to an objection against Eudoxus' argument. For some object (οἱ δ’ἐνιστάμενοι) to the argument by questioning one of its premisses, namely that what all creatures aim at is the good (1172b12–15). Instead, they claim that what all creatures aim at is not good (ὡς οὐκ ἀγαθὸν οὗ πάντ’ ἐφίεται, 1172b36). This claim is reasonably taken to mean that not everything that all creatures aim at is good. But, as we shall shortly see, Aristotle dismisses it in a way suggesting a less charitable interpretation. At any rate, the significance of this objection is that it challenges the strong claim that what all creatures aim at is the good with an argument against the weaker claim that what all creatures aim at is good (or a good). For if the weaker claim is refuted, then the strong claim is refuted as well. Aristotle takes issue with the argument against the weaker claim, but without committing himself to the strong claim.

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  • Why is Aristotle’s vicious person miserable?

    2015. Gösta Grönroos. The Quest for the Good Life, 146-163


    The question raised in this chapter is why Aristotle portrays the bad person as being in a miserable state. It is argued that the bad person suffers from a mental conflict, which consists of a clash between two different kinds of desire, and that fulfilling one of the desires violates values that she also desires. But in contrast to the akratic person, the bad person has no proper conception of the good. Nevertheless, although the bad person may succeed in achieving what she thinks is good, she feels miserable not only on account of failing to fulfil her desire for the truly good life, but also on account of doing things that she finds degrading for her.

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  • Wish, Motivation and the Human Good in Aristotle

    2015. Gösta Grönroos. Phronesis 60 (1), 60-87


    Aristotle invokes a specifically human desire, namely wish (boulesis), to provide a teleological explanation of the pursuit of the specifically human good in terms of virtuous activity. Wish is a basic, unreasoned desire which, independently of other desires, or evaluative attitudes, motivates the pursuit of the human good. Even a person who pursues what she mistakenly believes to be good is motivated by wish for what in fact is good, although she is oblivious of it.

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  • Two kinds of belief in Plato

    2013. Gösta Grönroos. Journal of the history of philosophy 51 (1), 1-19


    The purpose of this paper is to clarify a distinction between two kinds of belief in Plato’s Theaetetus and the Sophist. In the Sophist, Plato distinguishes between phantasia, which occurs “through sense perception,” and doxa, which occurs “according to thinking.” What distinguishes these two kinds of belief is the believer’s understanding of the thing the belief is about, as a result of the way in which each kind of belief is formed. A doxa is formed through a particular kind of thinking, and the person having it grasps the nature of the thing. A phantasia, by contrast, is formed through sense perception, and the person having it grasps the mere appearance of the thing. 

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  • Plato on perceptual cognition

    2001. Gösta Grönroos, Dugald Murdoch, Dorothea Frede.

    Avhandling (Dok)

    The aim of the study is to spell out and consider Plato' s views on perceptual cog­nition. It is argued that Plato is cornrnitted to the view that perceptual cognition can be rational, and that beliefs about the sensible world need not be confused or ill-founded. Plato' s interest in the matter arises from worries over the way in which his fore­runners and contemporaries conceived of perceptual cognition. They conceived of cognitive processes in terms of corporeal changes and attempted to explain perceptual cognition in causal terms. The problem with such accounts, according to Plato, is that they make perceptual cognition an entirely passive process, and seem incapable of accommodating the freedom of reason. Plato's main target is Protagoras' view on cognition and he accuses him of con­flating different cognitive phenomena that ought to be kept apart. More particularly, he suggests that Protagoras' 'man the measure' thesis is based on the conflation of sen se perception (aisthesis), belief (doxa) and appearing (phantasia), and that Protagoras is cornmitted to the view that beliefs are arrived at in a non-rational way. It is shown how Plato takes issue with Protagoras by disentangling these three cognitive phenomena. It is argued that Plato' s way of understanding these notions leaves room for the possibility that reason plays apart in perceptual cognition and that we arrive at beliefs in a rational way. In the course of spelling out the argument, Plato' s views on a number of topics are scrutinised: the perceptual mechanism; the objects of sense perception; perceptual content; the nature of belief; the eon trast between belief and appearing; the nation of reason.

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